In most of Japan, raising loach is primarily done in paddies, but Oita is famous for its “mud-free loach.” With Oita loach, Japan’s finest, there are no worries about agrochemicals or muddy flavor. The flesh of the fish, and even bones, are plump and soft.
Loach is rich in calcium and vitamin D, and the scales and skin contain collagen, noted for its beautifying properties. Loach is prepared in a number of ways, including grilled, deep fried, and simmered with their thinly sliced burdock and cooked with egg. Loach producers periodically hold “loach workshops” with chefs and people involved in agrotourism. One midwinter day each year there is a loach-eating festival, with events publicizing the fish.