Food of the Hiroshima Prefecture: 5 Famous Dishes You Need to Try
Hiroshima Prefecture is a small area located in the southwestern part of Japan, known for its abundance of seafood and traditional Japanese dishes. With a population of over 2 million people, Hiroshima is a popular destination for food lovers who want to try the local cuisine.
In this post we'll cover:
- 1 The Importance of Food in Hiroshima Prefecture
- 2 5 Must-Try Local Dishes in Hiroshima
- 3 Conclusion
The Importance of Food in Hiroshima Prefecture
Food is an essential part of the culture in Hiroshima Prefecture, and the people here take great pride in their local dishes. The area is highly regarded for its unique flavors, which are a result of the particular ingredients and cooking styles used in the dishes. Hiroshima is also known for its production of soy sauce, miso, and maple syrup, which are used in many of the local dishes.
The Differences in Hiroshima-style Dishes
One of the unique features of the dishes in Hiroshima Prefecture is the way they are served. Many of the dishes are served in a round shape, and the ingredients are often layered on top of each other. Here are some of the differences you’ll notice in Hiroshima-style dishes:
- Okonomiyaki: In Hiroshima, the dish is made by mixing the ingredients together and then grilling them on a hot plate. The dish is usually topped with a sweet and spicy sauce and may also include a variety of other toppings such as cheese or mayonnaise.
- Hiroshima-style Tsukemen: In this dish, the noodles are served separately from the broth, and the broth is usually thicker and richer than in other parts of Japan.
- Kaki-no-dote: The oysters used in this dish are supplied from the nearby Seto Inland Sea, which is known for its abundance of fresh seafood.
- Anago-meshi: The eel used in this dish is usually simmered in a mixture of soy sauce, sugar, and water, which gives it a fiery and sweet flavor.
5 Must-Try Local Dishes in Hiroshima
When in Hiroshima, you simply can’t miss out on trying their famous Hiroshima-style okonomiyaki. This iconic dish has been popularized all over Japan, but it’s best enjoyed in its birthplace. Unlike the conventional Osaka-style okonomiyaki, Hiroshima’s version is layered with batter, inside which you’ll find a variety of savory ingredients such as cabbage, pork, and seafood. The dish is then topped with a fried egg and a generous amount of okonomiyaki sauce. You can find this dish at dedicated okonomiyaki restaurants all over the city, but the best place to munch on it is at the central Okonomimura building, which is packed with restaurants serving this delicious variation.
Momiji Manju: A Sweet Treat with a Maple Leaf Twist
If you have a sweet tooth, you’ll love trying momiji manju. This regional specialty is a caked filled with anko, a sweet red bean paste, and shaped like a maple leaf. The name “momiji” means maple leaf in Japanese, and this sweet treat is a popular souvenir for people visiting Hiroshima. You can find momiji manju at souvenir shops all over the city, but the best place to learn about its history and taste the best ones is at the Miyajima Momiji Kan, a dedicated momiji manju shop near the Itsukushima Shrine.
Hiroshima-style Tsukemen: A New Way to Enjoy Ramen
If you love ramen, you’ll want to try Hiroshima-style tsukemen. This dish is a new way to enjoy ramen, where the noodles are served separately from the broth. The noodles are thicker and chewier than regular ramen noodles, and the broth is rich and savory. You dip the noodles into the broth and slurp them up, enjoying the taste and texture of each bite. You can find this dish at dedicated ramen restaurants all over the city, but the best place to try it is at the enthusiastic baseball-themed restaurant, Eats Stadium.
Hiroshima-style Oysters: Seafood Delight from Inland Sea
Hiroshima is known for its fresh and delicious oysters, which are harvested from the nearby Inland Sea. These oysters are larger and meatier than other kinds of oysters, and they have a unique taste that comes from the brackish water they grow in. You can find oysters served in many ways all over the city, from grilled to fried to raw. The best place to taste them is at the Hiroshima Oyster Market, where you’ll be greeted with excessive enthusiasm from the vendors showing off their prized catch.
Hiroshima-style Cakes: Layers of Sweetness
Hiroshima-style cakes are a must-try for anyone with a sweet tooth. These cakes are made with layers of sponge cake, whipped cream, and fruit, creating a delicious and refreshing dessert. You can find these cakes at dedicated cake shops all over the city, but the best place to taste them is at the historical and iconic Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, where you can dine while overlooking the mirrored layers of the Atomic Bomb Dome. Don’t forget to try the regional specialty, maple leaf-shaped cakes filled with anko, called momiji cakes.
So there you have it- the food of the Hiroshima Prefecture is delicious, and has a unique flavor all its own.
You can’t go wrong with a classic like okonomiyaki, but don’t forget to try some of the local dishes like tsukemen or momiji manju as well.
I hope you’ve found this guide helpful and you’re ready to embark on your own culinary adventure in the Hiroshima Prefecture!
Joost Nusselder, the founder of Bite My Bun is a content marketer, dad and loves trying out new food with Japanese food at the heart of his passion, and together with his team he's been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with recipes and cooking tips.