Kishiko-san’s Budoususuri in Momoshima

 
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After making the modoriuke, Kishiko-san suggested, “ Let’s make some budoususuri”.

“What?! Grapes(budou) during this season?!” I thought. Beans were often planted on this island and mung beans were commonly referred to as “budou”. Budoususuri is made from mung beans, sweet potatoes and sweet rice dumplings (shiratama) using refined sweet rice flour; unlike the red bean versions, this simple snack is soft on the stomach.

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“Before, when there were so many in my family, I didn’t have time to make the sweet rice dumplings perfectly round, so I would just make them any which way by squeezing them with one hand”she says while kneading the refined sweet rice flour blend and using her  hand to make dumplings and toss the mung beans in the boiling. Sugar and a bit of salt is all it’s needed for this dish. The dumplings are ready to eat as soon as they’re cooked. Kishiko-san has three children and recalls that she often made this snack when the kids were hungry.

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We were joined with by the Nishino family, who are neighbors. Kishiko-san and everyone say, “simple foods” but so many dishes were placed on the table. Keita (age 1), was born during a time when there are more of the elderly than the young. The community of the island treats him as their grandson, Kishiko-san and Sachie too enjoy the presence of the baby.

While receiving the warm care by the grannies of the island, Keita without hesitation chows down on the modoriuke  and budoususuri. The rich taste in the modoriuke and the soft and sweet taste of the budoususuri are sure to touch any child’s heart.

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Furthermore, aside that snack there was a makigai (conch-like shell) around 2cm long that was caught this morning. The locals call it, Amona, where the shellfish is boiled and also served as a snack. The vibrant flavor of this small shellfish is irresistible! These shellfish have become rarer these days and even Sachie-san exclaimed, “Even I haven’t been able to find them!”

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As Kishiko-san pulled the meat of the shellfish using a needle-like tool, she said “I think these Amona are related to Ammonites.” Yeah, they do really have an appearance as if they came from the age of the dinosaurs, but I wonder…

“Furthermore, pirates used to pass through these islands, thus I think my ancestors were also pirates. Every time I take my walks, I always think maybe there’s still hidden treasure somewhere…”

Kishiko-san has this certain charm that sucks you in, making everyone to laugh.

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The women of this island, while the men go out to make a living, stay to help with the farming and raising the family. As soon as the men return from their work, then the women rush home to make food to fill the men’s stomachs. Even though the Nishinos and myself appeared suddenly, Kishiko-san took me in as if I was part of their family, bustling around with her small body and cooking her food with a smile. I received plentiful helpings of both food and stories from Kishiko-san, and gained an understanding about the energy of the women raised on this island.

【Visiting Grandma】
Yu Nakamura
A culinary researcher based in Bangkok. Founder of 40creations. During college, she realized that good food could create smiles, regardless of country borders or age.  In 2012, she start the project  YOU BOX  to share “ridiculously delicious” experiences with the world, and  hunting “Grandma’s recipes” at the same time. Published a book in Japanese based on the interviews she's done for 100 people in 15 countries for 3 years.  In 2018, she found TASTE HUNTERS with domestic partners in Thai.

Translate : Luke Baker