The native guide; All about unique Japan6 Noodles you should eat in Nagoya, Japan
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6 + 1 Noodles You Should Eat In Nagoya, Japan (Updated)

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Food & Drinks
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I talked about “Nagoya Meshi” many times in my blog, you still have no clue???

“Nagoya Meshi”(名古屋めし) – It is the general term of the local cuisine of Nagoya and surrounding cities, which is a cultural, unique yet new taste and got tremendously trend in the early 2000s in Japan. Commonly, local ” the red miso” and local “tamari soy sauce” are used for Nagoya Meshi, these condiments give dishes an addictive taste. Another feature of Nagoya Meshi, many unique delicacies have been invented in Nagoya, not only traditional cuisine.
So Nagoya Meshi has an originality that you don’t see another local gourmet.

In this post, I talked about food, not noodles. So, I am going to focus on “noodles”, yes Asian favorite dishes.

Miso Nikomi Udon

misonikomi

“Miso Nikomi Udon” is the Nagoya-style udon noodles served with piping hot simmering rich miso soup in an earthenware pot.

Miso(味噌, みそ)…Miso is made from fermented soybeans and is a thick paste which has a rich umami flavor. It’s an essential ingredient for Japanese. “Haccho Miso”(八丁味噌) is a local strong red Miso from Aichi prefecture. To use “Haccho Miso”, it gives original flavor to Misonikomi Udon”.

Nikomi(煮込み)…Cooking term. to stew.

Udon noodles(うどん) ...Udon is a Japanese traditional thick noodle made with three simple ingredients of wheat flour, water, and salt. 

Whenever hearing “Miso Nikomi”, people remind it as Nagoya Meshi, “Miso Nikomi Udon” is a very famous Udon dish in Japan.

Nagoya people love the red miso and its flavor, some people get picky about using other kinds of miso for dishes. (Like my mom who is from Nagoya).
So the soup for Misonikomi udon must be used “red miso”, especially “Haccho Miso” preferred.

Standard toppings are chicken, an egg, fish cake, shiitake mushroom, Chinese green onions, and “Atsuage”.

The serving style is also very unique. Udon noodles are serving in an individual earthenware pot, and you can see simmering piping hot soup and hot steam.

Therefore, be careful not to burn your hands or mouth.

Popular Restaurants For Miso Nisonikomi Udon In Nagoya

Two of the famous longstanding restaurants are “Yamamotoya sohonke” and “Yamamotoya Honten”. These restaurants have many branches throughout Nagoya city.

Yamamotoya Souhonke(山本屋総本家)

Chewy udon kneaded with only flour and water.
The soup is well-balanced blending red and white miso paste and dried bonito broth.
Because of piping hot use the lid as the serving bowl for eating noodles.

Yamamotaya Honten(山本屋本店)

An “egg” topping comes for all Udon noodle menu in Yamamotoya Honten.
Also, Japanese pickles come on the sidedish complimentary. (you can freely ask another batch of pickles.)

Taiwan Ramen Noodle Soup; Made In Nagoya

taiwanramen.

“Taiwan Ramen Noodle Soup”(台湾ラーメン) as Nagoya Meshi is not from Taiwan, then why the dish called “Taiwan Ramen”?

A Taiwanese owner of a Chinese restaurant in Nagoya made spicy ramen noodles for staff meals. Its good reputation had spread among regular customers, and then the spicy ramen noodle soup served for the in the 1970s. When the owner was considered to add his ramen noodles on the regular menu, he looked back this ramen soup recipe was based on the popular ramen soup in Taiwan. So he named his spicy Ramen noodle soup “Taiwan Ramen” (台湾ラーメン).

“Taiwan Ramen” became dramatically popular inside and outside of Nagoya, and it is one of the iconic foods as Nagoya Meshi today. You should try one if you are addicted to spicy food.

The main topping is spicy ground pork with minced garlic and chili pepper. It is not only hot-spicy but also turns to be a rich umami flavor mixed with the simple chicken broth in your mouth.

