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OITA (Kyodo) Researchers in Beppu, Oita Prefecture, where one of the local specialities is steamed food using the numerous hot springs, are proposing a new and tastier way of preparing dishes.

The taste of the food improves when ingredients are steamed slowly at temperatures well below 100 degrees, according to a local research group studying how to make better use of the steam rising from Beppu’s hot springs.

Hotels and restaurants in Beppu traditionally prepare their local “jigokumushi” cuisine, which includes meat, seafood and vegetables, using steam from hot springs at temperatures exceeding 100.

But the group is suggesting they should prepare food longer at 65 to 90 degrees, using its new “jodeki” method.

For instance, by using a special steamer that lowers the temperature, fish become edible down to the bones when prepared for more than 10 hours. The technique also makes boar and deer meat more appetizing, the group said.

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