If you’re visiting Aomori, you probably know about arajiru soup; but you absolutely must try other seafood items like tuna rice bowls, fresh grilled scallops, sashimi, and more.
The fresh seafood of Aomori is so good that the moment you put namero (minced fish with strong seasonings) or aburitoro nigiri (seared tuna nigiri) into your mouth, you won’t even think, “Delicious!” You’ll just groan with delight. Whether you go to an izakaya pub, a small restaurant, a low-cost restaurant, or anywhere else, it’s almost impossible not to find fresh and delicious sashimi, rice bowls, etc.
Still, the gourmet seafood dishes beloved by locals are extra-delicious! There are tons of surprising gourmet foods that make non-locals go, “Huh?” We’ll let you in on the secret of those little-known gourmet meals.
1. A Staple of Home Cooking: Senbei-Shiru
Senbei-shiru is an exquisite soup and a must-try staple of local home cooking.
Senbei-shiru is loaded with ingredients like burdock, carrots, shiitake mushrooms, shimeji mushrooms, ito-konnyaku noodles, green onions, and chicken. Savory vegetables melt into the broth made with dried sardines and chicken. Of course, the senbei rice crackers are southern senbei! A soft texture that slides down your throat is one draw of this soup. Treat yourself to senbei-shiru made with large mackerel from Hachinohe ocean waters by visiting Sabano Station, Miroku-Yokocho, Muika-machi, Hachinohe City. Mackerel specialty restaurants make senbei-shiru with mackerel meat and delicious broth. The soup goes great with alcohol, too.
2. Aomori Miso Butter Milk Ramen
A striking name! What do you think? This soup contains a rich harmony of butter steadily melted with curry powder and milk, followed by an alluring deep aftertaste of miso and spice. It’s filled with squiggly noodles and heaped with vegetables. Other ingredients include roasted pork fillet, bean sprouts, wakame seaweed, and bamboo shoots. You can probably understand why this delicious meal moved from the backs of menus to become a feature item. Miso and curry are distinctive seasonings, but the addition of milk produces a mild flavor, making it surprisingly easy to eat. This “Aomori Miso Butter Milk Ramen” is also sold as a limited local Cup Noodles variety. Check convenience stores and supermarkets to buy some as souvenirs.
3. Towada Barayaki
Towada barayaki is a B-grade gourmet dish that originated in Misawa City about 60 years ago. It’s also known as the “leader of the B-grade gourmet world.” This dish contains grilled beef ribs and onions, but above all it stands out for its sweet and spicy sauce! There are two styles: grill it yourself on a restaurant table griddle, or have it made for you.
Towada City barayaki restaurant owners are also holding Towada barayaki seminars, and special shops are spreading the word about Towada barayaki all over the country, so make sure to go and try it. Some restaurants offer horse meat barayaki, while others offer house-made sauce; with so many options, why not try a taste comparison too?
We couldn’t introduce them this time, but there are lots of other local gourmet foods that even sound appealing, like “kuroiishi tsuyu yakisoba” (yakisoba noodles with Japanese-style seasoning) and “shoga miso oden” (oden with grated ginger miso sauce). A powerful local gourmet ally is your local taxi driver! When you use a taxi, try asking your driver what exceptional local gourmet foods they recommend.
This post is also available in: Japanese