A gateway to Kyushu’s vibrant food culture, modern Fukuoka comprises of former castle town Fukuoka and port city Hakata. Start your epicurean quest with Hakata ramen – the king of tonkotsu (豚骨, pork bone) ramen in popular Ichiran or Ippudo chains, and continue with gyoza, yakitori and more local delights!
Similar to Singapore’s steamboat, motsunabe is a high protein, low calories hot pot with beef or pork’s internal organs boiled in miso or soya sauce based soup. The pairing of chewy innards with crisp vegetables is perfect with rice and alcohol!
Fukuoka produces incredibly fresh karashi mentaiko, (辛子明太子, spicy marinated cod roe) which is frequently used to complement rice, pasta and even as seasonings in snacks. Packaged mentaiko products like mentaiko mayonnaise are good souvenirs.
Hakata Amaou Strawberries博多あまう苺
The prefecture’s jewelled fruit, Amaou strawberries are famed for its large and well-formed shape. Striving in Fukuoka’s pleasant climate, the luscious and sweet strawberries are exported regionally and used creatively in many desserts.
(This feature first appeared on WAttention Singapore magazine, Sept/Oct 2017 Vol. 40)