From Local Dishes to Famous Cuisine! 4 Delicious Dishes to Eat in Iwate
One of the best parts of traveling is enjoying the delicious flavors available only in that region! Here are 4 delicious dishes in Iwate to try, from traditional local cuisine to famous dishes beloved by locals.
1. Morioka Reimen
Morioka reimen is one of the most representative dishes of Iwate. The cold noodles made from buckwheat and starch in cold soup and topped with various ingredients originally came from Korea but were adjusted to become this famous dish from Morioka.
The noodles are chewy and slippery. The cold soup made from beef and chicken bones is full of flavor.
The topping you definitely shouldn't miss is the kimchi that adds the perfect amount of acidity and spiciness. It also comes with other toppings like roasted beef, boiled egg, and pickled cucumbers.
Hittsumi is a local dish that you can eat all over the prefecture and is recommended for people who want to try traditional home cooking. Wheat flour is mixed with water and kneaded thinly then torn apart by hand, then stewed in a broth flavored with soy sauce. The dough gets plump and soft and suits the simple yet rich flavor.
Since it's a meal made casually at home, you can use various ingredients like carrots, burdock root, daikon radish, green onions, and more. Depending on the region and home, they might make the main ingredient freshwater crab, sweetfish, chicken, or pumpkin. If you eat it in the cold winter, you'll be warmed body and soul.
Also, the name is said to come from the phrase "ripped apart by hand" in the local Iwate dialect. Depending on the region, it is also called "tottenage" and "tsumeri."
This is a dish from Yamagata, an inland area within Kuji. Broth made from dried fish and konbu kelp is seasoned with soy sauce, then stewed with flour dumplings called "mamebu." Other ingredients such as carrots, burdock root, shimeji mushrooms, and tofu are also used. It's a regional traditional dish served at auspicious occasions like New Year's, weddings, and festival days.
It's a stewed dish similar to hittsumi, but mamebujiru's unique point is that the dumplings have walnuts and brown sugar inside of them. When you bite into a dumpling, you can enjoy the crispiness of the walnut and the aroma that engulfs your mouth, and the sweetness of the brown sugar matches perfectly with the salty broth.
4. Nanbu Senbei
Nanbu senbei are perfect for souvenirs. They're made from wheat and baked in a round mold, and their simple flavor allows you to enjoy the natural sweetness of wheat. They're a traditional snack that you can eat in a wide region, including the northern part of Iwate and the eastern part of Aomori.
There are many variations based on ingredients added to the dough, and a very popular flavor is the fragrant black sesame. Many locals add sugar syrup or butter to the senbei when they eat it.
Peanuts are also another sweet standard. There are many flavors like squid, shrimp, apple, soy sauce, and more, so why not check out a bunch of flavors and compare? Recently, a cookie version with a crisp texture has also become popular.
Other than these dishes, Iwate has plenty of simply flavored regional dishes and sweets. You can find them at restaurants and souvenir shops around major stations throughout the prefecture, so please try them!
*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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