Dezuka Suisan

Monbetsu's Kamaboko Experts

By Kim B    - 2 min read

If you visit Monbetsu in Hokkaido, you're going to find plenty of seafood restaurants. This part of Japan is renowned for its high quality crab in particular - it's often touted as some of the world's best. Another seafood based must-try when you're in the area is kamaboko, or fish cakes, and the top place to try it is Dezuka Suisan. They've been around since the 1930s, so with almost 100 years of history you can be assured that they know their stuff.

Kamaboko is made by pureeing white fish, forming it into shapes, and then steaming or frying it. On my visit to Dezuka Suisan I was able to head back behind the scenes and see some of the staff preparing it (their factory is connected to the retail store), which certainly gave me a new appreciation for how it's made. The fish they use for their kamaboko are predominantly sourced from the local area, which are then combined with other ingredients including various vegetables found across Hokkaido.

There are numerous different kamaboko types to choose from at Dezuka Suisan. If you're local, you can buy them and cook them at home, or there's also the option to enjoy them on the spot - the staff can fry them up for you right then and there. There's a sitting area on the second floor which has several tables and counter seats by the windows, allowing patrons to indulge in their snack whilst looking out upon the snowy landscape during the winter months.

Getting there

Dezuka Suisan is located right by the Monbetsu Port area. It's under a ten minute walk from a number of the area's major accommodation spots, including the Monbetsu Prince Hotel and the Monbetsu Central Hotel. If you're driving, there is a small on-site parking lot available.

ANA operates daily flights from Tokyo's Haneda Airport to the Okhotsk Monbetsu Airport. The flight time is just under two hours.

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Kim B

Kim B @kim.b

I'm an Australian who has lived abroad for almost a decade, including 7 years in Japan - specifically Tokyo and Niigata. I've  visited 44 of 47 prefectures, with only Kagoshima, Miyazaki and Kumamoto left to check out. I'm particularly fond of exploring off the beaten path destinations, gardens, and tea houses, and have a real interest in Japan's growing vegan scene.

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Elizabeth S 2 weeks ago
Before I came to Japan, I had no idea about this food. These days, in my home cooking, I make sliced kamaboko with wakame seaweed drizzled with ponzu. It's great. At new year, pink and white kamaboko is always on the menu at my house.

Good kamaboko is delicious.
Kim B Author 2 weeks ago
I'd never known of it before living in Japan either! A whole new world of food was opened up to me here!
Sherilyn Siy 3 weeks ago
My kids don't like to eat fish but they love kamaboko. I figured that since that fish meat is the first ingredient in kamaboko, it is a good way to get more fish in their diet.
Kim B Author 2 weeks ago
A clever mom hack right there!