What is Sakura Denbu in Japanese Food Culture?

Like other countries, Japan has a wide range of traditional foods. But the main ingredients of some aren’t well-known, which include Sakura Denbu (桜田麩/桜でんぶ).

Sakura Denbu (桜田麩)

Sakura Denbu

For the unfamiliar, Sakura Denbu is a type of Tsukudani (佃煮), a traditional Japanese food made by simmering down ingredients, such as small fish, clam, or seaweed, with soy sauce and sugar.

Tsukudani comes in various varieties. But among those, we are most familiar with Nori no Tsukudani, the black paste shown below, made by simmering down seaweed laver with soy sauce and sugar.

Nori no Tsukudani on Rice

Meanwhile, Denbu (田麩), also known as Oboro (おぼろ) or Soboro (そぼろ), typically consists of fish broken into tiny pieces and cooked with sake, mirin (sweet cooking rice wine), sugar, and salt until dry.

The most popular Denbu variety is Sakura Denbu, made with white fish, such as sea bream, and colored with red food coloring into pink, like Sakura (桜) or cherry blossoms.

Even though Nori no Tsukudani and Denbu are both classified as Tsukudani, they are considerably different; the former is gooey and somewhat salty, whereas the latter is powdery and moderately sweet.


Chirashi Sushi with Sakura Denbu

As for the usage, we often use Sakura Denbu as a topping for the scattered sushi Chirashi Zushi (ちらし寿司).

In addition, the boxed lunch favored by children, Sanshoku Soboro Bento (三色そぼろ弁当), is also a representative topped with Sakura Denbu, together with scrambled eggs and stir-fried pork or chicken mincemeat.

Sanshoku Soboro Bento

Where to Buy

Sakura Denbu is among the common foods in Japan, so it is available at almost any supermarket around the country.

(Reference Page: Wikipedia 田麩 )


Hi, I'm Tomo, a Japanese blogger living in Niigata Prefecture, Japan. For the purpose of enriching your life, I would like to introduce things about Japan on this blog, especially unique Japanese products, cooking recipes, cultures, and facts and trivia.

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