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Hot Pot, Soba, And Ramen! Kyushu's Best Dishes Delivered To You

Hot Pot, Soba, And Ramen! Kyushu's Best Dishes Delivered To You

Translated by Ken

Written by Mayu

2020.05.27 Bookmark

Travel has been halted by the coronavirus, but you can still taste authentic Japanese cuisine––from home! This article features local dishes from Japan's Kyushu region, including simmering hotpot and tonkotsu ramen. We also introduce meal kits that allow you to easily recreate tasty meals yourself.

Enjoy the Tastes of Kyushu Cuisine at Home

What food should you try when traveling to Japan? Unfortunately, the global coronavirus pandemic has put this fun question on hold.

But, there's no need to worry! With online shopping, we can savor local delicacies from the comfort of home. Today, we'll introduce unique dishes hailing from the Kyushu region of southwestern Japan that you can order from the Internet. Prepare to indulge in savory hot pot, Tonkotsu ramen, a unique Okinawan soba dish, and other delicious treats!

Fukuoka: Motsunabe Hot Pot

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Photo by Pixta
We'll start with a dish from the Hakata region (Fukuoka City) of Fukuoka Prefecture. Motsunabe is hot pot made with cow or pig offal, and is said to originate in this area. This simmering dish is bursting with flavors from the offal and vegetables.

Offal was once discarded as something inedible. However, during food shortages after World War II, people made nabe (hot pot) out of boiling offal and Chinese chives. This is how motsunabe was born.

Once all the ingredients are eaten, noodles are placed into the broth. You can enjoy motsunabe at home by purchasing a motsunabe kit that comes packaged with the ingredients and broth.

You can find different types of motsunabe on Amazon, including fish-based soy sauce nabe (Japanese) and umami-rich miso nabe (Japanese).

Okinawa: Soki Soba

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Photo by Pixta
Soki soba is the local delicacy of Okinawa Prefecture, a set of islands on the southern end of Kyushu. Despite its name, the noodles are not made with buckwheat flour, but wheat. The noodles are also thicker than traditional soba.

The main topping is soki (pork spareribs stewed in soy sauce), awamori (Okinawan sake), and brown sugar. The flavor of the soki seeps into the broth, adding to its unique taste. Some people even consider this to be Okinawa's soul food. Additional toppings include benishoga (pickled red ginger) and kamaboko (fish cake).

Since the broth is slightly sweet, you can add koregusu to add some spiciness. Koregusu is a sauce made from infusing chilis in awamori.

From Miyako soba to Yaeyama soba, each region in Okinawa has its own variation of noodles and toppings. Tasting the different varieties of soki soba could be fun on a future trip.

You can purchase both soki soba and koregusu sauce (Japanese) on Amazon.

Kagoshima: Pork Shabu-Shabu

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Kagoshima Prefecture is a hub for delicious cuisine. Some popular examples are satsuma-age (deep-fried fish paste) and shirokuma: shave ice topped with fruit and condensed milk, usually made to resemble a bear face. Our recommended dishes, however, use Kagoshima pork.

About 400 years ago, Berkshire pigs were imported from the Ryukyu Kingdom (modern-day Okinawa) to Kagoshima. After years of breeding, these pigs became known for their delicate meat containing sweet-tasting fat.

From tonkotsu, pork stewed in miso, to tonkatsu (deep-fried pork cutlets), there are numerous ways to enjoy Kagoshima pork. However, we highly recommend devouring this meat in shabu-shabu hotpot (Japanese). This is the best way to savor the tender, lean pork, and its slightly sweet fat.

You can purchase shabu-shabu (Japanese), satsuma-age (Japanese), and shirokuma (Japanese) on Amazon.

Oita: Toriten

Hotpot, Soba, And Ramen! Get Kyushu Cuisine Delivered To Your Door

Photo by Pixta
Oita Prefecture, situated between Fukuoka and Miyazaki in northeastern Kyushu, is the number one consumer of chicken in the country. As such, Oita has a number of unique chicken dishes, from tori-meshi (rice mixed with chicken and other ingredients) to tori-jiru (miso soup with chicken).

Especially popular in Oita is the toriten (Japanese). Toriten is tempura made using chicken breast or thigh. The crispy batter and the tender chicken make for a delicious dish.

Several origin stories exist, but one theory is that a restaurant in Oita invented the dish around 1930 as an alternative to karaage (Japanese fried chicken).

Since you eat it with ponzu (citrus sauce), toriten has a lighter aftertaste compared to karaage. The dish is also a great snack to pair with a glass of beer! You can find both pre-battered toriten (Japanese) and toriten with separate batter (Japanese) on Amazon.

Kumamoto: Dago-jiru

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Photo by Pixta
Kumamoto Prefecture is located in the center of Kyushu. Horse sashimi (Japanese) and mustard lotus root (Japanese) are some of the prefecture's eccentric cuisines. A longstanding traditional dish is dago-jiru (Japanese).

Dago means dango in the Kumamoto dialect. Dago-jiru is a soup with dango dumplings, carrots, shiitake mushrooms, and chicken. The broth can be a soy sauce base or a miso base, and different variations exist depending on the cook.

Dago-jiru has an exquisite taste that is sure to warm your heart as well as your stomach. You can enjoy dago-jiru at home by picking up a dago-jiru kit (Japanese) on Amazon.

Nagasaki Sara Udon and Miyazaki Chicken Nanban

Hotpot, Soba, And Ramen! Get Kyushu Cuisine Delivered To Your Door

Photo by Pixta
In addition to the dishes we mentioned already, there is also plenty to savor from Nagasaki, Miyazaki, and Saga prefectures.

The staple of Miyazaki is chicken nanban (Japanese). The dish is sweet and spicy fried chicken with tar tar sauce––a great match with a bowl of rice!

Historically, the trade with China influenced the food culture in Nagasaki. One popular dish is sara udon (Japanese): fried noodles topped with vegetables and a thick sauce.

From Saga, a prefecture famous for its seafood, we have steamed squid shumai (Japanese).

Bonus: Umakacchan - Instant Tonkotsu Ramen

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Kyushu is famous for its tonkotsu (pork bone broth) ramen. It is said to have originated in Kurume, Fukuoka. The rich tonkotsu ramen spread across Kyushu and evolved in each locale, the most famous of which being Fukuoka's Hakata ramen and Kumamoto ramen.

You can enjoy a wide selection of Kyushu ramen with the instant ramen series Umakacchan (Japanese) typically sold only in western Japan.

This local ramen taste-testing set (Japanese) available on Amazon comes with Kurume-style rich tonkotsu, Hakata spicy leaf mustard, Kumamoto savory garlic, and Kagoshima Berkshire pork tonkotsu and welsh onion.

Since each bag is one serving, it can make for a delicious nighttime snack, as well.

Order any number of these meal kits and savor the flavors of Kyushu right at home! Mixing up the lunch or dinner menu at home can be fun for the whole family.

Main image by Pixta

The information presented in this article is based on the time it was written. Note that there may be changes in the merchandise, services, and prices that have occurred after this article was published. Please contact the facility or facilities in this article directly before visiting.

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