Looking over the town of Katsuura, Tokushima prefecture, you can see rivers and mountains – beautiful countryside.
Being the countryside, there is a local hot pot you should try! A hunting tradition that has continued since olden times provides the wild boar and deer meat that is used in a variety of game dishes, the local gourmet of the region.
From among those dishes, we’d like to introduce a dish recommended for the cold season called botan nabe, a hot pot that uses boar meat.
There are plenty of restaurants within Tokushima prefecture where you can eat botan nabe. However, the restaurant we’d like to recommend this time is called Awa Jibiea Aoki (‘Awa Game Aoki’).
There is a signboard like this along Katsuura’s prefectural route 16.
It’s an actual stuffed boar that was caught by a local hunter.
In the direction indicated by the sign, there is a refined-looking single-story restaurant.
Boar meat is so full of nutrients that in the mountain regions it’s called yamakujira (the characters for which, though translated as wild boar, mean ‘mountain’ and ‘whale’).
The lean and fatty meats are clearly separated. The special characteristic of the hot pot is that you can enjoy both the savory lean meat and the milder fatty meat. In Aoki, the wild boar used has had plenty of exercise and the flavor is exceptional. That finest quality meat has been arranged on a large plate in a way that resembles a peony (which in Japanese is also called botan).
Boar meat goes well with the special miso soup made using boar bones.
Boar meat gets softer the longer it’s simmered… Botan nabe is a winter-only dish available from November 15th to around mid-March. Boar hunting is forbidden the rest of the year.
As Kakurinji temple is nearby, the 20th of the Shikoku pilgrimage, why not drop by during your pilgrimage??
Awa Jibiea Aoki:
Location: 30-1 Oyabu, Nakatsuno, Katsuura-cho, Katsuura district, Tokushima prefecture
Business hours: 11.30~18.30 (Lunch 11.30~14.00)
Prices: Botan nabe for 1 person JPY3950, Special botan nabe (1.5 times more meat) JPY4800, Botan nabe meal JPY2200 *Reservation required
Parking: 30 places
Homepage http://aoki-ayu-botannnabe.jimdo.com/ (Japanese)
Setouchi Finder Photo-writer: Daisuke Chiba
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Daisuke Chiba / Photo-writer I was born in 1985 in Miyoshi City, Tokushima Prefecture, and now live in Tokushima City. After graduating university, I worked at a publishing company as an editor for various mooks, and in April 2014 I went freelance. I work as a photographer, copy-writer and editor, but also do product development and other stuff as well. If anyone needs me, I can do anything! Except, in spite of my being from Tokushima, dancing - I’m really bad at dancing Awa Odori!
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