Food from Kagoshima
Food You Need to Eat
The general assumption when thinking about “food from Kagoshima” is their famous sweet potato. Sure, there are plenty of recipes using this amazing potato, but there is also a vibrant and healthy food culture focusing on what was taken from the sea, land, and animals. Here are some foods you are sure to enjoy.
Known by many other names throughout Japan, Kibinago are small fish, 5~10cm in length. Don’t let its size fool you. This stuff is good. “Sashimi in Kagoshima?” You’ll get served this. Eaten with shoyu (soy sauce) or a vinegar-miso blend, it’s a must-try. The fresher the fish the more shine it has. The ones with blue-silver gils are thought to be the freshest. Eaten also as tempura and on skewers, grilled, dried and in miso soup, you’re missing out if you don’t try Kibinago.
Gane is sweet potato julienned, but the word itself means “crab” in the Kagoshima dialect. Called this because the fried potato resembles a crab, gane can also be mixed with sliced carrots and other root vegetables.
Here’s how you make gane.
① Julienne a sweet potato. Wash it off and lightly shake off the water. Families have preferences on how thick to make the slices. You get to pick.
②Mix flour, an egg, and some sugar into a batter. Dip the slices of potato into the batter, and add soy sauce for flavor.
③Make it into a ball-like shape in your hands and deep-fry it. Dip it in salt or soy sauce once it’s done.
Free-range chickens from Satsuma (a region of Kagoshima) are known as one of the top three tastiest chickens in Japan. Raised in an all-natural environment, they are simply amazing. Shy about eating raw chicken? Don’t be. Not this kind.
Other regions in Japan also eat chicken as sashimi, but this stuff is different. It’s bold and yet sweet. Dip it into shoyu flavored with garlic, add a few scallions. You won’t be sorry.
The stew made with the aforementioned chickens is called kiikon. Add carrots, daikon, beans and a little brown sugar and soy sauce. This is to die for. Really.
Click photo to enlarge
Tsuke-age (Satsuma-age, tempura, hanpen)
A well-known dish from Satsuma, it’s a Japanese equivalent of a hot dog. Don’t turn your nose up so fast. Take fish meat, add salt, sugar, and soy sauce, make it into a ball, fry it up, and this hot dog turns into a delicious side dish. It can also be eaten cold but the piping hot ball oozing juices that comes straight out of the oil is something to behold. Dip it in soy sauce, sake or sugar. Make it spicy or sweet. It’s up to you.
Japan web magazine’s recommend
Some of these foods can be eaten at Tonden in Kagoshima.
Tonden (豚傳) DATA
- Address： Higashi-Chiseki-cho 11-4, Kagoshima-shi, Kagoshima-ken
- Transportation： In walking distance from Tenmonkan-dori station, Izuro-dori station and Takamibaba station.
- parking： No parking lot.
- Price： Average dinner costs around 4,000 yen.
- Lunch：12:00-14:00 (last order)
- inner ：17:30 – 23:00 (last order)
- Closed:Sundays and holidays (possibly some extended holidays)
- Credit cards accepted：VISA, MASTERCARD, JCB, NICOS, DINERS CLUB
- Telephone number： 099-219-1580
- Website： http://www.k-wakana.com/tenpo/tonden.html