Never-ending Repeat Customers for the Tastiness Brimming with Nutriment: Tasty Local Cuisine in Niigata and Shonai


We will introduce traditional local cuisine rooted in the climate of Niigata (e.g., hegi soba noodles and noppe soup). Many people come back to the region for the tastiness brimming with nutriment.

Tasty! Healthy! Hegi soba noodles

Hegi soba noodles can be called one of the major local dishes in Niigata Prefecture. This dish is characterized by using seaweed as binding and by rolling up soba noodles to serve them one mouthful at a time in a bowl called hegi.

The smooth texture and firmly springy feel is addictive once you have taken a bite. The light green color like jade gives the dish a gorgeous look.

Another source of joy is that it is a healthy dish. The funori marine algae used in hegi soba noodles has a high nutritional value to the extent it is called the "King of Seaweeds." This means it is a dish that cannot be overlooked by women who want to be beautiful and those who want to lose weight.

Make sure to savor the ultimate hegi soba noodles as a meal and as a finisher after having a drink!

Perfect as a side dish and as a snack: Noppe - the taste of home cooking for citizens of Niigata Prefecture

Noppe is a typical home-cooked dish in Niigata. Noppe means "thickness." It is a dish in which plenty of vegetables are boiled together. These vegetables include the taro that forms the source of the thickness as well as carrots and shiitake mushrooms. It is the taste of home cooking for citizens of Niigata Prefecture.

The steamy hot gentle taste is served at ryokan inns and izakaya bars in addition to in homes. In addition to serving as a side dish, it also goes great with sake and shochu. It certainly helps move alcohol along.

It is served warm as standard. However, it is also tasty cold. Therefore, we recommend you combine it with cold sake in the summer. The ingredients and seasonings differ depending on the restaurant, so it is an exquisite dish that allows you to enjoy the differences.

Sasa-zushi Loaded with Plenty of Food of the Mountains and Sea

There are various styles of sasa-zushi all over Japan. However, the sasa-zushi of Niigata is characterized by stuffing vinegared rice into bamboo leaves folded into a shape like that of a draining basket with ingredients (e.g., edible wild plants) then placed on that. The ingredients vary depending on the region. There are plenty of variations: edible wild plants (e.g., bracken, bamboo shoots and royal fern), walnut, carrots, thin-stripped omelet and salmon. The combinations are endless.

The sasa-zushi of Niigata started life in the Warring States period (1467 to 1590). It is said that it began with rice being served in bamboo leaves in place of bowls in the mountains when the renowned military commander Uesugi Kenshin was fighting Takeda Shingen.

There are facilities and events where you can experience making sasa-zushi all over the prefecture. Why don't you learn the basics from a local and then taste your favorite kind of sasa-zushi?

Wappa-ni: Hearty fisherman's cuisine you can enjoy with all your five senses

The local specialty of Awashima - a remote island where you can still find untouched nature - is wappa-ni. This is a hearty miso-based meal. Ingredients (e.g., grilled fish and green onions) are put into a bowl called wappa that is made by bending a cedar tree and then boiled by placing a hot stone in it. It became established as a meal to be eaten by local fishermen. It is now served at guesthouses and restaurants on the island.

The ingredients are seasonal fish caught in the coastal waters of Awashima. The simmering sound made by the heated stone produces a feeling like being at a live performance. You can truly enjoy it with your five senses. This is the attraction of the dish. Please make sure to enjoy this fisherman's cuisine full of the aroma of the tide: please see, listen, eat and taste it.

Wappa-meshi: Whet your appetite with dashi (soup stock)-aroma rice and seasonal seafood

Niigata has many local dishes made using wappa bowls. Wappa-meshi is a dish in which rice cooked with dashi (soup stock) is stuffed into a wappa with seasonal seafood placed on top of that and steamed. The aroma that softly rises up in the instant you open the lid will surely whet your appetite.

Various kinds of wappa-meshi are available. However, the most popular is that with salmon and salmon roe placed on top of the rice. The salmon of Murakami, a location famous for salmon, is reliably fat. Accordingly, it goes great with the dashi-aroma rice.

In addition, you can't overlook wappa-meshi served luxuriously with the Niigata specialties of red snow crab, blackthroat seaperch and oysters.

"Michelin Guide Niigata 2020 special edition" on Sale Now!

First launched over 100 years ago, the MICHELIN GUIDE enjoys global renown.
Special Edition MICHELIN GUIDE Niigata 2020 features restaurants and accommodation facilities in Niigata that meet the global MICHELIN standards. This guide will help you discover the wonderful and varied dining experiences that Niigata has to offer!