Recently, I have posted several travel blogs about Miyagi and its capital city, Sendai on BillBalo. This blog will be another one in the series about Miyagi, I will introduce the best dishes anyone should try during their travel in Miyagi, Japan. If you strive to be more informative, or just curious about what kind of treats this lovely prefecture of Japan has to offer, continue reading. So, what to eat in Miyagi and where to eat in Miyagi? Now, let’s check out our Miyagi food blog with the 7 best foods you definitely must eat and must try in Miyagi, Japan to find out the answer!
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- Explore Golden Gai Tokyo — The unique nightlife in Shinjuku, Tokyo
Famous Miyagi food: Try Sukiyaki Hotpot with A5 qualified delicate Sendai beef
It is a piece of common knowledge in many countries, in Viet Nam or Oceanian or European ones, that Kobe beef is the Japan’s and world’s best meat. However, not until I travelled to Miyagi did I realize that the quality of beef does not relate to its region, but is rated on a national standard, from A1 to A5 – with A5 bring the best among them all. To raise cows that can produce A5 quality meat, there is only one place among all Japanese regions able to effectively do this: Sendai beef. As you have already known from my other blogs, Sendai is the largest city of Miyagi province – where holds a high reputation for their Gyutan beef dishes, especially the cow tongue.
Sukiyaki Hotpot (I like to describe it as “dry hotpot” because very little broth is in the hotpot): The ingredients of Sukiyaki hotpot including the broth (Japanese soy sauce) and fresh beef, and some other special add-ons such as:
Ito Konnyaku (Shirataki): Shirataki is also known as “Konnyaku noodles”. Most of the time people love to eat noodles in hotpot, but this one is unusual. After being cooked, the noodles will shrink and dry out, which makes it extra absorbent when you add the salty broth. This is provided especially for eaters on a diet because Shirataki consists of almost 97% water, the rest 3% is indigestible fibre. Shirataki noodle is a powerful weight-loss tool since its the fibre makes you feel full much longer and end up eating less.
Chrysanthemum greens and mushrooms: These two kinds of vegetables help enhance the flavour of Sukiyaki Hotpot, the freshness effectively balances the fat of meat.
Raw egg mix: This will be used as a dipping sauce. You may be thinking right now “Shouldn’t raw eggs stink?”, but they are not, at least in this case. A Sukiyaki Hotpot can never go without this 100% fresh egg sauce, both egg yolks and egg whites are well mixed, dip the whole tasty broth-scalded Sendai beef. The juicy taste of world class beef, the saltiness of Sukiyaki broth combine with the fatty texture of eggs make an explosive combo inside your mouth, the beef melts on the tongue and sometimes, words are not enough to describe.
Recommended restaurant with the best A5 beef Sukiyaki Hotpot
Sukiyaki Hotpot restaurant: IRUMA
Address: 4-7-17 Ichibancho, Aoba-ku, Sendai-shi, Miyagi ken (Odakyu Sendai building, B1 floor)
Best Miyagi food: Sendai cow tongue – the dish you cannot miss in Miyagi
As I have mentioned above, Sendai from Miyagi is not only well-known for their world-class A5 beef, but also for Gyutan Cow Tongue (Gyu – cow; tan – tongue; Gyutan basically means “Cow tongue”, just to clarify for anyone that thought “Gyutan” is a brand name). Sendai cow tongue has its name on almost all big restaurants’ menus. When I had my buffet dinner at Activity Resort Zao, Miyagi (Daiwa Royal Hotel), I was also served this cow tongue dish on the regular menu. But they also offer a more delicate version, customers would need to ask the chef of Activity Resort Zao for customed orders.
However, Sendai is still the major place for the best Gyutan restaurants. Many native Japanese urged me to try Sendai cow tongue as soon as possible, but finding Gyutan from real Sendai-raised cows was not easy as it may seem, so my best bet was Australian cow tongue, made in Japanese style. According to the restaurant owner, Australian beef is better, who knows?
