- Main lore areas
- Main ingredients used
- History/origin/related events
Ika-ninjin is a side dish made by finely slicing surumeika and carrots and marinating them in a sweet and spicy sauce made of soy sauce, coarse soybean paste, and mirin (sweet sake). It has been eaten for more than 100 years, and the seasoning varies from household to household. It has been eaten for over 100 years, and each family has its own unique flavor. It has been used as a flavor for snacks, and has been arranged in various ways such as kakiage and takikomi-gohan (cooked rice).
It is said to be similar to Matsumae pickles, a local dish of Hokkaido, with the difference that Matsumae pickles contain kombu (kelp) and ika carrots do not. However, there is a theory that Matsumae-zuke is the root of ika-carrots, or vice versa, and the two dishes are often thought to have a connection.
- Opportunities and times of eating habits
Although it is now eaten as a common side dish all year round, it was originally made as a preserved food in winter. The ika carrots, which are made by marinating them in dipping sauce for several days, lasted for a long time, and were therefore very useful in Fukushima, where it is difficult to harvest crops in winter due to the abundant snowfall. It is also an indispensable local dish for the New Year. It is a favorite as a side dish for rice as well as a snack for sake.
- How to eat
Marinate finely chopped surumeika and carrots in a sauce made of roughly chopped Japanese common bean curd (or mirin), sake, and soy sauce. Let sit for half a day to finish, but the flavor will soak in more if left to marinate for a few days. In some areas, the carrots are sometimes sprinkled with sesame seeds, which adds a flavor that makes the dish even more delicious.
- Efforts for Preservation and Succession
(Overview of the people who have passed down the tradition, preservation groups, use of SNS, modern efforts such as commercialization, etc.)
Even today, the dish is easily made at home. It has also become widely known throughout the country due to the media coverage of celebrities from Fukushima. It has also been commercialized, and many people buy it as a souvenir or as a tax return gift from hometowns.