The blue cheese made from ayu fish, a true shiokara from a castle town
Hita in Oita, which once flourished under direct administration of Edo Period Shogunate, is an elegant riverside town. The ayu fish that are caught in the nearby waters are made into uruka, a variation on shiokara (a Japanese dish made of salted fish innards). Uruka is normally made only with the organs of a fish, but in Hita the finely chopped flesh of the fish is also used. Fermentation is an excellent method by which to remove the risk of parasites that would otherwise be present. Among restaurants specializing in ayu dishes, Shunkoen is one of the most renowned. It features an uruka that has been matured over a period of years, to the point where its odor has completely disappeared, leaving a dish with an elegant taste and an aroma akin to that of blue cheese. It is an essential accompaniment not only to sake, but also to drinks such as wine. It is worth a trip to Hita just to try this delicacy.
どう作って食べるか / HOW TO MAKE & EAT
❶Wash and then mince the innards of ayu fish. Mix in the pulverized flesh of the fish, then pickle the mixture in salt.
★ Pickling methods vary widely among producers, from some who pickle the uruka for as little as a week, to others such as Shunkoen, who employ several years’ long process.
As an accompaniment to alcohol
▶食べられている地域 / Regions where it is eaten
Throughout Kyushu and Gifu
▶微生物の種類 / Types of microorganisms
Lactic acid bacteria and a variety of other bacteria, etc.