This study aims to analyze the effects of the salt and enzymes in shio-koji on the taste and tenderness of cooked pork that has been soaked in shio-koji before cooking. The cooked pork soaked in a type of shio-koji that had 1.2% added proteases was judged, in a sensory evaluation, as the most tender. The cooked pork soaked in any type of shio-koji received higher evaluation values than the control, pork that was not marinated, in indexes for all examined characteristics. We observed a significant correlation between sensory evaluation and physical parameters. The total free amino acid and glutamic acid in samples of pork soaked in shio-koji and the shio-koji with 1.2% added proteases increased two to three times compared to the control non-treated pork. The increase in amino acids was due to protease activity in the shio-koji. Results also suggested that salt contained in shio-koji lowered the cooking loss rate of the meat, retained the juiciness of the meat, and improved the taste and texture of pork through a synergistic effect the salt had with the enzyme action.
Hearings were conducted regarding traditional regional recipes and lifestyles in Hiroshima Prefecture's western region during the 30 s and 40 s in the Showa era. Based on the results of these hearings, this paper discusses certain traditional home-cooking styles. Consideration is also given to the future of home cooking. The participants of the hearing were aged sixty or older and had lived, for at least thirty years, in any one of the following four districts: Inokuchi, in the West Ward of Hiroshima City; Yuki, in the Saeki Ward of Hiroshima City; Jigozen, in Hatsukaichi City; and Minamisakae, in Ohtake City. According to views expressed in the hearings, the participants' daily meals consisted primarily of rice, miso-soup, and pickles, with Iriko Dashi (soup stock made from dried sardine) as the main base. Creativity and effort were put into the home-cooked and western-style dishes, including curry and rice; it was stated that croquettes were also served. Participants also noted that on festive occasions, special meals were prepared at home. For example, Nigome, a local dish of stewed vegetables, was served to celebrate Otanya, a Buddhist religious anniversary. For in-between-meal snacks, home-grown vegetables were consumed, as well as inexpensive, commercially available products, such as chocolate and chewing gum. Bananas and homemade sweets were also eaten as snacks. Traditional homemade dishes passed down through generations were stated to be sushi, tai-somen (fine wheat noodles cooked with sea bream), nigome, sashimi-konnyaku (called “yama-hugu” locally, an uncooked jelly-like food), chimaki (rice cakes wrapped in bamboo leaves), noppe-jiru (a thick soup with vegetables), and moburi (a local rice dish cooked with various seasonings and vegetables). A glance at our contemporary culinary lifestyle shows a growing tendency to depend on food sources outside the home, and also reflects changes in our home-cooking styles. Yet cooking at home helps unite families, passing ancestors' wisdom to subsequent generations, and preserves traditional recipes. Homemade dishes reflect people's care and affection for their families. The tradition and significance of home-cooking in our society should now be re-acknowledged.
From the viewpoint of quality control for wet-heating, the ks of steaming and heating in hot water was measured, the changes in the internal temperature and hardness were predicted, and sensory evaluation was performed. The ks of steaming was slightly smaller than that of heating in hot water around 85°C, whereas it was slightly higher around 100°C. However, sensory evaluation detected no significant difference in the hardness between the steamed and boiled samples at the same cooking time predicted using ks, which was determined on the basis of the average hardness of the samples that were steamed and the samples that were heated in hot water. Although the ks values for steaming and heating in hot water differed slightly depending on temperature range as seen from the results of hardness measurement, the hardness of the vegetables attained almost the same values for the same heating times as seen in the results of sensory evaluation.
In dried bonito stock, the characteristic taste (aside from umami) is enhanced saltiness. Although the dried bonito stock contains various taste-active components including inosine 5′-monophosphate, glutamic acid, L-histidine (His), His-containing peptides, anserine, carnosine (Car), and lactic acid, the tastants in dried bonito stock that contribute to saltiness enhancement have not been identified. Thus, the contributions of tastants, in particular lactic acid, His, and Car, to saltiness enhancement by dried bonito stock were examined here by sensory evaluations. Probit analysis indicated that His (eliciting bitterness and kokumi taste) significantly enhanced saltiness, but lactic acid and Car did not. Moreover, the combined effects of lactic acid and Car with His on the saltiness enhancement were undetectable. These results suggest that in dried bonito stock, His is a strong candidate for the main enhancer of saltiness.