Crab sake soup in the shell. Some casual restaurants in Japan (like izakaya) will cook a crab shell over a charcoal grill with the meat still in it and pour sake in as a kind of broth. The flavor is sharp; some love it, some hate it, and it is certainly considered down-and-dirty dining.
Daitokuji fermented black beans. Named after the Kyoto temple nearby which you can purchase these incredibly pungent delicacies, these dried beans generally only pair well with unfiltered or unpasteurized sake. Their powerful flavor (which some people find offensive) would probably overpower a nice, delicate ginjo.
French fries? More like Kyoto fries. A restaurant in Japan’s ancient capital city used baby potato sprouts to bread and fry. Soft but savory, they paired wonderfully with sake.
This is a kind of fishloaf (like meatloaf) with spring onions. (more detailed description coming soon, and perhaps a recipe if the chef relents!)
The foreground is just natto (fermented soybeans) and some generic potato salad. But in the background is Kamaboko carpaccio. Kamaboko is basically white fish meat that has been pureed and processed into loaves. Suzuhiro, in the beautiful hot springs resort town of Hakone, makes some all-natural Kamaboko (as well as Hakone craft beer).
Marinated tomato slices and sashimi in red-peppered olive oil with light garnish. Recipe coming soon.
Seasonal dish of lightly breaded and fried beans from Gastropub Ales in Fukuoka. Recipe coming soon.
Yamagata, meaning “shape of mountains,” is an appropriately named prefecture with distinctive rural character and a noticeably slower pace of life. It is one of Japan’s least populous prefectures and also home to one of its oldest average populations, despite the ruggedness of the terrain and climate. Even its larger cities seem sparsely populated…