Moroi Jozo, the soy sauce maker who single-handedly revived shottsuru production.
Shottsuru is a fish sauce made in Akita Prefecture from sandfish (hatahata). Though fish sauce was historically made in numerous locales along the almost 30,000-kilometer-long Japanese coastline, nowadays the region is one of just two major producing areas, the other being Ishikawa Prefecture, where the sauce is called ishiri or ishiru.
The popularity of Southeast Asian foods in the ’80s brought renewed attention to the condiment, yet Japan has yet to reach the same heights of the worldwide craze for the flavour. And conversely, the world has yet to discover that Japan is, the best source to satisfy the appetite for well-made versions of the condiment. Japanese fish sauce is generally milder than Southeast Asian varieties and the gentle flavor is easily incorporated into many foods, both Japanese and Western alike.
For Hideki Moroi, a third-generation soy sauce, miso and pickle maker, fish sauce making is a relatively new category for him. Moroi, noticing that the viability of commercial shottsuru was imminently threatened and despite being told he was “stupid” to do so, set about to enter the market himself. In 1983, he began experimenting with the process of making shottsuru and by 2000, had a product he was proud to sell.
Forty years ago, around 30 companies were still making shottsuru in Akita Prefecture. Yet in 1992-93, the number of shottsuru companies took a drastic dive due to the old age of the producers and lack of demand, leaving only three or four companies still making the sauce. Thanks to Moroi, the Moroi Jozo Fish Sauce is one of the best in the world.
Uses: Use in italian sauces as a substitute for anchovies, for dips, marinades and sauces in South East Asian food.
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