5 Famous Foods You’ll Find in Fukushima

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Located in Japan’s northern Tohokuregion, Fukushima Prefectureis well-known among Japanese people for its beautiful landscapes, turquoise lakes, and feudal history. It was one of the last strongholds of the samurai fighting imperial rule, and it’s home to Ouchi-juku, one of the best-preserved Edo era villages in Japan.

With all this history on display, it goes without saying you’ll find some of the best traditional delicacies in Fukushima.

1. Kozuyu

Happy birthday?

Kozuyuis Fukushima soul food. While each household has its favorite recipe, it’s a broth typically served with carrots, bamboo shoots, mushrooms, konjac, and, most importantly, dried scallops. All these ingredients combined provide a hearty meal, packed with vitamins and nutrients. It’s such a local favorite you’ll find it served on holidays, at religious ceremonies, and even on birthdays.

2. Enban Gyoza

Photo by: Wikimedia CommonsSo round. So crispy.

There are a couple of different ways to prepare gyoza. Boiled, steamed, pan-fried, everyone has a preferred style. In Fukushima, you’ll often find the gyoza of choice to be Enban (disk). It’s gyoza that’s fried extra crispy on a round hotplate until the bottom fuses into a round disk. Other than that, you’ll find your typical fillings of pork and vegetables, but the extra crunch makes it so much more satisfying.

3. Nishin no sansho zuke

Herring drying in the sun.

Nishin is the Japanese word for herring, one of Japan’s favorite fish. Fukushima likes to dry them, layer them with sansho peppers, and finally pickle them in spirits made from sauce, sake, sugar, and vinegar. It has a strong taste, and it isn’t for everyone. But pair it with some Fukushima sake, and you’ll be dining just like the locals.

4. Kitakata Ramen

One of Japan’s three major ramen noodles.

Not just a local favorite,Kitakata ramenis one of Japan’s too. This dish comes from the small town of Fukushima’s Kitakata City.

Its broth is a combination of soy sauce, tonkotsu(pork bones), and sardines. You’ll almost always find it topped with a huge portion of chashu(sliced pork).

5. Negi soba

Starbucks may have paper straws, but do they have leek spoons?

Sure. You could eat soba(buckwheat noodles) with chopsticks. Heck, you could even eat it with a fork and spoon. But if you’re visiting Fukushima, you better be prepared to eat it with a leek. This dish has a long history, but the tradition of eating soba with leeks is said to have originated in Ouchi-juku when a restaurant used leeks to add an extra layer of flavor.