[Fukashinasu, a Local Summer Dish in Niigata]

Summer is the season for eggplants, and in this time of year, you can find them in supermarkets every day in Japan.

In Niigata Prefecture, which ranks first in Japan in the area of eggplant cultivation (and is also the largest consumer of eggplant in Japan), many varieties of eggplant are grown, with about 18 or more varieties being produced. Each variety is suitable for pickling, baking, and stewing, and which variety is best depends on the dish.

Steamed eggplant, which is rare in other prefectures, also exists as a local dish. It is called "fukashinasu" (or "nasubukashi" in some areas). It is a side dish that appears on the summer tables of Niigata residents and is often eaten in every household.

Eggplant is said to have a cooling effect on the body and is eaten to beat the summer heat.

The best way to eat fukashinasu in Niigata is with soy sauce mixed with mustard. You can also often find Niigata residents using the round-shaped kinchaku eggplant, a traditional vegetable of Niigata Prefecture. When you find "kinchaku eggplant," we recommend you make "fukashinasu" at home.

Yamaichi's Chinese Seiro
Adachi Shigehisa Shoten's Wappa Seiro
Nakamura Douki's Bamboo Pot Steamer (The price will increase by 150 JPY on September 1st)

Reference (Recipe)