1. Soup Curry
Soup curry is possibly one of the most underrated dishes in Japan, with a broth that is made over 10 hours by boiling meat-bones and herbs together with onion and ginger. You will find that each broth is slightly different as you try them all over Hokkaido. The best thing about a soup curry visit is that you can customise your meal from the level of spice in your soup to the vegetable and meat toppings.
A famous Hokkaido dish that has spread around the country. Perfect for a winter’s lunch when you need something warming and full of fresh vegetables. The dish is believed to have been created in Sapporo the largest city in Hokkaido and you’ll find many restaurants all over the island with this specialty.
2. Uni – Sea Urchin
Sea Urchin is one of the most popular foods in town each winter with restaurants bringing it in fresh every day. After a few hours out skiing and snowboarding, you really do need the right meal for lunch. We often ski over to Ki Niseko in Hirafu for lunch because of its location and high-quality food.
Not only can you enjoy some good quality wine or Japanese whiskey with your lunch, but you can enjoy some well-made meals with something on the menu for everyone (including the kids!). We loved their uni bowls this winter and hope to see them back for the winter ahead!
3. Soba Noodles
Soba noodles are a traditional Japanese noodle that is said to have originated in China. It is believed to have been brought to Japan as early as the Jomon period (10,000BC to 300BC) and today they are a staple of the cuisine.
If you have noodles with 100% buckwheat flour the noodle tends to be brittle so you’ll often find that restaurants add some wheat flour when preparing the noodle as well. If you order cold noodles you will get a soy-based dipping sauce to go with them but if you order them hot the broth comes out full of noodles. Try different combinations with sides of tempura, or vegetables. Sometimes you will find curry soba noodles or a really delicious vegetable broth full of vegetables.
We love the matcha salt that comes on the side of tempura dishes at Ichimura in Niseko. Great spot for lunch!
4. Hokkaido Cheese Tart
In Niseko most of us visit the Milk Kobo farm for our cheese tarts, sometimes they are fresh and warm out of the oven! The balance between a crisp tart shell and a creamy cheese mousse is what really has people falling in love.
Thanks to the beautiful countryside, Hokkaido is famous for its dairy production. Did you know Hokkaido produces about 50% of the countries milk? And with that comes amazing other products including ice cream, cheese, butter and cheese tarts.
If you want to eat local consider a stop at the famous Milk Kobo also known as the Niseko Takahashi Dairy Farm. Where you can try amazing treats like choux cream (cream puff filled with a light custard creme), cheesecakes, ice-cream and of course cheese tarts.
5. Potato Ramen
Niseko is known for potato farming during summer, so what is more local than a potato topped ramen?
Ramen was imported to Japan during the Meiji Period (1868-1912) and it is a Hokkaido specialty. Usually, the biggest problem is to know where to start, with endless options you can find something unique to try or some classics.
You can get different soup bases including miso, soy sauce, salt (shio) and that is just to start with. Then there is tantan (Chinese spices) or the famous Niseko Ramen with a potato puree on top!
What would you like to try?
Just a small start to the delicious foods that you can enjoy in Niseko. We know there is nothing better than trying as much delicious food as you possibly can fit in your belly when you’re on holiday.
We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments, what have you tried and loved? What do you want to try when you visit next?