Culinary specialties of Kanto 関東料理
Kanto Red miso
A roll of yuba
Each part of Japan has its own culinary specialties. The Japanese take great pride in them and they are often mentioned in Japanese travel guides. Below are some of the specialties of the Kantō region, which includes Tokyo.
Kanto is the region encompassing Tokyo, and like every region in Japan, it has a very distinct culinary identity. Here are some of its specialties!
Maybe you've heard of okonomiyaki (お好み焼き) from the Kansai region? Monjayaki (もんじゃ焼き) is its Kanto counterpart! It is also made from a batter topped with various ingredients (cabbage, seafood, meat, etc.) cooked in front of you on a hotplate. Since the monjayaki batter is runnier than okonomiyaki batter, it is often eaten using a small spatula.
Japan is home to various types of miso (味噌) paste. This fermented soybean paste is used primarily to make the very popular miso soup - essential at mealtimes in all Japanese homes. Miso from Kanto is known as red miso (赤味噌, aka-miso). It's dark brown in color, not as sweet as its Kansai cousin and a little stronger in taste!
When soy milk is cooked, a fine film forms on the surface: yuba (湯葉). Yuba can be eaten in a variety of ways: stuffed, in soup or served as-is with some soy sauce or wasabi on the side. It's great for vegans.
It's hard to believe today, but during the Edo period, the neighborhood of Fukagawa (深川町), in Tokyo, was a fishing village. Located at the mouth of the Sumida river (隅田川) in the east of the capital, fish and clams were plentiful. Thus, unsurprisingly, Fukugawa-meshi (深川めし) is a dish consisting of clams cooked in miso soup with leeks, served over a bowl of rice. It's a popular dish that can still be found today in small local diners.