Sunday, October 20, 2013

12 Mouthwatering Best Food in Sapporo | Sapporo Food Guide

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. These are just a few of my top picks of food to try in Sapporo.

sapporo food guide

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. Tourist Tip: Skip wandering the city centre looking for the best crab in Sapporo - the Sapporo Curb Market has the freshest crab in the city!

sapporo curb market sapporo crab and salmon roe

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. Tourist Tip: If you're looking for street food in Sapporo, the Sapporo Curb Market is the closest (and freshest) you'll get.

sapporo curb market sapporo 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). Tourist Tip: Izakayas are a 'must eat in Sapporo' experience. Izakayas are small intimate spaces where you can share beer and dishes with your travelling companions.

sapporo seafood from an izakaya

A trip in Japan is incomplete without a meal of sushi. This is what a typical Sapporo 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. Tourist Tip: If fish head doesn't make your mouth water, sushi is an appetising alternative to satisfy your cravings when discovering must try foods in Sapporo.

best sushi in sapporo from an izakaya

Next on my personal Sapporo food tour 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 crab barbeque from an izakaya

A Sapporo food guide would be incomplete without this staple Japanese dish- tempura. Mine was a ebiten 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.

tempura ebiten sapporo

My top must eat in Sapporo recommendation and one of my favourites- unagi aka 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 eel from an izakaya

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. The Sapporo bento is my top recommendation for must try food in Sapporo - it's a little bit of everything packaged neatly into a single meal.

sapporo bento box

This was the best thing I ate in Hokkaido and the most unique item in this Sapporo food guide - imo mochi, or potato mochi. Not quite a dessert, 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 :(

dessert in sapporo potato 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 Sapporo Izakaya you step into.

izakaya in sapporo barbeque

This dish is called the Genghis Khan, and is another specialty of Hokkaido. The Sapporo Genghis Khan (jingisukan in Japanese) is made of lamb and vegetables, grilled with a shoyu sauce. The flavours were rich and the lamb melted in my mouth. On my personal list of things to eat in Sapporo, I found the Jingisukan the most unique dish.

genghis khan sapporo jingisukan

Another specialty of Hokkaido- Sapporo 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 from the sapporo beer factory museum

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