A specialty of Miyazaki Prefecture, hiyajiru is a cold miso-based soup poured atop rice. First mentioned in records from the Heian Period (794-1185), hiyajiru is enjoyed as a cooling meal, and is a refreshing antidote to hot weather that helps stimulate appetite. The soup is made by grinding up niboshi or iriko dried small sardines, sesame seeds and miso using mortar and pestle. This mixture is spread out thinly inside the mortar, which is turned upside down directly over a flame; when a roasted aroma is produced, the mixture is thinned out with chilled dashi stock. The basic recipe varies, as hiyajiru has evolved regionally, but any combination of crumbled tofu and thin-sliced cucumber may be added to this soup, which is then poured over a bowl of rice garnished with finely shredded shiso leaves.
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