Exploring Amami's Authentic Cuisine: Local Dishes, Restaurants & Recipes

Exploring Amami's Authentic Cuisine: Local Dishes, Restaurants & Recipes

Exploring Amami's Authentic Cuisine: Local Dishes, Restaurants & Recipes

Amami, a beautiful island located in Kagoshima Prefecture, Japan, is not only known for its pristine beaches and lush landscapes but also for its unique and delicious cuisine. Exploring the local dishes of Amami is a must for any food lover visiting the island. From fresh seafood to traditional dishes with a twist, there is something to satisfy everyone's taste buds.

Traditional Amami Dishes

Amami Island is famous for its traditional cuisine that showcases the island's natural resources and vibrant flavors. Here are some must-try dishes:

  1. Tanmen: A local noodle dish featuring thick udon noodles served in a savory broth with various toppings such as pork, vegetables, and tofu. It's the perfect comfort food on a chilly day.
  2. Keihan: This dish consists of rice cooked with chicken and various seasonings. It is often topped with marinated ginger and served with a side of miso soup.
  3. Tebichi: Pork trotters are slow-cooked and then simmered in a rich and flavorful sauce until tender. The dish is often served with a bowl of steamed rice.
  4. Kasutera: Amami's version of castella cake is a delicious sponge cake made with local ingredients such as brown sugar and honey. It has a unique taste and is perfect for dessert or afternoon tea.

When it comes to exploring Amami's cuisine, dining at local restaurants is a must. Here are some popular restaurants on the island that serve authentic and delicious Amami dishes:

  • Restaurant Aji no Yume: Located in the city center, this restaurant offers a wide selection of traditional Amami dishes using locally sourced ingredients. Their seafood dishes are particularly renowned.
  • Island Kitchen Sengyo-tei: This charming restaurant is known for its fresh fish and seafood dishes, prepared using traditional Amami cooking techniques. Don't miss their sashimi platter.
  • Amami Shokudo: A cozy eatery that specializes in local cuisine, Amami Shokudo offers a variety of dishes including tanmen, tebichi, and kasutera. It's a great spot to sample multiple Amami specialties in one place.
  • Oyama Shokudo: Located near the beach, this restaurant is famous for its seafood dishes, especially the sea bream. Enjoy a stunning view while indulging in fresh, flavorful seafood.

Traditional Amami Recipes to Try at Home

If you want to recreate the flavors of Amami in your own kitchen, try these traditional recipes:



  • 250g udon noodles
  • 200g sliced pork
  • 1 carrot, julienned
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 4 cups chicken broth


  1. Cook the udon noodles according to package instructions. Drain and set aside.
  2. In a large pot, heat the sesame oil and sauté the garlic until fragrant.
  3. Add the sliced pork and cook until browned.
  4. Add the onion and carrot, and cook until softened.
  5. Pour in the chicken broth, soy sauce, and oyster sauce. Bring to a boil.
  6. Add the cooked udon noodles and heat through.
  7. Serve hot and enjoy!

Explore Amami's Culinary Delights

Embark on a taste bud adventure and explore the culinary delights of Amami Island. From traditional dishes to unique desserts, the island's cuisine is sure to leave you craving for more. Make sure to visit local restaurants, try traditional recipes at home, and savor the flavors of this hidden gem in Japan.