Eihire: Dried Stingray Fin Otsumami Snacks
“Otsumami (おつまみ)”, also known as “Sakana (肴)”, is the Japanese word for simple dishes and finger foods that are eaten alongside alcoholic beverages.
Traditional Japanese Otsumami snacks are often made with dried seafood, and the representative example includes these dried squid snacks and what I introduce here “Eihire (エイヒレ)”.
Ei-Hire (エイヒレ: Ray Fin)
In the word Eihire, “Ei (エイ)” is the Japanese word for the fish “ray”, while “Hire (ヒレ)” stands for its “fin”. So “Ei-Hire (エイヒレ)” literally means “ray fin” but usually refers to dried skate or stingray fin.
Those dried ray fins are lightly grilled and often served as an Otsumami with a dipping sauce of mayonnaise and Shichimi Togarashi. Like “Fukahire (フカヒレ: sharkfin)”, Eihire contains lots of collagen, so in Japan, the ray fin is also used for beauty care.
The Otsumami Eihire comes in some variants and the one I bought today is a sake-soaked Eihire, seasoned with sugar, sake, sake-kasu (sake lees), and salt.
These Eihire are produced by a food company in Niigata, which is famous for the sake, so I guess the maker used the alcohol as a flavoring for the Eihire.
The sake-soaked Eihire can be eaten as it is, but I lightly toasted them in the toaster oven. These cooked ray fins are tender and have a gelatinous texture close to Fukahire.
As a drink for the snack, I found this Collagen-Rich non-alcoholic beer in the fridge of my house, so with that, I enjoyed these toasted Eihire this night, took tons of collagen!
(Reference Page: Wikipedia エイヒレ )