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Sakana (肴) or shukō (酒肴) is a Japanese term referring to food eaten as an accompaniment to alcohol, which originated from the word saka (sake) and na (food). Another word for "snack" in Japanese is otsumami (お摘み).[a] Because dried fish and salted fish roe were popular choice for such dishes, over the years the term sakana also came to mean "fish".
Types of sakana
In Japan, when alcohol is consumed, it is customary that the drinks are always accompanied with some sort of foodstuff. The term sakana traditionally refer to food served to accompany sake. These are usually quite salty and served in relatively small portions. However, since the 19th century, the market share for Japanese beer has been expanded in Japan, which in 1959 overtook sake as the nation's most popular alcoholic beverage in taxable shipping volume, and at the same time various foods designed to accompany beer have become popular. These dishes, served in restaurant-pubs known as izakaya, are usually more substantial than tapas although they are not considered a meal as such as they do not contain the all-important Japanese rice. Traditionally, the Japanese regarded sake, which is made from rice, as a substitute for white rice served in a standard Japanese meal, and as a result some Japanese do not eat rice and drink alcohol simultaneously.[original research?]
Listed below are some common sakana.
- Yakitori - grilled skewers of chicken and chicken parts
- Kushiage - deep-fried skewers of meat or vegetables
- Sashimi - slices of raw fish
- Tsukemono - pickles
- Kimchi - spicy Korean cabbage
- Sakana especially popular with beer:
- Sakana especially popular with sake:
- Small snacks
- Atarime / Ika Ichiya-boshi - Dried squid
- Ei-hire - dried skate
- Peanuts or other types of nuts (almonds, mixed nuts, etc.)
- Potato chips or fried potato sticks
- Arare - crackers made primarily from rice flour with other ingredients
- Tatami iwashi - small dried sardines pressed into a cracker-like square form
- Martin Collick; David P.Dutcher; Tanabe Munekazu; Kaneko Minoru, eds. (2002). "おつまみ". Kenkyusha's New College Japanese-English Dictionary (5 ed.). ISBN 978-4-7674-2058-5.
- Kusano Noboru (2003). 語源辞典: 名詞編 [Etymological Dictionary - Nouns] (in Japanese). Tokyo Shuppan. p. 115.
- Regional Project Department. "清酒業界の現状と成長戦略 - 「國酒」の未来" [Status of Sake Breweries and Growth Strategy for the Industry - Future for the "National Beverage"] (PDF). Development Bank of Japan Inc. p. 9. Retrieved 2016-03-08.