Ehime prefecture has been Japan’s No.1 sea bream producer since 1990. Out of the 7 tons produced annually, 4 tons come from Ehime.
There are, of course, many popular local dishes made from the fish. Among them, Uwajima sea bream rice is especially popular in southern Ehime prefecture. It has even been selected among Japan’s top 100 local dishes by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.
This time we visited Kadoya’s main branch, a Japanese restaurant located in the shopping area in front of JR Uwajima station, and learned the charms of sea bream rice and how to eat it.
Furnished in a modern Japanese style that offers both counter and tatami mat seats as well as private rooms, the restaurant gives diners a choice of seating arrangements according to number of people and the purpose of their visit.
And this is Kadoya’s Uwajima sea bream rice with fresh fillets, a small side dish and even some soup!
A heap of local, freshly-caught sea bream sashimi is set up right in the middle.
Let’s take a look at how to eat the dish. First off, mix the egg well together with the broth it is in.
Next, put all the sea bream fillets in the mixture!
Add condiments such as seaweed and perilla leaves and mix lightly. With this, you’ve finished the preliminary preparations!
Next, scoop up some hot rice into the rice bowl, and top it with some of the sea bream fillets and seaweed, etc. that you just prepared. There is enough rice in the round wooden container for you to have many helpings, so be sure to leave some sea bream and seaweed for later, as well.
Next, pour on some broth according to your preference.
As a finishing touch, sprinkle on some sliced seaweed, and you’re done!
I hurriedly take a bite, and am taken by the delicious mixture of all the good flavors of the fresh fish combined with the texture of the egg mixed with the broth! After I start eating I just can’t stop. It’s a gem of a dish that makes me reach out for more rice without a second thought!
Uwajima sea bream rice was developed in ancient times by Iyo Suigun pirates. They couldn’t use fire on board their boats, so when they were drinking, after emptying a rice bowl they’d put in some rice and top it with sea bream fillets marinated in of soy sauce. This is said to be the origins of the dish.
Uwajima sea bream rice is a simple yet luxurious local dish, created by the men who once ruled the seas! If you visit Uwajima, do come and have a taste!
Kadoya Ekimae Honten
Location: 8-1 Nishikimachi, Uwajima city, Ehime prefecture
Open: 11:00-14:30, 17:00-21:00 all year round (Thursdays 17:00-21:00 only)
Setouchi Finder Photo-writer: Hironobu Matsuoka
Hironobu Matsuoka / Photo-writer Born in 1974 in Nishinomiya, Hyogo Prefecture, and currently living there, Hironobu is the president of Mediapolis Inc. "I travel around the country in Solar King, an eco-camping car that has a solar power generator, and film the beautiful scenery of Japan in high-definition. I want to move around the country as much as possible and leave behind videos of precious Japanese nature and scenery for future generations to enjoy. Although I travel all over the country, I love my home area of Setouchi." 'Healing Japan TV' - Traveling virtually around the country through 'healing videos'.
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