Fish sausage 魚肉ソーセージ

japanese cake

When I was growing up in Japan, we did not know about artisanal sausages which recently have become very popular and readily available in Japan. So, when I was a kid, “sausage” meant this cheap “fish meat” sausage which came in a plastic tube casing in a red cellophane wrapper. I never liked this as a kid but it was very popular as it was easy, cheap, and ready-made source of protein.

One weekend, my wife accompanied me to the Japanese grocery store. When she does, she looks around and always find something I did not see or something I would generally not thought of buying. She found this fish sausage and asked me what it was. I had forgotten about this for many years but since my wife never tasted it I proposed we get it.

That evening, I made this small dish as an appetizer for the red wine we were enjoying. I simply cut the sausage on a slant and sautéed them in melted butter. I was not sure how salty the product was so I did not season it. I served it with mayonnaise mixed with soy sauce and Japanese red pepper flakes. I served sautéed broccoli (previously blanched) and wedges of skinned tomato which were seasoned with salt and pepper.

The one I remember from my childhood was “Maru-ha” まるは meaning a letter “ha” or “は” within a circle but it appears to have changed its logo. This one was made by “Maru-chan” まるちゃんwhich is famous for instant ramen noodles.

Inside is a fish sausage in a transparent plastic tube exactly as I remembered when the cellophane wrapper is removed.

As you can see below, it is nondescript, homogenous and apparently artificially colored (to emulate real meat sausage??) looks almost like plastic.

The taste? Meh! I did not like it as a kid and I do not like it as an adult. Spongy texture without much of any taste, just a mayonnaise delivery system if you have a side of mayo. But this was something from my childhood and finally my wife had a chance to taste it which made it worth getting. She agreed with my assessment (despite the expert sautéing job I did). We did not eat the rest of sausages in the package.

Comments on Facebook