Flavoured with a liberal dose of regional pride, the local cuisine of Tottori prefecture is rich in custom, flavour and provincial quality. A unique ramen noodle culture and top-quality crab dishes combine with simple hotpot dishes and old-style farming food to create a pleasurable blend of the traditional and the tasty. Here is a simple guide to some of the regional cuisine of Tottori.
Unlike other regions that savour their pork or chicken broth, Tottori is known for its use of beef bone for its ramen soup. Gyukotsu ramen is richly flavoured, hearty and such a standard flavour in the prefecture that ramen chefs in Tottori are said to simply not care about other styles of ramen. When something is so tasty, it's probably no wonder why.
Combined with soy sauce, mirin and sake, kanimeshi features Tottori's rich stocks of oyagani female snow crab cut into chunks and then mixed in with a bowl of steamed rice. Simple enough yet this regional favourite has attained an almost mythical status in its taste, with a flavour that is not only rich and gentle but also incredibly satisfying.
Tottori's famous leeks are the main ingredient in shireonegi nabe. A traditional earthenware hotpot dish, shironegi nabe makes use of kombu and bonito dashi stock which is then flavoured further with soy sauce and mirin. Shabu-shabu style, the leeks are dipped into the broth and then eaten. Works brilliantly with yellowtail sashimi.
Rice and vegetables cooked in fish broth and then wrapped in a sheet of deep fried tofu, itadaki is Tottori's traditional packed lunch dish. Especially popular in the western region of the prefecture, this old fashioned fisherman and farmer's lunch has the more common inarizushi look about it but, prepared differently, has a completely different flavour.