In search of the history of “Toruko(Turkish) rice”, a Western dish that took hold together with Western culture.

2018-09-05   Food & Drinks, Nagasaki,

“Toruko rice”, born in Nagasaki, the window to Western culture in Japan.

Nagasaki, widely known as the city that was among the first to bring Western culture to Japan. Within this, food culture hugely influenced the Japanese diet. There are many foods that spread throughout Japan from Nagasaki, such as Chanpon, a noodle dish containing a generous amount of pork and vegetables and the confectionery Castella, thought to have been introduced by the Portuguese in the latter half of the 16th century. “Toruko rice”, consisting of 3 Western dishes arranged on one plate, is one of these.


The cherished “combination plate of Western dishes”…but the origin of the name has nothing to do with Turkey?

Widely known as a specialty dish of Nagasaki, Toruko rice was first made around 60 years ago. With the Western dishes desired by the average person at the time—pilaf, Naporitan spaghetti, and pork cutlets covered with demi-glace sauce—arranged on one plate, this was like a dream dish! The naming is strange, however it appears that there is no direct link to the Republic of Turkey and the origin of the name is unclear.


At the oldest café in Kyushu, there are rich variations to the combinations.

Even at Tsuruchan—founded in 1925 and the oldest café in Kyushu—Toruko rice is a signature dish. It is said that covering the pork cutlets of Toruko rice with curry roux became popular around 25 years ago. They have a total of 9 variations, such as “Seafood Toruko”, fried whole shrimp covered with a creamy sauce and “Tekitoruko”, beef steak garnished with Stroganoff sauce. By the way, at Tsuruchan, their Nagasaki-style milkshake (a type of milkshake eaten with a spoon) has been a popular menu item since their foundation. In Nagasaki, please savor this traditional café menu while enjoying the town, filled with foreign atmosphere.






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miho mayeda

miho mayeda


I politely introduce my beloved country of Japan in my beloved Japanese language. I am an artisan with words, and will give my body and soul to the end. I am a freelance editor and writer who was born and raised in Tokyo.


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