These images of local cuisine may not be downloaded.
Image Source : Asahi Town Tourist Association
Ecchu Toyama Food Kingdom (Toyama Prefecture)
- Main lore areas
- Main ingredients used
Alaska Pollack, burdock root, green onion
- History/origin/related events
Asahi Town, located on the eastern edge of Toyama Prefecture, is rich in nature, with the Northern Alps on its mountain side and the beautiful jade coast where jade ore is extracted on the Sea of Japan side. Tara-jiru" is a traditional soup that originated in this town. The area around National Route 8 along the coast is lined with restaurants that serve cod roe, and is also called "Tara-jiru Kaido (cod soup road). Asahi Town used to have an abundant catch of cod, and to warmly welcome the men who went fishing, the fishermen's wives gathered driftwood, boiled a large pot, added miso paste and cod, and stewed it to make the soup. All the fishermen gathered around the pot and sat in a circle on the beach to eat the dish.
The key to the delicious taste is to cut a whole Alaska Pollack into chunks and stew it vigorously, using the meat, head, liver, milt, and cod roe. At that time, cod, which tends to lose its freshness easily, was sold at local beaches as dried cod or grilled as a whole fish, but nowadays, due to rising sea water temperatures, it is rarely caught locally, and products from Tohoku and Hokkaido are used.
- Opportunities and times of eating habits
In the 1950s and 1960s, when cod fishing was popular, pollack was caught only in summer and fall because the boats were small and there were not many days when they could go fishing in winter. Today, it is a local specialty that is commonly eaten regardless of the season, but many people prefer to eat it in winter, as the taste of cod increases from December to February, when the cod milt and cod roe (cod roe) grows. Because it is easy to prepare, it is also eaten at home on a daily basis.
- How to eat
Remove the guts of fresh cod and cut into pieces. Keep the liver aside. Cut burdock root into small pieces and soak in water to remove the roughness. Bring a pot of water to a boil, add miso, cod meat and giblets, and bring to a boil, then simmer, removing any excess liquid. When the cod meat turns white, add miso and burdock root, cover with a lid, simmer briefly and turn off the heat. Sprinkle chopped green onions for color.
- Efforts for Preservation and Succession
Tara-jiru is served at restaurants, guest houses, and drive-ins along the "Tara-jiru Road," and it is also served at beaches during the summer to replenish salt. Every year in October, the "Jade Coast Cod Soup Festival" is held around Miyazaki Fishing Port in the town, attracting tourists from outside the prefecture as well as locals. It is also served as a school lunch menu item. The festival also offers a hands-on experience of making cod roe soup, taught by mothers who live in the fishing village.