Nagasaki Cuisine: Authentic Dishes, Top Restaurants, and Traditional Recipes

Nagasaki Cuisine: Authentic Dishes, Top Restaurants, and Traditional Recipes

Nagasaki Cuisine

Nagasaki, a vibrant city located on the island of Kyushu in Japan, has a rich culinary tradition that combines influences from both Japan and the rest of the world. The city's unique history as an international trading port has resulted in a diverse and dynamic food scene, offering a delightful blend of flavors and ingredients. From mouthwatering seafood dishes to savory street food, Nagasaki cuisine is a treat for food lovers.

Authentic Dishes

Nagasaki is famous for its local specialties that have been perfected over the centuries. Here are some of the must-try dishes:

  • Champon: A hearty noodle soup loaded with pork, seafood, and vegetables. The ramen-style dish is perfect for warming up on a chilly day.
  • Sara Udon: Crispy noodles topped with a thick sauce, stir-fried vegetables, and various meats. It's a filling and satisfying dish that is sure to please.
  • Castella: A sweet sponge cake originally introduced by the Portuguese. Nagasaki's version of castella is known for its moist and fluffy texture.
  • Gunkan Sushi: A popular sushi dish consisting of a small ball of rice wrapped in seaweed and topped with various seafood or other ingredients. Nagasaki is known for its fresh seafood, making gunkan sushi a must-try.
  • Chirin-Chirin Ice: A refreshing local dessert made with shaved ice and various flavored syrups. It's a perfect treat to cool down during the hot summer months.

Top Restaurants

Nagasaki boasts numerous excellent restaurants where you can savor the city's authentic cuisine. Here are some top recommendations:

  1. Shikairo: Located in the heart of Nagasaki, this traditional Japanese restaurant offers exquisite kaiseki cuisine made with the freshest local ingredients. Its serene atmosphere and meticulous attention to detail provide a truly memorable dining experience.
  2. Iccho Honten: This historic restaurant is famous for its Champon and Sara Udon dishes. With a history dating back to 1948, Iccho Honten has perfected its recipes over the years and continues to attract locals and visitors alike.
  3. Ekimae Togo: Situated near Nagasaki Station, this cozy restaurant specializes in delicious Nagasaki-style gunkan sushi. Its mouthwatering selection of sushi rolls and nigiri will leave you craving for more.
  4. Cafe de l'ambre: If you're in the mood for something sweet, Cafe de l'ambre is a must-visit. This charming café offers a fine selection of delectable desserts and pastries, including the famed castella cake.
  5. Yatai Dining Nagasaki Shinchi: For a unique and lively dining experience, head to the Yatai stalls in Nagasaki Shinchi. These street food carts offer a wide range of local delicacies, from yakitori skewers to takoyaki octopus balls. Enjoy your meal while soaking in the vibrant atmosphere of the city streets.

Traditional Recipes

If you're feeling adventurous and want to try your hand at cooking Nagasaki cuisine at home, here are a couple of traditional recipes you can follow:



  • 250g pork belly, thinly sliced
  • 150g squid, cleaned and sliced
  • 200g cabbage, chopped
  • 1 carrot, thinly sliced
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 300g fresh ramen noodles
  • 800ml chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sake
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Heat the vegetable oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the pork belly and cook until browned.
  2. Add the onion, carrot, and squid to the pan and stir-fry for a few minutes.
  3. Pour in the chicken stock, soy sauce, and sake. Bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes.
  4. Add the cabbage and cook for another 5 minutes until slightly softened.
  5. Meanwhile, cook the fresh ramen noodles according to the package instructions. Drain and set aside.
  6. Season the broth with salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Serve the champon by placing the cooked noodles in a bowl and ladling the broth, pork, vegetables, and squid over the top. Garnish with chopped green onions.

Sara Udon


  • 200g fresh ramen noodles
  • 150g pork belly, thinly sliced
  • 100g cabbage, chopped
  • 1 carrot, julienned
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 green bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Cook the fresh ramen noodles according to the package instructions. Drain and set aside.
  2. Heat the vegetable oil in a large pan or wok over high heat. Add the pork belly and stir-fry until cooked through.
  3. Add the garlic, onion, carrot, and bell peppers to the pan and continue stir-frying for a few minutes.
  4. Lower the heat to medium and add the cabbage to the pan. Stir-fry until the vegetables are slightly softened.
  5. In a small bowl, mix together the oyster sauce, soy sauce, and Worcestershire sauce. Pour the sauce over the vegetables and stir to combine.
  6. Add the cooked ramen noodles to the pan and toss everything together until well coated in the sauce.
  7. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Transfer the sara udon to serving plates and enjoy!

Experience the captivating flavors of Nagasaki cuisine through these authentic dishes, top restaurants, and traditional recipes. Whether you're exploring the local dining scene or recreating the delicacies at home, Nagasaki's culinary heritage is sure to leave a lasting impression.