Rausu Town is a small fishing community located on the Shiretoko peninsula where a wide variety of seafood is caught from the Okhotsk Sea.
Mr. Tomoyuki Asakura is a fisherman and President of Noritomo Asakura Shoten who came up with an idea for using salmon near death after spawning (or hocchare) in a product. Salmon after spawning have depleted their fat deposits and are usually not eaten, even by bears as the saying goes. After thinking about products that do not require this fat, Mr. Asakura arrived at the idea of sakebushi, similar to katsuobushi, or dried bonito flakes. With the help of the Food Processing Research Center, local institutions and manufacturers of katsuobushi, Mr. Asakura was finally able to realize his vision of sakebushi.
Sakebushi can be purchased at Kaizen Kobo, a store operated by the Rausu Fisheries Cooperative located next to Shiretoko/Rausu Roadside Station as well as Kita Kitchen (Sapporo) and Hokkaido Dosanko Plaza Sapporo (Sapporo). Sakebushi can also be purchased on the Noritomo Asakura Shoten website. Some restaurants in Rausu Town also serve dishes made with sakebushi, including soup curry and others.
●Noritomo Asakura Shoten
108 Azabucho, Rausu-cho, Menashi-gun, Hokkaido
Sakebushi has less of a bitter taste than katsuobushi and it produces great tasting clear, golden colored soup stock. Some say the word hocchare comes from the Japanese word hotteoku (to through away because there is no value). Yet, because these salmon have depleted their fat deposits, it is much easier to dry them for processing into sakebushi. This also greatly reduces aftertaste and poor taste caused by oxidation.
Sakebushi, with its almost creamy and sweet taste, is great for making soba, udon, hot pot or miso soup stocks as well as a topping in Japanese side dishes, chilled tofu and salads. It also tastes great in onigiri, fried rice, and pasta.