In Hokkaido, you’ll eat your way to high heaven
How to really appreciate Japanese cuisine if you’re going there for the World Cup rugby
On a recent trip to explore Hokkaido in Japan, three meals impressed. The first two were at restaurants in Asahikawa. Tenkin was our lunch option, dominated by raw fish and a hotpot with a steaming broth and rice on the side. Shabu-shabu (as hotpot dining is known) is a traditional Japanese way of eating – most often thin slices of raw beef dipped in a sesame-paste or soy-sauce with citrus. Tenkin’s hotpot however is uni-shabu, the sea urchin shabu which is rare and thus more expensive.
We were also told, once we were finished dipping the raw fish into the hotpot, to add the leftover rice to the broth. It’s comfort food deluxe because it tastes like the best chowder ever. With Japanese rice always of such superb quality, one could just wallow in the deliciousness when combined with the sea-urchin broth.
The sashimi was simply dipped – once, twice and a third time – to give it a hot edge. Because of the freshness and quality it was melt-in-the-mouth...