If you don’t like spicy soup, you can order a mild version called “Taiwan American”(台湾アメリカン). The name is after “American coffee”.

“American coffee” means the coffee with not strong bitter coffee flavor in Japan, so “American Taiwan Ramen” is the broth is added extra soup to make mild.

Well…as you can imagine, it just makes thinner soup just adding the base soup, so it’s still spicy though.

On the other hand, if you want extra spicy, order “Italian”(イタリアン). It is not clear who name it, anyway it has a double amount of chili pepper.

( Want extra crazy hot? Order “African “.)

Must Go To Misen, The Pioneer Taiwan Ramen Restaurant In Nagoya

No matter what, you must taste your first “Taiwan Ramen” at Misen(味仙) where the Chinese restaurant started “Taiwan Ramen” at first.

The main restaurant is in Imaike, Nagoya and there are several branches throughout the city, and Chubu “Centrair” airport & Nagoya station.

Other dishes are also great so Misen is one of the restaurants you should go to while staying in Nagoya.

It is good for change your appetite after getting tired traditional Japanese culinary, right?

But, I think the flavor in Japan is different from Chinese food in the US. Not so sweet and greasy.

Kishimen Noodle

kishimen

In Japan, there are different types of Udon noodles regionally as like other dishes such as Ramen noodles, and “Kishimen”(きしめん) is flat udon noodles and eaten in mainly Aichi prefecture.

Despite the difference of shape, the tastes are not much different from regular udon noodles, well because the ingredients are the same; wheat flour, water, and salt.

Kantou VS Kansai Udon, Japanese food

The Udon soup is a mix-style with Kanto(East) style and Kansai(West) style. The soup is based on dried bonito flakes, “Katsuobushi” native to Kanto style, and the color is darker than Kansai style but lighter than Kanto style.

Just like common udon noodle dishes in Japan, Kishimen can be enjoyed in hot soup or chilled noodles with eaten dipping sauce. The cold version is called ” Koro”(ころ) only in the Nagoya area.

Where You Can Eat?

There are many “Kishimen” restaurants in the Nagoya area, usually, you can order in Udon noodle restaurants.

Even there are many small booths where serve udon and Kishimen noodles in the station. “Miya Kishimen” in “Atsuta Jingu Shrine” is one of the traditional restaurants.

Get Suprised By Ankake Spaghetti Made In Nagoya

Ankake spaghetti

“Ankake Spaghetti”(あんかけスパゲッティ)is a popular food invented in Nagoya.

Ankake(あんかけ)…Thick, sticky, Chinese-style sauce. Thicken with potato starch. Dishes with Ankake sauce are very popular in Japanese and Chinese cuisines.

“Ankake Spaghetti” sometimes called “Ankake Pasta”, is the staple fast food for locals, which is not “Italian”, not “Chinese”, so it’s a “Nagoya” taste.

The complex Tomato-based peppery sauce lightly sauteed thick pasta noodles. “Ankake Spaghetti”, which looks like a Chinese sweet sauce at first glance, is the local spaghetti sauce adapted to the Nagoya people’s taste.

There is no history to clear where “Ankake spaghetti” came from, but it is said that 3 restaurants related to the “Ankake spaghetti” history, “So~re”, “Spaghetti House Yokoi”, and “Karametei”

What Is The Definition Of Ankake Spaghetti

Ankake spaghetti, Nagoya, Japanese food, Nagoya meshi

Before talking about 3 restaurants, The definition of Ankake spaghetti is…

  1. The complex based sauce with tomato sauce and Chinese chicken broth, and peppery, rich, thick, and sticky sauce.
  2. Spaghetti pasta has to be 2.2mm (about 0.1inch) and parboiled before stirfry with plenty of vegetable oil.
  3. Many unique topping menus.

1. The sauce for “Ankake spaghetti” had been arranging its taste over and over until the current standard flavor fixed, so it became a little complicated describing to explain the sauce. Don’t get me wrong. It is tasty but you may have never had before.

