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Satsuma-age (薩摩揚げ) is a fried fishcake from Kagoshima, Japan. Surimi and flour is mixed to make a compact paste that is solidified through frying. It is a specialty of the Satsuma region. It is known as chiki-agi in Okinawa.
Choice of fish
Commonly Satsuma-ages used cod as a filling; however, as cod stocks have been depleted other varieties of white fish are used, such as haddock or whiting. Satsuma-ages may also use oily fish such as salmon for a markedly different flavour.
- Alaska pollock (Theragra chalcogramma)
- Lizardfish (Synodontidae)
- White croaker (Pennahia argentata)
- Daggertooth pike conger (Muraenesox cinereus)
- Japanese Spanish mackerel (Scomberomorus niphonius)
- Flying fish (Exocoetidae)
- Various sardine species (Sardine)
- Various shark species (Selachimorpha)
- Skipjack tuna (Katsuwonus pelamis)
- Various mackerel species (Mackerel)
- Okhotsk atka mackerel (Pleurogrammus azonus)
- Black bass
It is a paste made from fish and seasoned with salt, sugar, and other spices and molded into several shapes. It is made not only from ground fish but added 木耳 (the tree ear), Beni shōga, onion, Welsh onion and other vegetables, squid, octopus, shrimp and other sea foods, and some spices.
There are varied histories of Satsuma-age, but the most famous birthplace is the Satsuma district in Kagoshima. It is said that, in about 1864, the Shimazu clan brought it to Satsuma from Okinawa through some exchange and invasion. In those days, Okinawans called fried-boiled fish paste chigiage. After it was brought to Kagoshima, it was produced as tsukiage and selected as one of the best 100 local dishes.
Chubu region people call it "Hanpen", Hokkaido and west Japan people call it "Tempura". In Kyusyu area and Okinawa, this product is called 'Tsukeage' or 'Chikiagi' The name is very different and depends on the region.
- Hiraten（ひら天）: flat satuma age
- Maruten（丸天）: Satsuma-age like a thin disk. People in Kyusyu, mainly Fukuoka, eat them with udon
- Gobouten（ごぼう天）（ごぼう巻き）: Satsuma-age which wrapped around burdocks like sticks
- Ikaten（いか天）: Satsuma-age which wrapped around squid tentacles.
- Takoten（たこ天）: Satsuma-age which wrapped around cut octopus. There is a kind of ball shape like takoyaki.
- Tamanegiten（タマネギ天）: with onion.
- Bomb（爆弾かまぼこ）: Satsuma-age which wrapped around a boiled egg
- Honeku（ほねく）, Honeten (These are short version of Honekuri-tempura): This is a local dish in North area of Wakayama. Cutlass fish (Largehead hairtail:Trichiurus lepturus) locally-caught are ground bones and all, and fried. They have a unique smell.
- Jakoten（じゃこ天）: Jakoten (じゃこ天) is a special product of Uwajima in Southern Ehime prefecture. Jakoten has a long history, having been eaten since the Edo period. It is made from small fish caught nearby that are blended into a paste and then fried.
Varieties in other countries
- Gansu（がんす） (local dish in Hiroshima) is a fry made of breaded ground whitefish and a kind of cutlet.
- There are some similar foods in Vietnam.
- In Korea and Taiwan, Satsuma-age is sold under other names at retails, skewer paste is sold as Oden, but Satsuma-age cut in small pieces are also called Oden and served at restaurants. Tempura sold at Taiwan retails is mainly Satsuma-age. In Korea, the term for Satsuma-age is Eomuk (어묵) or simply Odeng. Large cities like Busan and Seoul sell these products as street food during winter and fall seasons.
- 【Kagoshima Prefecture Ichiki Kushikino City】 Sightseeing・Speciality：Speciality(Japanese)
- tsukeage Kagoshima Discovering Culture (Kagoshima Regional Information Web - Living Eye 8, November 2003)(Japanese)
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