This summer has been very hot in Hokkaido, and things have finally calmed down in September. With the hope that the weather will cool down soon, I would like to wait for autumn while thinking about what I would like to eat when the weather cools down.

Ishikari-nabe, a famous local dish of Hokkaido, is often served at tables from fall through winter. It is a miso-based nabe with salmon and plenty of vegetables such as onions, cabbage, carrots, radish, and mushrooms, as well as tofu and konnyaku. Raw salmon fillets are fine, but if you have them, you can also chop and add the head, inside bones, and other ara together for even more umami and delicious flavor.

The reason why the nabe is named "Ishikari" is because it originated in the Ishikari area, which is located north of Sapporo City and adjacent to Otaru City, where our showroom is located. Salmon run up the Ishikari River to spawn, and the Ishikari area near the mouth of the river has long been a blessed fishing ground with an abundance of salmon. The nabe, which was once a fisherman's meal, was served to tourists who came to see the salmon seine fishing, and became known throughout Japan as Ishikari-nabe because of its delicious taste.

Today, it has become an established autumn and winter home-style dish in Hokkaido, and is even introduced on the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries' "Our Local Cuisine" website. And the upcoming September 15 is "Ishikari-nabe Day. This date is officially recognized by the "Aki Aji no Kai," which promotes Ishikari-nabe, and is based on the Japanese pronunciation of 9, 1, and 5, which means "let's go eat" and "in season." I hope you will think that it is time for Ishikari-nabe.

Even if you are in an area where you cannot get a lot of salmon, why not make it in a small earthenware pot instead of miso soup? Simply make a simple soup with kombu dashi, miso, cooking sake, and mirin, add plenty of vegetables and ingredients such as salmon fillets (preferably raw salmon), tofu, and konnyaku, and simmer until cooked through to make a splendid Ishikari nabe. The authentic taste is to finish with sansho (Japanese pepper), but black pepper and butter also go well.

The Hokkaido-resident staff is looking forward to the temperatures that will soon allow us to enjoy hot nabe.

Matsuyama Tokojo's Yukihira Pot
Matsuyama Tokojo's Dobai Hanten Donabe
Otaru Showroom