Japanese fish cakes, kamaboko, come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Fish cakes are made from ground fish and flour or starch that is formed into small loafs and then steamed or fried. Fish cakes are used in a variety of Japanese dishes such as soups and stews, appetizers and boxed lunches.
Varieties of Fish Cakes
In the olden days, this fish cake was formed around bamboo (chiku) skewers and cooked. Although modern production substitutes metal for bamboo, the distinctive hole through the middle of the chikuwa remains.
This is traditionally made from white fish and yamaimo (see “mountain yam”) and boiled. It is usually white in color with a spongy texture.
Ita Kamaboko is formed onto small wooden boards before steaming. These fish cakes are often artfully decorated to present a visually pleasing cross section when sliced.
This is fish cake that has been fried, giving the outside a golden brown color.