Japanese Traditional Condiments! Shottsuru, the Fish Sauce

If you are asked about Japanese condiments, I think most of you will come up with soy related stuff like soy sauce and miso.  Yes, soy sauce and miso are indeed our country’s well-loved condiments, and it will almost too difficult to find a household without them.  But did you know that we also have a traditional fish sauce??


"asahikawa-ramen" some rights reserved. flickr


This fish sauce is specialty condiments of Akita prefecture, so it may not be widely available like soy sauce and miso.  It is mainly made of winter fish, sandfish and salt.  When you make this sauce, fish gets fermented for more than 1 year, and the sauce becomes high in glutamine acid, essential amino acid and others, and rich in nutrients.  Also, as it gets matured taking a quite long time, it loses almost all unique fishy smell.  And it tastes a lot milder and has deeper taste than soy sauce and salt according to a condiments adviser.


"misawakatsutoshi" some rights reserved. flickr


Well, if you ask me how popular the sauce is, I’m afraid it is not as famous and popular as soy sauce, and not that widely available all across Japan, but according to an article, it seems Japanese 10 year mature fish sauce, shottsuru won first place of Best condiments grand prix 2011 by Japan Sommelier Association while wine paste and Japanese basil sauce were the 2nd and 3rd.  So you can see that the fish sauce does have a good potential to be a next national-wide well-loved condiments of Japan 🙂

FYI, the sauce can be used for seasoning of hotpot, udon, pasta and many others or substitute for Thai fish sauce.  It gives food a nice and deep flavor with a little amount, and it seems it is particularly good to go with seafood!

In Japan, it is sometimes easier to get Thai fish sauce than nice bottle of Japanese fish sauce if you live far from Akita, but I will try to get shottsuru to see the difference when I go to supermarket next time!


What do you think about today’s article?

I will be looking forward to hearing from you about your country’s popular condiments like soy sauce to us!


Source: web R25


This is JAPAN Style!