KAMABOKO HISTORY AND FACTS
Kamaboko [kah-mah-BOH-koh] is made from white fish, which is filleted, pounded into a paste, mixed with a starch and molded into a variety of shapes. It can be steamed, deep fried, barbecued or poached. With its delicate taste and firm texture, it plays an important role in numerous Japanese recipes including Ozoni, other soups, noodles, simmered dishes, Oden, other casserole dishes, salads, and also makes an attractive and delicious appetizer.
Kamaboko can be traced back to the 7th Century (Nara Period). Nihon Shoki, a book describing ancient Japan, and written at that time, has a description of the Empress Shinko, grinding fish, puffing it around the top of a spear and grilling it. There is also a description of a celebration dinner for a Minister in the Heian Period (8th Century) at which Kamaboko was served. Originally, Kamaboko was ground fish meat molded onto a bamboo stick before cooking. The shape was similar to "Gama-no-ho", the top of the cat-tail plant, and so it got its name Kamaboko.
Kamaboko also goes by many other names, based on the shape, cooking method and even geography. Chikuwa is formed in the shape of bamboo. Steamed Kamaboko is also called Sumaki or Mushiita. Fried Kamaboko is called Tenpura in West Japan and Satsuma Age [ah-gay] in the Kanto District (East Japan).
Kamaboko is as rich in protein as eggs. Since it is made from the highest quality fresh fish, with no preservatives added, and is low in calories and fat, Kamaboko is quickly becoming a popular health food.
The Marutama Company has three generations of experience producing the highest quality Kamaboko and Tenpura.