Ehomaki for the Annual Setsubun Event
Written by: Swastika Kusumawati
Japan is one of country that famous with its authentic food. One of the popular one is sushi, that almost everyone in the world knows and want to taste it directly when they come to Japan. But, maybe not so many people knows about some of the variant of sushi that only can be enjoyed in a special event or occasion.
In this article, we will introduce you one varian of sushi, the ehomaki you can only get once in a year on the 3rd of February!
What is Ehomaki?
First, not many people (beside Japanese) that familiar with ehomaki. We might be never heard the name because we call all the variant of sushi with “sushi”. So what is ehomaki?
Ehomaki, in Japanese kanji is written as 恵方巻 that has a meaning of “lucky direction sushi roll”, is a seasonal thick sushi roll that is believed to bring luck and being eaten in the day before the beginning of spring in Japan.
When Ehomaki Can Be Enjoyed?
Ehomaki is traditionally eaten in silence while making a wish, facing the specific direction of luck (eho / 恵方）, every year in Setsubun Day at the 3rd of February. You don’t allowed to cut and bite it in small amount or your luck will be cut also! That’s what they believe!
After eating it at once, next activity that every children waited is throw the soybeans out of the door while shouting “demons get out, luck come in” or in Japanese 鬼は外！福はうち！ Sometimes family members play-act by wearing demon’s mask and being thrown by soybeans.
Ingredients Inside the Ehomaki
Ehomaki is prepared using seven ingredients based on Seven Gods of Fortune in Japanese believe, that symbolize wealth and happiness, those are eel, shrimp, kanpyo (dried gourd strips), shiitake, cucumber, rolled egg, and sakura denbu (a sweet-salty, fluffy pink flaked fish condiment).
How to Order Ehomaki?
You can get an ehomaki at the convenience store or supermarket near your home, but many people choose to place an order some days before at the supermarket or shops that receive ehomaki order, or take out in sushi restaurant because sometimes its already sold out and you can’t get the ingredients you want! When setsubun is just in the corner, some shops announce that they are ready to receive ehomaki order, you can easily find the announcement attached in the entrance of the shop.
You can also making it by yourself if you have spare time to get your setsubun experience!