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Kiritanpo

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Kiritanpo is a local cuisine from Akita prefecture. It uses mashed rice wrapped around a cedar stick. When eating it, the mashed rice will be removed from the stick and cut into pieces. It is often eaten by simmering it in a chicken stock, or putting on miso soy bean paste.

There is tanpo which is not cut into pieces, and the word comes from the cotton and cloth called tanpo wrapping around the spear used for training. The way half mashed rice is wrapped around the cedar stick looks like the cotton wrapping around the spear, so it is called tanpo.

Kiritanpo-nabe is a typical way to eat kiritanpo, by putting it in a pot of chicken soup seasoned with soy sauce, sake, and sugar. The word nabe means pot. First, burdock root, maitake mushroom, and a breed of chicken native to Akita prefecture will be put in the soup and simmer with medium flame. Then add kiritanpo and green onion, and Japanese parsley, and the dish will be completed.

For kiritanpo-nabe, putting in ingredients such as Chinese cabbage which is too sweet and watery, fish meat which will change the original flavour, and carrot which will change the original smell are considered wrong. Kiritanpo usually do not use glutinous rice, and it will dissolve when it is simmered too long, so it is recommended to take it out of the pot when it is cooked enough.

There is a theory that kiritanpo was first eaten among the ancient hunters. When hunters came back from the mountains, they put leftover rice which is mashed on a stick, and either simmered with wild chicken, plants, and mushrooms, or put on miso soy bean paste.


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