[Hitsumabushi, Traditional Local Fish Dish from Nagoya]
In Japan, there is a custom to eat foods with "u" in them on the midsummer day of the ox called "Doyo no Ushi," when people tend to get sick due to the change of seasons. Eels, pickled plums, and udon noodles are the most common. Eels are especially favored during the summer Doyo, when people are prone to summer fatigue, because they are said to be invigorating.
There were two Ox days in summer in 2022. The first Ox day is called "Ichi no Ushi" and the second day is called "Ni no Ushi". This year, We missed out on eating eel on both the first and second Ox days, but there were still some delicious-looking broiled eel lined up at the supermarket, so we made "Hitsumabushi" using Yamaichi's Sushi Handai.
Hitsumabushi is one of the so-called "Nagoya-meshi" (local food in Nagoya) using broiled eel, and is a local dish loved in the suburbs of Nagoya along with miso katsu, chicken wings, tenmusu, and others. The eel is broiled and cut into pieces, then placed on rice and shared. Hitsumabushi can be enjoyed in a variety of ways, such as as eel rice, with condiments, or with dashi broth or sencha green tea as chazuke (boiled rice soaked with tea).
Hitsumabushi using a sushi rice bowl is made by mixing finely chopped condiments into two to three servings of cooked rice, topping with a piece of broiled eel, and sprinkling mitsuba leaves to add color. While the rice is cooking, chop the condiments, cut the kabayaki, and warm it up before serving.
Eels have been eaten as a nourishing food since the Nara period (about 1300 years ago). If you enjoy it, you will be able to get through the hot summer in good health.
Yamaichi's Sushi Handai
Okubo House Mokkosha's Chestnut Rice Scoop
https://www.asahibeer.co.jp/enjoy/recipe/search/recipe.psp.html?CODE=0000000727 (Recipe in Japanese)