- Main lore areas
All over the prefecture
- Main ingredients used
Firefly squid, leeks, spicy vinegared miso
- History/origin/related events
Firefly squid with vinegared miso is a dish representative of spring in Toyama. Firefly squid live in deep water, but around March they gather along the coast of Toyama Bay to spawn, and are landed only during a certain period each year. Namegawa fishing port boasts one of the largest catches in Toyama Prefecture. There are historical records that indicate that firefly squid fishing was already practiced here during the Edo period. Firefly squid, whose entire body glows blue and white, are called the "mystery of Toyama Bay," and the sight of them drifting through the shallows in schools is fantastic. They are designated as a special natural monument in Japan as the "Firefly Squid Swarming Sea Surface. The firefly squid caught in Toyama Bay are caught in fixed nets and are fresh because of the proximity of the fishing grounds and fishing ports. During the fishing season, paddy field water is not discharged into the sea to protect the firefly squid fishery. Firefly squid boiled fresh is exceptional, and "firefly squid with vinegared miso" is the most popular dish. When boiled, the body of the firefly squid becomes round and shiny, and the inside is tender and the outside is plump.
- Opportunities and times of eating habits
The firefly squid fishing season begins in March and lasts until June, making it the most popular food from spring to early summer. It is a taste that signals the arrival of spring in Toyama, and especially in port towns where firefly squid fishing grounds are located, firefly squid is a weekly dish on household tables. It is often served with chives and leeks for a colorful garnish, and is also served as a dish for entertaining. It is also an indispensable snack for alcoholic beverages.
- How to eat
Add salt to water, bring to a boil, add firefly squid, boil, and remove the eyes (fish processors and restaurants remove the eyes after boiling, but most households remove the eyes individually when eating). (Many fish processors and restaurants remove the eyes after boiling. After the leeks are served with the firefly squid, pour the spicy vinegared miso, a mixture of miso, vinegar, hot pepper, and sugar, over the squid. In addition to leeks, wakame seaweed, myoga, ginger, etc. can also be served.
- Efforts for Preservation and Succession
In addition to being prepared at home, firefly squid is also widely served at restaurants in Toyama Prefecture as a seasonal delicacy. It is a standard dish using firefly squid, and its recipe is introduced on various recipe websites. As a result, the dish is highly recognized by people outside of the prefecture. Efforts are also being made to carry on the fishing industry (not limited to firefly squid), such as recruiting and training the bearers of fixed-net fishing.