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Satsuma-age shop
Satsuma-age shop
A tub of uncured fish surimi ready for finish-processing
A tub of uncured fish surimi ready for finish-processing

Satsuma-age (薩摩揚げ) is a fried fishcake originating from Kagoshima, Japan. Surimi and flour is mixed to make a compact paste that is solidified through frying. It is a specialty of the Satsuma region. It is known by a variety of regional names throughout Japan.

The paste is made from fish and seasoned with salt, sugar, and other spices and molded into several shapes. It is made not only from ground fish but can include wood ear, beni shōga, onion, Welsh onion and other vegetables, squid, octopus, shrimp and other sea foods, and some spices. In fishing villages, it is made from local fishes, for example sardines, shark, bonito or mackerel. it is often made by mixing two or more kinds of fish.

People eat Satsuma-age plain or lightly roasted and dipped in ginger and soy sauce or mustard and soy sauce. It is used in oden, udon, sara udon or nimono (stewed dishes).


Commonly Satsuma-age used cod as a filling; however, as cod stocks have been depleted other varieties of white fish are used, such as haddock or whiting. Satsuma-age may use oily fish such as salmon for a markedly different flavour.

The fish used to make surimi (Japanese: , literally "ground meat") include:


There are varied histories of Satsuma-age, but the most famous birthplace is the Satsuma district in Kagoshima.[1] It is said that, in about 1864, the Shimazu clan brought it to Satsuma from Okinawa through some exchange and invasion.[2] In those days, Okinawans called fried-boiled fish paste chigiage. After it was brought to Kagoshima, it was produced as tsukiage and selected as one of the best 100 local dishes.

Regional names

Depending on the region, the dish is known under different names.[3] In Tōhoku and the Kantō region it is called "Satsuma-age" after its place of origin in Kagoshima. In the Chubu region it is known as "Hanpen". Hokkaido and west Japan people call it "Tempura" (different from Tempura).[4] In Kyushu and Okinawa, this dish is called "Tempura", "Tsukeage" or "Chikiagi".


Jakoten (じゃこ天)
Jakoten (じゃこ天)

Outside Japan

See also


  1. ^ 【Kagoshima Prefecture Ichiki Kushikino City】 Sightseeing ・ Speciality:Speciality Archived 2010-08-11 at the Wayback Machine (Japanese)
  2. ^ tsukeage Kagoshima Discovering Culture (Kagoshima Regional Information Web, Living Eye 8, November 2003)(Japanese)
  3. ^ "「さつま揚げ」の各都道府県での呼び名を調査 関西は「天ぷら」". J-TOWN.NET. June 16, 2017. Retrieved March 23, 2020.
  4. ^ Ishige, Naomichi [in Japanese] (2014). The History and Culture of Japanese Food. Routledge. p. 246. ISBN 978-1136602559.
  5. ^ "紀文「シャキッと玉ねぎ天」". 林間マダム. May 14, 2008.
  6. ^ Katakura, Yoshifumi [in Japanese] (2016). "片倉佳史の台湾歴史紀行 第一回 港湾都市・基隆を訪ねる" (PDF). Japan–Taiwan Exchange Association. p. 9. Retrieved March 23, 2020.