Namerou is a local cuisine from Boso peninsula, Chiba prefecture, which is one of the “tataki” dish. Tataki literally means chopping, and is made by chopping raw fish into minced pieces. Namerou uses blue fish such as mackerel, Pacific saury, sardine, and flying fish.
The blue fish will be cut into fillet, and miso soy bean paste, sake, green onion, and ginger will be put on top. The ingredients will be chopped with kitchen knife until it gets fine and sticky. There are individual names by the kind of fishes such as aji-no-namerou, “aji” meaning mackerel.
The name namerou is believed to come from describing the sticky texture by chopping and mincing the raw fish. There is also a saying that the dish is so good that it is worth to lick the dish, and the name namerou comes from the word “nameru” meaning licking.
Namerou is a very simple dish which fishermen can easily make on a boat right after catching fishes. Using condiments such as soy bean paste and ginger can reduce the unique smell of the fish, and can be recommended to people who do not prefer eating raw fish. Moreover, by mincing vegetables together with fishes, the dietary balance can be improved.
Namerou is not a food which can be preserved for days, so it is often arranged by heating. Fishermen also work as farmers, and they used to take namerou in ear shell for their lunch to a hut in the mountains. They cooked the namerou in ear shell on fire, and were impressed by the taste. This type of way to eat namerou is called sanga-yaki, since it is told that people used to call the hut in the mountains sanga, and yaki meaning broiling.