FOOD CAPITAL OF JAPAN, OSAKA
Culture of Dashi
Dashi is different in color between the Kanto and Kansai areas. The Kanto style is based on bonito. The bonito dashi has a slight color and smell. So, in order to mask the color and smell, dark soy sauce, called koi-kuchi shoyu, is added. Therefore, the Kanto-style dashi has a distinct color of soy sauce combined with the taste and smell of bonito.
On the other hand, it is common to make dashi with kombu and bonito in Osaka. Kombu masks the smell of bonito, eliminating the need of dark soy sauce. Moreover, by using kombu with bonito for making dashi, the resulting dashi has no color; therefore, light soy sauce, usu-kuchi shoyu, is used. Light soy sauce with a higher salt content than dark soy sauce can add saltiness well with a smaller amount, adding no color to disturb the colors of the ingredients of a dish. This suits the delicate dishes of kaiseki ryori, a Japanese traditional full-course meal, and shojin ryori, Japanese vegetarian cuisine, and was favored by kuge, Japanese aristocratic class people in Kyoto, and merchants in Osaka.
One of the most typical udon dishes in Osaka is kitsune-udon, which includes udon noodles in soup topped with salty-sweet-flavored abura-age, deep-fried tofu sheet. This noodle dish called kitsune, which means fox in Japanese, is said to have been named by MATSUBAYA HOMPO udon restaurant in Minami-semba in Osaka. After eating the noodles, don’t hesitate to drink up the flavorful dashi!
Namba Sta. on various lines
Culture of Kona Flour
The base of okonomiyaki is wheat flour batter made with dashi and various other ingredients, for example, eggs, shredded cabbage, tenkasu (crunchy pieces of deep-fried batter), and red ginger pickles. The batter is poured onto an iron hotplate like a pancake and slices of pork and/or pieces of seafood such as squid and shrimp are added. After one side is cooked, the pancake is flipped and cooked on the other side. It is topped off with a generous amount of rich okonomiyaki sauce and sprinkled with aonori (seaweed flakes), bonito powder, and, for many, mayonnaise.
Negiyaki is similar to okonomiyaki but with a different flavor. The thinner variation of okonomiyaki is filled with chopped scallions, and soy sauce, instead of okonomiyaki sauce, and is commonly offered in many restaurants.
Takoyaki is wheat flour batter cooked with pieces of tako (octopus) using a special iron pan with spherical molds with a diameter of 3 to 5 cm. Aiduya invented this beloved Osaka dish. Ikayaki is another popular snack in Osaka made with wheat flour batter with dashi and chopped squid that is pressed between iron hotplates and topped with sauce. If you want try one, you should go to the basement food floor of Hanshin Department Store.
10:00-20:00 (from 9:00 on weekends and holidays)
Open 365 days
Tamade Sta. on Yotsubashi Subway Line
Tamade-nishi, Nishinari-ku, Osaka City
Okonomi yaki and Negiyaki
06-6214-0503 12:00-15:00 / 17:00-22:45
Holiday: Mondays, except for holiday Mondays
Shinsaibashi Sta. on various lines
Shin-nihon Mitsudera bldg. 1F, 2-2-10 Shinsaibashi-suji, Chuo-ku, Osaka City
Shinsekai Ganso Kushikatsu DARUMA Tsutenkaku Branch
Open 365 days
Ebisucho Sta. on Subway Sakaisuji Line
Ebisu-higashi, Naniwa-ku, Osaka City
Nobody can resist freshly-cooked steaming-hot kushikatsu, deep-fried ingredients on skewers. Shinsekai has many kushikatsu restaurants, offering an opportunity to find your favorite kushikatsu.
Chinese steamed buns filled with pork are usually called nikuman, meat buns, but in Osaka, they are called butaman, pork buns. In Osaka, meat always refers to beef.
Most fugu, pufferfish, on the market in Japan are from Shimonoseki, Yamaguchi Prefecture, and about 60% of the fugu fish is said to be consumed in Osaka. In Osaka, fugu is humorously called teppo (“gun”), as you may die if you are ataru (this word in Japanese means both being shot and getting sick from food) by either. Nabe with fugu is called tecchiri, the combination of teppo and chiri-chiri, a description of a slice of fugu cooked in nabe and shrinking. Fugu sashimi is called tessa, an abbreviation of the combination of teppo and sashimi. Tecchiri is usually eaten with sudachi, Japanese citrus fruit, which is mostly produced in Tokushima Prefecture across the strait, providing one of the reasons why the fugu consumption in Osaka is so high.
551 HORAI Ebisubashi Hoten
Holiday: Third Tuesday of each month
Namba Sta. on various lines
Namba, Chuo-ku, Osaka City
ZUBORAYA Shinsekai Honten
Holiday: Jan. 1 JR
Shin-Imamiya Sta. or Dobutsuen-mae Sta. on Subway Midosuji Line
2-5-5 Ebisu-higashi, Naniwa-ku, Osaka City
Kuromon-ichiba market supports this food capital of Japan. It is a covered shopping arcade stretching 150 meters from east to west and 380 meters from south to north, to the south of Sennichimae-suji Street and to the east of Sakai-suji Street.