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Anko-nabe
Popular Dish in Ibaraki and Fukushima
Date:27, Oct, 2019
Investigated and Written by Misaka Youhei
About our introductory articles


Hello, everyone. I'm so glad to be with you now. Today I'm talking about Anko-nabe, a local food in Ibaraki and Fukushima. What does it mean? you might ask. Anko means anglerfishes in Japanese language. Anko-nabe is the angler-meat served hot with some vegetables in a pot.



Anko-nabe
File: Nabe of angler fish after.jpg
from the Japanese Wikipedia
(Photoed on Feb. 17, 2007)

"Just a moment," some might say. "I don't know what anglers are." Let me see, haven't you ever heard Monkfish? They are a kind of deep-sea fishes. Anglers almost mean monkfishes. In the East of Japan, they have loved to eat anglers in winter since those days. Some records say they, some of the Mito Domain (Ibaraki), had presented angler-meat to the Imperial Household in Edo period (1603-1868).

They call anglers' ovaries Nuno. Nuno is so tasty, they say. On the other hand, male anglers don't have ovaries (there's no reason why they must have such an organ). Then, the male go down in value and we are rare to find them at the market. I'm a man, and feel kind of a pity.



He's about to cut an angler at a festival in Ibaraki
File: Oarai Anglerfish Festival 2014, Cutting Anglerfish.jpg
from the Japanese Wikipedia
(Photoed on Nov. 16, 2014)

I think you'd better not try to cook by yourselves if you have never cooked it. Anglers now and then have unwelcome parasites in their livers. It is said they become safe after heating at 60ºC or higher over a minute, but I guess better is having someone familiar with cooking anglers to do it. A little learning is a dangerous thing, told an old saying.

Anglerfishes are forbidden to fish in summer, for their spawning. They say you are good to eat anglers from November to February in Japan. Oh, it's coming now (this is written in October).