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21. Aug 2022

Hokkaido Trivia – Hokkaidoites Have Sweet Tooth?

Japanese food has become UNESCO’s intangible cultural asset in 2013, and to eat authentic Japanese food comes top in the list of what foreign tourists like to do in Japan according to the 2018 survey by the Tourism Agency. 

So Japanese food is the “in” thing.  I always wish that the foreign guests get to experience not only the symbolic dishes but also the local family dishes.  Like in any countries, each region in Japan has their local foods and distinct preferences in taste.  In Hokkaido people tend to prefer seasonings on the sweet side.

Chawan-mushi (“steamed bowl of egg” = egg pudding) and Seki-han (“red rice” = sticky red rice) are often brought up as good examples.  Both are popular home cooking throughout the country.  But in Hokkaido these 2 meal menus (NOT desserts) are sweetened unlike in many other parts of the country.  Coming from Tokyo myself, I was surprised that sugar was added to the egg pudding and the sticky red rice was cooked with sweetly simmered kidney beans and not plain boiled red beans.  Are they good?  Yes!  They might be awkward at first like any first experience, but you can get quite addicted to it 😊

Hokkaido has many interesting foods such as Genghis Khan BBQ (has got nothing to do with Mongolia), soup curry, etc etc and of course fresh sea food, vegetables and dairy products.  Besides these popular dishes, why not try the homey foods.  You can get them at many of the “combini” (convenience stores) or you can always join our tour 🙂