Seven “Popular and inexpensive dishes” you would try in Osaka
Speaking of Osaka, there are many popular ordinary dishes which is inexpensive but delicious, and so it is famous as a place of eating representing Japan.
When Japanese people hearing “Osaka”, those dishes made from flour, such as okonomiyaki, takoyaki, and udon, come to mind.
Local people call those “konamon.” They have long been popular as their everyday food. Those can either be a meal or a snack, and you can enjoy them at any time without hesitation.
Meat dishes, such as horumon and yakiniku, are popular among locals.
One of its reasons is because “horumon” or beef innards gives a variety of texture and taste, depending on which part you eat, and also it has high nutritive value as nourishing food.
It goes well with alcoholic drinks such as beer, chuhai, and highball, and it is widely loved. Other than this, lots of idea dishes, such as kushikatsu and yoshoku, have been created in Osaka.
There are many popular and inexpensive foods in Osaka. I am introducing the must dishes her, so please try them if you have a chance to visit there.
In Osaka, you can find shops selling “takoyaki” around any train stations. It is a light snack for everybody from after school elementary students to after shopping housewives to fill their a little hungry stomach, and also it is an essential food made with flour for home party.
Using the special iron board, place a piece of “tako” into batter made with flour and make small one bite size balls.
Usually it is eaten with sweet sauce made with a couple of different fruits. Depending on the shop or family, cooking directions and type of sauce used are varied. Therefore, it is fun to compare one another.
“Dotonbori” is especially a famous spot for takoyaki as its battle ground. Many tourists have tried “takoyaki” there. If you come to Osaka, first of all please try takoyaki at Dotonbori .
Along with takoyaki, another representative of konamon or food made with flour is “okonomiyaki”. Similar to takoyaki, small pieces of cabbage are mixed in batter, and grilled on the iron plate with seafood or meat. It looks like a pancake. Usually one okonomiyaki is cut into pieces and is shared with a few people.
At most okonomiyaki restaurants in Osaka, they put sauce, mayonnaise, and bonito flakes over it on the plate in front of the customers. Aromatic smell of sauce and dancing bonito flakes stimulate your appetite.
There are some evolved okonomiyaki, such as “negiyaki” with green onions instead of cabbages, and “modern-yaki” in which steamed yellow noodles are added. Those specialties with different features depending on the restaurant or the area are also favored.
“Chibo” restaurant, which has a couple of branches in Osaka, offer a variety of okonomiyaki to meet one’s preference like vegetarian or halal meal, so, foreigners with some food restrictions feel secure to eat their dishes.
Meat, especially beef, is grilled on the iron plate or wire mesh net, and dipped in sauce to eat.
It is one of meat dishes Japanese are fond of, and especially children like it a lot. In Osaka, not only boneless meat but also innards called “horumon” such as large and small beef intestines are popular.
You might be shocked to see them for the first time due to their looks, but once you try them, you could be crazy for them with their varied texture, depending on the part.
Also, it is nutritious as nourishing food. It is served not only at specialty restaurants but also at Japanese-style bars as kushiyaki on the skewers.
At “Tsuruhashi” the place famous for the leading Korea town in Japan, you can easily enjoy eating “horumon-yaki” around, needless to say at specialty restaurant.
Oden is a popular Japanese food not only in Osaka but throughout the nation, and yet, it shows features of each region.
For example, beef tendon and octopus are among its ingredients in Osaka, but you seldom find them in Tokyo. Comparing those regions, Osaka oden has lighter taste, and sometimes it has unique ingredients such as “koro” or the processed tongue and “saezuri” or skin of whales.
t oden specialty restaurant, you can see oden at a simmer over the counter. So, you can point at the item you would like to eat, when ordering.
In Osaka, oden is also called “Kanto-daki.” Japanese people enjoy it with hot sake in cold winter.
The representative noodle dish in Osaka is udon.
The most important item for the food culture there is “dashi”. It is the soup stock made from boiled down kombu or dried bonito, and it is the base of Japanese food flavor.
There are udon production centers all over Japan, and yet, in Osaka, especially dashi is very important. With kombu as its base, stock is made from dried anchovies or bonitos. Then, light soy sauce and sake or mirin are added, giving a light taste as its feature.
The ingredient which is very much like Osaka is fried thin tofu called “kitsune.” Other than that, “kasu udon” in which “kasu” or deep fried crispy beef horumon and “niku udon” with beef topping are recommendation.
At fast-food style udon shop, it is popular to order your favorite udon together with tempura or onigiri rice balls.
Kushikatsu means the deep fried dish of breaded meat and vegetables on skewers.
What you see at any of kushikatsu specialty restaurants is the sign board saying “No second dip in sauce”. Freshly deep fried ones are eaten with special sauce in the silver container found on the counter.
This is for every customers to share. Therefore, as eating manners, you can only dip the ones which you have not eaten yet.
long with sauce, there are some condiments such as salt and Japanese chili powder for you to enjoy your favorite taste. Restaurant staff would tell you recommended way of eating for your reference.
There are many kushikatsu restaurants in famous sightseeing area called “Shinsekai.” They are simple standing style shops, and so, recommended for those who wants to enjoy a variety of Osaka specialties at various shops.
Yoshoku means semi-western food which was taken in to Japan since 1860 and had own arrangement.
Among various yohsoku dishes, the one created in Osaka is omuraisu. It is actually an egg dish made with the combination of western omelet and rice, and Japanese children like it a lot.
Rice mixed with ketchup is wrapped with very thin fried egg, and is eaten with special sauce.
The restaurant famous as its place of origin is “Hokkyokusei” in Minami area of Osaka. Its beautiful fusiform made by their skilled chef, together with bright color of yellow egg and red sauce makes you find it very Japanese.
Through dish you have a glimpse of Japanese culture and habits which arrange foreign culture into their own style.
Those non-Japanese, unique semi-western dishes are also a representative food of Japan.
“Osaka” has long been prospered as a place of merchants, and has developed their own food culture.
Therefore, there are many inexpensive and casual dishes. People from Osaka are usually cheerful and lively as their characteristics, so, those Japanese style bars and restaurants there have pleasant atmosphere. Being called the place of extravagance in food, it is a place those food lovers can never get bored of.
*The information herein is as of January 2020.