WINTER FOOD TOHOKU

Akita Prefecture

Kiritanpo

 

 

What people imagine first when they hear the word Akita would be the rice. If we ferment it, we can produce Sake and if we completely smash it, a rice cake is made.

 

However, there is one more traditional cuisine made from rice in northern part of Akita, which is Kiritanpo.

 

Kiritanpo is a popular traditional food of Akita Prefecture which was originally made as a portable meal for woodcutters and hunters.

 

People in Akita usually eat Kiritanpo from September to late March, during the harvest season. The unique name comes from its shape, which looks like a spearhead.

 

Akita locals usually put them in the hotpot with famous locally raised chicken in Akita called “Hinai- Jidori.”

 

Some people hesitate to put fish or other vegetables in the hotpot since they might damage the perfect harmony of Kiritanpo and chicken.

 

Another way of cooking Kiritanpo is to put Miso on it and grill it with charcoal fire.

 

Reference:
http://jnto.tohokumoment.com/en/akita/t4-kiritannpo_nabe/

 

 

Yamagata

Yonezawa Beef

 

 

Yonezawa may be an unassuming rural town but do you know that it is known throughout Japan for its beef?

 

Its beef became famous after an English teacher at the Yonezawa school, took a Yonezawa cow to his friends at Yokohama in 1875. He served the beef to his peers and it garnered high praise, which helped spread Yonezawa Beef’s name all over the country.

 

Yonezawa Beef is a high-class beef brand and is acclaimed as one of “the three great wagyu” together with Matsuzaka Beef and Kobe Beef.

 

Yamagata is the best beef production area with the best climate to produce delicious beef due to the Prefecture’s wide ranging climate between day and night.

 

Yonezawa cows are fed rice straw and raised and fattened for the period of 32 months, which explains the secret to the quality and flavour of the meat.

 

With such advantages from the cattle raising skill as well as the climate, delicious beef can be produced.

 

Many delicious dishes are made from beef and can be provided by Yamagata’s farmers throughout the year, such as ‘sukiyaki’, ‘yakiniku’ and many others.

 

Reference:
https://okitama-kanko.com/en/yonezawa_beef

 

 

Miyagi Prefecture

Gyutan (Beef Tongue)

 

 

Have you ever heard of Gyutan in Japan? Or have you ever heard of people feasting on beef tongue? Gyutan also known as ‘’Beef Tongue’’ is a delicacy made from cow tongue that is a must try if you’re a foodholic.

 

Beef tongue is served in many different styles in Japan.From grilled, curry, stewed, fried and many more. Indulge in this deep beefy flavour meat in the various Japanese styles of cooking. Try one type of beef tongue and get ready to salivate for more.

 

So what’s the wait for? Tease the taste buds on your tongue with this beef tongue delicacy in Japan today!

 

Reference:
http://www.gyutown.com/en/index.html

 

 

Fukushima Prefecture

Anglerfish hot pot

 

 

Anglerfish hot pot is a “Nabemono” or a hot pot dish with yellow goosefish (Anglerfish) as its main ingredient.
This Anglerfish hot pot is widely enjoyed in East Japan as a typical winter dish, so much so that there is a saying in Japan that goes “blowfish hot pot in the west and Anglerfish hot pot in the east”. However, it is in Ibaraki Prefecture and Iwaki City in Fukushima Prefecture that this dish is served in many restaurants as “nabemono”.

 

Anglerfish is a deep sea fish with strange appearance. Nonetheless, nothing of this fish goes to waste. As the Japanese say, nothing about this fish that can not be eaten. Other than the bones, its flesh, of course can be eaten, and so does its skin, internal organs, and gills.
It is said that this fish is particularly delicious around January to February.

 

Reference:
https://welcome-fukushima.com/english/tokusan/t-iwaki.php