Hachinohe Senbei-jiru (Hachinohe cracker soup)
Hachinohe senbei-jiru is the representative local cuisine of this region. This soup dish is prepared by stewing a special cracker known as Nanbu senbei with other ingredients in chicken or mackerel soup stock. The unique, unconventional idea of stewing crackers garnered attention from media, making it a pioneer in novel local cuisine. It has become so popular that now a variety of Hachinohe senbei-jiru kits are sold as souvenirs.
Once the cracker has soaked up enough soup that it is "al dente," it is ready to be enjoyed!
Hachinohe Senbei-jiru Laboratory's website：http://www.senbei-jiru.com/
Ichigo-ni (Seafood soup)
This extravagant and sumptuous seafood soup of sea urchin and abalone was created by the fishermen of Hachinohe where the coast is rich in sea urchin and abalone. The name "Ichigo-jiru," literally meaning "strawberry soup," is said to have come from the idea that the sea urchin in the creamy white soup resembles wild strawberries in a sea of fog. One bite of this soup and the rich flavor of the ocean bursts in your mouth.
These days, the dish is enjoyed as a gourmet soup at high-end restaurants, and its canned form, which is great for use in cooking tasty seasoned rice, has become a popular gift item.
The port of Hachinohe has the largest landing of squid in Japan. In addition to the foreign neon flying squid, which is the main catch at this port, all kinds of squids are caught throughout the year, including the Japanese flying squid from the nearby sea starting in July and spear squids in winter times.
During the squid fishing season in the nearby sea, squid that were freshly caught that afternoon appear on the menus of restaurants as "Afternoon-caught squid sashimi," which has very enjoyable crunchy texture. It is particularly delicious when it is enjoyed with soy sauce prepared with fresh squid inners.
Hachinohe Maeoki Saba (Mackerel)
Large, fatty mackerel are caught off the shores of Hachinohe where the water temperature is low. Mackerel that were caught in the nearby ocean north of Sanriku shore and brought into Hachinohe port over a limited period in the fall in particular are highly valued as "Hachinohe Maeoki Saba." It is considered to be the fattiest mackerel in Japan by the market, making these Hachinohe fish commercially very popular.
To enjoy the high-quality fattiness of Hachinohe Maeoki Saba, try a simple grilled skewer. In addition to the staple mackerel dishes, such as pickled mackerel, pressed mackerel sushi, and mackerel cooked in miso, there are even mackerel specialty restaurants that offer novel dishes, such as senbei-jiru in mackerel broth as well as mackerel sandwiched between two buns, better known as "Sanburger."
Hachinohe Okimae Saba Brand Promotion Committee website：http://www.8saba.com/home/
Wide Selections of Bounties of Sea and Land
● Hiratsumegani (Ovalipses Punctatus)
Better known as "hiragani," you will often see this crab in markets as an early-summer delicacy. Its flavorful brown meat is a treat to the palate.
●Hoya / ascidiacea (sea squirts)
Known for its unique flavor, sea squirts are often enjoyed with cucumbers and vinegar, and as an ingredient for a deliciously seasoned rice.
Nukazuka cucumber is a traditional vegetable that has been grown in the Nukazuka area of Hachinohe. Its crisp texture and bitter taste are enjoyed by many.
●Edible Chrysanthemum "Abokyu"
The dried petals of edible chrysanthemum "Abokyu" has beautiful fragrance and sweetness, and it is commonly enjoyed by the locals of the Hachinohe region in their vinegared dishes and miso soup.
●Soba-kakke / Mugi-kakke
These are local cuisines in which dough made of buckwheat (soba) or wheat (mugi) is cut into triangle or square pieces, boiled, and then eaten with green onion miso or garlic miso. The origin of the name "kakke" is believed to be "kakera", which are the pieces left over after cutting buckwheat and udon noodles.
"Hachinohe Bouillabaisse Festival" is a new winter tradition of Hachinohe. In this event, various hotels and restaurants offer their own unique versions of "Hachinohe bouillabaisse," using the abundant seafood of the Hachinohe area. It is becoming more and more popular by the year.
There are two rules for Hachinohe Bouillabaisse: (1) The bouillabaisse must be prepared with at least four types of seafood that were brought into Hachinohe port. As much as possible, locally grown vegetables should be used. (2) Each restaurant must prepare a signature dish that highlights the soup. It is a festival of culinary creativity with a single purpose - to let customers enjoy Hachinohe seafood as much as possible. We hope you enjoy comparing the taste of each of these unique Hachinohe bouillabaisse dishes.
Hachinohe Bouillabaisse official website：http://www.hhrp.jp/hbb/
Column「"Yamase" and the Food Culture of Hachinohe」
"Yamase" is the cold and humid wind that blows between spring and early summer along the Pacific Ocean coast. Yamase wind is detrimental to wet-field rice and other agricultural products, and the people of Hachinohe have long been plagued by cold-weather damage and poor harvests brought on by Yamase winds. To overcome this problem, Hachinohe has focused on growing cereals, such as wheat, buckwheat, millet, and barnyard millet, out of which developed the "Konamon" (flour) culture in which these cereals are ground into flour and eaten. The representative of this Konamon culture is the Nanbu senbei(cracker), which is prepared by shaping ground wheat mixed with salt and baking it.