Matcha Curry from Kyoto and Matcha Beer from Tokyo?! 5 Slightly Unusual Matcha Dishes in Japan
Matcha (powdered green tea) is not just for drinking, as it also goes really well with curry and ramen! Below are some unique and delicious drinks, snacks, and dishes incorporating matcha that you can find in Japan. You will surely be impressed by how they look and taste.
Aug 26 2020 (Feb 27 2022)
Tip: Save While Enjoying Specialty Matcha Dishes in Japan with d POINT!
d POINT is a free point service operated by Japan’s largest telecommunications company, NTT DOCOMO, INC. This is a system in which you can earn points just by showing your d POINT CARD when making purchases at d POINT Member Stores such as leading convenience store chains, McDonald\'s, cafes, and supermarkets.
FamilyMart, which is featured in this article, is a d POINT Member Store. You can earn 1 point for every 100 JPY you spend, and then use 1 earned point as 1 yen. There are various other matcha-flavored foods in Japan apart from the ones mentioned in this article, so try to find one you like.
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1. Takara Gokujo Matcha-hi Koi Uji Matcha
Uji in Kyoto is a prominent matcha producing area in Japan. Loved by emperors and shogun (generals) throughout the ages, Uji matcha is known as a luxury item. Takara Gokujo Matcha-hi Koi Uji Matcha (178 JPY (excl. tax)) is an alcoholic drink containing Uji matcha that you can enjoy at an affordable price. With this drink, you will get to savor the rich flavor and delicious aroma of Uji matcha. It is unsweetened and non-carbonated, so I love drinking this with meals. This beverage is also a great companion to salty snacks and oily dishes.
2. Matcha Strawberry Chocolate
Matcha Strawberry Chocolate (280 JPY (incl. tax)) is a confection that generously uses Uji matcha from Kyoto that has been chosen by a tea master (a person who selects and mixes tea leaves). Available at the convenience store chain FamilyMart, it’s the perfect snack for the summer thanks to the refreshing bitterness of the tea leaves, the sweetness of the chocolate, and the acidity of the strawberries! This confection uses dried strawberries, so it is also recommended as a souvenir.
Aside from snacks, FamilyMart also sells drinks, bento (box lunches), and bread, as well as shampoo and other personal hygiene products that will be useful to travelers. I actually like the mini cosmetics from the “media MINI Series” that are available at this convenience store chain. The foundation, lip stick, and nail polish come in mini size, so they are easy to fit in a pouch. They are also quite cheap, so you can buy and try them anytime.
3. Cup Noodle Matcha Matcha Shitate no Torisayu (Nissin Foods)
Cup Noodle Matcha Matcha Shitate no Torisayu (193 JPY (excl. tax)) consists of matcha-flavored ramen, which is a combination even I find surprising. When you add hot water to it, the matcha will blend with the thick chicken broth, so the soup will turn green! The faint flavor and aroma of the matcha and the creamy taste of the chicken broth are a superb match, making this ramen taste delicious. It comes in a Japanese-inspired packaging, so a photo of it would look great on social media.
This ramen is available at Japanese convenience stores such as FamilyMart, which was mentioned earlier, and various supermarkets.
4. Uji Matcha Curry (Ito Kyuemon)
Uji Matcha Curry (550 JPY (incl. tax)), sold by the Kyoto tea house Ito Kyuemon, is an innovative curry that uses matcha as a spice! If you serve it on a plate, you will be surprised by the dark green color of matcha. This product is easy to carry home since it comes in a retort pouch, so it makes for a great souvenir. Taste-wise, it’s a delicious curry that will let you taste the slight bitterness of matcha without making you feel uncomfortable about eating it.
It is available at Ito Kyuemon Kyoto Station Square Store, which is a 3-minute walk from Kyoto Station, as well as other establishments. The next time I travel to Kyoto, I will definitely buy this curry as a souvenir for my friends!
5. RESTAURANT 1899 OCHANOMIZU Matcha Beer/Ocha Sausage 3 Variety Set
Located in Ochanomizu, Tokyo, RESTAURANT 1899 OCHANOMIZU operates under the concept of "relaxing together with tea." Here, you can enjoy a variety of food items incorporating tea at reasonable prices. I was particularly interested in their 1899 Matcha Beer (790 JPY) and the 1899 Ocha Sausage 3 Variety Set (1,200 JPY)! The matcha beer has a bright green color that is refreshing to look at, and it’s really beautiful. If you have it together with the tea sausage, you are bound to feel refreshed even in the heat of summer.
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This article featured sweets and unexpected food items made with matcha. Did you find anything you want to eat? Try any of the foods on the list and get through the hot days of summer with the bittersweet taste and refreshing aroma of matcha!
The information in this article is accurate at the time of publication.