Home ＞ Foods of Kitami
Having lived in Kitami for 35 years my food preferences have been thoroughly corrupted, from meat and potatoes to rice and vegetables. Kitami is surrounded by vegetable producing farms, and the vegetables for sale are always fresh and so green and colorful, not to mention delicious. One of the very charming ways to cook them is an “all-in-one-pot” dish called“nabe-mono” in Japanese. It’s a dish cooked in a broth, with a kelp and bonito flake base, spiced with miso or soy-sauce, sugar, salt and sake. You can add fish and/or meat and it will make a very tasty hot meal, lovely on a cold winter’s day.
One of the first meals I was treated to was “Genghis Khan”, a mutton barbeque with onions, bean sprouts, cabbage, bell peppers, potatoes and whatever is handy. It is served with a spicy sauce containing so much garlic that Dracula himself wouldn’t dare come near you or anybody else either. Kitami is near the sea, so the seafood is always fresh and mouth wateringly good. There are many sushi-restaurants and conveyor-belt-sushi-restaurants. Evan if the “raw” is a problem there are many other small dishes to be had. We have found a very nice tasty sushi restaurant that we like to frequent, but of course we are not the only ones, so it is always very crowded. Though it is not very relaxing to eat with one eye on the long line still waiting their turn, after the first bite you don’t remember the poor souls standing in line for a seat. Then we have the ubiquitous ramen shops that serve up hot noodles in delicious
broth. This is eaten very fast in long loud satisfying slurps, the broth or soup being so scalding hot that you can see the patrons sweating between gulps and wiping their faces. It is inexpensive and convenient, also it really is very tasty, one of my favourites.
Kitami also has a different kind of noodle dish called “shio-yakisoba”. It is a dish made from 100% locally-produced ingredients, with fried noodles, vegetables and seafood, mostly scallops. At festival times it is sold all over town in small stalls and it is one of the most popular foods in Kitami. Lastly, let me introduce you to another popular food in our town “yaki-niku” or barbeque. The town is full of these small nondescript shops that emit these heavenly aromas of grilled meat. Each small shop has its own special menu and the owner/chef cures themeat himself. He also makes a special sauce to go with the meat. When my daughter was a high school student she used to have a part time job in a “yaki-niku” barbeque shop. When her shift ended I used to go and pick her up, and when she stepped into the car, she smelled so absolutely delicious I could barely resist taking a huge chunk out of her. The neighbor’s dog used to howl his approval when she stepped out of the car. Hopefully you will howl your approval after tasting all the delicious dishes that Kitami has to offer.