With a number of signature dishes that have spread wildly across the country, it's safe to say that the cuisine of Fukuoka prefecture is no stranger to popularity. Full of flavour, depth and character, dishes like ramen noodles, marinated roe and hotpot stews work alongside simple rice bowls to help make up one of Japan's most enjoyable food destinations. Here is a simple guide to some of the regional cuisine of Fukuoka.
Fukuoka's signature dish, Hakata ramen, regularly tops the rankings as the nation's number one ramen dish. A creamy broth made from simmered pork bones and filled slices of chashu meat, bamboo shoots and diced negi, Hakata ramen's thin but firm noodles create a culinary bonanza that is a miracle of taste and texture.
The prefecture's second signature food, mentaiko is seasoned cod and pollock roe. A proper delicacy, mentaiko's bright red sacs literally burst with a unique salty spice-like flavour. Hugely popular throughout the country, mentaiko can be eaten as is, served as filling for an onigiri rice ball or even as part of a paste sauce.
A favourite during the colder winter months, Fukuoka's motsunabe is commonly prepared with beef or pork offal in a broth of either soy sauce or miso. Common ingredients include cabbage, garlic chives and noodles. Flavoursome and full of depth, this simple but hearty dish turns out to be the perfect meal to share amongst a group of family and friends.
Deceptively simple, takana meshi is another Japanese food that is perfect for vegetarians. With its unique flavouring, the dish sees pickled mustard leaf mixed with steamed rice and then fried together in sesame oil. The oft added sprinkle of chilli gives the meal a further kick, turning a basic meal into one of the most popular dishes in Fukuoka's kitchens.