Must-eat cuisine

When you travel to other cities, you definitely expect to find a local food that can only be eaten in the region, right? Well, let me introduce some local dishes in order for you not to be at a loss in the restaurant. Kaga-ryori is an original cuisine which utilizes seafood, vegetables, and ingredients from the local Kanazawa area. Jibuni, Hasumushi and gori-karaage are three popular Kaga-ryori dishes. These dishes are usually served on colorful Kutani porcelain, or lacquerware made in Ishikawa, and taste as excellent as they look!

治部煮 Jibuni
Duck simmered in a flavorful broth and accompanied with vegetables
Jibuni is the most well-known dish of Kaga-ryori. For all that utilizing duck meat is the original, sometimes chicken is substituted instead. The duck is coated in flour or potato starch and then placed in a boiling broth that results in a thick and golden coating. Other ingredients such as sudare-fu (wheat gluten), shiitake mushrooms, carrots and seri (Japanese parsley) are well-simmered in the flavorful broth. The origins of the name are unclear. Some say our first lord, Toshiie Maeda was served a similar duck dish by Mitsunari Ishida, who was one of the five commissioners during 16th century.

Then later Toshiie had it re-prepared by his own chef. At that time, Mitsunari worked for the "Jibu-sho" division, so Jibuni was named after his court title.

蓮蒸し Hasu-mushi
Steamed minced lotus root in a thick sauce
Kaga-renkon is one of the region’s indigenous vegetables. Hasu means lotus in Japanese, and the lotus root is utilized for the dish. A mixture of minced lotus root and the white of an egg are steamed with some mushrooms, chopped prawns, sliced lily bulbs, and white fish meat, and then mixed with a thick sauce. The sauce has the slight aroma of soy.

ごり唐揚げ Gori-kara-age
Deep fried gori fish seasoned with salt
Gori are very tiny freshwater fish. In Kanazawa, we refer to both the 'Japanese fluvial sculpin' caught at the Asanogawa and the Saigawa rivers, and 'goby' at the Kahokugata lagoon. Fishing used to thrive from the Edo period to the beginning of Showa, but not any more. As a result, the dishes are also getting rarer and harder to find. Deep-frying makes the whole fish body crispy. It's easy to eat the whole thing, including the bones! Such a dish obviously goes well with beer. Order it as an appetizer if you have the good luck to find it at an izakaya restaurant!

Published: December 29, 2012

Ryotei: Traditional Japanese Course Meal Restaurant


Kanazawa City >> Musashi Area

Kotobukiya [金澤町家料亭 壽屋]

This excellent restaurant serves fine course meals in a traditional Japanese town house built 160 years ago. You will feel as if you have slipped into the Edo period in there. As a matter of fact, Kotobukiya has a great reputation in and around Kanazawa, for their Shojin Ryori: Japanese vegetarian meals based on Buddhist cuisine, as well as Kaga-Ryori: Kanazawa’s local cuisine. It will please not only vegetarians but also non-vegetarians. Why don’t you give it a try?

2-4-13, Owaricho, Kanazawa
Tel 076-231-6245 / Fax 076-231-7001 /
LinkIconE-mail / LinkIcon

Open: 11:30-14:00 (last call 13:30); 18:00-22:00 (last call 19:30); closed irregularly / Recommended menu: Kaga-Ryori Course (local cuisine course meals); Shojin-Ryori Course (Japanese vegetarian course meals based on Buddhist cuisine) / Budget: lunch 4,500~5,500 yen; dinner 7,000-25,000 yen (Tax not included) / Credit cards: Most accepted / Languages: Limited English spoken / *Reservation required