‘Writer baton’ is a project whereby photo-writers from each of the 7 prefectures that surround the Seto Inland Sea send each other their particular prefecture’s specialties. This time yours truly, photo-writer Furukawa, received the objects below from Mr. Fujimoto, our photo-writer from Yamaguchi.
Sweet kanro soy sauce, Japanese yam and a goldfish lantern. Apparently these are all specialties of Yanai city, Yamaguchi prefecture. As Japanese yams are quite expensive, I rarely buy them myself, so I was very happy to receive these! Without any further ado, I decide to prepare some grated yam on rice.
I grate the yam in a grinding mortar. The right way to eat Japanese yam is to leave the skin unpeeled and enjoy the yam’s natural flavor. If you use a mortar like this instead of a grater, the end product is finer and more delicious.
It’s so sticky it’s almost like freshly made sticky rice cakes!! At this stage I add quite a lot of broth to the grated yam as without it they really would be just like sticky rice cakes.
Next, I add sweet kanro soy sauce. It’s special characteristic is its rich, sweet flavor. The history of the name dates back to the Edo period when soy sauce from Yanaitzu (currently Yanai city in Yamaguchi prefecture) was presented to the daimyo. It is said that the sauce was so mellow and fragrant that the daimyo shouted “Kanro, kanro” (sweet). Even delighting feudal lords, this superb flavor has been loved since the olden days.
Well then, let’s pour some on freshly cooked rice! Fluffy meets sticky. The rich flavor is very appetizing. Yam is filled with nutrients, so it’s great for your body, too.
I also tried making some Isobekiyaki style yam (traditionally, isobeyaki is fried sticky rice cakes wrapped in seaweed). I used kanro soy sauce for this dish, as well. The sweet and salty seasoning goes perfectly with the seaweed. I used the rest of the yam to make dumpling soup, as well as Kansai style okonomiyaki, and it was delicious all the way to the end. No matter how it’s prepared Japanese yam is delicious, even uncooked!
I put the gold fish lantern on display in my house, and even use it to delight my child. With the warmth of handmade objects, it’s a cute piece with a funny face and flowing tail.
Dear Mr. Fujimoto,
Thank you for all these lovely souvenirs!
Next I’ll be handing the baton to Okayama…
Sagawa Shoyu soy sauce brewery (Kanro Soy sauce)
HP: http://www.sagawa-shoyu.co.jp/ (Japanese)
Setouchi Finder Photo-writer: Izumi Furukawa
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Izumi Furukawa Hello. My name is Izumi Furukawa and I was born in Kagawa Prefecture. Before getting married in 2012, I wrote for various magazine companies and Internet based media organizations in Tokyo. After marrying, I moved to Hiroshima and am now raising my child as well as writing stories about my fascination with this area through Setouchi Finder. Most of the articles I write are about places I visit on weekends with my family. My favorite driving course is Route 375 from Saijyo to the Miyoshi Area, and my favorite food from the Hiroshima area is Anagomeshi (from Miyajima)!!
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