2. It must be used thick Spaghetti like Bigoli to make the texture for Ankake Spaghetti. It is parboiled and it will be cooked with lard or vegetable oil after ordered.

3.Entertain customers with a variety of unique topping menu.

  1. Mirakan(ミラカン)…Bacon or ham or winner sausage, mushrooms, and vegetables
  2. Piccata(ピカタ)…Pork piccata and vegetables
  3. Milanese(ミラネーゼ)…Bacon, ham, wiener sausage
  4. Viking(バイキング)…Panko Deep-fried fish strips
  5. Country(カントリー)…Vegetables only

Major 3 Ankake Spaghetti Restaurants In Nagoya

MAP

  1. Spaghetti house YOKOI (スパゲッティハウス ヨコイ)
  2. Karametei (からめ亭)
  3. Pasta de coco (パスタ de COCO)

The most popular “Ankake restaurant” is “Spaghetti House Yokoi”, which is believed to one of the pioneer restaurants for Anakake spaghetti. “Mirakan” is the popular menu in Yokoi, which is a typical menu that mixes a wiener sausage, bacon, and ham.

“Karametei” was opened in Nagoya in 1979 and is said to be the first restaurant to offer “Ankake Spaghetti”. The blackish-brown Ankake sauce is considerably spicy and thick compared to Yokoi.

The 2nd brand chain restaurant “Pasta de Coco” operated by “Curry House CoCo Ichibanya” from Nagoya. Like the curry house CoCo Ichibanya, “Pasta de CoCo” has a wide variety of menus, including a kid’s menu. Side dishes, salads, drinks, desserts, are also a wide selection.

ChuruChuru UmaUma, Curry Udon Noodles

Curry udon

Curry, Curry, “Curry and Rice”…One of Japanese comfort food.

Udon, Udon, “Udon noodles”…One of Japanese comfort food.

Japanese people hybridized two favorite comfort food and call it “Curry Udon”(カレーうどん).

Curry(カレー )…The Japanese-style curry is very much different from Indian, Thai, and other region’s curries. The roux is thicker and less oriental spicy. Typically curry is eaten with rice. “Curry and Rice”(カレーライス) is the comfort food and the thickness of curry roux is differs depends on Mom.

“Curry and Udon” (カレーうどん) “Curry and Soba” (カレーそば), these noodle dishes are already the common menus in typical Japanese Udon & Soba noodle restaurants. Generally, you don’t see these in the curry specialty restaurants.

The typical curry udon, thin soup, Japanese food

Speaking of these curry noodle dishes in typical Udon & Soba restaurants, generally, the soup is very thin (not thick) and is based on the mix with fish broth soup used for regular menus and Japanese curry powder.

In the 1970s, “Nagoya style Curry Udon” was debuted from the restaurant in Nagoya. The very thick and spicy curry soup not like the typical curry udon, impressed people at the time.

The table below summarizes the differences between Nagoya-style Curry Udon and the typical Curry Udon.

Nagoya-styleCommon-style
BrothChicken & FishFish (mainly dried bonito or dried kelp )
ThicknessVery thick soupThin soup
ThickenerWheat flourPotato starch
NoodlesVery ThickRegular

Go To The Popular “Nagoya-Style Curry Udon” Restaurant; Wakashachiya

Wakachaya”(若鯱家) is a famous Nagoya-style Curry Udon restaurant become a chain restaurant nationwide.

the thick chewy noodle entwined in the sauce, the rich and thick sauce, curry udon, udon noodles, Nagoya Meshi, Japanese food

Super-thick chewy Udon noodles entwined in the rich flavor soup with chicken broth and curry spice, and the thick soup doesn’t allow the dish to get cold. Nagoya-style Curry Udon that you can’t understand unless you try it! Please enjoy it when visiting Nagoya.

You may wonder what “Churu Churu Uma Uma”means in this subtitle. It is the commercial song of Wakashachiya, and everyone raised up in Tokai Area (Aichi, Gifu, Mie) knows the catchy song.

