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Hokkaido Seafood - What to Eat and Where to Eat It

Ask any Japanese person from 'the south' about Hokkaido and the first thing they will mention is not the incredible snow, but the food.

And Niseko, being a melting pot of different cultures drawing the best of Japanese and International cuisine, has made a name for itself not just as one of the best foodie towns in Japan, but indeed the whole world. Fresh, delicious and premium Hokkaido produce is famous world over and that is not just the amazing ingredients which come from the ground. The meat and, in particular, the seafood, are worth the international airfare alone!

Here is our round up of the best in-season seafood to eat in Niseko this winter, and where to eat it.

Hokkaido Crab

Taraba Crab
Taraba Crab - A Hokkaido Speciality

Hokkaido's seaside town's of Hakodate and Otaru have long been domestic tourist attractions for Japanese seafood lovers. And word is getting out to the rest of the world now too. Succulent hairy crab, snow crab and king crab are bountiful in these coastal waters and their markets buzz each morning with enthusiastic buyers and sellers at work. Some of the best pieces from the daily catch swiftly make their way to Niseko and on to the plates of the resort's lucky guests that evening.

Where to try it - the brand new Kumo Restaurant at Skye Niseko serves up a delicious Taraba (King) crab dish with shiso butter and lime.

Uni (Sea Urchin)

This Japanese delicacy may seem strange to some at first but is an absolute must-try when in Hokkaido. Surprisingly sweet and rich, uni is often served cold on a bowl of warm rice (look for 'uni-don' on the menu). The coolness of the uni matched with the warmth of the rice is a unique and tantalising treat for the taste-buds. Uni on sushi, or even tossed in a salad, is common too.

Where to try it - perfectly located opposite Seicomart, at the Hirafu intersection, Fujizushi sources uni from Shakotan, a Hokkaido coastal area renowned as the home of the most delicious uni.

Ikura (Salmon Roe)

Kumo Restaurant General 25 Low Res
Fresh and delicious ikura and uni bowl

Ikura, cured in salt or brine, is another Hokkaido favourite commonly found on Niseko's best menus. Often marinated or soaked in soy sauce to add a rich, savoury element to the flavour, the 'popping' sensation when eating Ikura is a fun experience when dining with friends. You will commonly find ikura served with uni in a rice bowl or salad.

For those who have tried black caviar, ikura is similar. In fact, it's the same dish, just from a different fish!

Where to try it - Kagra in Niseko Town is a great place for ikura, and seafood in general. Part restaurant, part fish shop, Kagra ensure only the freshest seafood makes it to your plate.

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