Osaka

osaka link image

I spent a memorable week in Osaka this past winter.  As Japan’s unofficial food capital, the bustling metropolis is quite the treasure chest of exciting culinary finds.  Here’s a glimpse:

From bottom left to right: nabeyaki udon, udon with clams in a clear broth, sukiyaki udon.

Udon is a popular Japanese thick noodle made of wheat-flour.  The origin of the noodles can be traced back to China, despite being distinctly Japanese today.  The udon noodles at this noodle house weren’t run of the mill; they were hand-made-to-order and were noticeably meatier and chewier than any pre-made, frozen alternative.

Classic okonomiyaki.

Japanese “pancakes,” okonomiyaki, literally “what you want grilled,” are made by combining a special batter (typically flour, grated yams, water, cabbage, eggs) and assorted toppings like shrimp, pork, green onion.  This Japanese gallette is then topped with Japanese mayonnaise, though other sauces are also used, and usually served on a counter-top flat grill before the customer.

Fresh fugu at the market.

Fugu usuzukuri.

Fugu shabu-shabu.

Fugu karaage.

The standard tourist fugu (pufferfish) experience.  Nothing original, but it was something to try.  Fugu is a somewhat heavy fish, though not very oily.  At this restaurant, I had the opportunity to try it prepared several different ways: raw, in a hot pot, deep-fried, as a broth.

Kushikatsu at shinsekai.

At shinsekai, there are an uncanny concentration of kushikatsu restaurants.  Kushikatsu are Japanese deep-fried skewers.  Meats (chicken, beef, pork, fish) and vegetables (yam, eggplant, asparagus, carrot, onion, to name a few) are breaded with panko (Japanese bread crumbs) and fried to order.  This particular restaurant I dined at served the skewers with a lightly-vinegared shoyu and fresh cabbage.

A tonkatsu set.

While not exclusive to Osaka, tonkatsu (豚カツ), is very popular throughout Japan.  The pork cutlet is breaded with panko and then deep-fried.  Here, in standard fashion, it was served with miso soup, cabbage, and rice.

All images, including the title header, on this page are under the ownership of Gluttonize.

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