Speaking of Kurume City, Fukuoka Prefecture, it is known as the birthplace of Bridgestone, the world’s largest tire maker, and there are many famous places and attractions related to the company. It is also the birthplace of Kurume Ramen, and popular as a place where you can eat various local gourmets. We introduce recommended gourmet of Kurume from basic to the unexpected.
It was the birthplace indeed!? “Tonkotsu Ramen”
Speaking of ramen in Kyushu, it’s Tonkotsu. It is a gourmet you cannot miss on a trip to Fukuoka. Actually, it is said that Kurume is the origin of Tonkotsu ramen. The roots of Kurume ramen, which is different from Hakata ramen originated in the same Fukuoka prefecture, dates back to 1955. It is said that Tonkotsu ramen was originally prepared by the owner, from Nagasaki Prefecture who ran the “Nankin Senryo” food stand in Kurume, who was inspired by Champon (popular noodle dish of Nagasaki prefecture) and Chinese soba that was popular in Yokohama at that time. After that, the white, cloudy Tonkotsu soup was created by “Sankyu” food stand and the Tonkotsu ramen was spread from Kurume throughout Kyushu. Kurume Ramen, characterized by its thick and creamy soup and has a unique topping called “KariKari” (crunchy), fried pork back fat.
“Champon”, the roots of Kurume ramen
Kurume city is known as not only Tonkotsu ramen but also the place where you can enjoy delicious Champon. In 1917, Chikugo district’s first Chinese restaurant “Kokaro” was founded, and Champon was first introduced because of their relative in Nagasaki, “Shikairo” Chinese restaurant, which was the first restaurant to serve Champon. Thus the Champon of “Kokaro” became the roots of Kurume ramen. Champon is a popular menu along with ramen.
Eating Chikugo Udon with Tempura
Chikugo Udon which is known as one of Kurume’s specialties. Udon noodles with a gentle taste, characterized by a broth made from kelp/dried bonito/dried sardine, and tender noodles. It is a popular way to eat them with deep-fried minced fish called “Maruten” and burdock tempura called “Goboten”.
“Yakitori” with many variations
Kurume city is famous for its Yakitori, and it is said that a certain food stand started to sell them in 1963. There are more than 200 Yakitori restaurants in the city, which originally started with about 10 Yakitori food stands at the beginning. At that time, there were few chicken menus, and their main items were pig intestines, darm, and pork belly. Enoki, asparagus, shiso-leaves wrapped pork skewers are also popular. There are many Yakiniku BBQ restaurants as well.
“Kamasu Sushi” Taste the Kamasu (Barracuda) stuffed with vinegared rice
Karamasu Sushi is a traditional dish of Kurume City, and it is made before and after the religious service called “Okunchi” held every October at Kora Taisha Shrine, and it has been popular since ancient times. Originally, Kamasu stuffed with rice were dedicated to the shrine. Enjoy the feast, a whole Kamasu stuffed with vinegared rice.
Enjoy the “Etsu fish cuisine” as sashimi, salt-grilled, or simmered
Fukuoka Prefecture has great seafood, you can eat rare Etsu fish in Kurume City. In particular, Jojima is famous for its Etsu cuisine, and the secret of its deliciousness is that it is in the place where freshwater and seawater of the Chikugo River mix. Strangely enough, Etsu fish, inhabiting the Ariake Sea, their bones are hard and bodies are thin while in seawater, but when it enters the brackish water of the Chikugo River, the body becomes thicker and its bones become softer. You can taste a variety of Etsu dishes such as sashimi, salt-grilled, bone crackers, and simmered.
Enjoy rare Una shabu! “eel”
Speaking of eel in Fukuoka Prefecture, Yanagawa city is famous for its steamed eel, but Kurume is also well known for its unagi (eel) dishes. In the past, there were many wholesalers dealing with river fish taken in the Chikugo River in Kurume City’s Kuroda district. There are restaurants you can enjoy not only steamed eel but also salt-grilled and rare “Una Shabu”
Spicy Japanese pickles “Yamashio zuke”
Yamashio zuke, a special product of Kitano town in Kurume city, is a Japanese pickle like Takana-zuke. Its history is over 300 years. It is good to eat as it is or stir-fry, make fried rice like Takana-zuke or add into miso soup.It it is an essential to local home cooking for a long time. It is also a popular souvenir of Kurume city.
Japanese sweet “Koimonogatari”, popular souvenir of Kurume
Souhongu Suitengu, located in Kurume City, is a guardian shrine famous for not only agriculture, fishery, and marine traffic, but also as the guardian god of safe childbirth throughout the country. The Emperor Antoku, who is enshrined in this Suitengu, has the legend of a love story. Now a popular sweet was produced as a souvenir of Kurume after the love story.
Why don’t you enjoy the local delicacy in Kurume city, one of the Fukuoka’s finest gourmet towns.
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