Udon & Udonsuki
In Osaka, udon noodles are famed for the way that their softness harmonizes gently with the kombu and skipjack-accented broth. One age-old favorite is salty-sweet kitsune udon, where the noodles are topped with fried tofu boiled to plump perfection.
The style of accenting it with condiments such as takoyaki sauce, mayonnaise, aonori (green laver, or edible seaweed) and skipjack flakes are said to be an influence from okonomiyaki following the end of the Second World War.
Sushi in Tokyo is known as Edomae, and is pressed by hand. Osaka’s famous style of sushi, meanwhile, is pressed sushi. “Box sushi” is one example: the toppings and vinegared rice are placed into a square wooden mold and pressed to fit. Watching the process of pressing box sushi is mesmeric.
A restaurant customer ordered the same thing daily: an omelette with rice. The cook decided to enliven the dish accenting the rice with ketchup and wrapping it in a thinly fried omelette.
Along with takoyaki, this dish may rightly be described as Osaka soul food. While both dishes involve dissolving flour in dashi, okonomiyaki includes cabbage—a non-negotiable ingredient—usually along with pork, as well as whichever additional ingredients you like.
Kushikatsu eateries are found not only in the Shinsekai district, but all over Osaka . In addition to the lively, bar-like establishments, there are also fancy kushikatsu specialty restaurants with a unique creative menus.
Kappo, which became an established style of Japanese cuisine in the late 1910s, is said to have originated in Osaka.
Japan’s various regions are home to local hot pots, and Osaka is no exception. Local versions include udonsuki and sakanasuki (wheat flour noodles and fish flavored hot pot, respectively), whale meat hot pot, and the much-loved wintry special, tecchiri, or fugu hot pot. Also popular are chiritori (“dustpan”) nabe and motsu nabe, both featuring beef intestines and vegetables.
Conveyor belt sushi
Popular not only throughout Japan, but also now overseas, kaiten sushi (conveyor belt sushi) allows patrons to select their sushi of choice by taking plates off the revolving belt as they pass by.
These soft buns are made by fermenting a flour and water-based batter that is then stuffed with fillings and steamed.
Malt whisky distillery
Subtle and yet powerful, Japanese whisky has received numerous awards both domestically and internationally, achieving great popularity worldwide.
Some wineries in the area are over 100 years old, and produce wines made exclusively from locally-harvested grapes.
More than 100 billion packages of instant ramen are consumed worldwide today. The food is said to have had its humble beginnings in Ikeda City, Osaka prefecture, in a small backyard shed behind the home of Nissin Foods’ founder Andō Momofuku.
Traditional Osaka vegetables
The Kansai region is still home to many ancient ingredients and traditional dishes that can be said to be the origin of Japanese food culture, and the most famous ingredients that originated in here are traditional Osaka vegetables.
Let’s take in!
Yakiniku and horumon (grilled meat and innards) / Tsuruhashi district,
Yakiniku (grilled meat), nowadays a firm favorite cuisine in Osaka, has also become much-loved among the city’s foreign visitors.
A plethora of well-loved ramen restaurants are to be found in Osaka, including longstanding shops in the Minami district that sees never-ending queues of customers, and additional popular establishments to which ramen lovers travel from all corners of the country.
Depachika (underground food avenues)
Literally an abbreviated version of the phrase “department store basement”, depachika refers to food markets located on the bottom floor of department stores.
Nearly unrecognizable to people from India, who are often surprised due to its completely different taste, Japanese curry is its own unique and beloved dish that may truly be described as a national food.
Rooftop beer gardens
Japan’s first beer garden opened in Yokohama in 1875, targeting foreign residents and sailors on foreign ships—but the country’s first rooftop beer garden was in nowhere other than Osaka.