Kyushu is known for its long list of delicious dishes, and its food alleys are famous sightseeing spots in the region. Here are seven specialty dishes that are recommended to those traveling to Kyushu!
Nagasaki Champon (Nagasaki)
Nagasaki Champon is a specialty noodle dish from Nagasaki. It uses Champon-dama (or Champon-men), which are ultra-thick noodles made from wheat flour, sodium carbonate and other ingredients, and contains about 10 kinds of ingredients such as seafood, meat, vegetables (shrimp, squid, pork, bean sprouts, carrots, spring onions, cabbage and so on). The ingredients are fried in lard, immersed in a soup extracted from pork bones together with the noodles that are cooked hard, and then seasoned with salt, pepper and other condiments. It is quite a filling dish.
Motsunabe is a famous nabe (hot pot) dish of Hakata in Fukuoka. “Motsu” is Japanese for offal, and for motsunabe, beef offal is more commonly used. The offal is cooked in miso or soy sauce-flavored soup together with leek, cabbage, garlic and many other ingredients. While it has a strong, robust taste, many people still love it thanks to its being high in protein and low in calories. It is also rich in vitamins and other nutrients. You can relish it even while sweating on a hot summer day, or while surrounded by a lot of people on a cold winter day.
Karashi Renkon (Kumamoto)
Karashi renkon is a Kumamoto specialty . It is a dish made by filling the holes of a lotus root with a mixture of Japanese chili, miso and dry-roasted unohana (bean curd lees), covering the root in batter made from wheat flour and other ingredients, and then deep-frying the lotus root. Cut the lotus root into round slices and you can eat it many different ways – as is, slightly toasted, or with soy sauce and mayonnaise. With its pungent, spicy taste and the chewy texture of lotus root, this dish is perfect as snack for shochu (white distilled liquor) or with rice.
Chicken Namban (Miyazaki)
Chicken Namban from Miyazaki is a beloved dish of chicken coated with egg and deep-fried in oil, and then combined with sweet vinegar and other condiments. Further, it is eaten with a lot of tartar sauce, which is made of finely chopped boiled eggs, onion, cucumber pickles and mayonnaise. It may be rich in taste, but its flavors are not boring, so it has become quite a popular food.
Toriten is a local dish from Oita made by cutting chicken into bite-sized pieces and seasoning them, coating the chicken pieces with batter from a mix of wheat flour, eggs and water, and then deep-frying them like tempura. This dish is eaten with the squeezed juice of citrus, vinegar and soy sauce, or Japanese mustard. If there are too many chicken pieces, the dish will be served with raw vegetables as garnish.
Ika Shumai (Saga)
Ika Shumai (squid dumpling) is a famous food from Saga’s Karatsu. This area used to be popular for the fresh Ika Sashimi made from ika (squid) caught in the local waterways. That squid dish becoming a hit was what started the Ika Shumai trend. It is made by kneading together the upper body of soft squid, onions, eggs and sea salt. The steamed variety is famous for its unique appearance that resembles a flower blooming, soft and fluffy texture, and concentrated delicious and robust flavors.
Tonkatsu is a food item that is considered as a staple dish in Japanese cuisine. While you can eat tonkatsu anywhere in Japan, the tonkatsu in Kagoshima is famous owing to its use of pork from the region. Kagoshima is one of the leading livestock areas in the country. It is known for producing a brand of pork called Kurobuta (Berkshire pig), and the tonkatsu that uses this type of pork has become widely known as a Kagoshima specialty. Kurobuta is characterized by its crisp texture, softness, and strong taste. It is has also become a popular dish because its fat is not overwhelming. You have to try the crispy-fried batter and juicy, delicious taste the in this dish.
The dishes featured in this article are served and sold in restaurants around the major stations and tourist spots in the region, restaurants and souvenir shops inside airports, and many other places. So, how about giving them a try?
*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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