Located in the north of Japan, Tohoku offers a variety of local dishes that have been attracting many food lovers! Here are some of the unique dishes you don’t want to miss when you are in Tohoku this spring!
Aomori Miso Curry Milk Ramen – Aomori Prefecture
“Miso Curry Milk Ramen” is considered as Aomori soul food! The richness of the miso and the spiciness of the curry powder are a perfect match, and the addition of milk gives it a mellow flavor, accented with the flavor of butter! It may seem like a strange combination, but when you try it, you will find its perfect balance and will want to taste it again. The toppings on top of the ramen vary from store to store, so you should try this Aomori’s most popular local food at different restaurants.
Bin Don – Iwate Prefecture
A jewel-like seafood bowl in a bottle! “Bin Don” is a new specialty of Miyako City from Iwate Prefecture. Bindon is a milk bottle filled with fresh seafood and other ingredients such as sea urchin, salmon roe, and scallops. It’s a hands-on way to eat the seasonal ingredients of Miyako. You’ve got to take a picture of the vibrant gradation of seafood stuffed into the bottle before you pour it over your rice! Look, serve, eat, and enjoy the new local gourmet of Miyako.
Aigake Jindai Curry – Akita Prefecture
Jindai Curry is a local gourmet dish in Kakunodate, which is a famous cherry blossom viewing spot in Akita Prefecture. The dish lets you enjoy two flavors at once. Each side of the rice is covered with a different flavored roux, so you will never get bored. One side is traditional Japanese curry, and another side is demi-glace sauce. It is hard to decide which side to eat first! The Jindai area is also known for its rice farming. So delicious rice topped with a soft-boiled egg and Akita’s specialty smoked pickled daikon radish Iburi Gakko is also ready to be served.
Zunda Mochi – Miyagi Prefecture
Zunda mochi is a traditional Japanese sweet and one of the three major Sendai specialties. It is a rice cake topped with boiled (edamame/soybeans) ground paste and is loved not only in Sendai but all over Japan. Zunda Mochi has been loved for a long time, but recently, it has become popular among Japanese people of all ages as it is recently has been arranged into products other than mochi, such as “Zunda Shake” and “Zunda Pancake”. Why don’t you enjoy a variety of zunda sweets?
Grilled Gyu-tan (Beef Tongue) – Sendai City
Grilled Gyu-tan is one of the most popular gourmet foods in Sendai City, Miyagi Prefecture. The thick, juicy flavor of grilled beef tongue is irresistible. You may have had it at a yakiniku restaurant in Japan, but Sendai’s beef tongue is superb! The thick beef tongue is so soft that you can easily bite into it without using a knife, and the taste of the meat spreads in your mouth as you bite into it. In Sendai, you can find restaurants specializing in beef tongue everywhere. It’s an extravagance, but it’s also a great way to tour the city!
Yamagata Wine – Yamagata Prefecture
Yamagata Wine is gradually making a name for itself among Japanese wine-producing regions in recent years! Yamagata Prefecture has become the fourth-largest wine-producing region in Japan in terms of production volume. Japanese wine is characterized by the fact that a wide variety of grapes are grown and not limited to basic European varieties. In particular, Yamagata, Carbene Sauvignon from Kaminoyama City, Chardonnay Delaware from Takahata Town, and Muscat Bailey A from Asahi Town are famous for their high qualities and are enjoyed by wine lovers from all over the world. Many wineries offer factory tours and tastings, so come and enjoy the taste and find your favorite wine.
Kozuyu – Fukushima Prefecture
Kozuyu is a traditional soup dish in Aizu, Fukushima Prefecture. The soup is made with dried seafood (mainly scallops), which are available even in the Aizu area that does not face the sea, and simmered with taro and carrots. The ingredients used vary from household to household and from region to region, and it has a gentle flavor that brings back memories of old Japan. It is still loved as a local dish, and there are many hot spring inns in the Aizu area that serve original Kozuyu as part of their Kaiseki dinner menu. When you come to Fukushima, please visit the hot spring inns in Aizu and enjoy the local cuisine and hot springs to heal your body and soul!
Echigohime Strawberries – Niigata Prefecture
“Echigohime” is Niigata‘s brand of strawberry. The characteristic of Echigohime is its sweetness, big size, and juiciness, giving you a sense of luxury. “Hime” means princess in Japanese. That’s why the name “Echigohime” was given to it. It also has a strong aroma; you can smell the sweet aroma of Echigohime as you walk in at the local supermarkets! The best time to eat strawberries is in early April, and they taste the best when you eat them fresh! There are also farms where you can experience strawberry picking, so why don’t you fill up your stomach and taste the fresh whole Echigohime Strawberries?