The first important thing to know about Sendai beef is how it is cooked – grill is the most common way. Flipped twice on charcoal fire, the piece of cow tongue will be juicy and tender, spread delicate smell and melt on the first bite. The coal that is used to grill beef comes from Iwate – also in the Tohoku region like Miyagi. The grilled tongue is usually served with piping hot white rice, cow tail soup and vegetables. The rice is from Miyagi – famous for its immense rice fields, as I mentioned in my other posts. White rice is mixed with oatmeal which enhances the buttery texture and definitely more delicious than normal rice. Cow tail soup goes super well with rice, as all the nutrition from cow tails is extracted after 5 hours of boiling, tasty and healthy.
In general, you really should try the cow tongue dish of Miyagi, I am literally mouth-watered when recalling this memory.
Below is my recommended place to experience the best cow tongues in Sendai, note this down:
Grilled beef restaurant: TSUKASA
- 1F Seto Building, 2-13-27 Kokubun-cho, Aoba-ku, Sendai-shi, Miyagi ken (I take this address from the restaurant website)
- 2F Majesty Building, 1 Chome 8-25, Center 1, Sendai, Aoba District, Miyagi Prefecture (this is the one I have been to, they are a chain with 3-4 restaurants with a branch in the United States).
- Important note: customers must reserve a table in advance because there are only 24 seats in the whole restaurant.
Must eat Miyagi food: Cow milk cheese from Zao, Miyagi
Zao has a quite large milk cow farm, which has self-contained manufacturing process, from raising the milk cows to produce milk products. Among all those goods, there is one thing visitors cannot miss out in Zao, Miyagi: Kuranet – famous cheese dish of Zao, served with Mozzarella cheese and French baguettes.
First of all, visitors are introduced about cheese and the cheese-making process at Zao Dairy Farm (if you ask, otherwise you may not be informed about the insights). Kuranet also consists of 2 kinds of cheese, original cheese and flowery cheese (cheese mixed with some kind of flower) – this one has a more yellowish colour than the original one.
Fresh cheese will be sauteed with other ingredients such as shrimps, smoky bacon, onions, pumpkin, broccoli and tomatoes. After all components are well cooked, we put all of them on a slice of French baguette and bite as a whole. The first bite was perfect, the second bite was mouth-watering. I swear I have never eaten any cheese as delicious as that day.
Apart from dairy goods like cheese, this store also sells ice cream made of fresh cow milk and many other canned products which can be used as souvenirs for your friends and family.
To experience the heavenly taste like I did, check out this address:
Address: Nanokahara-251-4 Togattaonsen, Zao, Katta District, Miyagi Prefecture 989-0916, Japan
Must try Miyagi food: Miyagi oyster, Oyster restaurant in Matsushima
If you have a feeling for seafood, you are lucky to be here because Miyagi oyster is the most famous, not only in Japan but also in the world. I was fortunate to explore Suenaga Kaisan seafood factory in Miyagi – they process and sell oyster, scallop products. This factory exports to Vietnam, the United States and many other countries, thanks to their strict process and Japanese’s generally high standard.
Oyster can be transformed into different dishes: grilled oyster, steamed oyster, smoked oyster, oyster sashimi (raw oyster),… Miyagi oyster is so delicious, so fresh that one can just break the shell with a knife and eat right away without any extra processing steps, and that is completely safe. However, isn’t eating raw seafood the most common thing in Japan?
During your visit to Miyagi, if you have the chance to see Matsushima city, you may want to try an oyster restaurant. Customers usually choose oyster buffet, oyster hotpot or pick separately from the menu.
Oyster restaurant: MATSU
Address: Fugendo-13-13 Matsushima, Miyagi District, Miyagi Prefecture 981-0213, Japan
Some best day tours, trips, activities and transfer services, tickets in, to and from Miyagi you can refer to
- Ichigo World Strawberry Picking Experience in Miyagi
- Reborn-Art Festival Boat Tour in Miyagi
- 4G Prepaid Sim Card (JP Airports Pick Up) for Japan
- 4G WiFi (Japan Pick Up) for Japan
- JR Pass for Whole Japan (7, 14, or 21 Days)
Are you looking for more top things to do in Japan: Tours, activities, attractions and other things? Read more: Japan travel blog — The fullest Japan travel guide blog for a budget trip to Japan for the first-timers.