- A clue about the unique cooking method is that it stems from battle
- Where can you eat kawara soba?
A clue about the unique cooking method is that it stems from battle
Let me introduce a unique regional cuisine that utilizes kawara tile, a material used traditionally for roofs in Japan. In the City of Shimonoseki, in Yamaguchi Prefecture, there is a local cuisine called “kawara soba” that consists of “cha-soba”, or noodles with tea kneaded into the dough and various toppings that are served on a heated kawara tile.
Where did the idea of serving food on a kawara tile come from? In 1887 Japan experienced what would become its final civil war. There are stories from that time talking about the intervals between long field battles in which the soldiers would heat kawara tiles and cook wild grass and meat on them, thus giving birth to the dish of ‘kawara soba.” Beef, egg, seaweed, grated daikon radish, and lemon are placed atop flavorful cha-soba noodles and served with a warm dipping sauce. It is an odd combination even for the Japanese, but the refreshing grated daikon radish and lemon add a nice contrast to the sweet flavored beef, making it very addicting. The fact that it is served on a kawara tile is also interesting and makes it a visually enjoyable dish.
Where can you eat kawara soba?
You can find kawara soba at inns and restaurants around Kawatana Hot Springs in Shimonoseki. In the Kawatana Hot Springs area, there are restaurants that originated this dish, so you can eat “the original kawara soba.” Also, the internationally known pianist Alfred Cortot stayed at Kawatana Hot Springs at the time of his performance in Japan and it is said that he was captivated by the beautiful views. The views of the expansive sea and mountains that this great pianist loved, the hot springs, and filling up on kawara soba; this is an itinerary you will want to fully enjoy when you visit Yamaguchi Prefecture.