Dengaku, or the warmth of a good meal in Takamori, Minami Aso

Goodday everybody,

It’s Autumn and the weather is cold. But, we’ve got a solution. Today, we’re off to Minami Aso, and in Takamori, we found this little dengaku restaurant: Oku Aso. (litt. Deep Aso) Here, we’ll warm ourselves before a little mountain trek or digestive walk. 

The restaurant is owned by a few magic grandmothers so we’ll sit at ease and enjoy the local barbecue that is dengaku. Basically, a table-on-barbecue with a home made miso cream sauce.

 

 

The grill consists of seasonal vegetables, potatoes and tofu or fish on a stick and set around a small heap of embers. The dish can be sided with a fresh salad but mostly the local soup is served as complement. The famous dagojiru is originally from Kumamoto and the name means literally “the soup with balls”:

 

 

The dagojiru is a simple miso soup with the usual mushrooms, carrots, onions, potatoes and lotus roots. Then is added the magic and very consistent “dago”, a ball made of nothing else than wheat.

Aso is known for cultivating wheat in the winter, while the rice fields are unoccupied. Kumamoto prefecture is thus a big wheat producer in Japan, just as for rice and buckwheat of course.

 

Let’s get back to our main subject here. As any main dish in Japan, you’ll find rice to the dengaku’s side, together with some small plates of fried tofu to enjoy with the local soy sauce. 

 

 

While dengaku looks pretty light, it is a very effective and dense meal. If though, you would still have a small gape left, one can always ask for a refill of rice or dagojiru.

 

 

Here is your way to Oku Aso:

 

Last but not least, a few views from the way back to Aso city. Mountains in the clouds and the Nekodake summit of Mount Aso.

See you soon in Aso for more adventures!

 

Nathalie

 

 

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