Gunma Food Guide

Ever heard of Konjac? If not, don’t be intimidated by the plant’s outer features. Simply put, Konjac is a type of yam, and the starch taken from the root can be cooked and used to make a faux-gelatin. It is especially handy for making vegan substitutes for gelatin, and is also a healthy alternative to noodles, as it can be shaped into a chewy, translucent noodle called Shirataki. Gunma is the largest producer of Konjac in Japan, so if you are interested in trying this distinctly Japanese dish, come to Gunma!

Photo Cred: Flickr user shinyai
Himokawa Udon
Himokawa Udon is also an interesting and strange dish native to Gunma. While it is a noodle, it is far from shaped like one, as it is served in sheets rather than cut into strips. Ranging from 1.5 centimeters to 10 centimeters, depending on the restaurant, the cold sheets are served with hot soup, and eaten after dunking them into the soup. It originated in the Kiryu region of Gunma, where wheat production is a large part of the economy.
Kororin Dumplings
Kororin Dumpllings are not your average dumplings. They are dumplings only in looks, as the ingredients are completely different, as well as the taste and mouthfeel. Rather than using meat like traditional dumplings, the Kororin Dumplings are made with potato starch and flavored with onion and vegetables, making this dish vegetarian. The dumplings are topped off with Worcestershire sauce and dried seaweed. It can be described as slightly chewy and savoury, but you should definitely try it out yourself.
Yaki Manju
While it may look and even taste like a regular meal, Yaki Manju are considered sweets in Gunma prefecture. They are skewered balls of malted flower, which is then roasted and coasted with sweet miso sauce. Regular Manju is known for having red bean paste inside the flower balls, but Yaki Manju has no filling and gets its sweetness from the coating and roasting. It is native of the Shima Onsen area, so be sure to try it out on your trip to the area! 

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