Kochi Prefecture makes use of its fertile land to produce mouthwatering meat that the country can be proud of!
From miracle wagyu beef to local chicken that can be enjoyed in a variety of dishes, experience the goodness of locally produced Kochi meats.
Tosa Akaushi Beef: the miracle wagyu
Tosa Akaushi beef is only produced in Kochi and limited to about 500 head of cattle per year, making it a rare treat. The meat is highly rated, as Tosa Akaushi is said to have 2 to 4 times the umami and sweetness of black-haired wagyu beef. The flavor is also said to be light, with a delicious aftertaste.
If you want to really enjoy the taste of the beef itself, then either steak or roast beef is recommended. There are of course plenty of ways to enjoy Tosa Akaushi though; the shoulder thinly sliced is great for sukiyaki, while minced beef ribs makes for a really juicy hamburger.
Shimanto Pork: fed on rice, barley and Imo-kempi, the flavor is outstanding!
The town of Shimanto, through which the Shimanto River passes, is a prominent farm town in Kochi Prefecture. Shimanto Pork is the brand name for locally produced pork. Pigs are fed on a special diet which produces slightly different flavors depending on which ingredients are included in the feed. *Imo-kempi, chestnuts and barley fed pigs produce a sweeter meat, while those fed on the famous local brand of rice “niida-mai” have juicy and tender meat.
One of the recommended ways to enjoy Shimanto Pork is as a rice bowl on top of niida-mai rice. Pork kakuni rice bowls or pork rice bowls with a sweet and spicy sauce can be found at a number of restaurants in Shimanto and are something you should really try if you’re in the region.
*Imo-kempi are a sweet snack made from potatoes cut into shoestring chips and then fried and dusted with sugar.
Tosa Hachikin-Jidori: locally bred and raised chicken, packed full of umami!
Of the 38 breeds of jidori (local chicken) in Japan, 8 are from Kochi Prefecture. Raised in nature-rich areas like Okawa Village, Tosa Hachikin-Jidori are a mix-breed of Kochi local chickens. There is no excess fat or any unpleasant flavors, only a delicious concentration of umami. Cooked with a bit of salt or seared (tataki) are two of the best ways to enjoy the umami of this local chicken. That umami carries right into the marrow of the bones, so naturally a chicken soup made with Tosa Hachikin-Jidori is incredibly delicious. Simmered wings are packed full of collagen, while tenders are light and go great with salad.
Gomen Kenka Shamo Chicken: the chicken Ryoma Sakamoto loved
Known for being a favorite of Kochi-born samurai Ryoma Sakamoto, this game fowl known as “Gomen Kenka Shamo Chicken” is a pure breed and therefore not mixed with any other breed of chicken, making it a rarity in Japan. Gomen Kenka Shamo Chicken are raised in environments as close to nature as possible, and the chicken is characterized by an overwhelming depth of umami.
The most popular way to eat this chicken is in a hot pot called “shamo nabe.” The umami of the chicken melts into and fuses with the soup, making you want to drink every last drop of the delicious broth. Nankoku City, located 20mins from Kochi City by train, is dotted with restaurants serving shamo nabe.