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Chikuwa (竹輪) is a Japanese tube-like food product made from ingredients such as fish surimi, salt, sugar, starch, monosodium glutamate and egg white. After mixing them well, they are wrapped around a bamboo or metal stick and steamed or broiled. The word chikuwa ("bamboo ring") comes from the shape when it is sliced.
Variants of surimi products such as kamaboko and satsuma age are popular. In Tottori, the per-household consumption has been the highest of all prefectures for the past 30 years, since the first year such records were kept. As it is cheap and a relatively low-fat source of protein, chikuwa is popular as a snack.
Choice of fish
- Alaska pollock (Theragra chalcogramma)
- Various shark species (Selachimorpha)
- Various flying fish species (Exocoetidae)
- Okhotsk atka mackerel (Pleurogrammus azonus)
- Golden threadfin bream (Nemipterus virgatus)
- Black bass
In Yawatahama, Ehime, kawa-chikuwa (literally skin chikuwa) is produced: fish skin is wrapped around the skewers and broiled. This is a by-product of regular chikuwa, however, texture and taste are different.
In Shikokuchūō, Ehime, there is ebi-chikuwa, which contains shrimp paste in surimi.
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