What to eat at “Izakaya” in Hokkaido
If anyone ask you what you would like to eat in Hokkaido, what is your answer?
Most people would probably say that seafoods such as crab, salmon, salmon roe, sea urchin, scallops and kinki, etc. are what they look forward to eating in Hokkaido. As a local myself, I also love seafood. But besides seafood, there are other delicious foods to make you happy when you visit to Hokkaido.
In this article, I would like to introduce some of Hokkaido’s recommended local foods that can be served at “Izakaya” (Japanese style pubs). “Izakaya” does not have the cozy atmosphere like a luxury restaurant, but the prices are reasonable, and the tastes good, which always attracts most locals. Izakaya also serves sake made in Hokkaido, then you can enjoy local foods along with it.
The most recommended food in Hokkaido should be probably seafood. Among them, fresh sashimi is the best. Sashimi available only in Hokkaido includes saury, Sakhalin surf clam(北寄貝) , Okhostk Atka mackerel(远东多线鱼), and herring, etc. Though saury and Okhostk Atka mackerel are very popular as grilled fish, fresh sashimi of them is also very delicious and seldom seen except Hokkaido.
Zangi is always found on the menus of izakaya in Hokkaido. It is just deep-fried chicken, but only people in Hokkaido call it “zangi. According to one theory, it is derived from the Chinese pronounce of zhaji (炸鸡). The chicken is seasoned with ginger, garlic, and soy sauce, etc., marinated thoroughly, and deep-fried to a crisp. Who wouldn’t love this!
3. Ramen salad-ラーメンサラダ
When people outside of Hokkaido look at the name of this dish on the menu, probably would wonder if it is a ramen or salad. Explaining it very objectively, it is a salad including ramen noodles without soup in a bowl. You can enjoy noodles and vegetables with ordering Ramen salad. The dressing differs depending on each restaurant, but it is a very popular dish that can be found almost anywhere in Hokkaido izakaya.
Jingisukan is a Hokkaido local specialty made with grilled mutton or lamb, which is generally served at restaurants specializing in Jingisukan. However, some local izakaya also offer Jingisukan as one of their recommended dishes. In a restaurant specializing in Jingisukan, the choice of food is limited like meat or vegetables, but you can order it along with other dishes at an izakaya. If you want to try a little quantity of Jingisukan or just try its taste a bit, izakaya is a suitable place to enjoy Jingisukan and other hokkaido local foods.
Izakaya in Hokkaido is a convenient place to eat overall local specialties at once. Since many of the waitstaff are friendly, you can directly ask them about the restaurant’s popular dishes or today’s recommendations. Not many restaurant staffs in Hokkaido are fluent in English, but they would do their best to explain you about each dish, drink and etc. Except Niseko where a lot of foreign travellers visit to, there are also a certain number of restaurants which already prepare English menus for tourists from overseas in Sapporo.