5 Japanese Local Recipes

By Umami Recipe
5 Japanese Local Recipes

In Japan, there are many famous local dishes in each prefecture. In this piece, we introduce some carefully selected local recipes from regions north of central Japan, such as Hokkaido and Miyagi Prefecture. All of them are simple in their preparation and seasoning, but they allow you to fully enjoy the taste of the ingredients. These are all dishes that you should try at least once if you are interested in exploring Japanese cuisine. 

Butter-Scented Potato Mochi (Imo Mochi)

The first recipe is for the Imo Mochi, a local dish from the central and eastern Hokkaido region.
When you think of mochi, you may imagine a dish that has been popular in Japan since ancient times, made from steamed glutinous rice. Imo-mochi, however, is a dish made from potatoes. It is said that potatoes were used to make this dish instead of glutinous rice in the days when rice cultivation was not yet developed.

Boiled and mashed potatoes are mixed with milk and potato starch, formed into a round shape, and baked. In this recipe, the potatoes are baked in butter, which makes them very flavorful. It is very simple to make, but the addition of milk to the boiled potatoes makes the texture moist. The addition of salt brings out the sweetness of the potatoes, and the dish is delicious without any other seasoning.

Potatoes are a staple food in Northern Europe and other parts of the world. It is rich in carbohydrates. Vitamin C is heat-sensitive, but the vitamin C in potatoes is heat-resistant.

Try making Imo Mochi, which has a simple taste and will always make you want to eat more than one.

Butter-Scented Potato Mochi

Potatoes are sold in large bags in Japan (It may be so in your country too!). If you have any left over potatoes, try Potato Mochi. By adding milk you will get rid of the flakeness and the deliciousne...

Salmon with Miso and Butter (Chan Chan-yaki)

The next dish we introduce is a local dish from the Ishikari region, Salmon Chan Chan-yaki. This dish is a combination of salmon, which is often caught in the waters around Hokkaido, and vegetables.
The vegetables used are generally cabbage, carrots, onions, and mushrooms. In this recipe, bean sprouts, green peppers, and corn are also added for a hearty meal. It is sweetened by adding sugar and mirin to the miso. After browning the salmon in butter, add the vegetables and finish by steaming. This recipe is made in a frying pan for home use, but at restaurants, it is often made on a griddle. There are many theories about the origin of the name "chan chan yaki". Some say it comes from the sound of the spatula hitting the griddle when it is grilled.

Salmon is rich in astaxanthin, which has antioxidant properties. It also contains DHA and EPA, which are fats that cannot be produced by the human body, and are believed to help regulate immune function and burn fat.

The dish is colorful with bright pink salmon and colorful vegetables. The sweet soybean paste has a very appetizing taste and combines well with white rice.

Salmon with Miso and Butter

Salmon Chan Chan Yaki is a local specialty of Hokkaido, Japan's northernmost island. It makes use of corn and butter, which are characteristic of Hokkaido's dishes. The dish also makes use of ...

Mashed Edamame Mochi (Zunda Mochi)

Zundamochi, a local dish from Miyagi Prefecture, made by boiling and mashing edamame beans, sugar, salt, and water, and kneading it to make Zunda bean paste, which is then placed on a rice cake. In Miyagi Prefecture, the custom of eating rice cakes on special occasions is a long held tradition. Zunda mochi is often made when entertaining guests.

To make it bright green, boil the edamame and pour running water over it. By removing the water from the heat, the edamame will not be overcooked and the color will remain bright. To make the zunda bean paste smooth to the touch, peel off the thin skin of the boiled edamame. This is a time-consuming process, but it makes for a more delicious zunda mochi. Crush the edamame in a mortar and pestle or food processor, but if you want to enjoy the grainy texture, try to keep it coarse. 

Edamame are young, unripe beans before they become soybeans. They contain insoluble dietary fiber that increases stool bulk and promotes defecation. They are also rich in folic acid, which is involved in the formation of red blood cells and the synthesis of DNA. It is considered to be an especially important nutrient for women who are thinking of becoming pregnant and women in the early stages of pregnancy.

Zunda Mochi, soft rice cakes topped with sweet Zunda bean paste, is a must-try dish.

Mashed Edamame Mochi

"Zunda Mochi" is a local dessert from the Tohoku region (Northern part of Japan), often made when edamame beans are in season. According to one theory, the name "zunda mochi" comes...

Deep-Fried Seafood and Vegetables (Tempura)

Many of you may be familiar with tempura. It is a dish that is loved all over Japan, but it is said to be originally a local dish of Edo (Tokyo), the former name of Tokyo. Tempura is a dish in which ingredients are coated with a batter made of egg, water, and flour, and then deep fried in oil. It has a lighter texture than breaded fries and goes well with a variety of ingredients. Shrimps, eggplants, and sweet potatoes are the most commonly used ingredients. Shrimp is the most popular of all tempura ingredients because of its plump texture. Eggplant, pumpkin, and sweet potato are also very tasty because they go well with oil and bring out their natural sweetness.
Ten-tsuyu is a broth with soy sauce and salt added to it and heated up for dipping tempura. Ten-tsuyu is a must-have item that does not interfere with the taste of the ingredients and is full of flavor. You can add grated daikon or grated shoga for a refreshing taste.

Let's take a look at the nutrients in shrimp, the No. 1 popular ingredient in tempura. Shrimp is rich in minerals such as calcium, potassium, and zinc. It is also rich in taurine, which helps the workings of internal organs and stabilizes blood pressure and blood sugar levels. It also contains vitamin E and astaxanthin, which are said to have anti-aging effects. It is also characterized by its low fat content and high protein content.

In Japan, there are some restaurants specializing in tempura, where tempura is fried and served right in front of you. The taste of freshly fried tempura is exceptional, so be sure to try it.

Tempura Deep-Fried Seafood and Vegetables

One of the most known Japanese dishes is tempura, which consists of seafood, meat, and vegetables, coated in batter then deep-fried. The crispy but light and airy batter is what makes tempura a deligh...

Simmered Chicken Breast and Taro (Jibu-ni)

Finally, we would like to introduce a recipe for jibe-ni, a local dish from Kanazawa, Ishikawa Prefecture.
Jibu-ni is originally a dish of floured duck meat and vegetables. In this recipe, we use chicken meat instead of duck. The taro is slimy, so after peeling it, boil it from water, or pre-boil it. This will remove the excess sliminess and make it easier for the flavor to soak in. Simmer the ingredients in a simple broth with soy sauce and mirin added to the broth.

Chicken scissors are a protein-rich part of the body with little fat. It tends to be dry, but if you coat it with flour and cook it as in jibe-ni, the flavor is locked in and it becomes soft. The slimy texture of taro is due to a component called galactan. It is a combination of protein and sugar. It protects the stomach mucosa and helps the intestines work.

Jibu-ni is a simple dish where you can taste the natural flavors of the ingredients as well as the flavor of the broth. The meat is covered with flour, which thickens the broth and makes it warm and hearty.

Simmered Chicken Breast and Taro

"Jibu-ni" is a traditional local dish that comes from Kanazawa City in Ishikawa Prefecture. It is said that the name of the dish either came from a historical figure, or from the sound of bu...

Dishes Loved All Over Japan!

We have carefully selected and introduced the local cuisine of the regions north of central Japan. Each dish has been loved by the locals for a long time.
The fact that they are popular not only locally but also nationally is proof that they are recognized for their deliciousness.

Umami Recipe Team

Bringing what's new on Japanese food and culture, from traditional to current trends to your home.