Regional Foods in Japan: Chugoku & Shikoku

Jan 23rd, 2009 | By | Category: Regional Foods of Japan

The Regional Foods Series by Etsuko of Tokyofoodcast started earlier this month with will continue on Friday’s throughout the month of January at The Nihon Sun.

Today we’ll cover the regional foods specialties of Chugoku & Shikoku…


Okonomiyaki – What makes Okonomiyaki from Hiroshima special? Instead of pancake like batter cooked on the hot iron griddle, Hiroshima style starts with crepe like thin pancake on the griddle that is topped with heaps of shredded cabbage and other toppings such as bacon, tempura bits or seafood. On the side, yakisoba noodles are cooked along with a fried egg before all the ingredients are assembled in layers. The process of making Okonomiyaki is just like watching a teppanyaki chef’s performance at Benihana and is done in the matter of five minutes. To see this performance in Hiroshima, head to Okonomiyaki Village, where small stalls of these restaurants occupy an entire building is a good spot to start.  Hiroshima Okonomiyaki offer some great images of the okonomiyaki process.

Matsuba gani – Tottori is famous for Matsuba gani, or Snow crab, and boiled ones command high prices when sold all up and down the coast.

Okonomiyaki Japanese Food

Matsuba gani Japanese Food

Image Credit: hiroshima okonomiyaki & Matsuba gani Tottori


Katsuo-no-tataki – Kochi is famous for bonito fishing, especially for its traditional pole and line method. Katsuo-no tataki is a general term for this meaty fish seared over a flame. This is usually done with a gas burner, but in Kochi, some people still stick to the traditional way – they use flame from burning straw. Also, when I was in the area, this dish was often served with lots of sliced garlic, thin sliced onions, shiso, green onion, myoga, and lemon, with generous amount of soy sauce mixed with yuzu citrus.  Here is an image of traditional straw flame tataki being made.

Sanuki udon – As soon as you land in Takamatsu, Kagawa Prefecture, you see udon everywhere: restaurants serving noodles, taxi tours around several small hole-in-the-wall establishments, and even posters promoting the latest udon-themed feature film. Sanuki style udon has very al dente texture and simple serving style with soy sauce or broth. This site has in-depth information about Sanuki udon.

Katsuo Japanese Food

Sanuki Udon Japanese Food

Image Credit:  Katsuo, Sanuki Udon – Nakakita

Check back next Friday when I will tell you about the regional foods of Kyushu and Okinawa.  In the meantime please visit me at Tokyofoodcast to follow my foodie adventures in Japan and learn more about Japanese food and food culture .

Other Regional Foods of Japan


Tohoku & Kanto

Chubu & Kansai

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