“Churu Churu”(チュルチュル) is the Onomatopoeia, the expression of the sound when eating long noodles. “Uma Uma”(うまうま) is not a correct word, but it’s not a coined word, “Uma” comes from “Umai”(うまい), “Umai” is the casual Japanese phrase meant “Delicious, tasty” in this term.

I apologize for my wrong statement. I posted before editing that “Wakashachiya” is the first Udon noodle restaurant which offered “Nagoya-style Curry Udon” but it was wrong. I am very sorry. Shachinoya”(鯱乃家) is truly the pioneer for the dish. By the way, the original owner of “Wakachachiya” is a disciple from Shachinoya.

Teppan Spaghetti; The Ketchup Sauce Spaghetti On Teppan Plate

teppan spaghetti

“Teppan Spaghetti”(鉄板スパゲッティ), often called “Teppan Italian”, “Teppan Napolitan”, are iconic “Kissaten” (喫茶店- the Japanese typical coffee shop ) food, which is served Napolitan Spaghetti” on a “Teppan” plate.

Teppan”(鉄板) means “a cast iron griddle” in Japanese.

Here is the story of the origin of “Teppan Spaghetti”.

“Kissa Yuki”(喫茶 ユキ) wherein the owner made “Teppan spaghetti” first in the 1960s. When he traveled to Italy, he was unhappy that the pasta was getting cold while eating. After he came back to Nagoya, he invented this serving way to allow customers to eat hot dishes until the end. Thick spaghetti with traditional Japanese style rich ketchup and topped with the nostalgic cheap red wiener sausage. Not only Japanese green peppers (not spicy), onions, and also bean sprouts and cabbage are added, and the sauce is a little strong taste but is addictive mild to taste.

teppan napolitan, kissa rich, nagoya, nagoya station, esca

“Napolitan Spaghetti” with beaten egg poured around is served on the individual teppan plate.

It might be sounds strange stir-fried spaghetti with tomato ketchup-based sauce for you, however, it is not a “tomato ketchup-taste” taste.

Once it is cooked with a little bit of milk or heavy cream, it turns to be a mild and rich taste.

Where you can eat?

“Kissa Rich”(喫茶 リッチ)has been running in ESCA for a long time, it is very popular for “Teppan Spaghetti”. Despite looking, it is very rich and heavy, so get hungry go there.

The Ultimate Recipe For Napolitan Spaghetti

Nagoya’s Soul Food; Sugakiya Ramen

I mention “Sugakiya” when talking about Nagoya Port food ideas (Read Here),

Sugakiya(寿がきや) is the popular chain restaurant in the central region, the iconic girl “Su~chan”(スーちゃん) and red & white check color are characteristic.

The main food menus are “Ramen noodle soup” and a variety of sweets. The most appealing is its pricing, the regular Ramen is only ¥330.

Sugakiya branches are mostly located in the food court of shopping malls, shopping centers, and attraction facilities, with its quick serving time, the reasonable price, and a variety of sweets, Sugakiya is like a family restaurant and always busy during the lunchtime.

Although it is not the Ramen specialty restaurant, Sugakiya Ramen is the soul food for local people included me.

Conclusion

Nagoya noodles are very unique style even compared with other dishes in other regions, and these tastes are hard to explain.

You can eat Nagoya noodles in other cities but it can be harder to find them.

Nagoya is located between Tokyo and Osaka, and there is the Shinkansen station if you want to short-stop to taste Nagoya noodles.

If you have a Japan Rail Pass, it doesn’t cost any extra money!

Nagoya has large underground shopping malls connected to major stations such as Nagoya and Sakae stations, and you can find many restaurants where you can try those noodles with easy access from the station.

One of them, “ESCA” is the perfect wonderland for “Nagoya style noodles”, because the mall covers almost all kinds of Nagoya-meshi and is located just right down the Shinkansen gate at Nagoya station.

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