Are you planning a trip to Nagoya, or have just arrived?
Every region in Japan has its own regional specialties, some people even travelling across the country just to eat the food in that region. The food in Nagoya is famous throughout Japan.
In this blog we will introduce a few of these famous foods.
1. Ankake Spaghetti
You might not associate spaghetti with Japanese food, but this dish is prepared in a completely different way to Italian spaghetti! Ankake Spaghetti, or “Ankake-spa” for short
The pasta in Ankake Spaghetti is boiled before being stir fried with vegetables, then a thick, spicy sauce is added.
There are many restaurants in Nagoya specialising in Ankake Spaghetti for an affordable price, so it’s definitely worth a try during your trip to Nagoya!
2. Miso Katsu
Although Katsu (crispy pork cutlet) is ubiquitous throughout Japan, the miso sauce unique to Nagoya. The standard tangy vegetable-based sauce is replaced with a generous serving of hearty, sweet miso sauce. It is usually served with a light salad or shredded vegetables to balance out the strong flavour of the miso.
There are stores specialising in Miso Katsu all across Nagoya, including inside the underground shopping mall of Nagoya station, ESCA.
Put simply, these are chicken wings but they are much greater than the sum of their parts! These delicious morsels are great as a finger food to eat with beer or other drinks.
Unlike regular fried chicken, they are not breaded and are coated in a sweet, peppery sauce.
They are a staple at izakaya (Japanese style pubs) all over the city and are a delicious change from the standard fried chicken!
Have you tried eel before? Unadon (grilled eel on rice) is popular throughout Japan, however the people of Nagoya have their own way of eating it.
Before eating, you divide the wooden bowl of eel and rice into 4 portions, each of which is served into the empty bowl one at a time.
The first bowl is eaten as-is, allowing the flavour of the eel, rice and tare sauce to shine through.
For the next bowl, you season it with nori seaweed, wasabi and spring onion.
You do the same with the third bowl, before pouring hot tea on it like ochazuke.
5. Taiwan Ramen
Contrary to the name, this noodle dish is not from Taiwan! It is said to have been invented by a chef at a Taiwanese restaurant in Nagoya. It quickly became popular across the city, and now there are Taiwan Ramen restaurants all over Aichi prefecture surrounding Nagoya.
It is a spicy noodle soup, made with minced pork, Chinese chives, spring onion and bean sprouts. This is seasoned with chili peppers and large quantities of garlic.
6. Morning set (also known as morning service)
Although a breakfast consisting of bread, egg and drink may seem quite simple, Nagoya has its own unique breakfast culture surrounding it.
“Service” (pronounced sah-bisu in Japanese) is a loanword from English used to refer to a freebie or bonus at a shop.
As for the morning service, when you order a drink before 11am the toast and egg come free! Although not all cafes participate, it is very popular in Nagoya. This is a popular quick breakfast for office workers.
At some places, the toast comes with azuki red bean paste, known as Ogura Toast.
Most locations have this service until 11am, so it is a great, cheap way to get a coffee and a bite to eat while experiencing some of Nagoya’s unique culture.
I hope this article could give you some ideas of food to try on your trip to Nagoya. Any of these foods can be found all over the city. If you’re having trouble finding a place, why not drop in to our new Tourist Information Center, right next to Nagoya station?
Next time we will introduce some of the sightseeing spots in the Chubu region surrounding Nagoya.
See you next blog!