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You’ll definitely want to try them! 7 Recommended Specialty Dishes of Hiroshima

Hiroshima is a place that offers a whole lot of specialty dishes, such as the staple okonomiyaki (savory pancakes with various ingredients) and the local ramen as well as dishes that make full use of the bountiful seafood catch from Seto Inland Sea. Here are seven recommended dishes in Hiroshima that you must try when you visit.

2017.03.30
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1. Okonomiyaki

Okonomiyaki is famous as a cheap yet delicious food that is representative of Japanese cuisine. Eaten with sauce and mayonnaise on top, this dish is made by mixing vegetables, thinly sliced meats and other ingredients with batter from flour dissolved in water and then frying the savory mix like a pancake. Osaka and Hiroshima are especially famous when it comes to okonomiyaki that there is even a variant of this dish that is called “Hiroshima style.” In Hiroshima-style okonomiyaki, the ingredients and batter are not mixed together like in the usual okonomiyaki, but are layered on top of each other and then fried. Many shops even add Chinese noodles on top of their okonomiyaki, turning their dish into one that is really filling. Hiroshima is also well known for the so-called Fuchu-yaki, a kind of okonomiyaki from the Fuchu area that uses ground meat instead of thinly sliced meat. In any case, okonomiyaki is a filling dish, so it would be best to come when you are starving to better appreciate this specialty.


2. Age-momiji

Miyajima is a spot in Hiroshima that is famous for the Itsukushima Shrine. The specialty of this area is the momiji manju, a leaf-shaped sweet that is made by filling sponge cake-like dough with red bean paste (made by boiling and smashing azuki beans and then adding sugar to the beans). A new favorite has emerged from this area in recent years, though, the “age-momiji.” Age-momiji is the tempura variant of momiji manju. The manju is coated with batter and then deep-fried, so the outside is crispy and the inside is springy in texture. This is best eaten fresh out of the pan, so it is not good as a souvenir to take home. If you find this specialty, however, you must try one.


3. Hiroshima ramen

People who are familiar with ramen probably know that the taste of ramen varies depending on the area or region. The typical local ramen in Hiroshima is characterized by a simple tonkotsu (pork bones) and soy sauce flavor. It has a mild and refreshing taste that you won’t mind eating often.

4. Hiroshima Ee-jan Nabe

Hiroshima, sandwiched by the Chugoku Mountains on the north and the Seto Inland Sea on the south, is a goldmine of ingredients harvested from the bounty of the mountains and seas. The ee-jan nabe is a hot pot dish that was developed based on the concept of enjoying various local ingredients from Hiroshima all together. This dish features Hiroshima’s very own oysters, as well as beef, pork and vegetables, all stewed in a special soup. It has been gaining popularity since it debuted in 2005, and right now, you can order this in izakaya (Japanese-style tavern) and other establishments in the region. Try it on a cold day in winter.


5. Wani (shark) cuisine

While the term “wani” actually means crocodile, but ancient sharks were also called “wani.” Today, “wani” still means "shark" in Hiroshima. Now when it comes to sharks, shark fin may be a high-class ingredient in Chinese cuisine, but its flesh can also be eaten. It is not the kind of fish that is generally served, so you cannot necessarily eat it everywhere in Japan. In Hiroshima, though, the flesh of minor sharks is famous as sashimi, with sushi shops in the Bihoku region serving this delicacy. This is a dish that is recommended to those who want to try fish that is a little different.

6. Oysters

Oysters are available anywhere in the world, but in Japan, there are two places that are famous for their oysters: Miyagi and Hiroshima. The oyster output of Hiroshima is the largest in Japan, with the total volume of oysters from that region accounting for more than half of the total oyster production in the country. Japanese people eat oysters raw with just a lemon and momiji oroshi (grated daikon radish and chili), deep-fried, or in oyster rice wherein the oysters are cooked together with rice. If you happen to go to Hiroshima, then you must drop by one of the many oyster huts in the region. The oyster booths that are open near the fishing harbors only in winter are places where you can have freshly caught oysters grilled right in front of you. So, how about enjoying fresh oysters while enjoying the smell of the ocean?

7. Anago-meshi

Anago (conger eel) is a black, slender and snakelike fish that resembles unagi (freshwater eel). While unagi packs a lot of fat, anago has a simpler and milder taste. In Hiroshima, Miyajima is known as the home of anago. Here, people serve the famous anago-meshi, a bowl of rice topped with anago stewed or grilled in soy sauce-based sweet sauce. There are shops that sell ekiben (boxed lunch bought at train stations) with anago-meshi, so having it while traveling is also a great idea.

Try all the different specialty dishes that Hiroshima has to offer!

*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.

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Writer: aoshima

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