Find your favorite rice topping from local specialties of Japan’s 47 prefectures

Do you realize this Japanese expression: ごはんのおとも gohan no otomo?

Gohan is cooked rice and otomo is companion. The literal translation for gohan no otomo is “companion for cooked rice,” in other words, toppings that go well on rice.

日本百貨店 Nihon Hyakkaten, a sequence where yow will discover and buy nice local items from the 47 prefectures, will start a special campaign featuring gohan no otomo companions for cooked rice! They’ll sell delicious local rice toppings from every prefecture in Japan!

The campaign is known as めしともフェア Meshitomo Fair*, and it has now began at their online shopping site, and in brick-and-mortar locations at their Akihabara branch, and September at their other branches.

Meshi is an off-the-cuff version of rice and meshitomo* is a word they coined.

I’ll introduce three items from their offerings.

海老三昧 Ebi Zanmai – Okayama Pref

In case you like shrimp, this product, 海老三昧 (Ebi zanmai | loads of shrimp) from Okayama Prefecture, is for you. Okayama Prefecture is well-known for its delicious fruits equivalent to peaches and muscat grapes. Nevertheless, did you realize that 日生町 Hinasecho in Okayama is a port town where top quality oyster and shrimp are caught?

This rice topping is shrimp oil. Its deep taste comes from a mix of local dried shrimp, salty kelp, bonito flakes, sesame, and garlic in sunflower oil. Surely, it’s an ideal “companion” on your rice!

In response to their official website, it’s often out of stock. That is how popular it’s!

納豆ふりかけ Natto Furikake – Kumamoto Pref

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Natto is most well-known as a product from Ibaraki Prefecture within the Kanto region. Nevertheless, this furikake, Japanese flakes for rice, is a product from Kumamoto Prefecture within the Kyushu area. Why? The key is a certain ingredient inside.

As you possibly can see in the image above, the product accommodates many black strips. Yes, that is 海苔 (nori | laver seaweed). Kumamoto prefecture is situated near the 有明海 Ariake Sea where tasty laver is harvested. This natto furikake is a rice topping with a crispy texture and features the winning combination of seaweed and freeze dried natto.

牛タン仙台ラー油 Gyūtan Sendai Rayu – Miyagi Pref

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The last item I’ll introduce is 牛タン仙台ラー油 gyuūtan sendai rayu from Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture. Gyūtan is beef tongue and ラー油 [sometimes written 辣油] rayu is sesame chili oil. Sendai is legendary as an area with many good restaurants selling beef tongue dishes.

The product uses various ingredients equivalent to fried garlic and dried shiitake mushrooms, but 90% of the jar is taken up a by big chunk of gyutan.

There are a lot of other implausible companions on your rice, so please take a look at the campaign.!

Information

日本百科店 Nihon Hyakkaten official website

Note: You could need to make use of a proxy shopping service equivalent to Buyee or White Rabbit Express when you’d wish to have it shipped internationally.

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