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The Local Food of Chiba

Katsuura Tan Tan Noodles (Katsuura City)

Well-known even amongst Chiba’s local dishes, this meal has been nicknamed “katsu-tan”. The extremely popular ramen noodle dish attracts visitors from outside the prefecture to try a very unique local meal. The dish uses a soy sauce based soup and plenty of chili oil instead of the Chinese sesame paste usually used in spicy tan tan noodles, and is full unique of extras such as onion and mince. Once a staple to warm fishermen coming back from a day’s work, the meal is now available in many restaurants in Katsuura City. Along with the normal noodles in soup, the dish has a number of unique variations including with the noodles and soup separated for dipping and also as a fried noodle dish.


Sesame Sardines (Kujukuri)

A dish comprised of mirin-seasoned dried fish topped with black sesame seeds. The mirin-seasoning and drying technique began long ago at the end of the Taisho era (from 1921 onwards). Carefully selected fresh sardines from the nearby Pacific Ocean have their heads, innards and backbone removed before being seasoned with a special mirin seasoning and then piled up and dried in the sun of the Boso peninsula. In this particular sesame version, Japanese anchovies from the sea near Kujukuri are used and rapidly preserved. The peak production period is towards the end of the year and into the new year.


Namerou (Minami Bousou City)

A famous local dish of the southern Boso peninsula. Made from a mixture of fish meat such as sardines and horse mackerel mixed with shallots, shiso and miso, all minced together with a sharp knife, the dish is named for the fact that it is so delicious you will lick your plate afterwards. Namero is available in a number of areas around the fish shops of the southern Boso peninsula. You can also find a dish made of namero wrapped in a shiso leaf and grilled, called “sanga-yaki”.


Jumbo Sushi (Narita)

“Ni-Boto” is a local Fukaya cuisine full of creativity and knowledge specific to the region where it is relatively easy to get flour.

Its unique characteristic is the size of the noodles (about 2.5cm in width and 1.5mm in length), and comprises ingredients including specialty Fukaya spring onions and a variety of other locally grown vegetables.  The noodles are boiled from their raw state, and served with a moderately thick soup and flavoured with soy sauce, providing a standard Fukaya winter dish.

“Ni-Boto”, which was a loved dish of Eiichi Shibusawa, a Fukuy Fukaya a-born industrialist of the Meiji period, can be eaten in many eating establishments throughout the city.  If you pass through Fukaya, please come and try it!  The delicious flavour will warm both your heart and stomach.


Gau Ramen Noodles (Sodegaura City)

In a prefecture known for its dairy production, Sodegaura is renowned for its top class milk production. The result of an attempt by the city’s ramen noodle restaurants to create a local dish using the area’s prized milk, this white noodle dish gets its name from Sodagaura’s mascot character, Gau. The special soup uses ginger and milk for a unique aroma and the addition of cream cheese brings out a rich flavor. This local ramen dish took out the grand prix at Sodegaura’s local food festival in February in 2011.


Chopped Horse Mackerel (Chosei-gun, Chosei-mura)

This dish is made from locally caught fresh horse mackerel (head, tail and innards removed) mixed with ginger, shiso and miso, chopped and spread out on a plate and seasoned with vinegar. It is often made in the homes of people who live near the ocean and the horse mackerel tastes the best between June and October.


Fukukawa-don (Chiba-wide)

Fukukawa-don is made with shelled clams fried in Kyoto oil and boiled up with shallots and soy sauce, served atop steaming rice. Originating from the Urayasu area, this example of home-style cooking is similar to other one-pot rice dishes in that it doesn’t have a large amount of sauce.


Freshwater Clams on Rice (Choushi/Sawara)

Freshwater clams used to be gathered in the Tone river which flowed through the town of Tonosho, and were known for their size and flavor which developed in the river’s mix of salt and freshwater. The region once produced over 50% of the country’s clams however in recent years catches having been decreasing.
In this popular dish, clams are cooked with onion and egg and finished up with local soy sauce. Each restaurant has its own unique take on the flavors and, if you get your timing right, you can have a meal made with locally caught clams as well.


Seared Seafood on Rice (Tateyama City)

Located at the very southern tip of the Boso peninsula, Tateyama in Chiba prefecture is known as a “seafood” town for the plentiful seafood brought in throughout the year as well as a “farming town” and a “flower town”. This dish was created as a meal that incorporated these themes and was made with local produce.
In recent news, from the 26th of May in 2015, this meal was reinvented as Tateyama’s Hospitable Premium Local Dish! The flavor of the meal has been brought out even more with the inclusion of fried seafood and a welcome drink on top of the original mixed seared seafood on top of rice!


Hakarime (Conger Eel on Rice) (Futtsu City)

Hakarime is another name for the eel produced in Futtsu city and comes from the fact that the weighing scales (called “hakarime”) used in the fish markets and port look like the shape of an eel.
During the hakarime fair, participating restaurants offer a range of eel dishes including stewed eel on rice (hakarime-don), battered and fried eel on rice (hakarime-ten-don), eel sushi, raw eel mixed with rice and the very popular eel sashimi. Patrons ordering “hakarime” can expect a little something extra with their meal or a special service of some kind from the restaurant.