Kamaboko (蒲鉾)

Kamaboko (蒲鉾?) is a type of cured surimi, a Japanese processed seafood product, in which various white fish are pureed, combined with additives such as MSG, formed into distinctive loaves, and then steamed until fully cooked and firm. The steamed loaves are then sliced and served unheated (or chilled) with various dipping sauces or sliced and included in various hot soups, one-dish meals, or noodle dishes. Kamaboko is typically sold in semi-cylindrical loaves. Some kamaboko include artistic patterns, such as the pink spiral on each slice of narutomaki, named after the well-known tidal whirlpool near the Japanese city of Naruto.

Although the Japanese name for kamaboko is sometimes used outside of Japan (cf., sushi), some extant English names for kamaboko are fish pastefish loaffish cake, and fish sausage(Tsuji, 1980). Tsuji recommends using the Japanese name in English because no adequate English name exists, other than the Jewish dish, gefilte fish, which is somewhat similar.

Red-skinned and white kamaboko are typically served at celebratory and holiday meals, as red and white are considered to bring good luck.

Kamaboko has been made in Japan since the 14th century CE and is now available nearly worldwide. The simulated crab meat product kanikama (short for kani-kamaboko), the best-known form of surimi in the West, is a type of kamaboko. In Uwajima, a type of fried kamaboko called jakoten is popular. In Japan, chīkama (cheese plus kamaboko) is commonly sold in convenience stores as a pre-packaged snack food.



Nanban-zuke (Fried fish in vinegar with onion)


Recipe: Nanban-zuke (Fried fish in vinegar with onion)

Nanbanzuke or nanban-zuke (Japanese南蛮漬け, literally “southern barbarian pickle”) is a Japanese fish dish resembling escabeche. To prepare it, the fish (often Japanese jack mackerel or Wakasagi smelt) is first fried, then marinated in vinegar and other ingredients.