“Minced Hokke Soup” – Rausu

A fisherman’s soup made by the “Mothers from the Coast”.
“This is a recipe all wives of fisherman know.”
“It’s a tradition handed down from mothers and grandmothers.”
“I came from Sapporo when I married my husband, so my mother-in-law was the one who taught me.”
When I asked about Minced Hokke Soup (hokke is a kind of mackerel found in the Okhotsk sea, off the north eastern coast of Hokkaido), I was referred to the Rausu Fishing Cooperative’s Women’s Group, the wives of the local fishermen. 
Minced Hokke Soup is a very popular food in Rausu.  They say the flavor of the soup, miso or soy sauce, and the ingredients of the soup are unique to each household. 
The Women’s Group taught me how to make their soup.
① After removing the head and the intestines, the Hokke is sliced into three pieces and the skin is peeled off.  Then the remaining meat is put into a food processor and ground for 20 seconds.
② Along with egg, grated nagaimo (a kind of sticky potato, sometimes called a Chinese yam), and sake, the Hokke mince is transferred to a mortar.
③ Now it’s time to combine the ingredients with the pestle.  I wanted to try too!  You really need a lot of strength and patience for this part!
“Yes, ma’am!”
④ Sprinkle in water, potato starch and salt to get the right consistency.  Once the mix plumps up a bit, it’s ready. 
⑤ Boil the minced fish mixture in dashi broth. 
⑥ Add flavor to the mix with soy sauce and salt.
⑦ Serve with a little bit of green onion and you’re ready to eat!
This is a soup best served fresh, when the minced Hokke will be plump and chewy.  The flavor of the Hokke and the dashi was so good, I ate every last bit!
I could really appreciate the ability and the skill of these women.  Their efficiency was really quite impressive.  Along with their recipe, they seem to also be passing down this hard-working-mom culture as well. 
(Written in cooperation with the Rausu Fishing Cooperative Women’s Group)
(Hokkaido Likers Writer Fukko)
(Photographer Isao Kawamura)