Enjoy Ekiben From All Across Japan! 12 Regional Ekiben Available at Shin-Osaka Station
Shinkansen (bullet train) stations are known as great places to buy ekiben (lunch boxes sold at stations). In particular, Eki Marché Shin-Osaka – located at the conventional (non-shinkansen) line concourse in Shin-Osaka Station – has Tabibento Ekiben Nigiwai, which is a shop selling ekiben from around the country, as well as Kamigata Aji Hyakkei – a store that sells ekiben containing Osaka’s specialty foods. Some of these are only available for a limited time, so be sure to check them out! ＜*This information is from Kansai Walker (published June 5, 2018)＞
Sanpo-meshi (1,180 JPY) is a famous ekiben from Wakkanai Station that is full of the three major seafoods from the northern seas: sea urchin, snow crab, and salmon and its roe. Notice that there are salmon flakes under the salmon roe, creating an oyako-don (mother/child bowl).
【The intense attention of detail shown by changing the rice to suit each ingredient】The sea urchin is served on vinegared rice, while the snow crab and salmon roe come with cha-meshi (rice cooked in tea). The minute change in the taste of the rice is stunning. The rich flavors of the ingredients are enhanced. (editorial department)
This is the Beef Steak Box (1,150 JPY). Marinated for a whole day in sauce, the beef steak is full of flavor even when eaten cold. The juicy soboro (minced meat cooked in a soy sauce-based sauce) also goes perfectly with the rice. This is a boxed meal that is like a steak rice bowl and soboro rice bowl all in one!
This is the Fufu Anago-meshi (Husband-and-Wife Conger Eel Box) (1,150 JPY). It contains two big, tender conger eels cooked in a secret sauce! The taste of the sweet sauce that spreads after you taste the plump eel is almost addictive. The deep-fried bones that are sprinkled on top are a welcome touch.
Karashi Mentai & Hakata Jidori Meshi (1,150 JPY) is a collaboration between Shoeiken, which has been making ekiben for almost 90 years in Kagoshima, and Maruichi, a Hakata producer of karashi mentaiko (spicy pollack roe). It is a boxed meal with one whole mentaiko and tasty free-range chicken.
Kushiro Gyosho (1,050 JPY) is a very famous ekiben that is considered to be an essential when travelling around eastern Hokkaido. It is full of crab meat, which go perfectly with the vinegared rice. Drop a little soy sauce on the large pieces of salmon to add to the rich flavor.
Echizen Kanimeshi (1,250 JPY) is a popular ekiben that consists of the meat of red snow crab and snow crab layered on top of rice cooked with the insides of female snow crabs. At home, it can be enjoyed as zosui (porridge) by pouring hot water over it.
Gyutan-don Bento Shio-aji (1,080 JPY) is an ekiben made by the famous Sendai beef tongue shop, Rikyu. Consisting of beef tongue cooked with a salty sauce served on top of rice mixed with barley, this ekiben may seems simple, but that’s what allows the flavors to come through. Wrap the beef around the rice to enjoy.
【The accompanying nanban miso enhances the flavor】Beef tongue meal sets are usually served with nanban miso (miso with chili peppers) and rice mixed with barley. This ekiben contains all of that. You’ll taste the deeper flavor achieved by eating the beef tongue with the nanban miso. (editorial department)
Ishikari Meshi (1,080 JPY) is an ekiben consisting of salmon flakes, kinshi tamago (thin omelet cut into strips), and heaps of salmon roe marinated in soy sauce on top of rice. The combination of the flavor of the salmon roe that floods the mouth and the aftertaste of the salmon flakes is outstanding.
Hanasaki Kani Meshi (1,100 JPY) is an ekiben of blue king crab, which is one of the three major crabs of Hokkaido. It was considered hard to make into bento because of how difficult it was to get the meat out of the shell. This is a wonderful bento that will let you enjoy the unique flavor of blue king crab through the meat and rice cooked in a crab broth.
Gyu-tan Makanai-don (880 JPY) is an ekiben in which the soft-boiled egg, put in the middle of a layer of small beef tongue pieces, has a presence. Mix the egg with the beef using chopsticks to enhance the flavor of the dish. It also comes with nanban miso to give a twist to the taste.
Sakurajima Torimeshi (980 JPY) is an impressive ekiben packed with a layer of chicken breast teriyaki on top of rice. There is also a layer of kinpira (chopped burdock root and carrots cooked in sugar and soy sauce) under the chicken, so it can be enjoyed as either a chicken rice bowl or as rice with chicken and kinpira on the side.
【Mix in mustard greens to enhance the flavor】Eating just the chicken is fulfilling enough, but try mixing in some pickled mustard greens. The saltiness of the mustard greens greatly enhances the flavor of the sweet and savory sauce! (editorial department)
Hello Kitty Bento (1,100 JPY) is a cute bento adorned with Hello Kitty dressed up as Momotaro (a popular hero from Japanese folklore). It consists of rice with juicy karaage (deep-fried chicken) and is perfect for children. The Hello Kitty kamaboko (steamed seasoned fish paste) is also very cute.
Tabibento Ekiben Nigiwai is currently offering ekiben from around the country that are made and sold on-site for a limited time, so be sure to check them out!
■Tabibento Ekiben Nigiwai
Location: Past the gates of the conventional line concourse at JR Shin-Osaka Station
Tabibento Ekiben Nigiwai
[This article was originally published in Walkerplus on 06.08.2018]
*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.