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Tsuruoka

UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy

PRESERVATION OF

SPECIES

Though mechanic agriculture exists in Tsuruoka, one can witness strolling around the fields that farmers still employ manual means to cultivate their lands or prepare their food. 

It is not rare to spot grandmas drying their mountain vegetables on the ground, one by one, or Japanese gooses graciously weeding the rice fields.

CULINARY CUSTOMS FORGED BY FAITH

Dewa Sanzan has largely influenced Tsuruoka's cuisine with its shojin ryori, the vegan Buddhist food. Vegetables grew to hold a very important place in Tsuruoka's cuisine, which follows Gautama Buddha's principles of non-violence through food, and that encouraged a plant-based diet.

ENVIRONMENT-FRIENDLY CULTURE METHODS

Though mechanic agriculture exists in Tsuruoka, one can witness strolling around the fields that farmers still employ manual means to cultivate their lands or prepare their food. 

It is not rare to spot grandmas drying their mountain vegetables on the ground, one by one, or Japanese gooses graciously weeding the rice fields.

KNOWLEDGE SHARING

Knowledge sharing permits new generations to inherit from their grandparents' know-how and perpetuate centuries-old cultural traditions. It also allows the world to benefit from Tsuruoka's chefs' savoir-faire, and students worldwide to learn preparation techniques and recipes.

Experience TSURUOKA's Gastronomy

Shojin Ryori In Mt. Haguro

Shojin Ryori Class with Chef Ito

Sushi workshop 

Vegan Local Cuisine class

Local Fruits mochi-making

Tree Bark mochi making 

DISCOVER THE FLAGSHIP DISHES OF TSURUOKA'S CUISINE

THE SEA

THE MOUNTAIN

THE

PLAIN

THE

RIVER

 

SEAFOOD

Winter

Yuzu & salmon sauce radish

Hizunamasu

氷頭なます

Marinate the head of a salmon in salt and vinegar, mash some Japanese radish, and make a delicious yuzu/ikura eggs sauce, and voila! You made hizunamasu!

AREA

Fujishima, Atsumi

Spring

Sardines marinated in pepper

Iwashi no sanshoni

鰯の山椒煮

Those sardines will surprise you with their sour-spicy taste they owe to their vinegar-pepper sauce.

AREA

Everywhere

Summer

Rice-stuffed squid

Ika-meshi

イカ飯

Stuff a whole squid with mochi rice, grill it on a pan with some sweet seasoning, and voilà! You have Ika-meshi!

AREA

Everywhere

Winter

Marinated dried ray

Karage-ni

からげ煮

This dish is full of proteins and collagen. The ray is dried out for a whole week then marinated for a long time in miso soup.

AREA

Everywhere

Winter

Black cod soup

Kandara-jiru

寒鱈汁

Nobody in Tsuruoka could spend a whole winter without having a big bowl of black-cod soup. Grab a bowl during the black-cod festival!

AREA

Everywhere

Winter

Mackerel gravlax

Shime-saba

しめさば

Salmon is not the only fish that can be "Gravlax"! The particularity of our Gravlax mackerels is that we use vinegar too.

AREA

Atsumi, Everywhere

Summer

Seaweed noodles

Tokoroten

ところてん

These noodles look like konjac, but they are actually made out of seaweed, making them much more interesting nutritionally speaking.

AREA

Everywhere

Winter

Anglerfish soup

Anko-jiru

アンコウ汁

How can such a horrible fish be so delicious? Have Japanese anglerfish in one of our famous fish soups. Try the liver, it tastes like foie gras!

AREA

Atsumi

Summer

Seaweed jelly

Ego

えご

Ego is a little jelly cake made out of a seaweed called Campylaephora hypnaeoides. Like tokoroten, it contains nearly zero calories.

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Everywhere

 

All-year-round

Dewa Sanzan's Shojin-Ryori ascetic food

Dewa sanzan Shojin-Ryori

出羽三山精進料理

This is maybe the most emblematic food of Tsuruoka's cuisine. Tempura, soups, marinades, salads, mochi... No doubt you will leave on a full belly.

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Haguro

Spring

"Moso" bamboo rice

Moso-gohan

孟宗ご飯

Moso bamboo is also known as "the king of fibers". It is also rich is vitamin B1, B2 and proteins, despite being very low in calories.

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Yutagawa

Spring

Japanese Royal Fern in Tofu & Walnut sauce

Zenmai no shiraae

ぜんまいの白和え

A charming contrast between the bitterness of the royal fern and the sweet taste of the tofu & walnut dressing.

AREA

Everywhere

Spring

"Moso" bamboo soup

Moso-jiru

孟宗汁

This is the traditional dish of Yutagawa Onsen. The crunchy bamboo makes a good contrast in textures with the soft mushrooms.

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Yutagawa

Spring

Sour-sweet wasabi leaves salad

Hawasabi-zuke

葉わさび漬け

Wasabi's spiciness, vinegar's sourness, the sweetness of sugar, and the umami taste of shiitake mushrooms... There's a lot of flavors in this salad!

AREA

Atsumi

All-year-round

Mochi cake boiled in tree ashes

Sasamaki

笹巻き

This very special mochi has a yellow tint, due to being boiled with bark ashes. Grandmas wrap then in Sasa leaves to give them an extra "vegetal" flavor.

AREA

Atsumi, Asahi

Spring

Ostrich fern topped with its sesame sauce

Kogomi no goma ae

こごみの胡麻和え

The Ostrich Fern grows on humid slopes in the forests. It is not very bitter, so it's easily eatable raw as well.

AREA

Everywhere

MOUNTAIN VEGETABLES

 

Autumn

Lily bulbs in sticky sweet soy sauce

Yurine no Ankake

百合根のあんかけ

Soft, tender lily bulbs, eaten as a dessert with a sticky sweet soy sauce. Sometimes they are served together with boiled eggs.

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Haguro

Spring

Japanese mugwort mochi

Kusa mochi

草餅

Japanese mugwort is supposed to repel the evil spirits. This is why you will always find this mochi during festivals.

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Everywhere

Summer

Sweet miso paste in shiso leaves

Shiso-maki

しそ巻き

A little snack with a powerful miso taste. Have you ever tried sweet miso paste..? Time to try it out!

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Everywhere

Summer

Eggplants topped with sweet soy bean paste

Nasu no edamame ae

なすの枝豆和え

Another vegetable dessert typical of Tsuruoka's cuisine. Have you ever tried eggplants together with sweet edamame paste?

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Everywhere

Summer

Sweet soy bean paste with sweet soy sauce

Edamame no ankake

枝豆のあんかけ

Sweet edamame paste is a synonym of summer!

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Everywhere

Autumn, Winter

Atsumi's Red Turnip pickles

Atsumi kabu

温海カブ

Atsumi's red turnip is cultivated on harsh slopes in Atsumi region. The farmers use the slash-and-burn technique to feed the soil.

AREA

Atsumi