Ramen and Donburi! 4 Recommended Restaurants in Haboro, Hokkaido with Japan’s Largest Pink Shrimp Catch
Amaebi (sweet, pink shrimp) is a kind of shrimp that has a fresh, beautiful reddish color. The best fishing ground in the region, Musashitai, is located off the coast of Haboro and is apparently the place where a lot of prime amaebi can be caught. The freshness that is only natural to expect in locally caught seafood is manifested in the strong but refined sweetness and crisp palate of the amaebi. The innards in the shrimp head are also overflowing with a delicious taste! Here are four spots where you can savor Haboro’s famous specialties in various dishes.
Kita no Nishinyasan: Putting a big smile on the faces of shrimp lovers! Enjoy the donburi where the shrimp completely cover the rice
Kita no Nishinyasan is marked by the huge sign saying “Chokubaijo” (direct sale shop) that figures conspicuously on the streets of Haboro, along National Route 232. Directly run by a fishery company, this shop features retail spaces where customers can purchase seafood and processed food, as well as shop for souvenirs. The annexed restaurant that capitalizes on the advantages of this shop has been getting rave reviews for treating customers to kaisendon (bowl of rice topped with seafood sashimi) that mainly uses fresh seafood caught from Haboro and the neighboring waters at reasonable prices. This is the perfect spot for dining and shopping under one roof.
Here, the popular dish is the Amaebi-don (amaebi rice bowl) (1,100 JPY for medium-size donburi) which has amaebi shrimps shipped straight from Hakobo port covering the entire face of the rice in the bowl. Upon counting, there are around 20 pieces of amaebi that are easy to eat since their shells and heads have already been carefully removed. The Amaebi-don is the dish that is recommended to those who want to taste the delicious flavors of amaebi straight up. This shop also offers a wide array of dishes in its menu, including uni (sea urchin) and ikura (salmon roe).
Ororon Shokudo: Amaebi-only soup! Savor the ramen with deep flavors
Born from the desire to fully relish the deliciousness of amaebi, Ororon Shokudo is a restaurant that serves Amaebi-don and many other kinds of donburi dishes that combine salmon roe, sea urchin, octopus and other ingredients, as well as set meals and noodle dishes. It is a very popular spot, as evidenced by the throngs of tourists and expat families that visit this place. Further, it has transformed into a famous spot for lunch for local businessmen thanks to the fixings of its donburi dishes. Here, the donburi comes with such sides as deep-fried flounder that is not any different from the usual main dish, apparently pushing some first timers to this restaurant to sometimes say, “Hey, I did not order that.”
When you visit this spot, you have to try the Amaebi Ramen (1,100 JPY) that actually adopts the term amaebi in its name. Kuniko Yamada, the cheerful owner of this restaurant, claimed that “We use delicious amaebi, so you won’t need any other dashi (soup stock)!” On top of the shrimp-flavored salty soup with a simple yet robust taste without any harsh flavors, you will find around 10 pieces of amaebi. The rest of the bowl is filled with wakame (edible brown seaweed) and spring onions that serve as garnish. This rice bowl is a dish that is completely soaked in amaebi extracts.
Ikkyu Shokudo: The change in flavor is delicious! Try the local ramen that uses amaebi
Restaurants that have long been loved by customers usually offer an array of dishes such as ramen, soba (buckwheat noodles), curry, set meals and donburi. Ikkyu Shokudo, which has been in business for more than 40 years, is one such spot. Here, you will inevitably find it difficult to choose when you order. This shop’s regular patrons seem to have their respective favorites, but on average, the common favorites of customers are the ramen and curry dishes. Out of all the dishes in its menu, however, the most recommended item is the local ramen that uses amaebi that emerged from the collaboration of chefs from Haboro and the head chef of the Haboro Onsen Sunset Plaza.
This is the Haboro Ebi Shio Ramen (shrimp and salt ramen) (920 JPY). The soup with a rich taste of shrimps achieved through the addition of shrimp extract to the clear chicken stock is paired with noodles made from wheat grown in Hokkaido. This ramen is topped with amaebi that has been fried without coating and can be eaten whole per shrimp and the local Ebi Tako Gyoza (shrimp and octopus dumpling). As condiments, the ramen comes with Ebi Marugoto Powder (powdered whole shrimps), shrimp oil and Yagishiri Funori seaweed, and if you prefer to add these condiments, then you will be able to enjoy the evolving taste up to the last bite. Enjoy this luxurious bowl of ramen that seems to have been wrapped in amaebi flavors to the fullest!
CAFE Kirikiri: The amaebi is perfectly fused with fresh cream and pasta!
This is the Amaebi no Cream Sauce Pasta (910 JPY, ※Available only in May – October). Adding fragrant roasted amaebi to the rich sauce made with fresh cream as base draws out the complementary delicious flavors of both ingredients. As for the sauce that is perfectly mixed with the pasta, the best way to taste it is by ordering Jikasei Tennen Kobo Pan (260 JPY, homemade wild yeast bread) and then wiping the sauce from the dish plate with the bread.
You can never go wrong with any dish from any genre when you use amaebi as ingredient. Make sure to try fresh amaebi, which can only be enjoyed with locally caught fish, through the different dishes that are the pride of this restaurant.
[This article was originally published in Walkerplus on 06.21.2017]
*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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