5/09/2008

Itokoni

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Itokoni ... "Boiled Nephews"

***** Location: Japan
***** Season: Mid-spring
***** Category: Humanity


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Explanation

itokoni いとこ煮、従弟煮

mushitsujiru むしつ汁(むしつじる)mushitsu soup
. koto hajime 事始 beginning of work  

Itokoni was eaten on the first day of work in the New Year.



itoko means "nephew" and ni means boil or cook.
Soy-Simmered Kabocha Squash with Read Beans.

The naming is quite strange, is it not! Here is why:

This is a kind of hodgepodge with azuki-beans, pumpkin, goboo, big radish and tofu, falvored with soy sauce or miso.

It is a dish where the ingredients are thrown into the hot water one after another, since their time of cooking is different. This is called "oi oi ni" 追い追い煮. But OI is also the pronounciation of this character,  甥, meaning ... you guess it, nephew.
So this is a pun, a play with words.

Another try at the explanation:
The variuos vegetables used in the stew are so similar like newphews.

It was originally a dish prepared as an offering to the deities, for the New Year, O-Bon or at a family celebration.

The origin is Yamaguchi prefecture.


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Worldwide use


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Things found on the way


itokojiru いとこ汁 vegetable miso soup "Nephew soup"
from Kyoto


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HAIKU



いとこ煮の南瓜甘き冬至かな
itokoni no boofura amaki tooji kana

the pumpkin of this
itokoni is so sweet ...
winter solsitce


Snow Rabbit

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Related words

***** WASHOKU : Regional Japanese Dishes


. WASHOKU
kabocha 南瓜 (かぼちゃ) pumpkin, squash
 

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2 comments:

sakuo said...

従姉煮とは!!
なんとも不思議な名前の煮もの。
Gabi さんの説明で判りました。でも雅味のある良い呼び方ですね。
関東ならごった煮でしょう。これでは無骨で落第ですね。

Thank you for your sharing ,

sakuo.

Gabi Greve said...

Thanks for tasting the "boiled nephews", Sakuo san.

日本語の駄洒落、いつも面白いですね。

ガビ