3 carefully selected gourmet foods in Hokkaido (specialties/local dishes, etc. that you must try)

🕓 2023/3/10

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About Hokkaido gourmet food

Hokkaido's gourmet cuisine is characterized by a wide variety of dishes that make use of seasonal seafood and mountain produce. For example, in winter, Ishikari nabe, which soothes the cold, and seafood bowl made with sea urchin from Lake Saroma are famous. Also popular are soup curry, which originated in Sapporo, and rich soft-serve ice cream made with fresh milk. Genghis Khan, made with locally sourced ingredients, gives visitors a sense of the great nature of Hokkaido. These gourmet foods symbolize Hokkaido's rich food culture and continue to be loved by many tourists.

3 carefully selected gourmet foods in Hokkaido

1. Sapporo Ramen

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● The charm of Sapporo ramen

One of the charms of Sapporo ramen is its wide variety. The noodles often used are ``curled noodles,'' which are ``multi-hydrated aged noodles'' developed by Nishiyama Seimenjo, and the use of these noodles has spread throughout Hokkaido. The soup is made to suit Sapporo's cold climate by adding lard and other ingredients, and the soup is generally pork bone-based. Ingredients include roasted pork, menma, green onions, and other stir-fried vegetables such as onions, cabbage, and bean sprouts. These ideas create delicious Sapporo ramen.​​​​

● History of Sapporo Ramen

The history of Sapporo ramen begins with ``tebumi-style'' ramen, which uses handmade noodles and salty soup. Due to material controls after World War II, these stores disappeared for a while, but after the war in 1946, people repatriated from Manchuria began serving tonkotsu soup ramen at food stalls, and this became the current style. It became the origin of Sapporo ramen. Ryuho and Darumaken, which opened during this period, became popular restaurants, and Ryuho in particular had a great influence on the subsequent development of Sapporo ramen.

In 1951, the ``Koraku Ramen Meitengai'' was born, and is said to be the beginning of Sapporo Ramen Yokocho. Early Sapporo ramen was mainly flavored with soy sauce, but in 1955, miso ramen was developed at Aji no Sanpei, and its name spread throughout the country. After this, miso ramen became synonymous with Sapporo ramen, and Sapporo ramen became popular all over the country.

● If you want to eat miso ramen, this is the place! !

  • Store name: Sumire
  • charm:
    The characteristic feature is the lard film that covers the soup, which keeps the soup piping hot and adds richness. A central figure in the Sapporo ramen world's major force, Junsumi-kei. This restaurant is the centerpiece of the ``Junsumi'' ramen restaurants, which are a major force in the Sapporo ramen world, and are particularly distinctive for the lard film floating in the soup.
    This lard film helps keep the soup hot and adds flavor. This idea, born in the extremely cold Sapporo, can be said to be unique to Sapporo ramen. In Sapporo, ``Junren'' and ``Sumire'' exist under separate management, and you can enjoy their own unique flavors at each store.
  • 4-7-28 Nakanoshima 2-jo, Toyohira-ku, Sapporo, Hokkaido (multiple stores)
  • Access: 10 minutes walk from Nakanoshima Station on the Namboku Subway Line 580m from Nakanoshima Station
  • Google Maps: :https://maps.app.goo.gl/FbRNy3A4rEaHJSfz7




2. Ishikari pot

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● The charm of Ishikari Nabe

Ishikari nabe is a hotpot dish that uses plenty of Hokkaido's abundant seafood, especially fresh salmon. By simmering salmon and seasonal vegetables in a miso-based soup, you can enjoy the deep flavor and rich flavor. This hot pot is made even more luxurious by adding salmon roe, milt, and suji roe, and is well-known as a dish that makes the most of local ingredients.​​​​​​

● History of Ishikari Nabe

The history of Ishikari nabe has its origins in the Ishikari region of Hokkaido. This area is located near the mouth of the Ishikari River, where salmon swim upstream to spawn, hence the name Ishikari Nabe. Ishikari nabe is said to have been introduced to the world by Kintaitei, a kappo restaurant in Ishikari City that was founded around 1880. It is based on a dish that was originally eaten by local fishermen as a meal by adding pieces of salmon, salmon roe, and vegetables to miso soup. At Kindaitei, we have added original ideas such as the use of Western vegetables and the use of Japanese pepper to add richness to the hot pot and reduce the fishy smell of the salmon.

