Aichi, located in the middle of Japan’s main island of Honshu, is an ideal pitstop on a drive from Tokyo to Osaka. Forget about the traditional sushi and ramen in Aichi; the food is rich in flavor and uncompromising in taste. Instead, imagine deep-fried delicacy coated in savory sauces that is truly satisfying. Dig in!
1. Tebasaki (chicken wings)
Nagoya is famous for its fried chicken wings. Tebasaki and Nagoya, Aichi’s capital city, are synonymous for many Japanese people. Both are intertwined since neither can exist without the other. While the natives eat more than just this scrumptious fried chicken, travelers can certainly do so during their visit. Tebasaki, unlike other fried chicken in Japan, is not deboned, allowing you to eat it like a primitive predator (which, let’s be honest, is the only way to eat fried chicken).
The classic preparation is crisp with a savory-sweet marinade that includes garlic, ginger, and black pepper. Other variations substitute the sticky glaze for salt or simply a generous amount of black pepper. Gnaw on this meaty delicacy at one of Nagoya Castle’s food carts or Yamachan, a popular chain izakaya (Japanese pub).
2. Miso katsu
The next dish you must eat in Aichi is miso katsu. Katsu is a popular thick fried chicken cutlet in Japan. The soft pork slices in Aichi are coated in a rich stocky miso sauce, making for a delectable combination.
People from Aichi will put miso “on anything.”
Miso Katsu Yabaton is by far the most well-known restaurant, with locations all across the country. However, with so many little restaurants scattered around Aichi, there is no shortage of options.
Locals will tell you about their favorite spots, but Ramuchii is a hidden gem. The interior is dark and eerie, like a dystopian bunker. The meal is far from scavenged scraps, despite the restaurant’s post-industrial breakdown ambiance (thankfully). The miso katsu is accompanied with a mountain of Japanese spring onion. It’s imperative that you consume your vegetables.
3. Chikuwa (fish paste tubes)
The most common translation for these chewy white and brown tubes that resemble bamboo stalks is “fish tubes.” The little fish cake pipes are excellent when served in oden, despite their unappealing appearance (a warm winter stew).
Chikuwa is made by wrapping fish paste around a bamboo ring under steam, hence the literal meaning “bamboo ring.” This round seafood is popular in Toyohashi, in southern Aichi. Around Toyohashi Station, you’ll discover a wide variety of chikuwa goods, making it a convenient snack.
4. Red miso
Miso soup has a wide range of variety applications, as it may be served at any time of day to complement nearly any main dish. Aichi’s maroon miso has a rich smoky flavour that differs from the standard miso soup served elsewhere in Japan. It’s a good palate cleanser for breakfast.
When compared to white miso, the difference in taste is attributable to a lengthier fermenting period and a higher soybean content. It’s a running joke in Aichi that people will put miso on anything, and it’s possible that’s true. There’s no need to go out of your way to find this one; it’ll be served as a beginning in a variety of places.
For those who appreciate traditional Japanese flavors, this is the dish for you. Hitsumabushi is a dish of grilled eel served with a generous amount of rice in an unique wooden bowl.
When you eat it, you go through a three-step process before completing the Aichi culinary experience. Firstly, you must taste the eel’s natural flavor— it’s quite pleasant. Then, to enhance the base flavor, you must add a variety of condiments such as wasabi, an onion-based sauce, and seaweed.
But hold on! There’s more! In the third phase, extra sauce is poured over the dish, turning it into a thick soup. Sanpaku, located near Kanayama station, is a well-known restaurant that serves a particularly delectable hitsumabushi experience.