Aomori’s soul food is all about hearty noodles and soupy dishes. Maybe because of the harsh winter temperatures or because locals just have a high appreciation for deep flavours. Whatever the case might be, one thing is for sure; these dishes are loved by locals and desired by many visitors to this part of Japan. Here are some options we believe will leave you wanting more.
Barayaki is a beef dish popular with locals in the Towada area of Aomori. Cow ribs are mixed with minced onions and a sweet and spicy soy sauce (tare sauce in Japanese), grilled on a hot plate and brought sizzling hot to your table. Barayaki can be found in various restaurants around Towada, although the ones from Towadako Backpackers in Lake Towada and from Tsukasa Barayaki Taishu Shokudo in Towada City are at the top of our list.
Kaiyaki Miso at Osanai Shokudo
Kaiyaki miso is one of the most familiar and recognized dishes in Aomori. This is a mix of miso, scallops, eggs, and leeks, cooked and served together in a large scallop shell; a shell that with repeated use, adds even more flavour to this combination of ingredients. Kaiyaki miso is found at various locations around Aomori, and Osanai Shokudo near Aomori Station rises above the rest with the special addition of sea urchin. According to the owner at Osanai Shokudo, the shells were first used a long time ago in fishing boats, where regular dishes could not be used due to the continuous rocking of the boat. Osanai Shokudo is located a five minute walk from Aomori Station.
Aji No Sapporo Onishi Ramen
With harsh winters being the norm in Aomori, it is no surprise that warm and soupy dishes feature prominently on restaurant menus around the prefecture. One of the best examples is the milky ramen at Aji No Sapporo Onishi Ramen. This combination of miso, curry, milk, butter, and pork is a powerful and award winning ramen that cannot be left out of a foodie traveler’s itinerary. It is available for around 700 yen a bowl.
Tsugaru Soba at Sancyu Shokudo.
Sancyu Shokudo’s tsugaru soba is one of the favourite local dishes in Hirosaki. For four generations, the owners, who are true soba experts, have been making one of the best Soba’s in Aomori. The broth used at Sancyu uses an iwashi (sardine) base, with the sardines carefully dried and cleaned prior to cooking. The resulting broth flavour is wonderful and easy to drink. On top of this, most of the ingredients and side dishes are all hand made from scratch in house.
Ganso Myoko’s Tsuyu Yakisoba
Over 20 years ago the staff at Ganso Myoko made a mistake and added ramen broth to their yakisoba. Fastforward to today and you get a unique combination called tsuyu yakisoba. Wheat noodles are cooked in a flavourful dark broth that will leave you quite satisfied. If you want the original tsuyu yakisoba then this is the place to be while passing through Kuroishi City. Ganso Myoko is open from 11am to 6pm, and their signature yakisoba will set you back 700 yen.