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Tokyofoodcast: Making Funazushi

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Video, we need video. It's nigorobuna. [A kind of carp from Lake Biwa] The son-in-law isn't ready, We'll ask Okami-san to do it. It's Okami-san's job from here. Yeah, yeah, yeah, OK, Okami-san It's me from here? OK, from now. The gills are already removed. While I was making deliveries to Otsu, a lot of funa was delivered. Here are the gills. And the scales are already removed. The funa come in ... You scale them. Then the guts, right in here. OK, for this, you just pull it out using one stick. Along this part here, there's the swim bladder. It's going to hiss! Wow! This here is the swim bladder. You pull it out just like this. And now the guts. Then, keep scraping out to get all the guts. Here, you just pull this out with your thumb. Right, I got everything out. Wash it out with salt water and then fresh water until it's nice and clean. Next, you stuff it with a lot of salt. Okami-san, that "pfffft" noise before? That was the swim bladder, right? The chef can do it too, but not as quickly-not at my pace. Wow! Cool! Just got one out now? Doing this in one go is a bit tricky. You have to completely get it all or else it's no good. Oh! Look at this. A bit of a mistake here. Getting this out is really quite difficult. Scritchy-scratch! Right here, I only got one out. It's out! It came out! This here, look, if this happens the eggs get all broken apart. Once cured in salt though it doesn't matter. Wow! I haven't done this in a while... Basically it's about ¥10,000 per fish at retail. It has to this size or bigger. The yield is less. It gets smaller and smaller. Yes, that's right. None of us locals have seen this kind of carp fresh before. We are so lucky to see this! Here comes the salt. OK, this one is clean. But, really, you should wash it with more fresh water. You drain the blood out of the middle. You completely wash out the blood. Drain the water really well. You fill the inside with lots of salt. You stuff it until you can't get any more in there. That's the main point, to really pack it in hard. You just salt it and from there it is ready to go in the vat. Okami-san, do you you cure the fish in salt standing vertically or lay them flat? It matters, right?¼ We stand them up. For me, I stand them up so that the eggs here in the belly stay nice and round. Some other places, they'll lay them down, but then the roe gets flattened. So, it's the way the salting is done that determines the shape. What makes the roe nicely shaped is how it is salted. We've been doing it this way since way back, standing the fish up. Next, how long do you cure them? One year in the vat? One year minimum. Well, then doesn't it shrink? It's out! It popped out! If you do it like this, the eggs get all broken up. Just like you keep the ovary intact with tarako, you shouldn't break the eggs. But, today I was a bit nervous in front of everyone. I mean really, you have to get it really clean with salt water and then do the salt. So, now I've got just these two salted and ready. See, right in there, until you can't cram anymore salt in there. Just like brewing sake. It's hard work. For us, it is really hard to find and buy these fresh nigorobuna. No sleep for us. You get home, and it's just down to work like this. From here, it's just working away like this. That's it! Done! One more problem, sometimes you've got to do this at two, three a.m. So, the thing is to do it quickly. Well, quicker is better. But since you all came from so far away... Thank you! And, now back to work. --Everyone is just so happy-- Whaaaaaaa!!!!

Video Details

Duration: 8 minutes and 4 seconds
Country: Japan
Language: Japanese
Producer: Et-chan
Director: Te-chan
Views: 401
Posted by: techan on Jun 27, 2009

In April, Et-chan and I returned to Shiga Prefecture to tour Lake Biwa with some friends in pursuit of this amazing local food tradition. We were amazed to watch our hostess, the Okami at Kitashina, show us how she prepares the local carp for a three-year-long fermentation nap in a vat layered with rice.

More on funazushi:
Funazushi in Shiga: The origin of sushi

Tokyofoodcast on the Trail of Funazushi

Funazushi 101

Dishes from Japans biggest lake

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