Nagato's kamaboko, or fish cakes, are famous for their quality and particular production method. The flavor of Nagato kamaboko is much more complex, and the texture much firmer than that of typical kamaboko, which is often steamed instead of baked.
The History of Kamaboko
The history of kamaboko stretches back to a sketch appearing in a Heian Period document dated to 1115.
In Nagato, kamaboko has been made at the Senzaki port for over 300 years, and was even said to have been presented as a gift to the Daimyo (feudal lord) Yoshimoto Mori.
Kamaboko was originally made in the same shape as another similar food, chikuwa, which is similarly made from ground fish paste, but wrapped around a stick and broiled. What we know today as "kamaboko" got its name from this original shape, for it was once wrapped around the "tip of a reed" (gama no hoko).
Characteristics of Senzaki Kamaboko
Unlike other forms of kamaboko, such as the Odawara variety, Nagato's is made by placing a small amount of fish paste onto a thin wooden board, which is then slowly heated from beneath. This traditional method then calls for flipping the boards over once, and removing them after briefly applying heat directly to the fish.
This low-heat method requires that the fish itself be of high quality, and requires the workman to have a very deft hand!
The mark of high quality
The grilling process produces a slightly wrinkled texture on the surface of the kamaboko.
Nagato's kamaboko retains the rich flavor of the fish, and has a juicy, chewy texture prized in kamaboko.
Yamato kamaboko Co.
Yamato kamaboko Co.'s kamaboko uses only freshly-caught lizardfish--never frozen fish. We produce a deeper, fuller flavor in our product by using traditional Senzaki "yaki-nuki" grilling methods. We're confident that you'll fall for our flavor and texture.
1267 Senzaki, Nagato, Yamaguchi Prefecture 759-4106
9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Open year-round excepting New Years holidays from 12/31-1/3
Sengin Kamaboko Co.
Sengin Kamaboko's fish is hand-picked by the company president himself, who goes daily to the wharf to select the freshest fish (mostly lizardfish) to be used in that day's batch of kamaboko. We take particular care in our selection of ingredients. Our products have won awards from the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry; and the Minister of Health and Welfare for their flavor, grade, and quality.
2370 Misumishimo, Nagato, Yamaguchi Prefecture 759-3803
8:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Closed on Sundays and national holidays
Fujimitsu Kaifu-do offers many of Yamaguchi Prefecture's famous delicacies, including traditional "yaki-nuki" kamaboko, with its chewy texture and fresh fish flavor; as well as chikuwa (tubular fish cakes), tempura, and more. Come take a peek into our factory, too! (Closed November-December)
2537-1 Higashi Fukawa, Nagato, Yamaguchi Prefecture 759-4101
8:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m.
Open year-round excepting New Years holidays from 12/31-1/1