NIRA MASU NO ANKAKE (GARLIC SPROUT AND TROUT IN THICK SWEET-SAVOURY SOY SAUCE)
A fish that is often associated with spring's arrival. It is often prepared in many households during spring together with grilled trout and simmered moso bamboo shoots. In addition, it is also served during Tenjin Matsuri, one of the big 3 festivals in Tsuruoka, held on 25 May. The pink flesh of the salmon reminds people of cherry blossoms thus it was named as such.
Natsu ika no monpeyaki is traditionally skewered on a stick and grilled in an irori (traditional Japanese sunkern hearth fireplace). While grilling it, the squid will puff up, resembling monpe (traditional Japanese women's work pants) thus this dish is named as such.
Moso jiru, a popular springtime soup among locals, is made from freshly harvested moso bamboo shoots and sake lees. The combination of the flavour of sake lees and crunchy texture of bamboo shoots reminds you of home. You can't say that you've experienced spring in Tsuruoka without trying this dish!
Crunchy cripsy shiso leaf wrapped around sweet chewy nutty filling. Each households have their own unique recipe for the delicious filling. Eat it together with rice as a side dish, or a snack that goes with sake, or as a topping for ochazuke (rice served with tea). The aroma of shiso is sure to remind you of the nostalgic taste of home.
On a fair autumn weekend, you can see many people holding imoni party along the riverbanks of the city or along the sandy coasts of the seaside. It is an autumn tradition for people in Yamagata prefecture to gather and celebrate the end of rice harvest season as it coincides with satoimo season. Theflavours of imoni varies from regions to regions - inland Yamagata uses beef and seasons it with soy sauce, whereas the imoni in Shonai region uses pork and uses miso instead.
Delicious when made into ohitashi (vegetables steeped in a dashi based sauce) or aemono (mixed with dressing), kenchin is the way to go when using mizu. It is a dish for everyone to enjoy the crispy texture of mizu.