Kanzuri: Myoko’s Versatile Fermented Seasoning Paste
Have you ever heard of “Kanzuri (かんずり)”? a new type of fermented seasoning that has been gradually getting popular in Japan thanks to various forms of media.
A food company located in Myoko (the former Arai), Niigata Prefecture, Kanzuri created it in 1966, and now, the seasoning paste has become a regional specialty of Myoko.
Since it only takes less than 1 hour from my parents’ house to go to Kanzuri’s main store in Myoko, I have visited there several times before, and the Kanzuri paste has been familiar to me since I was small.
As I mentioned above, Kanzuri is a fermented food and its production process is roughly as follows.
- Red chili peppers are pickled in salt in autumn
- In the winter of next year, the salted red peppers are spread over snow-covered fields for 3 to 4 days to remove their harsh taste and excess salt as well as to increase the sweetness
- The red peppers are ground, combined with Koji (malted rice), salt, and Yuzu (yellow citrus fruit) with refreshing acidity
- The mixture is fermented and aged over 3 to 6 years
The finished reddish paste has a pungent flavor and aroma characterized by its saltiness, spiciness, and savoriness.
How to Use
Kanzuri is a versatile seasoning/condiment favored by professional chefs. The paste can be used in various ways, and here are some usage examples.
- The spicy, savory paste goes well with almost any soup dish. Put in a little Kanzuri and stir well
- Use Kanzuri paste, instead of Wasabi, when eating Sashimi
- Kanzuri can be used as a seasoning/condiment for grilled foods such as Yakitori chicken skewers
- Kanzuri is often used as a condiment for simmered dishes like Oden hot-pot
- The Japanese seasoning works well with Western dishes as well, such as curry, pizza, pasta, and many more
Myoko’s Kanzuri paste is available at many supermarkets in Niigata and can also be bought on online marketplaces like Amazon. If you are interested in this fermented seasoning, please note that
- The shelf life of the unopened Kanzuri is one year at room temperature
- After you unseal the jar, keep it in the fridge
(Reference Page: Wikipedia かんずり )