Konowata (このわた)

Konowata is salted guts of a sea cucumber. Konowata produced in mid-winter or with long guts is considered of good quality.
Konowata is one of three major food and drink in Japan, together with sea urchin and karasumi (botargo.)

The main production areas were Ise, Shima, and Mikawa Provinces.

A production method includes pulling out guts from a sea cucumber with a hernia device, washing the guts well in seawater, removing internal mud and sand off from it, putting it up on a bamboo strainer, and cutting moisture of it.

The method also includes adding excellent salt of two or tree 'go' (a measuring unit) to guts of one 'sho' (another measuring unit) and mixing it, further cutting moisture of it, and storing in a pail or a pot for twenty-four hours.

As a result, guts f 8 sho may be obtained from sea cucumber of 100 'kan' (another measuring unit), Konowata of 7 go from guts of 1 sho.

Generally, salted Namako is put on the market. When eating, raw one or soaked one in mixture of vinegar, soy sauce and sugar is delicious. It is pleased that konowata goes well with sake. Konowata with warmed sake poured is called "konowata shu."

"Konowata jiru" (konowata soup) is made by tapping konowata with a kitchen knife on a cutting board, putting it into a wooden bowl, and then pouring an extremely light-seasoned soup into the bowl. It is said that a real taste of konowata can be relished through this way. Konowata is also cooked with miso. Cut the hatcho miso finely with a kitchen knife, dissolve in water, add dried bonito and kombu, and then leave it for three hours. Strain the miso, and put the soup on the fire to fix the taste. Add konowata in the soup and boil quickly.

[Original Japanese]