When you think of sushi, you probably imagine rice topped with some kind of seafood, but there’s a traditional dish in Kochi where the veggies take center stage. Inaka-sushi is a local specialty that originated from communities living among Kochi's mountainous areas without access to the ocean. By getting creative, they turned the limitation of living far from the coast into an opportunity to cook up something new (literally)!
After all this time, there’s a reason why inaka-sushi still remains a local favorite not only among vegetarians, but also, all kinds of eaters! It’s one of the best ways to explore the delicious world of Kochi’s local veggies including the stem of the mountain potato plant (ryukyu), devil’s tongue (konnyaku), Japanese ginger (myoga), and more. The rice is typically flavored with yuzu vinegar, in true Kochi style!
Especially if you’re visiting around this time of year, keep your eyes peeled for a very rare type of bamboo shoot called shihochiku. Since it is hollow, it is often sliced into rings, filled with rice, and enjoyed as one of the many delicious creations you will find in inaka-sushi. The Sunday Market in Kochi City is a great place to scout for both shihochiku and inaka-sushi