One of the best known cuisine of Akita, preserved during the winter months
Japanese sandfish Hatahata, nurtured in the rough Sea of Japan during the depth of winter, is one of the best known specialties of Akita, which is even sung about in a local folk song, Akita Ondo. It is commonly eaten as sushi called Hatahata Zushi or Hatahata Zuke. The dish has a long history, and is introduced in “Nihon Shokoku Meibutsu Zukushi” (local dishes all around Japan), a publication compiled during the era of Genroku (1688 – 1704). Hatahata fish are first salted, then unsalted, before being marinated in a mixture of rice, koji malt, turnips, carrots, and kombu seaweed. Local families originally prepared Hatahata Zushi as a preserved food during the long winter months, but today it is available all through the year.