Hiroshimayaki (Okonomiyaki of Hiroshima)
As the most famous food in the prefecture, the Hiroshimayaki, or Hiroshima-style okonomiyaki, is unique from those found in other parts of Japan. Instead of mixing all the ingredients together, they are layered. In addition, the amount of cabbage used in the Hiroshima version is usually three to four times the amount used in the Kansai-Osaka style.
A great place to taste this famous local delicacy is none other than Okonomimura. Rated as the best in Japan for okonomiyaki, you can take your pick from the numerous okonomiyaki eateries housed on the second to fourth floors of the Okonomimura building.
Oysters grown in Hiroshima are very big, thick, and tasty. Hiroshima is one of the four regions in Japan famous for growing delicious oysters. Kaki no Dotenabe is oysters in a pot with miso spread on the edge is a local Hiroshima dish and Hiroshima residents often cook fried oysters and oysters on rice in winter. Also, there are some oyster shops that serve grilled oysters and fresh oysters with vinaigrette on Miyajima Island.
Momiji-manju is a famous local specialty that is frequently purchased by visitors to Hiroshima as an omiyage, a type of food souvenir in Japan. It’s a small cake in the shape of a maple leaf, a traditional symbol of Hiroshima, that’s filled with sweet red bean paste or flavors like matcha green tea, chocolate, and cream cheese. Be sure to pick up a few momiji-manju cakes to treat your friends and family back home to some delicious Hiroshima food.
Anago is a common type of sea eel that can be found in the waters of Hiroshima Bay. Locals put it on rice and its package as a bento meaning a boxed lunch to eat on the go. Anago is more popular in Hiroshima than eel since it contains less fat and is more affordable. It is almost fluffy when cooked. Anago-meshi (grilled eel served over rice), is considered a local specialty. During the summer and weekends, it’s not uncommon to wait in line for an hour to sit down at one of the famous restaurants.
One of Hiroshima’s original dishes is Hiroshima tsukemen, noodles and broth served in different bowls. Tsukemen is a noodle dish that’s best described as “soupless ramen”. It’s made with the same noodles and toppings as ramen, but rather than soup, the ingredients are served with a bowl of concentrated dipping sauce on the side. In Hiroshima, the dipping sauce is a hot and spicy soup flavored with fiery red chilies, which can be customized to your preferred spice level.
Sea bream is one of the most popular fish in Japan. Sea bream rice is rice cooked with a whole sea bream, seasoned with soy sauce, salt, sake, and seaweed broth. A porcelain pot is commonly used when making sea bream rice.
Other than the Tsukemen that seeks to challenge your tastebuds, the Onomichi ramen is also a noteworthy dish. The broth is made from high-quality small fish from the Seto Inland Sea, as well as pork loin fat. Using springy flat noodles cooked in fresh soy-sauce based broth, it is a flavorful and nutritious meal as the small fish are rich in calcium and the pork loin fat contains good cholesterol.