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“What? That dish is originally from Fukuoka!”  Enjoy our special feature on foods you might be surprised to hear originated in Fukuoka!

“What? That dish is originally from Fukuoka!”  Enjoy our special feature on foods you might be surprised to hear originated in Fukuoka!
 When you talk about dishes that have originated in Fukuoka, what usually comes to mind?

Probably tonkotsu ramen, right?

Well, it is certainly true that it is one of the most famous foods to come out of Fukuoka,

but there is a whole of range of fantastic dishes from Fukuoka that are not so widely known.

We’ll be introducing to some of them, so keep on reading to find-out more!

Udon

Many people are familiar with udon, but perhaps not everyone is aware that it was first developed in Fukuoka.

It can be traced back to 1241, when the Kamakura period priest Shoichi Kokushi returned to Japan after completing his training in China, and brought with him new flour milling techniques.

Noted for its soft textured noodles, Hakata Udon is currently a much-loved dish.

Kaedama

A common practice amongst Hakata locals, kaedama is a system that allows diners to order extra helpings of noodles.

It is said to have first been created in and around Hakata, an area that is synonymous with ramen.

It was originally developed so that people who were in a rush while working at the Nagahama Fish Market could eat their ramen quickly by pouring a second helping of noodles into any leftover broth.

Kaedama is a firmly entrenched aspect of Hakata’s famous ramen culture.

Toshikoshi Soba

Toshikoshi soba is a dish eaten in Japan on New Year’s Eve for good luck. This auspicious practice is said to have originated in Joten-ji Temple, Fukuoka.

A trader from the Kamakura period called Shakokumeo is credited with gathering people who were going hunrgy and providing them with buckwheat flour which had been stored to make rice cakes. The idea seemed to catch on, with Hakata locals soon becoming synonymous with buckwheat. Before long it was a food that was seen as lucky, with locals deciding to eat buckwheat noodles over the New Year period.  

Surprisingly few people know about this, so mentioning that toshikoshi soba originated in Fukuoka while sampling the dish over the New Years’ period might well catch a few people off guard.

Manju

Manju are a type of traditional snack filled with anko (azuki beans). They have a long history and began to take root in Japanese society after Shoichi Kokushi returned from studying in China.

Kamakura period priest Shoichi Kokushi is credited with helping establish new flour milling techniques to Japan after his travels around China. Kokushi returned back to Japan in 1241 and it is from then that buckwheat started to gain popularity throughout the country.

The practice of steaming amakaze (sweet mild sake) manju can also be traced back to Shoichi Kokushi216

Yaki Udon

Yaki udon is a dish of fried noodles that is said to have been developed in Kokura, Kitakyushu.

In the immediate aftermath of the war, the owner of an eatery known as “Darumado,” located on the Torimachi Shokudogai, wanted to make yakisoba, but had run out of soba noodles. The staff tried frying dried udon instead. It started to catch on and that is where the dish began.

Yaki Curry

Yaki Curry allegedly originated in Moji-ko, Kitkakyushu.

Many tourists are currently visiting the area to sample this unique dish.

Yaki curry is said to have been developed during the 1950s at a now closed Japanese restaurant called Yamada-ya that has since shut down. The eatery used to be in based in Sakaemachi Shotengai, a famous arcade located in Moji-ko, Kitakyushu City, Fukuoka Prefecture. The curry is baked in an oven in a similar manner to gratin or doria. The aromatic fragrance and delicious flavor of the dish resulted in it becoming a regular on the restaurant’s menu. It seems that is how the curry began to gain major popularity.

Uiro

Uiro originated in Myorakuji, Fukuoka City, Fukuoka Prefecture.

Legend has it that uiro was used as a palate cleanser for an incredibly bitter type of medicine that was taken during Muromachi period.

This feature has revealed that there really are a lot of dishes that have originated in the Fukuoka area. It is evident that a number of these foods, such as udon, manju, and toshikoshi soba initially grew out of the knowledge that Shoichi Kokushi brought back to Japan after his travels in China.

As such, it can be said that a lot of these dishes were modified from food that was eaten on the Asian continent and adjusted to suit the tastes of the locals in Japan.

We hope to see Fukuoka continue make use of its strong connection with the rest of Asia to serve an important role in the creation of new cultural trends in the region.

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