Sunday, October 20, 2013

Japanese Food : Sapporo Edition

Japan is home to one of the most recognisable cuisines in the world. Each region offers specialties unique to that province. Sapporo, located on the coast of Japan's north island, offers a cuisine rich in the freshest seafood of Japan.

japanese food sapporo header

After an amazing adventure in Sapporo, I decided I needed to make a post all about the tasty food I enjoyed. I got this dish at the Sapporo Curb Market. It is a taraba ikura don, or in english, a salmon roe and crab bowl. This is a very typical dish you can find anywhere in Japan, particularly in Sapporo because Hokkaido has a large fishing industry. Under the seafood topping is a bowl of rice. Crab is pretty common worldwide, but salmon roe used abundantly in a dish is something I've only ever seen in Japan.

sapporo curb market salmon rose and crab bowl taraba ikura don

This dish was also bought in the Sapporo Curb Market. It is called the kaisen don, or seafood bowl. It features 10 different kinds of seafood, which included prawn, crab, salmon roe, salmon, jellyfish, tuna, sea urchin (and a few others I cannot remember). As typical to any Japanese meal, both these dishes were accompanied by a bowl of miso soup. Miso soup is a vital component of every Japanese meal. I've never eaten in a restaurant in Japan that didn't provide us with a steaming bowl of miso first. 

sapporo curb market kaisen don seafood bowl

Unfortunately, I cannot remember the name of this dish, which we ordered in an Izakaya. It is a fish stuffed with seasoned rice. The fish was grilled with sauces which complemented the flavours of the rice well. You are supposed to eat the head too, but none of us would dare (lol).

sapporo fish izakaya stuffed with rice

A trip in Japan is incomplete without a meal of sushi. This is what a typical sushi plate looks like from an Izakaya, with a side of pickled ginger. It included tuna, salmon, prawn, jellyfish, sea urchin and salmon roe, each piece with a different topping.

sapporo izakaya sushi plate

This dish is barbecue crab. When you order from an Izakaya, they bring out a mini barbecue, raw crab in its shell and a utensil to scoop the crab meat from the shell. You cook the crab yourself until it is to your liking. I guess its kind of a "fun" way to have your meal.

sapporo izakaya crab barbeque

I'm sure most of you recognise this staple Japanese dish- tempura. Mine was a prawn tempura. It was served with a bowl of rice, miso soup and pickles for tasting. Although tempura is deeply embedded in Japanese food culture, its origins are actually Portugese- introduced as a street food in Japan over 500 years ago. Since then the recipe has evolved to satisfy Japanese tastes, giving us what we know as tempura today.

sapporo food tempura set with prawn and miso

One of my favourite- unagi, or eel. In Japan, unagi is always grilled and topped with tare sauce. It was served on a bed of rice with miso soup and pickles. There is one food I cannot recommend to people enough and that is unagi. The flavours are so rich and the meat is so tender, you cannot miss it when you are in Japan.

sapporo izakaya unagi eel set

This was the largest meal I ate in Sapporo - a Hokkaido specialty bento. Bentos are meals which have many different types of mini-dishes inside. Mine was a sample of all the dishes which are typical to Hokkaido, which included sushi, sashimi, tempura, potato, corn, pickles and different condiments. You can find Bento anywhere in Japan that has many different combinations of different types of foods.

sapporo food hokkaido specialty bento from airport

This was the best thing I ate in Hokkaido- imo mochi, or potato mochi. It is served hot made from potato with a sweet taste. You rub the butter on top while its still warm. Since this dish was a specialty of Hokkaido, I haven't been able to find it anywhere since I have returned to Tokyo :(

sapporo hokkaido food izakaya potato mochi imo mochi

This is a vegetable-meat dish my friend ordered in an Izakaya. Unfortunately I forget the name, but its another "do it yourself" dish. The Izakaya will bring you out a mini barbecue, and you cook the meat and vegetables to your liking. There is also a sauce you drizzle on top for extra flavour. I think people in Japan really enjoy these do-it-yourself dishes. They are typical to any Izakaya you step into.

sapporo food izakaya barbecue with vegetables and meat

This dish is called the Genghis Khan, and is another specialty of Hokkaido. It is made of lamb and vegetables, grilled with a shoyu sauce. The flavours were rich and the lamb melted in my mouth.

sapporo izakaya food genghis khan meat and vegetables

Another specialty of Hokkaido- beer from the Sapporo beer factory. My friend ordered 3 different flavours of beer. It came with beer flavoured crackers, which was pretty cool. Where else could you find beer flavoured crackers but in a beer museum?

sapporo beer factory flavoured beer and crackers

No comments:

Post a Comment