Local Tottori people don’t realize that their favorite gyukotsu ramen is an unique cuisine to others. In addition, restaurants believe gyukotsu ramen is the norm.
People are not obsessed to the point of being closed-minded, but it is a stubbornness that chefs have become accustomed to. People do not tend to like extremely gorgeous and fresh things, but they just continue to really love good things. We continue to support such people, and continue to gaze at the magnificent mountains and clear ocean in this region which has an abundance of nature.
Some part of genkotsu ramen is an accumulation of both old-style Japan and what still remains of Tottori Prefecture.
In general, it’s normal for us to think fish meat when you talk about Chikuwa. However, of throughout the whole of Japan, only in the mid-eastern region of Tottori Prefecture has tofu Chikuwa as its uniquely processed food, where firm tofu and minced white fish is mixed at a ratio of 7 to 3 and then steamed.
Tofu Chikuwa has a very delicate flavour, and releases a gentle tofu fragrance once you put it in your mouth. It somewhat feels as if tofu Chikuwa attained the level of gourmet through simplicity and frugality. Tofu and fish are both considered, of course, healthy food. It could even be said that tofu Chikuwa is ideal for those worried about metabolic syndrome.
A traditional local cuisine of the Western region of Tottori, specifically on the Yumigahama Peninsula, Itadaki consists of raw rice and vegetables wrapped in a large sheet of deep-fried tofu and carefully cooked in fish stock.
Although it may look like a big Inarizushi, the method of cooking and taste are completely different. Originating in the local area, Itadaki can be found supermarkets, Izakaya Pub, and through the encouragement for promotion by community groups, it is becoming available at more stores and restaurants in the region.
It is said that Itadaki was initially packed in the lunch box of fishermen and farmers. Upon taking a big bite with your mouthful, your face will instinctively become big smile with happiness by the bursting sweet and delicious flavour.
Juicy with a rich scent and melt-in-your-mouth mild flavor, the ago (Japanese flying fish) of San’in region has become a new local gourmet.
Ago from Agasaki in Kotoura, Tohaku region of Tottori Prefecture are minced and then deep fried. Ago are known as flying fish only in the San’in region (Tottori and Shimane Prefectures) and in Kyushu (Hakata and Nagasaki). Such ago are the pride of each restaurant’s curry topping. Currently there are 10 restaurants in Kotoura offering this dish.
This dish has been loved for 50 years in the eastern region of Tottori Prefecture, and is widely known as “Horu Soba”.
In the 1950s and 1960s, Chinese noodles (chuka-soba) were added to dishes of beef offal and vegetables fried in miso sauce, which was available at the many yakisoba and hormone restaurants in Tottori City. This is where the delicious flavour is thought to have started.
Nowadays, the dish can be eaten at restaurants and yakiniku establishments concentrated in Tottori City.
When eating just a mouthful of hormone yakisoba, the sauce, offal, noodles and other ingredients vary from restaurant to restaurant, providing a range of flavours and ways of eating.
Tottori zoni (soup with pounded rice cakes) usually consists of white mochi, but in the town of Misasa located in the central region of Tottori Prefecture, instead of white mochi, “Tochi-Mochi (brown mochi)” (cake made from pounded horse chestnuts and mocha) is used.
Focusing on such a unique food culture, the organization “Misasa Tochimochi Zoni Enjoy” was established to actively promote “tochimochi zonu” to the region.
When you hear the name you would probably think of “ramen with no toppings”. When you see su-ramen in front of you, your first thought would be “it smells like udon”.
Su-ramen originated in a restaurant called “Musashiya Shokudo” in about 1957. The dish is believed to have originated when a noodle maker brought some thin and wavy Chinese noodles to the restaurant back then, and through trial and error, the owner of the restaurant found out that “udon soup” to suit the noodle.
“Okowa” is a dish of sticky rice slowly cooked in fish stock with other ingredients including chicken, carrots, burdock, mushrooms, and chestnuts. The unique characteristics of “Daisen Okowa” are its springy and chewy texture and its light taste. With seasonal vegetables added to make a colourful arrangement, such as mountain vegetables in autumn, “Daisen Okowa” can be enjoyed all year round.
“Daisen Okowa” is believed to have originated from when former warrior monks went to battle, they prayed for victory and made such rice with mountain pheasants and grasses.
In later years, it came to be eaten at festivals and celebrations. Each household uses its own ingredients and seasoning, inheriting their own “homemade flavour”.
Kanimeshi consists of rice topped with raw oyagani (female snow crabs are used in Tottori Prefecture) cut into thick chunks, added with sake, soy sauce and mirin, before it is steamed with water.
Once it is cooked, the meat from the shell, along with the both the inner and outer eggs, are mixed with the hot rice. It has such an unbelievable flavour.
* It’s quite common to season the boiled crab and mix it with steamed rice.
Work starts from midnight at Inaba-no-Shiosaba’s processing facilities, with staff carefully cleaning the insides of the mackerel with a specially dedicated knife, and then thoroughly washing them. Some of these facilities use well water. Salt is sprinkled one fish at a time.
Inaba-no-Shiosaba is both shiny and profound. When fried, the meat elegantly expands, and connoisseurs will give their seal of approval to “the juiciest and thickest shiosaba”!