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The Local Food of Tokushima

With ocean on the East and South sides of Tokushima and mountains surrounding the West, it is a treasure trove of ingredients grown in natural surroundings and delicious food. Furthermore, Tokushima’s agricultural produce and seafood is well recognized for maintaining both large production volumes and a high level of quality and it is reputed to be the “kitchen” of the Kansai region.

Tokushima Ramen (Tokushima-wide)

“Tokushima ramen” (noodles) is known for the charred brown hue of its pork bone and soy sauce soup topped with sukiyaki-style sweet and spicy pork belly and a raw egg.
You can add the raw egg if you prefer but it is also fine without. Due to the rich flavor, Tokushima residents often eat their Tokushima ramen with white rice. Stores that offer a traditional, lighter yellow and white soup are also very popular.

Tokushima ramen has become a recognized dish around Japan after a Tokushima ramen store opened at the Shin-Yokohama Raumen Museum in 1999.


Awaodori (Tokushima-wide)

Free-range chicken from Tokushima, Awaodori meat has a slight red tinge to it. It is known for being low in fat with a good texture and a sweet yet rich flavor. 

This dish *Chicken was named for the beautiful tail feathers of this bird that embodies the powerful, energetic, healthy, uplifting vibe of the local Awa Odori Dance Festival, Tokushima’s biggest summer event. *Awa used to be the name for the Tokushima region.

The chicken can be enjoyed marinated and roasted, grilled on skewers as yakitori, battered for kara-age or eaten in a hot pot.


Fish Katsu (Tokushima-wide)

Fish katsu is a local food that has been loved by the everyday folk of Tokushima since long ago. To create fish katsu, minced fish is mixed with curry powder and spices, covered with breadcrumbs and deep-fried. It is often served as a snack for kids, enjoyed with beer by adults or is used to form part of another dish.

Fish katsu is sold at the side dish area of supermarkets and convenience stores in Tokushima prefecture. If you heat it up in an oven toaster the batter becomes crispy and it can be enjoyed eaten as is or it is also delicious with soy sauce, Japanese sauce (similar to Worcestershire sauce) or mayonnaise. It is often on the menu at traditional Japanese pubs so can easily be enjoyed by visitors as well.


Dekomawashi (Miyoshi City)

Dekomawashi are skewers of potato, tofu and konnyaku (devil’s tongue), basted with a miso sauce and grilled over a charcoal fire.

The name comes from the sight of the sticks rotating (mawashi) as they are cooked, looking like deko wooden dolls. This is a local dish of the Iya area in the west of Tokushima.


Soba Rice Porridge (Miyoshi City)

Soba (buckwheat) rice porridge is a local dish of the Iya area in the west of Tokushima. Iya is an area surrounded by high mountains, meaning rice cannot be produced, and so the people grew soba (buckwheat) instead. To prepare soba rice, buckwheat seeds are boiled with salt, hulled and the remaining kernels are then dried. This dish is said to have been started by the defeated Taira clan who fled to the Iya area after the Genpei War (1180s) and created soba rice porridge as a new year’s food in memory of the old capital.

It is said to be quite rare in Japan to eat the seeds of the soba plant instead of making flour from them.


Iya Soba (Miyoshi City)

Iya soba (buckwheat noodles), cultivated in the pure water and clean air of the region, is said to have been brought to Iya by the defeated Taira clan and is a classic home-cooked meal in the relatively undiscovered Iya region.
The short, thick noodles are unique to this dish. These thicker noodles, which use very little binding agent, are easy to snap and a little rough on the tongue. Add them to a lightly flavored stock broth and you can enjoy the original taste and aroma of soba.


Kaizoku Ryori (East and South Tokushima)

In kaizoku ryori (“pirate food”) you grill and eat whole seafood such as lobster, scampi, abalone and turban shell mollusks. This is a fitting cooking style for Tokushima where many products come from the sea. The wafting aroma of the sea when you grill your seafood will whet your appetite.


Minamiawa-don (South Tokushima)

In the traditional pubs in southern Tokushima you can enjoy the Minamiawa-don (Southern Awa rice bowl), made with fresh agricultural produce from the region.
Minamiawa-don comprises of a bowl of rice grown in southern Tokushima topped with seafood caught, or meat and other produce grown, in the south of the prefecture.

The classic version of Minamiawa-don presents Awao chicken and squid together in one bowl. You can enjoy two types of ingredients in this dish, known as “Minamiawa migiagari-don”. Squid legs mixed through the rice mean you can fully appreciate the flavor of the squid.