Perfect for Winter! Top 5 Spots for Enjoying Extra Spicy Food in Osaka
When people talk about Japan, what usually comes to mind is washoku (Japanese cuisine), but spicy dishes are actually quite famous too. They are perfect for Japan’s cold winter! Below are five shops in Osaka where you can savor extremely spicy dishes.
1. Akakara Ebisubashi Shop – Akakara Nabe
Akakara Nabe (990 JPY (excl. tax) for one person, with orders required to be at least for two persons) is a hot pot dish that takes pride in its secret soup that blends Nagoya’s specialty akamiso (red miso) and akatogarashi (red pepper). You can really get hooked once you’ve tried it, what with the richness and spiciness of the miso seeping into and covering the chewy motsu (offal). There are 11 levels of spiciness to this dish, and you can choose from “Aka-zeroban” (Level 0) that even those who are not into spicy foods will enjoy, up to “Aka-juban” (Level 10), which is spicy enough to bring tears to your eyes. However, the most popular is “Aka-sanban” (Level 3) that has a moderate level of spiciness. The deep taste coming from the biting spiciness is actually quite exquisite. Enjoy it with lots of vegetables. The Cheese Risotto (380 JPY (excl. tax)) to wrap up the meal is popular with women. It is a very spicy hot pot dish that you won’t get tired of until the last bite.
2. Chankara – Gekikara Jigoku Chanko
Gekikara Jigoku Chanko (1,200 JPY (excl. tax)) is a dish which will make you say “Delicious!” and “Hot!” at the same time. It is a chankonabe (a hot pot dish containing a lot of ingredients that is commonly served to sumo wrestlers) with eight ingredients inside, including pork and fish balls. If you choose a level of spiciness that is anywhere from Level 5 to Level 10, then they will put a red pepper in the dish right in front of your eyes while someone says “It’s dangerous, so please step back” into a microphone. This is actually an authentic chankonabe shop created by a professional wrestler. It is a place that is enjoyed not only by people who love spicy food, but also by those who love professional wrestling.
3. Panyu – Gyuniku no Togarashi Nikomi
The Gyuniku no Togarashi Nikomi (2,000 JPY) is a dish that uses authentic spices that the owner of the restaurant bought from Sichuan, China. It is one of the typical Sichuan dishes that use red peppers, Sichuan peppers and other spicy condiments, with the meat sliced into bite-sized pieces and then stewed in soup with oil. A bowlful of this stew is bright red in color due to the red peppers. Once you take a bite, your mouth will feel numb from the spiciness, but you might also find it not as spicy as it looks. As you continue to eat, you won’t be able to stop your chopsticks from reaching into the rich umami flavor (a Japanese savory flavor) inside that spiciness. The aroma of the red peppers will definitely make you eat a lot of rice.
4. spice32 Osaka Ekimae Building Branch – Spicy Curry
The Spicy Curry (900 JPY (incl. tax)), an extra hot curry that originated in Kobe, is a simple curry dish of slowly simmered beef and roux. Be careful with your first bite, though. The moment it enters your mouth, you will taste the delicious flavors, but then it suddenly hits you with the kind of spiciness that exceeds your imagination. It is a sharp, biting kind of spiciness, but oddly enough, you will also find it delicious. You can make it milder by stirring in some olive oil that is placed on the table. Toppings such as Onsen Tamago (soft-boiled egg) (50 JPY (incl. tax)) and Cheese (150 JPY (incl. tax)) will also lessen the spiciness to give you a mild taste. It is a stimulating curry that is delicious yet spicy!
5. Engi – Sichuan-fu Mabodofu
Most of the people who come to this restaurant order its signature dish – the Sichuan-fu Mabodofu (dish of tofu and minced meat) (800 JPY (incl. tax)). The unique spiciness of home grown Japanese peppers that give a tingling sensation to your tongue, along with the deep umami flavors of the other ingredients, will make you want more. It is served simmering in an iron pot so that it does not get cold. You can have this dish spicier, you just need to add 100 JPY (incl. tax) to upgrade to the Cho-Gekikara Mabodofu. Its spicy goodness makes it perfect with sake and rice. Enjoy the numbing deliciousness of this authentic Chinese dish that is created by a chef who came from a Michelin-starred restaurant.
Hot dishes that fuse spiciness and umami (Japanese savory flavors) can be addicting. If you eat while sweating, you will also feel refreshed afterwards. So, indulge in some extra spicy dishes that will warm your body and soul on cold winter days.
*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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