20 Must-Try Foods In Kyoto, Japan

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20 Must Try Foods In Kyoto Japan 2
20 Must Try Foods In Kyoto Japan 2

Japanese course dinners (kaiseki ryori) developed as part of a traditional tea ceremony (chanoyu) and vegetarian dishes (shojin ryori) influenced by Chinese Buddhism can be sampled in Kyoto, the birthplace of traditional culinary culture.

The town’s local cuisine (Kyo-ryori) is vibrant and visually appealing, thanks to the skill and experience of the area’s Japanese chefs. At least once in their lives, everyone should get the opportunity to dine on traditional Japanese fare in the elegant setting of Kyoto. We all know it’s possible to get great food at reasonable pricing. We’ve compiled a list of some of Kyoto’s most popular local delicacies and budget-friendly treats.

1. Soba Noodles With Dried Herring (Nishin Soba)

On New Year’s Eve in Kyoto, nishin soba is the go-to noodle meal (Toshi Koshi soba). In the days when Kyoto was so far off from the sea, imported dried fish like Hokkaido herrings (migaki nishin) was a lifesaver. This is the context in which dishes made with dried fish were developed.

Nishin soba, a buckwheat noodle soup with sweetened herrings cooked for days, is one such meal.

1. Soba noodles with dried herring nishin soba

2. Yuba

The nutrient-dense product develops on the surface when heated soy milk is mixed with yuba (referred to as “tofu skin”). Wrapped in multi-layered morsels, served in soups, or fried into yuba chips are just a few of the many ways you may enjoy this versatile ingredient.

Yuba is the main dish in Kyoto’s kaiseki and shojin ryori cuisines. You can’t miss yuba and a Kyoto delicacy packed with antioxidants, anti-aging benefits, and plenty of protein.

2. Yuba

3. Obanzai

Chefs who follow the obanzai philosophy value their relationships with the farmers or market vendors from whom they purchase their ingredients and use every part of the ingredient to prevent waste. Dishes should be prepared using only natural, high-quality ingredients and should complement the disposition or constitution of their diners. Bonito (a type of tuna) and kombu (a type of seaweed) are common ingredients in obanzai.

3. Obanzai

4. Kyo Kaiseki

Traditionally, Kyo kaiseki is offered at chaji, a multi-course dinner followed by a tea ceremony, chakai, a light meal, or sweets with tea. Traditional tea ceremonies begin with a light meal before serving thick and robust tea, which can be unpalatable to those who haven’t eaten it before.

4. Kyo kaiseki

5. Tsukemono (Japanese Pickles)

Shibazuke, senmaizuke, and sugizuke are three of Kyoto’s most revered tsukemono (pickles). To make Shibazuke, combine chopped cucumbers and eggplants with red shiso and pickle them (perilla, or beefsteak plant). Magenta is added to the materials by using shiso.

5. Tsukemono Japanese pickles

6. Buddhist Vegetarian Cuisine (Shojin Ryori)

Kyoto has a wide range of vegetarian options, but shojin ryori, which originated in Zen Buddhist temple kitchens and was heavily influenced by Chinese Buddhism, is the best. Eating anything with a strong smell, such as garlic, green onion, Chinese chives, or Japanese scallion, is forbidden.

6. Buddhist vegetarian cuisine shojin ryori

7. Kamo Nanban

When the weather is cold, Kamo Nanban is a Kyoto favourite. It’s cooked with buckwheat, wheat soba, udon noodles, and a duck and onion-flavoured broth. It’s spicy. Adding other meat and vegetables is common to give it a distinct flavour.

7. Kamo Nanban

8. Hamo (Conger Eel)

There are several ways to cook the delicate white meat of the hamo, including boiling, grilling, deep-frying, or serving it as sashimi or in hot pots such as nabe. However, chilled, boiling ham with ume sauce is famous in the summer. Even though it can make it to landlocked Kyoto City, the conger eel is a tough cookie with a slew of teeny-tiny bones that chefs must work around while preparing.

8. Hamo Conger Eel

9. Kyo Wagashi (Kyoto Sweets)

Traditional wagashi-making in Kyoto dates back hundreds of years, making it one of Japan’s oldest and best-known confectionery traditions. To counteract the bitterness of Kyo Wagashi’s red bean paste, they are served with green matcha tea. Wagashi (sweets) in Kyoto are made in various shapes and designs depending on the seasons, occasions, fruit, flowers, landscapes, etc. You can enjoy these vegetarian and vegan Kyoto sweets and take them home as souvenirs.

