food forum

TASTY TRAVEL Vol. 33 No. 3  October 2019

Okayama Mamakari-zushi

Okayama Mamakari-zushi

Sappa (mamakari), small herring found in the Seto Inland Sea, taste best when vinegared or deep-fried as karaage. Vinegared sappa atop sushi rice—mamakari-zushi—is an especially popular dish along the coast in Okayama Prefecture, traditionally served on special occasions. Mamakari’s delicious reputation inspired its amusing name, implying that, because it is so good, everyone keeps eating it until the rice runs out—and then must borrow (kari) rice (mama) from neighbors. Scaled and gutted with tail left on, the fish is salted for an hour, rinsed in vinegar, then marinated overnight in vinegar mixed with sugar and salt. The next day, the mamakari are laid atop small hand-formed balls of sushi rice to create mamakari-zushi.

Vol. 33

Other articles in this series