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.
Have you ever wondered how many bowls of noodles you can eat if given the chance to do so? When you are in Japan, you must try to keep your stomach empty and challenge your travel buddies or even just to challenge yourself on how many bowls of noodles you can eat when the server keeps saying "Hai Janjan!" and add more noodles into your bowl.
The atmosphere, when you experience this challenge in Japan is something unattainable in any other country as Wanko Soba noodles are a Japan origin.
The current record breaker of the number of bowls of Wanko Soba noodles eaten is 500. It sure must be tasty for the record to hit that high. So now, the real question is are you up for the challenge of eating 501 Wanko Soba noodles?
Queen of Fruits “LaFrance” Pear
Yamagata Prefecture is famous for a variety of fruits and therefore is known as the Kingdom of Fruits.
However, there is one fruit celebrated as the "Queen of Fruits" is the “LaFrance” pear and around 80% of the pears are grown in Yamagata Prefecture.
LaFrance pear looks very different to the Japanese pear in its appearance. Instead of being round like Nashi pears, LaFrance is more in European pear shape.
The external appearance of La France may look odd on the outside, but the flesh is soft and juicy which is sure to be delicious!
LaFrance is the greatest of all pears with a juicy pulp, luscious sweetness and romantic aroma. It's not like any other fruit, it's so rich in texture and once you have your first bite, you’ll be craving for more and more and MORE!
Besides the famous Akita dog, Akita prefecture is also well-known for its rice production. If we ferment it, we can produce Sake and if we completely smash it, a rice cake is made.
However, there is one traditional cuisine made from rice in the northern part of Akita, Kiritanpo.
Kiritanpo is a popular traditional food in Akita Prefecture which was originally made as a portable meal for woodcutters and hunters.
People in Akita usually eat Kiritanpo during the harvest season which is from September to late March. The unique name comes from its shape which looks like a spear.
Akita locals usually put them into hotpot with delicious locally raised chicken in Akita called “Hinai- Jidori.”
Some people might avoid to put fish or other vegetables in the hotpot since they think it might destroy the perfect harmony of the taste of Kiritanpo and chicken.
Another way of cooking Kiritanpo is to put Miso on it and simply grill it with charcoal fire.
Gyutan (Beef Tongue)
Have you ever heard of people feasting on beef tongue? Gyutan, also known as "Beef Tongue", is a delicacy made from cow's tongue and it is a must try if you’re a foodholic.
Although you can find beef tongue dishes everywhere in Japan, Gyutan is actually originated in Sendai.
Beef tongue is served in many different styles in Japan. All sorts of cooking way from grill, curry, stewed, fried and many more can be found all over the country.
Try this chewy beef tongue and get ready to salivate for more.
So what’s the wait for? Tease the taste buds with this beef tongue delicacy in Japan today!
Anko Nabe (Anglerfish Hot Pot)
Anko nabe, also called Anglerfish Hot Pot, is a hot pot dish with yellow goosefish (Anglerfish) as its main ingredient.
This anko nabe is widely enjoyed in East Japan as a typical winter dish. It is so popular that there is a saying in Japan that goes “pufferfish hot pot in the west and anko nabe in the east”. It can be found in Ibaraki Prefecture and Iwaki City in Fukushima Prefecture.
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.