A quick look at Japan’s top 10 culinary destinations (part 2)
Today we’ll be following up on our list of of Japan’s top 10 culinary destinations, going further into places of Japan that you might not have heard of as of yet.
The entire northern island of Hokkaido should be on any gourmet’s destination list, being well known for several different approaches on the noodle dish ramen, as well as a lamb barbecue known locally as jingisukan – after Genghis Khan, a reference to the convex table grill on which the meat is prepared and how it looked like a Mongolian warrior helmet.
Despite the noodles and lamb though, the real attraction of the island is in its fish and seafood, especially the crab and salmon. The Hakodate morning fish market is where you can spoil yourself with bowls of noodles or rice ropped with cuts of just caught seafood.
Grilled eel, or unagi, is one of the tastiest dishes in washoku’s repertoire, and Nagoya is definitely the place to try it. Make sure to try the hitsumabushi – which has the savoury sauce-basted eel stript eaten in three different ways: first is the traditional style atop a bed of ride, the second is with a sprinkling of dried seaweed, spring onion and wasabi, and the third is mixed in with soup.
Soba noodles made from buckwheat are quite possibly the pride of Nagano prefecture and in the very attractive castle town fo Matsumoto there are several well-known vendors – such as Nogumi. This is where handmade noodles have garnered such a reputation that customers will line up early to make sure that they get a serving before the shop shuts at 2PM or till it sells out. The more adventurous of eaters may want to try the basashi – this slices of raw horsemeat served at the Kura restaurant.