9. Kyo Wagashi Kyoto sweets

10. Beef Cutlet (Gyu Katsu)

People in the Kansai region prefer beef to pork, and the word meat is commonly used to refer to beef in this part of Japan. In the Kanto region, beef cutlet (Gyu katsu) has become a popular meal. It is only by cooking it to a perfect medium-rare temperature that this Kyoto specialty becomes genuinely delectable. Sliced thickly, the cutlets are breaded and quickly cooked in hot oil till golden brown.

10. Beef cutlet Gyu katsu

11. Kyoto Ramen

Adding hog back fat to Kyoto ramen gives it an exceptionally delicious flavour. When it comes to ramen, the Shin-Yokohama Ramen Museum says there are three significant ways to create it: pork stock and plenty of hog back fat, chicken stock, and soy sauce.

11. Kyoto ramen

12. Kushikatsu

The Kansai region is famous for these fried, panko-coated meat and veggie skewers. Lunchtime kushikatsu sets may be found in Kyoto’s Isetan department store’s Kushinobo restaurant, located in the station’s main building. The skewers, known as konnyaku, are created to order and typically comprise shishito peppers packed with ground chicken, green onion, pork, quail’s egg, squash, and a sticky root vegetable. This single order includes tea, rice, and miso soup.

12. Kushikatsu

13. Nama-Fu

Zen monks of Kyoto ate wheat gluten combined with rice flour as a vegetarian source of nutrition. Nama-fu, like tofu, requires a lot of pure water to make. In the kaiseki tradition, garnishes like maple leaves and cherry blossoms have become commonplace, thanks to the basic food’s versatility. To add taste, herbs or other substances can be added to the chewy mixture.

13. Nama fu

14. Yatsuhashi

Japanese yatsuhashi is one of the city’s best-known treats. Traditionally, the koto, or Japanese harp, is depicted in its triangular shape. Red bean paste is wrapped in a thin rice flour dough stretched out and baked like a cookie. Traditional yatsuhashi bread is cinnamon-flavoured, but flavours like black sesame and matcha are becoming more popular.

14. Yatsuhashi

15. Yudofu

Yudofu is one of Kyoto’s most famous delicacies. This dish is made with vinegar-marinated tofu. Sounds easy enough. Tofu can only be made with pure water and high-quality soybeans, so don’t overlook these basic meals. All of Kyoto’s requirements have been met. In addition, Buddhist monks ate it as part of their diet.

15. Yudofu

16. Kyozushi

Many Japanese cities serve nigiri sushi, which is produced with raw and fresh fish, but Kyoto developed a unique local sushi known as kyozushi – or Kyoto-sushi – made with fish cured with salt or vinegar. This sort of kyozushi has long been a favourite of customers at Izuju, which has been in business for more than 100 years and nearly always has an extensive line of people waiting for a table.

16. Kyozushi

17. Matcha Sweets

Matcha-based sweets are the most authentically Japanese. This specific matcha parfait is worth mentioning because it’s gaining in popularity. Kyoto’s Uji City, noted for its tea manufacturing, is a significant source of high-quality matcha for the city.

The parfaits come with various toppings, such as jelly, cream, castella, bavarois, and more, in addition to the ice cream itself. These are well worth a taste and a must-have treat while in Kyoto.

17. Matcha sweets

18. Soy Milk Doughnuts

Nishiki Market’s Tohnyu Doughnut stall is famous for its hot, freshly prepared soy milk doughnuts. In terms of texture and flavour, the basic doughnuts are akin to funnel cakes and aren’t cloying like most Japanese delicacies. Dessert lovers should get them with brown sugar, chocolate, or caramel poured on top.

18. Soy Milk Doughnuts

19. Ochazuke

In Japan, ochazuke is a simple dish made from leftover boiled rice and served with hot tea. Wasabi, pickled vegetables, sesame seeds, seaweed, etc., are all common accompaniments and toppings for Ochazuke. It is common practice in Kyoto restaurants and bars to offer ochazuke as an after-dinner treat to guests.

19. Ochazuke

20. Kaiseki Ryori

Japanese cuisine is Kaiseki Ryori, a seasonal tasting meal made meticulously and presented aesthetically. Kaiseki Ryori emphasizes delicacy and finesse in the preparation of its many dishes. Because the ingredients used in the meals are chosen at the peak of their freshness, Kaiseki Ryori can be pricey.

20. Kaiseki Ryori