Hokkaido, the northernmost island of Japan, is not only renowned for its stunning landscapes and winter sports but also for its delectable culinary offerings.
The island’s unique climate and geographical features provide an abundance of fresh and diverse ingredients, making it a haven for food enthusiasts. Let’s embark on a flavorful journey through some of the best foods to try when visiting Hokkaido.
Listed below are some of our favorite food selections in one of Japan’s most romantic place:
Genghis Khan (Jingisukan)
Named after the legendary Mongolian conqueror Genghis Khan, this dish is a staple of Hokkaido cuisine. Genghis Khan consists of thinly sliced lamb or mutton grilled on a special domed skillet, often resembling the shape of a warrior’s helmet. The meat is typically marinated in a savory soy sauce-based concoction with various spices, imparting a mouthwatering aroma and taste.
The grilling experience is as much a part of the delight as the taste itself. Savoring the tender, succulent meat while surrounded by the picturesque landscapes of Hokkaido is an unforgettable dining experience in Japan.
Hokkaido’s location surrounded by cold seas makes it a seafood lover’s paradise. The pristine waters teem with a wide array of fish and shellfish. Indulge in sashimi, sushi, and grilled seafood at the Nijo Fish Market in Sapporo or visit Hakodate for its famous seafood night market, where you can savor fresh catches of the day.
No trip to Hokkaido is complete without savoring a steaming bowl of Sapporo ramen. This regional specialty features a rich miso-based broth, chewy noodles, and a variety of toppings like sweetcorn, butter, and bean sprouts. Ganso Ramen Yokocho in Sapporo is a popular spot for ramen enthusiasts, offering a chance to sample several styles of Sapporo ramen under one roof.
Hokkaido Milk and Cheese
Hokkaido is renowned for its dairy products, thanks to its lush pastures and temperate climate. The region produces some of Japan’s finest milk, cheese, and ice cream. Don’t miss out on trying soft-serve ice cream made from Hokkaido milk at farm stands or visiting cheese factories like Furano Cheese Factory for a cheesy experience.
Soup curry is a delightful fusion of Japanese and Indian cuisine, where a hearty soup base is flavored with curry spices and filled with various ingredients like vegetables, chicken, or seafood. Each restaurant puts its unique spin on this comforting dish. Try it at places like Suage+ in Sapporo to discover your favorite variation, or check travel reviews to know where to taste it the best.
Ishikari Nabe: Hokkaido's Comfort Food
Ishikari Nabe is a hotpot dish originating from Hokkaido, named after the Ishikari River. It features salmon and a variety of vegetables cooked in a miso-based broth. This dish embodies the essence of Hokkaido’s natural bounties and is a must-try during the colder months.
Melon and Yubari King
Hokkaido is famous for its sweet melons, particularly the Yubari King melon. These highly prized fruits are sweet, juicy, and have a unique, almost addictive flavor. You can find them at fruit stands throughout the region. Also, don’t forget to try Hokkaido’s delightful cream puffs and cheesecakes, which are famous for their light and creamy textures.
Hokkaido’s culinary scene is a testament to the region’s natural beauty and the creativity of its people. Whether you’re a food enthusiast or just looking to savor some delicious dishes, Hokkaido has an abundance of flavors waiting to be explored. So, pack your appetite and embark on a culinary journey through Japan’s northern gem, Hokkaido, where every meal is a delicious adventure.
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