5 Local foods in Hyogo | Kobe Beef, Akashiyaki, Himeji Oden, Sobameshi, and Botan-nabe
Hyogo Prefecture is known as the first area in Japan where “high collar culture”, incorporating Western culture and customs, spread after the opening of the Port of Kobe. It is one of Japan’s major international trading ports. In addition to the world-famous “Kobe Beef”, the prefecture is also famous for Akashiyaki and Himeji Oden.
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The highest grade of Japanese beef “Kobe Beef”
Tajima beef, a black Japanese beef produced in Hyogo Prefecture is called “Kobe Beef”. It’s considered a luxury food due to its quality and rarity. Usually eaten as a steak for special occasions, its seasoned with salt and pepper, grilled on an iron plate, and served with sauce or Mustard.
The origin of the Takoyaki “Akashiyaki”
Originating for Edo period “Takoyaki” a local special of Tamagoyaki was created. Nationally known as Akashiyaki, the dough is made from flour, jinko, egg, and dashi, with octopus inside. The jinko makes a fluffy dough. Although Takoyaki is eaten with sauce, Akashiyaki is dipped in bonito or kelp broth.
Ginger soy sauce is the key to the taste “Himeji Oden”
In Himeji City, there is a custom of eating oden with ginger soy sauce. In 2006, this style was declared “Himeji Oden”. There are two types, Kanto-ni being the first, being thick and sweet. The second is light-season oden, but any oden made with ginger is considered Himeji Oden. Ginger soy sauce is made by ground ginger and dark soy sauce. The oden is eaten with sauce poured over, or dipping the ingredients.
Around 1955, “soba-meshi” was created for a request for stir-fried rice and yakisoba noodles. Originally a secret menu food, soba-meshi became well known through media coverage.
It is made by chopping yakisoba on a griddle and stir-frying it with rice. Its also served using a trowel usually used for okonomiyaki. Some restaurants mix in sweet and spicy sauces.
A beautiful boar meat that looks like a peony “Botan-nabe”
“Botan-nabe” is a local dish, that originated in Tanba Sasayama City around 1908. Its made with simmered wild boar and seasonal vegetables in a soup stock of mixed red and white miso. The name “Botan-nabe” comes from the word “botan”, peony in English. It was found in a folk song from Tambasa Sasayama City. In honor of the name, retaurants began to serve wild boar arranged like botan petals. While eating, sprinkle some sansho(pepper) to taste.