Japan's most crazy food Rotten Fish くさや salted-dried Kusaya from Hachijojima


Kusaya (くさや - smells bad) is a Japanese style salted-dried fish. It is famous for its malodorousness, and it is often a subject of taste controversies. Though the smell of Kusaya is strong, its taste is quite mellow.

Kusaya originated in the Izu Islands, where during the Edo period people used to earn a living through salt making. Villagers paid taxes to the government with the salt they made and as taxes were high, salt for fish-curing was used frugally.

The same salt was used many times for this purpose, resulting in a stinky dried fish, which was later called Kusaya. The resulting, tea-colored, sticky, stinky brine was passed on from generation to generation as a family heirloom.

The 100 years old brine used to make Kusaya, which includes many vitamins and organic acids such as acetic acid, propionic acid and amino acid, contributes much nutritional value to the resulting dried fish.

Mackerel scad (Decapterus macarellus), flyingfish and other similar species are used to make Kusaya. The fish is washed in clear water many times before being soaked in a brine called Kusaya eki (くさや液 , literally Kusaya brine) for eight to twenty hours. This mixture has a salt concentration of 8%, compared to the concentration of 18% to 20% in common fish curing brines. After this process the fish are laid out under the sun to dry for one to two days.

Akiyoshi Yamamoto, the famous Kusaya maker from Hachijojima:

This documentary belongs to a series called "ADEYTO -visual diary-" that began due to the fact that ADEYTO is to busy to actually write a diary entry.

Shot by ADEYTO on a digital photo camera. Created by ADEYTO.

引用元: Youtube