If’ you had a chance to visit the northernmost island of Japan, Hokkaido (???), did you try the popular regional salmon soup called Sanpeijiru (???)" I’ve had it several times during my visit and it is fabulous!As many of you know, winter in Hokkaido is very cold and a bowl of piping hot soup with salmon is a great way to keep yourself warm.
What is Sanpeijiru"Sanpeijiru is a salt-flavor based soup popular in Hokkaido, and it is enjoyed at both home and restaurants. I love ordering this soup at sushi restaurants whenever I visit Hokkaido.Hokkaido is known for its delicious salmon and potatoes. For this recipe, salmon, potatoes, daikon radish, carrot, and Negi (leeks/scallion) are cooked in kombu dashi broth. Some people put Konnyaku (konjac) and other root vegetables in the recipe as well.Also, herring, cod, or Hokke (Okhotsk atka mackerel) are sometimes used instead of salmon, but I haven’t had a chance to try the soup with other fish besides salmon.Origin of the Name – SanpeijiruFor a regional recipe like this, I try to share a little bit of background story with the recipe. If you’re wondering about the origin of this recipe name, there are 3 theories where it came from.First of all, jiru (?) in Japanese means “soup”. Sanpei (??) is a pretty common name for male back in samurai days.The first theory is a Nanbu feudal warrior named Sanpei Saito was cast ashore in Okushiri Island, he served this soup to his workers and the soup which later on received his name.The second theory is a fisherman named Sanpei made this soup for feudal lord of Matsumae and it was named after the fisherman.The last theory is that soup was served in Sanpei-zara dish (plate, ???, image courtesy).No one knows which theory is true, but the interesting fact is that all these theories came from late Edo period, which means Sanpeijiru has been around for over 200 years.Difference between Sanpeijiru and Ishikari NabeIf you’re fami...