Osaka earned the nickname “The kitchen of the country” in the past and still there are many delicious and cheap foods in Osaka and the near prefectures. The foods below are what you must try during your travel.
#1. Okonomiyaki – Osaka
Okonomiyaki is the best food to represent the local food culture of Osaka. Okonomiyaki is a kind of Japanese-style pancake. “Okonomi” means “what you like” and “Yaki” means “grilled”. The typical ingredients for Okonomiyaki are chopped cabbage, pork, shrimp, squid, flour, egg and water. It is made to mix these ingredients and grill on a hot steel plate. After cooking, a special sauce, bonito stock and seaweed are put on it. But, as you imagine from the word “Okonomi (what you like)”, you can taste Okonomiyaki using your favorite ingredients.
There are numbers of Okonomiyaki restaurant in Osaka and each restaurants have their own special menus; Tomato Okonomiyaki, Corn Okonomiyaki and so on. At some restaurant you can cook your okonomiyaki by yourself with staff’s explanation.
#2. Kobe Beef – Hyogo
Personally, the best way to taste Kobe Beef is a steak at a grill restaurant. You can see a chef cooking beefs on an iron plate just in front of you. Also there are many kinds of ways to taste Kobe Beef such as Japanese style BBQ, Shabu-shabu and so on.
#3. Kushi Katsu – Osaka
Kushi Katsu is very famous for its catchphrase; “Don’t dip your Kushi Katsu into a souse twice!!”. Kushi Katsu is deep-fried breaded meats, vegetables and seafoods on skewers. There are many kinds of ingredients and you can choose whatever you want to try one by one from a menu. Chefs cook your Kushi Katsu at the kitchen just in front of you and you can taste very hot Kushi Katsu.
Before you eat it, you dip it into the box filled with sauce which is different from restaurants to restaurants. Now it’s time to taste Kushi Katsu. Remember “No Double Dipping”. There are many Kushi Katsu restaurants in Osaka but especially, lots of cheap and delicious local Kushi Katsu restaurants gather at Shinsekai area (near Tsutenkaku tower).
#4. Takoyaki – Osaka
Takoyaki is very popular as a savory flour based snack in Osaka. The shape of little round balls contain a piece of octopus. Takoyaki is served with special Takoyaki sauce, bonito shavings and mayonnaise. In Osaka people from children to seniors love Takoyaki. At some Takoyaki restaurants you can choose inside ingredients from more than 20 kinds of ingredients such as cheese, vegetables and so on. Some restaurants offer you the opportunity to make your Takoyaki by yourself. First you feel difficult to make a perfect ball shape, but gradually you can get doing well.
#5. Yudofu (Boiled Tofu) – Kyoto
Tofu is nowadays very popular as a healthy food all over the world. But in Kyoto, Yudofu is one of the popular way to taste tofu. Yudofu is very simple to feel the original taste of tofu. You just taste tofu with a seasoning made of vinegar and the juice from a bitter orange in boiled water. Try Yudofu when you visit Kyoto in winter to warm your body.