It was selected as one of Hokkaido's representative local dishes, along with Genghis Khan and Chanchanyaki, in the ``Top 100 Local Dishes of Rural Areas'' selected by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.

In order to further popularize Ishikari Nabe, an organization called the Akimi no Kai was formed and September 15th was designated as the Ishikari Nabe Memorial Day. This day is associated with the season when salmon is caught in Ishikari, and was chosen as a play on the phrases ``eating time'' and ``let's go eat.''​​

● If you want to eat Ishikari hotpot, this is the place! !

  • Store name: Kindaitei
  • charm:
    A historic restaurant that is said to have been the first to serve Ishikari nabe. It is characterized by an exterior that gives you a sense of its long history, as well as exhibits inside the store that give you a sense of Ishikari's long history.
    This is the birthplace of Ishikari Nabe, which only requires reservations, and offers a menu that is easy for foreigners to enjoy, limited to this product.
  • Address: 1 Shinmachi, Ishikari City, Hokkaido
  • Access: From Sapporo Terminal (near the TV Tower), take the Hokkaido Chuo Bus Ishikari Line and get off at Ishikari bus stop, then walk 2 minutes
  • Google Maps https://maps.app.goo.gl/WuS2VrL7yRtjRoZ26




3. Genghis Khan

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● The charm of Genghis Khan

Genghis Khan is a Japanese grilled meat dish made with mutton, and is especially known as a specialty of Hokkaido. This dish is enjoyed by grilling mutton, lamb, or other mutton and vegetables in a special pot, and is unique in that the juices from the meat are used to cook the vegetables while eating.

Genghis Khan is cooked in a special dome-shaped pot. The shape of this pot allows the meat to be grilled in the center and the vegetables to be cooked on the outside, allowing the juices to flow into the vegetables and making them delicious. It has the unique juiciness of mutton and the deep flavor of the sauce. Lamb from Hokkaido has less flavor, and the sweetness of apples and onions makes it even more delicious.

● History of Genghis Khan

There is a popular belief that Genghis Khan was invented by Genghis Khan of the Mongol Empire, but it is said that the origin of Genghis Khan cuisine in Japan lies in mainland China, where the Japanese army got the idea from roasted lamb when it invaded Manchuria. Specifically, it is believed that Japanese people who had expanded into Manchuria (present-day China) saw the local mutton dish, brought it back to Japan, and remade it with some adaptations for Japanese tastes. ​​​.

In Japan, sheep have been raised in Hokkaido since the Meiji period. In 1918, the ``One Million Sheep Plan'' was created with the aim of achieving wool self-sufficiency, and an attempt was made to increase farmers' incomes by increasing the consumption of sheep meat. As a result, the development of mutton dishes progressed and Genghis Khan was born. Specifically, in the early Showa era, mutton became readily available at breeding sheep farms in Hokkaido, and in 1933, Yokozuna, a Genghis Khan specialty store, was opened in Sapporo. After that, Genghis Khan continued to spread throughout Hokkaido.​​

● If you want to eat Ishikari hotpot, this is the place! !

  • Address: Sapporo Seikichi Shikan Shirokuma Sapporo Main Store
  • charm:
    This restaurant specializes in Genghis Khan dishes, serving fresh mutton that has never been frozen. The restaurant has a casual atmosphere with only a counter, so you can casually enjoy authentic flavors.
    One of the great appeals of this restaurant is that you can enjoy rare dishes that you don't often see, such as lamb liver sashimi and heart sashimi.。
  • Address: Joyful Sapporo 1F, Minami 6-jo Nishi 3, Chuo-ku, Sapporo, Hokkaido
  • Access: 3 minutes walk from Susukino Station on the Subway Namboku Line, 1 minute walk from Hosui Susukino Station on the Toho Subway Line, 159m from Hosui Susukino Station
  • google map: https://maps.app.goo.gl/QHrXbHNZVfQ3fJYY6