Japanese Delicacy: Shuto Fermented Tuna Guts
When it comes to Japanese delicacies or “Chinmi (珍味)“, the first thing that comes to many people’s minds would be “Shiokara (塩辛)“.
Shiokara is a Chinmi made from seafood (squid, fish, or their guts) that’s been salted and fermented by enzymes/microorganisms the food itself has.
What I introduce here, “Shuto (酒盗)” is actually a kind of Shiokara. But the main ingredient is usually innards of fish such as Katsuo or skipjack tuna, and the fermentation/aging process is long compared to Shiokara.
The Japanese delicacy Shuto has over three hundred years of history. It has been enjoyed through the ages as an accompaniment for alcoholic drinks or Otsumami.
Origin of the Name
In its name, “酒” is the Chinese character or Kanji for Sake, while “盗” literally means “steal”. And regarding the origin of the name “Shu-To (酒盗)”, there are two theories.
One is because Sake is consumed a lot as though it’s stolen when the Chinmi is eaten with the alcohol. The other is because if you have Shuto, you want Sake so badly you could steal it.
How to Eat
As Shuto contains 10-20 percent salt, the Chinmi is basically salty. It has a distinctive flavor and umami and goes well with rice. I like to eat the delicacy on a bowl of Ochazuke (white rice soaked in hot green tea).
Other foods that pair well with Shuto include cream cheese, pasta, tofu (Hiyayakko), fresh vegetables, such as cucumber and cabbage.
Lastly, let’s see the ingredients and nutrition facts of this Maguro (tuna) Shuto. Based on the list below,
the Chinmi mainly consists of tuna guts, salt, milk sugar, fermented seasoning, brewed vinegar, sugar, doubanjiang (chili bean sauce), vegetable powder, protein hydrolyzate, and chili pepper.
The calories per 100 grams are 82 kcal, and the tuna Shuto contains 11.2 g salt equivalents in total.
By the way, this Shuto (120 g) (Price: 498 yen/about 4.4 USD) is from Shiino Foods with the top share in the market. On the official English site, you can get more info on this Japanese delicacy.
(Reference Pages: Wikipedia 酒盗, Olive Hitomawashi )