Taste of Kumamoto: Local Dishes, Restaurants, and Recipes

Taste of Kumamoto: Local Dishes, Restaurants, and Recipes

Taste of Kumamoto: Local Dishes, Restaurants, and Recipes

Kumamoto, a prefecture located in the southern part of Japan's Kyushu island, offers a unique culinary experience that showcases the region's rich cultural heritage and natural resources.

Local Dishes

One iconic dish from Kumamoto is Ikinari Dango, which is a sweet potato dumpling skewered on a stick and grilled to perfection. Its soft and sweet inner filling, made from mashed sweet potatoes, combined with the crispy outer layer, makes it a favorite snack for locals and visitors alike.

Kumamoto Ramen is another must-try dish. This style of ramen features a rich tonkotsu (pork bone) broth, topped with tender slices of chashu (braised pork), marinated bamboo shoots, and green onions. The noodles are thick and chewy, adding to the decadent experience.

Basashi, or horse sashimi, is a delicacy in Kumamoto. Thinly sliced raw horse meat is served with a dipping sauce made from soy sauce, ginger, and garlic. It may sound unusual to some, but the tender and slightly gamey flavor is highly regarded by locals and adventurous eaters.

Kumamoto is also known for its delicious variety of Tamago Kake Gohan, a simple but flavorful dish of rice mixed with a raw egg and soy sauce. Additional toppings such as green onions, nori (seaweed), or pickled vegetables can be added for extra layers of flavor.

Local Restaurants

If you're looking to sample these local delicacies, here are some recommended restaurants in Kumamoto:

  • Yumeunohana - Located in the heart of Kumamoto City, this restaurant specializes in Kumamoto's traditional cuisine. They offer a variety of dishes, including Ikinari Dango, Kumamoto Ramen, and Basashi.
  • Ichiraku - An authentic ramen restaurant serving up Kumamoto-style ramen with a rich and flavorful tonkotsu broth. Their chashu is melt-in-your-mouth delicious.
  • Momotaro - Known for their fresh and high-quality Basashi, Momotaro offers an extensive menu featuring various cuts of horse meat prepared in different ways.
  • Tori Man - This cozy eatery specializes in Tamago Kake Gohan. Their rice is perfectly cooked, and you can choose from a variety of toppings to customize your dish.

These are just a few of the many restaurants in Kumamoto that offer delightful local cuisine.


If you want to recreate the flavors of Kumamoto at home, here are a couple of recipes for you to try:

Ikinari Dango


  • 1 medium sweet potato
  • Skewers
  • Honey or brown sugar (optional)


  1. Peel the sweet potato and cut it into bite-sized chunks.
  2. Pierce each piece of sweet potato with a skewer.
  3. Grill the sweet potato skewers until they are soft and cooked through. Brush with honey or sprinkle with brown sugar if desired.
  4. Serve hot and enjoy!

Kumamoto Ramen


  • 4 cups pork bone broth
  • 2 servings of ramen noodles
  • 4 slices of chashu (braised pork)
  • Marinated bamboo shoots
  • Sliced green onions


  1. Heat the pork bone broth in a pot until hot.
  2. Cook the ramen noodles according to the package instructions, then drain.
  3. Divide the cooked noodles into two bowls.
  4. Pour the hot pork bone broth over the noodles.
  5. Top with chashu, marinated bamboo shoots, and sliced green onions.
  6. Serve hot and enjoy!

Now you can savor the flavors of Kumamoto from the comfort of your own kitchen!