A local dish of the Hachinohe area, this meal comprises of sembei (rice crackers) made with flour and salt broken and stewed in a soup flavored with meat, fish, mushrooms and other vegetables. The rice crackers have been especially developed for soup dishes and instead of melting when stewed, they become chewy like pasta cooked al dente and go perfectly with the flavorsome soup. Some 200 stores in Hachinohe offer the dish so you can enjoy comparing the flavors of different restaurants.
“Jappa soup” is a must-have in Aomori’s local winter menu and is made by stewing the offcuts of the area’s main winter fish, cod, together with vegetables and flavoring with salt or miso. This highly nutritious soup warms you to the core in Aomori’s cold winter and is a popular dish for families to make at home as well.
This classic Aomori local delicacy is cooked in a large scallop shell with stock broth and ingredients such as scallops, eggs and shallots, all flavored with miso. It used to be eaten when people was sick for its nutritional value long ago when eggs were a delicacy. Large scallop shells were seen as handy and most households used to have one. The shells bring more flavor the more they are used. Restaurants selling local foods always offer this dish and it often makes an appearance in breakfasts at Japanese inns.
Ooma’s valuable Bluefin tuna (also known as black tuna in Japanese) is well known throughout Japan and in 2001, a 202kg fish sold at the Tsukiji fish market auction for JPY20.2M. It’s just like a black diamond. Many different dishes are on offer including sushi or chopped tuna on rice (maguro-don).
A local delicacy of the town of Hashikami, “ichigo-ni” was freshly made on the shore by fisherman using sea urchins or abalone cultivated in Hashikami. The dish is still eaten as the soup course on formal occasions or celebrations in the region. “Ichigo” actually means “strawberry” in Japanese and the dish is said to get its name from the sight of the sea urchins in a milky white soup bearing a resemblance to wild strawberries veiled in white morning haze. One bowl costs around JPY1,000.
In late July the “Ichigo-ni Festival” is held in Hashikami. At the festival, ichigo-ni is sold along with other delicacies of the sea such as char-grilled freshly caught sea urchins and abalone.
Hachinohe holds the title of number one in Japan for the landing of squid as squid boats from all over Japan gather in the port in summer though to the start of autumn. “Hachinohe bakudan” is a local dish comprised of freshly caught squid diced and marinated with a special sauce (made with Takko garlic and ginger) served on rice with items such as salmon roe or egg yolk from Aomori.
Shichinohe burgers are made with bread rolls cooked in a local bakery filled with a beef and pork pattie and at least one out of locally produced tomatoes, yams, garlic or cassis. The various restaurants offer a great variety of styles including toppings such as tomato sauce, garlic flakes, cassis sauce, yam chips or buckwheat patties.
Ramen noodles in a soup with a miso base and a delicate balance of curry powder and milk, topped with butter, bean sprouts, bamboo shoots and wakame seaweed. This is soul food for the residents of Aomori City. In 1968, The late Mr Kiyoshi Sato, who had established a popular ramen restaurant in Sapporo’s Ramen Alley, started a new chapter in his life and opened a ramen restaurant in Aomori city where he tried a combination of milk or curry with the traditional ramen soup bases of miso, salt and soy sauce. The dishes became very popular. Then in the late 1970s, trying different combinations of flavors with ramen became a fad with junior high school and high school kids- a lasting creation of this movement is “miso curry milk ramen”.
In this dish, beef belly meat and plenty of onions are flavored with a sweet and salty soy sauce-based sauce and grilled on a hot plate. There are also variations using pork belly or horse belly meat. The dish is said to have originated around 50 years ago in the outdoor markets in front of the Misawa American army base and spread to the greater Towada City area. The dish is now a soul food adored by the people of Towada city.
A traditional Tsugaru dish popular with the locals, this rustic local delicacy is a soup of chopped vegetables including horse radish, carrots and burdock root as well as wild mountain greens such as butterbur, bracken and ferns with fried bean curd and frozen tofu all flavored with miso paste. (Some restaurants also add mashed soybeans to the finished product.)