Travelling Japan: Tofu Donuts and Walnut Noodles

I went on a long drive up to Fukushima and arrived in the early evening after having made a few stops to take photos. I ended up parking outside a hot spring onsen, where the hotel manager kindly let me use their private outdoor rock hot spring (for about $5) before spending the night parked out in the camper.

The next morning, I visited the town of Ōuchi-juku which used to serve as a post station for travelers passing through during the Edo period. It has been preserved and reconstructed beautifully, and is still lined with traditional thatch roof huts selling all kinds of hearty homemade foods.

For lunch, I tried a bowl of walnut soba noodles which was the typical buckwheat noodles, but with the addition of walnuts ground up into a paste. The restaurants were very rustic and old-fashioned, with straw mat floors and the traditional fire pit for cooking.

walnut soba noodles
walnut soba noodles

 

The noodles were served with tea and pickled vegetables.
The noodles were served with tea and pickled vegetables.

 

fire pit in the middle of the room
fire pit in the middle of the room

 

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I also tried out their soy donuts made out of okara. I made a post a while back on okara, which is actually the soy pulp left over from making things like tofu and soy milk. (See my homemade okara burger here) Like everything else here, the donuts were freshly made just seconds before I purchased them. This was such a fantastic treat!

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8 thoughts on “Travelling Japan: Tofu Donuts and Walnut Noodles

  1. Such a beautiful place. Thank you for sharing your journey! I am inspired to make a walnut paste for my next bowl of soba. I imagine it adds a sweet and earthy note. What did the okara doughnut taste like?

    1. Thanks! It was like walking through a dream land. I didn’t know such traditional places still existed.

      The okara doughnut was honestly one of the best I’ve had. Flavour wise, it’s just like a good quality plain doughnut (it doesn’t taste like soy or anything). But, the texture is the best part. It’s crunchy on the outside but super fluffy and soft inside. There’s none of that rubbery, dense texture of the typical doughnut. I image its because of the low gluten content.

    1. Yeah! I’d heard about okara donuts and had always wanted to try one, so I was pretty thrilled when I stumbled across them turning out piping hot, fresh donuts.

    1. Oh I really hope you can make it up there some time. It was such a magical experience. It felt like I’d just time traveled back to the Edo period.

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