Wakasa Obama Kodai Sasazuke

Wakasa Obama Kodai Sasazuke

Registration Number 45
Name of the GI Wakasa Obama Kodai Sasazuke
Class Processed Foodstuffs
Date of Protection 2017/11/10
Producing Area Fukui Prefecture
Obama City
Applicant - Name and Address

Obama Tsukemono Society Cooperative

1-3-6 Kawasaki, Obama City, Fukui Prefecture

Producing Area

"Wakasa Obama Kodai Sasazuke" is pickled small sea-bream made by first filleting small sea-bream- caught in the Japan Sea- into three pieces, lightly salting them, then pickling them with vinegar or a vinegar seasoning and putting them in casks etc. The skin of the small sea-bream takes on a beautiful pinkish hue, while the flesh either turns a lustrous pale amber color or clear white. The flesh is firm and has a moderate saltiness and acidity.
 Through the use of salt and vinegar, "Wakasa Obama Kodai Sasazuke" has a good shelf life, but still retains a flavor similar to that of sushi-grade sea-bream.
 The pickled small sea-bream may be eaten with soy sauce and wasabi. It can also be used to make chirashi-zushi (1) and temari-zushi (2). In addition, it can also be added to clear broth soups and vinegared dishes.

The main ingredient is small sea-bream (Yellowback sea-bream) caught in the Japan Sea.
 The production method is to first scale the fish, then remove their heads and guts.
 Then, after washing the fish in fresh water, they are filleted into three pieces. The belly meat is cut thinly and the bones are removed. These operations are performed quickly.
 Next, the meat is either sprinkled with salt or marinated in salt water, before being washed in fresh water to remove excess salt. Then they are marinated in seasoning vinegar.
 Finally, the products are packed in casks or laid out in trays etc. for market.

In Obama City, which faces Wakasa Bay (3), fishing for sea-bream has been a thriving activity since olden times. From the Meiji period (4) onwards, large catches of Yellowback sea-bream became possible due to the influence of ocean currents etc.
 Obama City is the closest fishing center on the Japan Sea coast to Kyoto, which was a major consumption center. Long shelf life and freshness of fish from Obama were highly demanded by consumers in Kyoto. Therefore, before the development of refrigeration, the production technology of Kodai Sasazuke was established to perfectly regulate pickling time and the quantity of salt and vinegar in the two processes of salt pickling and vinegar pickling. The benefits were not only longer shelf life, but also a flavor similar to that of sushi-grade raw fish.
 It is difficult to mechanize the operations to fillet the small sea-bream into three pieces and remove the bones. The skilled technicians in the production area contribute to maintain the quality of "Wakasa Obama Kodai Sasazuke" up to today.
 In 1964, the "Obama Sasazuke Association" was established as an incorporated organization. That same year, products from Obama won the Fisheries Agency Director-General's Prize at the "13th National Processed Marine Products Exhibition".
 In 2013, the "Obama Sasazuke Society Association" was incorporated. At present, its products are recognized all over the country as specialty products of Obama City.

  1. Chirashi-zushi : A type of sushi made by mixing vinegar-flavored rice with a variety of ingredients.
  2. Temari-zushi : A type of sushi made by placing various ingredients on top of small handfuls of vinegared rice, then covering them with cling wrap etc. and pressing them into balls.
  3. Wakasa Bay: The bay extending from Kyoto Prefecture to Fukui Prefecture. It was created by the Sea of Japan cutting deeply into the coastline and is a rare example of an extensive rias coastline along the Sea of Japan coast. It is a popular tourist spot.
    The Meiji period: 1868-1912. It is a period of Japanese history which began after the overthrow of the Tokugawa shogunate and the old, feudal system. It ushered in an era of modernization.

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Delivering the Charm of Japan’s Traditional Specialty Products