Top Okayama Food You Must Try!

Top Okayama Food You Must Try!

Hi there. It’s Mr. Wada, back on duty. I would like to introduce Okayama food.

Top Okayama Food You Must Try!

Ebi-Meshi

Ebi-meshi is a kind of pilaf, usually served with prawns. Despite its dark color it isn’t salty as it seems (the color comes from demi-glace sauce, ketchup, etc). Okayama City has been promoting this as one of Okayama’s local cuisines for tourists but  an interesting fact is that many people in Okayama have never had it or don’t even know what it is. Heh.

Demi-Katsu Don

Demi-Katsu stands for demi-glace sauce and tonkatsu. Compare to average tonkatsu sauce, demi-glace sauce gives it a lot milder taste. Nomura is famous as the first restaurant that began serving it. Yamato is another popular place by locals (its ramen is popular as well).

Hormone” Udon

It is stir-fried noodles with beef internals. Since it has become popular local cousine of Tsuyama City (northern Okayama), many places in Okayama Prefecture now serve it.

Bara-Sushi

Bara-sushi is probably different from sushi you know. Its origin is from Edo era. The lord of Okayama, Terumasa Ikeda prohibited lux and instead encouraged people to have simple one-soup-one-dish meals. However people thought of a way out and came up with a dish with lots of toppings like fish, veggies, etc., just like Barasushi today, but served in reversed order to hide the toppings. It is served at many restaurants in Okayama.

Mamakari Sushi

Sushi with pickled Mamakari (a family of herring) is loved by especially those blue fish lovers. It is available at supermarkets in Okayama.

Kaki-Oko

Kaki-oko refers to oyster Okonomiyaki. It is known in Hinase City where we visit every year for the oyster festival. Oysters are best in winter but it is available all year around. Tamachan is a popular local restaurant that you may want to check out.

Ontama Meshi

Fried rice with eel (half-boiled egg on top), promoted by Tamano City as a new local cousine.

Kasaoka Ramen

A big difference between Kasaoka ramen and regular ramen is topping. Pieces of chicken meat comes on top of Kasaoka ramen instead of pork ham. Soup is also chicken base. It is said that it is because there are (were) many chicken farms in Kasaoka City (western Okayama).

Lastly

How do you find it? Some are B food but it would be interesting to try local food, wouldn’t it?

See you around!

What is Osechi Ryori Anyways?

Hi there.

What is Osechi Ryori Anyways?

Osechi ryori is traditional food for the new year holiday which used to be for the royals but now it’s for everyone.

Most of food is prepared by drying, pickling, or cooking with lots of salt to avoid using fire when god gets around, but also for giving housewives some rest since osechi ryori considerably lasts long. So people can manage with the leftover during the holiday.

However, fresh food is often used today such as roast beef or even sashimi. Well, it’s just something we couldn’t do in the old days and now we can.

Why is Osechi So Expensive?

If you have seen osechi ryori on ads, you may find it quite pricey like 20K yen (about 200 US). Well, I heard making osechi ryori takes lots of hassle and near the year end, people probably don’t have much time to spend on preparation. I suppose that pays the price? Apparently it is the best business season for those food companies. My mom used to make just easy dishes just to follow tradition and add up whatever food like karaage. Heh heh.

Meanings of Osechi Ryori

Traditionally dishes have meanings like these below.

Kuro mame (Black beans)

For wishing long life and well-being, also working hard (mame in Japanese) until you get tanned like black beans.

Kazunoko (herring eggs)

For wishing prosperity of descendants.

Kamaboko (fish cake)

For good luck with its rising-sun shape and red color (to avoid bad luck) and white (for purity)

Datemaki (egg roll)

For having good education and wisdom with its makimono (scroll) shape.

Kurikinton (sweetened chestnut paste)

Good luck for financial fortune with golden color.

Tai (grilled snapper)

For hapiness and success (medeTAI in Japanese).

Unagi (grilled eel)

By a Japanese term ‘unagi nobori’ (skyrocket).

Kobumaki (simmered rolled kombu seaweed)

For YoroKOBU (happiness)

Takenoko (simmered bamboo shoot)

For wishing growth of children and success in work like bamboo shoot that grows upright fast.

 

Well, these mostly seem like silly jokes but they mean it. Heh heh.

Lastly

How do you find it? May or may not have, it’s always good to know stuff like this for a better understanding huh?

See you around!