Overview

A region rich in history and culture, the cuisine of Fukushima prefecture features a score of dishes with unique methods of preparation. Some of the cuisine includes a signature soup that makes use of dried scallop stock, hot pot dishes that uses miso paste instead of water, herrings fermented along with peppers and dumplings fried so well that they become crispy morsels. Here is a simple guide to some of the regional cuisine of Fukushima.

Kozuyu

Fukushima's soul food, kozuyu is a clear soup made of dried scallop dashi and filled with vegetables like carrots, bamboo shoots, and mushrooms. Full of local energy and ambiance, kozuyu is a staple during holidays, birthdays and other celebrations where asking for extra servings is to be expected with this dish.

Kozuyu (Photo: <a href="https://ja.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E3%83%95%E3%82%A1%E3%82%A4%E3%83%AB:Kozuyu.jpg" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener nofollow">Opqr / CC BY-SA 3.0</a>)
Kozuyu (Photo: Opqr / CC BY-SA 3.0)

Dobu-jiru

Dobu-jiru is a hot pot dish made with monkfish and vegetables all simmered in a pot of miso. Traditional fisherman's fare, dobu-jiru is made without any added water, relying instead on the high water content of monkfish. Tricky to prepare, dobu-jiru is nonetheless hearty and full of deep flavour.

Dobujiru (Photo: <a href="https://phototosi.exblog.jp/25513886/" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener nofollow">Image by hitatinotono</a>)
Dobujiru (Photo: Image by hitatinotono)

Nishin no sansho zuke

A pickled herring dish, nishin no sansho zuke sees herrings dried, layered with sansho peppers and then pickled in sake, sugar and vinegar. Best prepared during the early spring, the very strong flavours of the dish turn out to be a perfect drinks companion and has become a staple of izakaya pubs around the region.

Nishin no sansho zuke (Photo: <a href="http://blog.livedoor.jp/oriori1211/archives/52110487.html" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener nofollow">Image by ORIORI STYLE</a>)
Nishin no sansho zuke (Photo: Image by ORIORI STYLE)

Enban gyoza

Gyoza dumplings are one of the nation's favourite foods, and Fukushima sees them prepared as enban gyoza. Here, the gyoza are formed into a circular pattern and then fried extra crispy until the base of the dumplings fuse together into a round disk. With their juicy fillings, the extra crispy texture makes the enban gyoza a pleasure to eat.

Enban gyoza (Photo: <a href="http://blog.livedoor.jp/ask0080/archives/51508498.html" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener nofollow">Image by michinoku_harapeko88</a>)
Enban gyoza (Photo: Image by michinoku_harapeko88)