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- Introductions of nationally well-known indigenous products and tourist attractions of the “Kumamoto City Brand” -

“Foods” of the Kumamoto City Brand

“Kumamoto ramen”
Kumamoto ramen
Although there are so many different kinds of ramen throughout Japan, Kumamoto ramen is famous for its pork broth infused with garlic. The flavor of the broth, the ingredients, and the thickness and hardness of the noodles vary from store to store. It’s popular and fun to eat at different shops and compare the different tastes and textures.
“Basashi: raw horse meat”
With its vivid color and mild, slightly sweet flavor, basashi is very popular. It’s also low in fat and cholesterol, high in protein, and the texture is so tender that it almost melts in your mouth. In Kumamoto, basashi is eaten dipped in soy sauce, often mixed with either Japanese horseradish or grated garlic.
“Karashi Renkon”
Karashi Renkon
Karashi renkon was invented to help a physically weak lord of the Hosokawa Family in the Edo Period. Lotus root works as blood-making medicine and Japanese mustard improves one’s appetite. The lotus roots, holes filled with the Japanese mustard mixed with miso paste, is battered and deep fried. It’s one of the most famous local dishes of Kumamoto.
Taipien was originally brought from China, but then rearranged with some local ingredients. It’s a soup with bean-starch noodles, a lot of vegetables, sliced pork, shiitake mushrooms, and a deep fried egg. It’s very healthy and low in calories. It’s gaining national popularity as “nouveau Chinese cuisine born in Kumamoto”, yet it’s so commonplace in Kumamoto that it’s often served in school lunches.
“Horse Offal”
Horse Offal
Next to Basashi, horse offal is really gaining popularity among Japanese. The texture is kind of a cross between crunchy and springy, its flavor is a little different from beef and pork offal, and it goes so well with beer and Shochu. You can only enjoy it at special restaurants because it’s such a rare treat.
“Ikinari Dango”
Ikinari Dango
Ikinari dango is a Japanese steamed dumpling made from sweetened azuki bean paste, fresh sweet potato, and flour. You can enjoy the harmony of three different tastes and textures all in one. Ikinari means “promptly” in Kumamoto dialect. The name is derived from the notion that it’s a kind of treat you can make ‘promptly’ for unexpected guests.
“Chosen Ame”
Chosen Ame
Chosen ame is a soft candy made from glutinous rice, starch syrup, and white sugar. It was originally made as preserved food about 400 years ago when the Kumamoto Castle was being built by Kiyomasa Kato. It’s called Korean candy because his troops brought the candy with them when they went to battle in Korea. It’s a very tender delicacy.
“Kumamoto Mizu Monogatari”
Kumamoto Mizu Monogatari
Kumamoto City is a very rare city, in that spring water is used for tap water. This water has been filtrated for ages through the geologic stratum of grand Mt.Aso’s caldera. Kumamoto Mizu Monogatari (“Stories of Water”) is an official bottled mineral water from this fresh, delicious spring.