The 26 restaurants in the city cooperated to start what they call “the Okumino curry project”. This project is very unique because its member restaurants are not only Western-style restaurants but also ramen noodle shops and other Japanese food restaurants. The menu created by each restaurant is unique and rich in variation. Curry and rice, noodles, rice bowl dishes…it will be nice if you go to the shops and eat and compare their original curry. For some of the hidden flavor of the curry, traditional Gujo miso is used. Most of the materials are home-grown in Gujo. Each restaurant has its original taste, for example, with some using wild game meat such as boar and venison. Others use Hida beef, ko-jidori chicken , and so on. The marker for member shops is a yellow flag. A meal will cost about 1000 yen at any shop.
Ayu wild sweetfish is a river fish which Japanese people have loved as “kogyo - fish of delicate flavor” since ancient times. The river flowing in Gujo is the upper stream of the Nagara gawa River, which is one of the cleanest rivers in Japan. It attracts many fishermen from all over Japan during ayu season. Ayu grow by eating algae in the riverbed, with the result that their taste changes slightly according to the environment of their native river. The more delicious the ayu, the more clean you know their native river is. Ayu in Gujo have a special reputation in Japan. They are called “Gujo Ayu” and are regarded as a delicacy. The best ayus are shipped directly to high-class Japanese-style restaurants in Tokyo. The ayu in Gujo have won the grand prix in the “Seiryu-meguri Kikiayu Kai” contest, a nationwide contest judging the cleanliness of rivers by comparing the flavor of the ayu they produce.
The favorite ayu cuisine for Japanese is grilled ayu sprinkled with salt. Others include ayu-zosui （Japanese risotto）, fried ayu, and ayu-zushi （ayu sushi）. Among unique recipes from Gujo, we cook ayu in gyoden （fish dengaku） or serve as sashimi. You can eat fresh ayu directly from the fishery at the restaurants and Japanese style hotels in the city from the beginning of summer to autumn.
Please try this ayu cuisine when you visit Gujo.
“Kei-chan” cooking from northern Gujo is the cuisine of stir-frying chicken thigh and organ meat with cabbages and onions after marinating the meat in sauce using miso and soy sauce and other ingredients. The restaurants which serve kei-chan are proud of the flavor of their offerings, so they are using various ingredients and techniques such as flavoring with garlic and creating secret sauces.
Originally, kei-chan was a home cuisine, so people in Gujo have very discriminating tastes about the food.
Also, each Gujo native has his or her own preference, such as “I like the hine meat （adult chicken） best for snack food to go with sake,” or “I prefer the tender meat of young chickens”. Kei-chan is very popular in Gujo. Why not give it a try?
This is a nabe pot-boiled dish including boar meat with vegetables and tofu. It is seasoned with miso. Also venison and horse meat version have been eaten in traditional Gujo cuisine.
Along with wild vegetables, berries and fruits, these meats are truly “blessings from the mountain”.