Basashi is raw horse meat that has been popular in Japan and Central Asia for many years. This deep red colored meat is generally served on ice along with certain spices such as soy sauce, shiso leaves, and Japanese radish (daikon). Though the meat is chewy, if prepared well, Basashi recipes taste very delicious. Because horse is domesticated, horse meat is considered taboo in many countries and hence a lot of people do not eat Basashi.
Origin of Basashi
Basashi is believed to have existed since the Paleolithic times, which continued through the middle ages in European countries. Then by 732, there was a Papal ban on consumption of horse meat as this meat was used for Germanic Pagan religious ceremonies in North Europe. However, in the early 20th century, horses were considered for culinary purposes in Central Asia due to shortage of food. Though, not consumed a lot, certain Basashi recipes are considered gourmet.
Basashi is prepared and eaten in many ways, but the most popular way it is enjoyed is by having it raw, sliced and served with a dip mix made of soy sauce, ginger, onions and sake. Other than this, marinated horse meat is also barbecued or grilled, known as ‘baniku’ in Japan. Bagushi is another one of the popular Basashi recipes of Japan, where the meat is skewered on a stick. A lot of people even enjoy the meat as a leaf wrap, where a jagged edged leaf known as ‘shiso’ is used to cook Basashi.
Popular Basashi Recipes
Basashi is not that commonly served; however, it is part of most cuisines across the world such as Japanese, Mexican, Kazakhstan, Argentinian, Mongolian, Australian, etc.
Basashi is quicker to cook than beef, venison, pork, and mutton, as the meat is lean and tender.