Fukui Saba no Heshiko
Saba no heshiko
Fukui Prefecture’s coastal region of Wakasa is famous for its saba mackerel, and for the traditional dish called saba no heshiko—mackerel fermented in bran and brine. Fresh mackerel caught in springtime are cleaned and pickled in salt for about a week. The fish are then stuffed with salt and nuka rice bran, layered in a barrel with more salt, bran and juice from the pickled mackerel, then covered with a weighted drop lid. In late autumn, the fermented heshiko are taken from the barrel and, after removing a little of the bran, they are filleted, sliced and grilled. Heshiko is enjoyed with a bowl of rice.