The Three Great Noodles of Morioka City - Iwate

Today we will explore together and take a look at the most famous local noodle shops, loved by Japanese people for their unmistakable traditional flavors.

Mar 11, 2023 - 15:50
Mar 11, 2023 - 15:53
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The Three Great Noodles of Morioka City - Iwate

Dubbed the "perfect trio" in Morioka - the central city of Iwate Prefecture, the three noodle dishes including Cold Noodles, Jajamen and Wanko soba are loved by everyone when coming here. The special thing is that this trio of noodle dishes originate from three countries including Japan, China and Korea. Specifically, Wanko soba from Japan, Jajamen from China and cold noodles from North Korea.

1. Wanko soba

Perhaps Wanko soba is the first dish that anyone wants to try when coming to Iwate Prefecture because of its unique way of eating. “Wanko” means bowl in the local language, so the noodles are served in tiny bowls, each containing just a few strands of noodles with a variety of seasonings and toppings. Diners only need to mix their favorite flavors and ingredients with each bowl of noodles.

The tradition of "wanko soba" was born when people in the area were still poor, and using noodles in small bowls is how people here turn simple meals into sumptuous feasts. The person who holds the record for eating the most Wanko soba in the region is up to 570 bowls.

2. Jajamen

Jajamen are long, flat noodles made from wheat and soybeans. Visitors can completely mix Jajamen with their favorite ingredients such as vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, ginger, garlic or a little meat miso soup. It is said that it takes 13~15 minutes to cook Jajamen noodles. A little secret to keeping the noodles always delicious is that when it is just boiled, the chef will whip the noodles up and mix with a little cooking oil, which can then be mixed with spices or used for cooking. later meals.

Jajamen is topped with a meat-based sauce and "miso" (soybean paste) served with cucumbers and green onions. Besides, we can add other spices such as ground ginger, garlic and vinegar depending on taste. When enjoying "jajamen" at Morioka, diners will experience two dishes in one order because when finished eating the noodles, the remaining meat-miso sauce will be beaten with a fresh egg to create a very unique combination - also known as Chitantan.

3. Reimen (chilled noodles)

Reimen (chilled noodles) first appeared in Morioka shortly after World War II by Teruto Aoki, a Korean born. He opened his first restaurant in the city in 1954. Although the concept of the dish was based on Korean noodles, the recipe was adjusted to suit the Japanese taste.

Noodles are made from potato starch instead of buckwheat flour. This makes the noodles look clearer, the noodles smoother and more split. When eaten, the noodles will be soaked in hot beef broth and served with kimchi. Noodle diners are also always served a seasonal fruit serving such as watermelon or pear “nashi” for dessert or to refresh their palate.

Although the three types of noodles originate from different countries, when coming to Morioka City, they bring extremely interesting and distinct characteristics from the way they eat, the recipe to the taste. The three types of noodles seem to have created a brand for Morioka City and become the unique colors that adorn the culinary culture here.

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