SUMMER FOOD TOHOKU
Ichigoni (Seafood Soup)
Winter months in Japan can get quite cold and the same goes to the Aomori Prefecture. Located near the Pacific Ocean, Aomori is a bounty place for marine resources and some of the best food to warm you up in the cold winter season.
Ichigoni is an Aomori specialty dish consisting of sea urchin and abalone within a light clear soup. It is a taste of luxury that can only be found in a port town with fresh sea urchin and abalone. It is simmered in dashi, seasoned with salt and soy sauce and topped with aojiso (Perilla), a fragrant herb with a great nutritional value that is widely used in many Japanese dishes.
Although the name includes the word Ichigo which means strawberry, there are no strawberries included in the dish but it was named because sea urchins in a cloudy broth looked like wild strawberries.
Ichigoni is usually served during New Year Celebrations or special occasions.
Inaniwa Udon are made in Inaniwa of Inakawa Machi located in the Akita Prefecture.
Famous for being one of the three signature udon in Japan, the Inaniwa Udon are hand-stretched, dried udon that is slightly thinner than regular udon yet thicker than somen or hiyamugi noodles.
The technique is what makes Inaniwa udon special. The dough is kneaded on a starchy-floured board and flattened before drying.
The process of making Inaniwa Udon is very labour intensive with a handmade process of up to four days. This attention to detail, and the improved taste, is what makes Inaniwa udon a bit more expensive than other noodles.
The history of Inaniwa udon goes back to the beginning of the Edo era (1603 – 1868).
Inaniwa udon is made with techniques and ingredients passed down the Sato Yosuke family line from generation to generation and originally only served to the Imperial family.
In 1860, Inaniwa udon finally became available to the public, and has since remained firmly established as one of Japan’s best udon noodles.
Morioka Cold Noodles
Morioka cold nodles have originated from Northern Japan. The mixture of cucumber pickles, boiled egg, cold noodles, sesame seeds, kimchi, beef and a splash of watermelon fruit sounds strange but doesn’t taste any near like how it seems. In fact, it is known to be a mouthwatering dish.
The sourness from the pickled cucumber gives a unique taste to the noodles, while the watermelon gives a juicy and sweet flavour to the dish. To mix it up, the chewy texture of the noodles enhances the flavour of all the ingredients in the dish.
Since it orginated in Japan, many countries have started making and selling Morioka cold noodles. But no place elsewhere can beat the authentic style of making these noodles from scratch like in Japan. This simple snack is a must try anywhere in Japan as it was originated from Japan.
Japanese Sake of Yamagata
Goes by the name Yamagata, it is known also as ‘’ brewing sake of the finest rice kingdom’’.
From locals to tourists, Yamagata serves premium Sake of high quality brew.
Making Yamagata Sakes’s require a high level of touch. Constantly competing with quality, Yamagata Prefecture has over 53 sake breweries.
Each Sake has a different body and aroma, as it’s tangy and palatable because the rice turns mild after aging in the oak barrels.
There are hundreds of stellar sake brands in Japan. Sake brewers pour so much effort, precision, and love into their craft and more often than not, they end up making something delicious.
Hence, it’s a must try on its own or with a recommended dish.