Genryu Fishing of Japan #3

Dinner at Tenba

When we go Genryu camp fishing, another big fun other than fishing is dinner. We normally have simple breakfast like breads or rice gruel, and we have lunch in the valley while fishing with instant noodles with soup or breads. After a good long day, when we come back to tenba (Camp site), it is the time to enjoy dinner. Of course we enjoy cooking too.

We basically take foods with us in backpacks, and menus are really depends. We take and cook what we want. We cook curry & rice, Pastas, Noodles with soup, but we always take rice. Our food culture is based on rice really. We eat variety of foods most of the time with rice. We feel that we can survive as long as we have some rice.

There is one important point. If we plan to stay in genryu for 3 days, we take foods for 4 days. We might stay 1 more extra day in the mountains due to bad weather or some other happenings. I think everywhere we do same way.

It is chilly in a valley at night even in the summer, so we often cook “Nabe (like Sukiyaki)”. It is easy to cook and very good to eat with 3 or 4 people together. It also warms us. After eating ingredients, we put noodles in nabe soup. It is absolutely good. When we are very tired, we often make curry & rice with retort-packed curry or similar meals. They are not very good meals but everything is very good if we eat in the mountains.

We also receive a bit of grace of the mountains. We normally do catch & release at Genryu fishing, but we keep 1 or 2 fish for each and cook shioyaki or make sashimi. Shioyaki takes much more time than sashimi, so we eat more sashimi lately. If you cook shioyaki take 25 to 30cm big iwana or yamame. It is the most tasty size and bigger fishi is not good.You should grill fish slowly having fire at distance. For Sashimi about 30cm or little smaller is good.

May and June is the best season for sansai (Mountain plants). We can pick many kinds of mountain plants on the way to genryu or by the stream. Taranome, koshiabura, kogomi and nemagaritake (Small banboo shoots). We take tempura cooking set when we go to genryu in this season and taste very good tempura of Sansai. Actually those mountain plants are kind of high quality foods. If we order Tempura of Sansai at a luxury restaurant, it costs a lot.

Nemagaritake is also good for baked and boiled style. May be the best cooking is miso-soup with nemagaritake. In fact, quite a few people go to mountains just to pick mountain plants during this season.

We pick mushrooms of course, and the best season for mushrooms is from September. We put mushrooms in nabe or miso-soup. Especially from around mid September, we have a chance to find out very good mushroom called “Maitake”. Maitake is a mushroom that grow in clusters. It is good for tempura, baked or maitake rice.
Writing this post, I have just noticed that sansai season is just around the corner. I must make my fishing plans soon.