Top Three Recommended Local Foods from Chiba Prefecture
What do you come up with when you hear “local cuisine”? Perhaps you imagine B-kyu gourmet (B-class cuisine), desserts, or dishes made from local ingredients. Chiba Prefecture, located next to Tokyo with the Pacific Ocean to its east and Tokyo Bay to its west, is surrounded by oceans. Naturally, it’s a treasure trove of seafood, which is why we’re introducing three of our top recommendations of local cuisine in Chiba.
I am Masato from Chiba City, Chiba Prefecture. I love drinking and partying and hope to have happy days with everyone! Recently, I am into walking and I walk for one to two hours if I have time. I passed the inbound certification exam to be an expert of the inbound tourism business. I am totally ready to share information about various attractive aspects of Japan to visitors from overseas in an easy-to-understand way!
1. Seafood Dishes
Seafood is a must-try when visiting Chiba. Among others, Chiba is one of Japan’s top ise-ebi (spiny lobster) fisheries. Ise-ebi, caught at a good fishing point where the cold and warm currents meet, has a tender, plump texture!
Sashimi of fresh ise-ebi
Namero is a famous local dish of Chiba’s Minamiboso area. It is a type of tataki that minces fish—usually horse mackerel or sardines—with scallions, shiso leaves, ginger, and miso together, using a kitchen knife. It is said that the name comes from the Japanese word “nameru” (to lick), it being so delicious that people will even lick their plates.
Sanga-yaki, a type of namero dish wrapped in shiso leaves, is also a delicacy. It is excellent with an alcoholic beverage.
Most of the dishes offered at the cafeteria run by the Chiba Fisheries Cooperative are under 1,500 yen. You can try the highly recommended seafood dishes like sushi, sashimi, boiled and fried fish, and tempura at affordable prices.
A voluminous tempura bowl! Pleasing to the eye too.。
2. Katsuura Tantanmen Noodles
Katsuura Tantanmen is a local dish from Katsuura, Chiba. It is said that a restaurant in Katsuura City first introduced in 1954. Favored by female shell divers, fishermen, and others involved in the fishing industry as a dish to warm their chilled body, it became popular. Now, as Katsuura’s “soul food,” many restaurants in the city serve this dish.
Unlike the usual Chinese tantanmen using sesame seeds and Chinese sesame paste, Katsuura Tantanmen is characterized by soy sauce-based soup, topped with onions and minced pork sauteed in chili pepper and oil. Toppings and spiciness vary depending on the restaurant, so finding your favorite is part of the fun.
Enjoy the aroma of Katsuura Tantanmen, different from the Chinese type.
3. Dairy Products
Did you know that Chiba Prefecture is the birthplace of dairy farming in Japan? This history began around 1728 when three Indian cows were brought to Japan and bred in the Minamiboso area. There, a dairy product similar to butter started being produced, and this is the origin. Currently, Chiba Prefecture has the fifth-largest milk production in Japan and is home to many places where you can enjoy dairy products.
Mother Farm’s Milk
A Classic Vanilla Soft-serve Ice Cream (Mother Farm)
Rich, but with a light aftertaste
Various types of soft-serve ice cream flavors available in Chiba:
– Soy sauce soft-serve ice cream
– Peanut cream soft-serve ice cream
– Loquat soft-serve ice cream
Chiba is also abundant in fruits and fresh, juicy fruits can be enjoyed throughout the prefecture.
Loquats from Boso (late May-early June)
Watermelons from Tomisato (June)
Pears from Ichikawa (August)
Ready to eat? Don’t forget to try Chiba’s delicious local foods while sightseeing or on a road trip. You just might find reasons to frequent the area!
*The information herein is as of August 2021.