Kochi is not only famous for its autumn festivals and scenery, but also for its delicious mouth-watering food. The unique food tradition here attracts many visitors. Kochi is famous for its ‘Sawachi cuisine’ which is a culinary tradition that dates hundreds of years back. Let’s have a look at this tradition as well as the top five foods to try in Kochi.
Sawachi is an arrangement of different types of dishes such as sashimi, tataki, sushi and other seasoning items on a flat and large colorful plate. Sawachi is also a way of eating which is an informal way of conversing with friends around the table in a nice and warm way. Kochi is famous for Sawachi tradition which is admired by many other food lovers from Japan. It reflects the grandness and graciousness of Kochi and the warmth and friendliness of its people.
Below is the list of top five foods to try here in Kochi.
Have you ever tried a bonito fish (which is similar to tuna)? Bonito migrate in the sea in the summer months and are delicious to cook. Katsuo no tataki is referred to as ‘Seared Bonito’ where fresh bonito are roasted over a fire until the surface is savory while the meat inside is juicy. Visitors can enjoy bonito in winter too. One can find bonito foods in every store in Kochi in the form of ‘shuto’ (fermented bonito guts) and ‘haranbo’ (roasted fatty abdomen).
Kinmedai (alfonsino) is a type of fish found near the waters of Muroto, a city in Kochi prefecture. Usually, fish caught in winter are at their best due to the extra fat they put on over the winter months. Kinme-don is a bowl of rice with raw kinmedai sliced and used as a topping. Once you try this delicious dish, it may just become one of your favorites.
In Japan, ramen is very popular and generally a common craving. There are many varieties of ramen depending on the location in Japan. One variation is the famous Nabeyaki Ramen/Udon which is simply a chicken soy sauce soup with thin noodles and topped with egg, fish sausage, and green onions. It is best served hot with its savory broth.
Tosa is a city located on the southern coast of Shikoku island in the Kochi prefecture. Tosa is famous for its unique variation of chicken. The chickens there have less fat in comparison to standard broiler chicken variations. The meat is plain and sometimes sweet with a crunchy texture. It is the best chicken you may ever have the pleasure of tasting, especially when it’s slightly roasted. The longer you chew, the better the taste will be. Also, the eggs produced from this ‘low-fat’ chicken are usually smaller in size and rich in taste.
Tosa, as mentioned earlier, is not only famous for its chickens, but also for its cows. The Tosa red cow is actually brown in color and a very rare type of cow which account for 0.1 percent of the ‘wagyu’ cattle in Japan. The beef from this cattle is known for its quality, taste and is usually expensive. There is a good balance of red meat and fat in marbled beef. Tosa red cow beef/Akoushi is rich in taste and is considered a healthy type of beef.
So, when you get hungry while exploring the streets of Kochi, make sure you look out for these specialty dishes when checking out a restaurant menu. Itadakimasu (Let’s eat)!