The Kansai region is well known for being the historical heart of Japan. Here you’ll find Kobe, an eccentric city and melting pot of culture. Kobe is home to some of the most well-known gourmet cuisine and street food. Kobe beef, patisserie and confectionery sweets, Nadagogo sake, and konamon are among the most renowned Kobe delicacies.
Takoyaki, okonomiyaki, and sobameshi are among the most popular konamon cheap eats in Kobe. Konamon’s popularity is mainly influenced by it being a kind of soul food for locals in the Kansai region. It’s the perfect food to gather around as a family to enjoy cooking together, making family bonds even stronger. Most notably in the Nagata Ward, where passionate fans of “Konamon culture” reside. “So what is konamon?” you ask, it’s food that contains wheat flour. For lovers of anything made with wheat, it roughly translates to delicious and filling.
Reaching Nagata Ward from Kobe city is just a 9-minute ride by train from Sannomiya (Hyogo) station to Shin-Nagata station. You’ll be greeted by a statue of Tetsujin 28-go when you arrive. Just outside the station, you’ll find many signs letting you know that Sobameshi is served there! Sobameshi is in just about every restaurant’s menu. Originating in a little okonomiyaki shop in Nagata in the 1950s, it has been a favorite among locals ever since for its large portions, taste, and how quick it is to cook. Sobameshi is a combination of cooked rice and Chinese wheat noodles that are minced and tossed together on a large iron griddle.
A salty-sweet sauce is mixed in, chopped beef tendon, and cabbage. You can also top it off with a fried egg for that extra flavor and flair! Just like Okonomiyaki, it’s easy and fast to make. There are many other ways you can prepare sobameshi to personalize it to your taste pallet with other ingredients.
Takoyaki, another popular cheap eats, is a round bite-sized snack made from savory or sweet stock. It has a slightly crunchy exterior, soft in the middle, and a fresh chewy piece of octopus hidden inside. It’s a fun little snack to enjoy on the go or at home! Many Osaka locals own takoyaki grills, mixing and making their very own style of takoyaki at home with all kinds of preferred ingredients like cheese or kimchi.
Okonomiyaki is a gratifying meaty and cabbage filled pancake-like food. This mouthwatering food is easy and enjoyable to make! Like takoyaki, you can top it with brown sauce, mayo, bonito flakes, and dried seaweed. Depending on the restaurant you choose, you can make it yourself. All you need is a hot iron plate and raw ingredients prepared for you in a bowl. Mix the ingredients and pour it on the grill. If you prefer not to make it yourself, you can go to a diner-like restaurant where you can have it prepared in front of you by a professional.
Many restaurants in Kobe that specialize in Konamon have a great lively atmosphere that is perfect for enjoying these tasty eats with good friends or family members. Konamon has a lengthy and interesting history. Its style has changed with time but always stayed a preferred comfort food for many locals. Konamon style food like sobameshi was created by creative and innovative people who wanted to try something different, unaware that their little experiment would become loved by so many and even known worldwide.