5 Local Foods in Toyama | Masu Zushi, Shiro Ebi, Toyama Black Ramen, Itoko-ni, and Yogoshi
Toyama Prefecture is located on the Sea of Japan side of central Honshu Island. Toyama Bay is known as a “natural cistern” where an abundance of yellowtail, firefly squid, and white shrimp can be found. Toyama also has a renown high quality rice grown in pure water flowing from the majestic Tateyama Mountain Range.
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Ideal for ekiben and souvenirs! “Masu Zushi”
It is said that “Masu Zushi”, made from Toyama and sweet fish, has its roots in the Edo period. It was presented to the Tokugawa family and became a favorite of the 8th Tsunayoshi. Trout became more commonly used, and by the Meiji period, it was commercialized, especially as a ekibens and souvenirs.
Masu Zushi is made by laying bamboo leaves in a box, filling it with vinegared rice and salted masu, then placing a weight on top. When eating, open the bamboo leaf, and cut the masu into pieces. Toyama has many restaurants specializing in Masu Zushi.
The jewel of Toyama Bay “Shiro Ebi”
Toyama Bay is one of the three deepest bays in Japan, blessed with Shiro Ebi, or white shrimp. Considered the jewel of Toyama Bay, shiro ebi is about 6 to 7 centimeters in length, and remains white even after cooked. Originally used for soup stock, its now eaten raw with improved freezing technology. Shiro ebi is enjoyed as sashimi and sushi, as well as kakiage and burgers. Shiro ebi are quickly frozen after being caught, so they can be enjoyed year round.
Having a great impact! “Toyama Black Ramen”
Simmered dish with red beans “Itoko-ni”
“Itoko-ni” is a dish of simmered azuki beans and root vegetables such as pumpkin, taro, and burdock root. It is said that the name “Itoko-ni (cousin stew) ” was given to the dish by nephews and nephews, since hard ingredients are put in first. In Toyama Prefecture, where Jodo Shinshu Buddhism is strongly rooted, azuki beans are a common ingredient, as they were a favorite food of Shinran Shonin, the founder of the sect. Soy sauce and miso are used for seasoning.
lots of vegetables “Yogoshi”
“Yogoshi” is a dish of boiled and finely chopped vegetables such as spinach and komatsuna, seasoned with miso. Some people say that the name comes from the fact that the vegetables are “yogosu(soiled)” with miso. Previously, it was eaten as a bulking dish when rice was in short supply, its now a common daily dish. Yogoshi is usually eaten on rice due to its high vegetable content, as many modern dishes lack high vegetable amounts.