Oita Food Guide

Seafood lovers will have lots to try in Oita Prefecture.

When in Oita, you must try the Seki AJi and Seki Saba (the Seki horse mackerel and Seki mackerel) caught off the coast of Oita Prefecture. It is prized for the skilful way they are caught using the traditional pole-and-line method off the coast of Saganoseki. This method helps to ensure sustainability of the fish breed as well as to haul up the fish with minimum damage to its condition. The horse mackerel are at their tastiest with the most stored fat from March to April and the mackerel from September to December.

The Shiroshita Karei, or marbled sole that lives at the bottom of the sea under the Hiji castle ruins, is another local specialty and its best season is from end May to September. Another delicacy is the tora fugu, or tiger blowfish, which is a local specialty of Usuki city. This is most popular eaten as sushi, or in a hotpot. The best period for this is from the end of September to the end of March.

Source: By Utan506 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Oita is also famous for its fried chicken, or karaage. In the post-war years, lots of chicken were reared in Oita as a source of affordable protein. Karaage became popular as a result and now Oita is renowned throughout Japan for its tasty fried chicken which is available in various flavours, such as sweet sauce, plain or spicy. Chicken tempura, or toriten, is another popular local specialty to try.

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