Morioka Cold Noodles

Morioka Cold Noodles_1 Morioka Cold Noodles_2

Though this dish uses the Japanese town name of Morioka, why does it look so much like Korean food? It can’t be helped that people make this mistake, because cold noodles were first eaten in the Korean peninsula, and Morioka cold noodles were first eaten in Hamhung in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. Yang Yeong-Choer, a Korean who lived in Japan, came up with an idea in May of 1954 to open up a small 4-table restaurant called “Shokudo-en” in Morioka. The restaurant became popular because the food there was unique and made from ingredients that could only be found in Morioka. In April of 2000, the Fair Trade Commission approved the food served here in terms of being extremely popular and unique, and it became a representation of Iwate prefecture.

Aoki actually didn’t have any professional cooking skills, but since he was interested in food and cooking when he was young, he decided to learn on his own. Because of this, his Morioka cold noodles have very rare and original flavors and recipes.

For example, these cold noodles are made out of flour and potato tempura, giving them a white color, and are pushed out of a machine in order to produce very firm texture.

Hamhung’s cold noodles had soba powder in them, making the noodles an unappetizing ashy color, so Aoki decided to change up the ingredients.

At first, the customers were surprised at the rubbery texture of the noodles, and nobody was used to seeing spicy condiments like kimchi topped on top of the noodles at the time. It took a while for the locals to accept these new concepts, but since the younger generation are interested in new ideas and are more accepting, Morioka cold noodles soon became popular, to the point where various restaurants copied the recipe. Now, each restaurant has a different way of preparing Morioka cold noodles, and so it is enjoyed by people who enjoy different tastes.

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