Hittsumi & Kushi-mochi are two local specialties of the Hachinohe Area and can be readily found in the town of Sannohe. Both dishes are great examples of the area’s Konamon culinary culture, in which dishes utilize flour from grains rather than rice.
Hittsumi is a type of soup dumpling. It is similar to a dish called suiton that is found in other places in Japan as well. To make the dish wheat flour is kneaded, pulled thin, and torn off in strips or circles. The pulling action when tearing off bits of the dough is said to be from where the dish’s name arises. The strips or circles are then usually simmered and served in a soy sauce and vegetable-based soup. Seasonal ingredients, such as wild mushrooms, etc., are usually added into the soup with the dumplings. Hittsumi is a hearty, rich, rustic dish that reflects the changing seasons and local culture of the area.
Kushi-mochi is a local treat that is more a snack than a meal. Mochi is a Japanese word that usually refers to glutinous rice cakes, but much to the surprise of first-time visitors to the area, kushi-mochi is usually made with just wheat flour (or sometimes a mix of wheat and rice). Kushi-mochi is made by mixing flour and hot water, forming the dough into round flat patties, and then skewering the patties. The treats are then grilled over charcoal, imparting them with a slightly smoky flavor and aroma, and then slathered with sweet miso or wild sesame paste. The snack is considered a local soul food by many people and is a staple at local markets, food vendors at events, and even at roadside stalls.