Every time I take my tour groups to Hualien, Chinsing Tan Katsuo Museum is always the first stop we visit. It is very well-known for its Katsuo culture, you definitely cannot miss out Takoyaki (Octopus Balls) and Kastuo making while you are here.
During the construction of the museum, temporary container houses are located at the site of the original site.
這次受到「Fun Taiwan Creative Life的單位」邀請，
Thanks Fun Taiwan Creative Life for giving me the opportunity to explore more about Katsuo culture in Hualien. The museum has gradually been developed for its facilities and activities since the past decade, now it mainly has four area, which are Culture Exploration Area, Ocean Resource Area, Katsuo Shredding DIY Activity Area and Souvenir Products Area. It will be introducing more as the following shown.
About Chinsing Tan Katsuo Museum
Mr. Zong-Buo Yu, who is the curator of Chinsing Tan Katsuo Museum, came to Hualien with his friend twenty years ago. With their excellent fishing skills and experience of Katsuo making (Japanese style dried smoked skipjack fish), they begin their lives and career in a fish factory in Hualien.In the late 1980s, Mr. Yu concentrated on developing his main business—Jota Food Company, he no longer worked in the factory. In 2002, the factory wass officially closed due to Mr. Yu’s business partners’ retirement. In 2003, in order to preserve the local history and Katsuo culture in Hualien, Mr. Yu and his team had an idea to regenerate the factory into a museum, not only to provide a place for local residents to keep their history but also to promote the fishing culture to the young generation.
They turned a souvenir shop into a part of Katsuo Museum, and also provide DIY courses of making Takoyaki (Japanese octopus balls) and grating Katsuo.
The entrance fee is NT 50, which includes NT30 that you can spend in the museum.
If you are interested in Katsuo DIY courses, you can also sign up and pay the fee here.
- Making Takoyaki (Japanese octopus balls)
- Katsuo Shredding
- Culture Exploration Area-
This is the entrance of the museum, which used to be a fish factory. As you can see from the picture above, the museum kept the original wall design, and as passing through it, you will smell some Katsuo flavor which comes from a smoky room.
Main Floor: The History of Hualien Fishery industry and the processing of making Katsuo
Katsuo is originally from Japan, which means the smoked dried skipjack fish. It has been using for cooking for several centuries. Based on “Kojiki” (Record of Ancient Events), which is mentioned in Japanese Katsuo Association’s essay, “The History of Katuso”, the term “Katsuo” was used over 1,500 years ago, it was only cooked dried fish. During the Sengoku period in Japan, Katsuo became very popular, especially for travelers as it fits with much food and easier to carry.
This is a picture of showing where and how the workers put wood coal when they make Katsuo.
Hualien is very famous for its abundant fish kinds, such as mackerel, skipjack and tuna etc.. Skipjack makes the best quality of Katsuo without any preservative and artificial additive, so that you get to taste the original fish flavor. Besides, the fish fat in Katsuo is also one of the factors they may concern. Too much or less fish fat would effect Katsuo in terms of the form, the process of souring and the way to preservation. Poor quality of Katsuo would contain bad oily smell.
The wood coal for making Katsuo is also one of the key factors to reach the best quality. It is very important to choose the wood coal such as longan wood, leechee wood, loquat wood, or any others without oil and unpleasant smell during burning.
The better color quality of Katsuo is black and shinning bright like a diamond. (Upper photo: Good quality; Lower photo: bad quality)
Second floor: The East Ocean Lives
It shows how the black stream influences the fishery in Taiwan.There are two fishery methods that people commonly use to catch fish in Hualien, which are the traditional method and fixed net method, and the latter one is mainly used in Hualien. The traditional method means that a fisherman casts a certain kind of net into the ocean by rolling a bamboo raft and they pull the net back when the net are full of fishes, it was used before 1940s. On the other hand, the fixed net method has been using since 1940s, which is about placing a net with a triangle in a certain location along the coast, and then catch fishes by utilizing the tides, the way fishes moving. The fishing equipment costs NT 20 million, and the net needs to be replaced three times a year. It also costs NT six hundred thousand to case a net every time. In order to avoid typhoon season, summer is normally the fishing off season.
The museum also provides some stamps for kids to put on their collection book.
What is Black Stream
It is the second largest current among the North Equatorial Current in Pacific Ocean, which is also called Kuroshio (in Japan) or Red Current (in eastern Taiwan). The reason of calling it Black Stream is because of the depth (200 meters), the width (100 kilometers) and also the color(dark blue) of it. Every year, it influences the weather in Taiwan over seven months, which brings humidity and high temperature.
Expect for Katsuo, the second famous fish is the ocean sunfish, sometimes you can easily see the fisherman is catching them in Chihsing Tan, Hualien.
The last section on the second floor is about the introduction of each county in Hualien.
Third Floor: (Coming soon)
Following the tour guide to the third floor, it was about the life story of Mr. Zong-Buo Yu, however, since the museum changes the exhibition content on this floor every two year, they are planning a brand new topic which is about the conversation between human and ocean in Chihsing Tan, Hualien. They will soon release the information on their website.
- Ocean Resource Area
It is located at the end of first floor, it is like a small aquariums which displays a lot of rare fishes here.
The area also provides a tank with some real ocean creatures for visitors to watch and experience, and of course it is very safe.
- Katsuo Shredding DIY Activity Area
It is time for us to start some DIY course now.
Before you begin to shred Katsuo, it would be better if you heat it up first in order to do it easier.
My little son started eating Katsuo on the half way of shredding it, the taste of it was really good.
It can also be used for cooking soup.
Takoyaiki(Octpus Ball) DIY course
Firstly, you put a little oil the pan.
and then, pouring the flour into the pan.
Secondly, you put some sliced octopus in the pan.
and adding some vegetables and cook it.
Thirdly, using a stick to spin the balls and wait for it becomes crispy.
Lastly, you put Katsuo, soy sause and salad on it, and it’s done!!!!!
He had so much fun.
He said “It’s so yummy.”.
- Souvenir Products Area
The area offers all kinds of Katsuo products, please stop by before leaving.
- NT30/per item shopping discount in the museum, but cannot used on beverage.
- It can be used as a postcard, domestic postage free.
- The museum reserves the right to change every policy.
- Residents in Hualien (ID needed)
- The age above 65.
- Handicapped/disabled persons
- Kids under the height of 120 cm
- Low income family ( paper approval needed)