Cost: 324 yen
Found at: Lawson
One of the staple flavors of Nagoya food culture is that of red miso. Red miso, unlike the white and yellow varieties, is made with more soybeans and aged for longer, giving it a stronger, earthier umami taste. As I have a significant salt bias, it’s not my favorite miso soup, but used in sauces and marinades, I think it is easily the best. The powerful, almost overwhelming savoriness is especially good as part of the famous Nagoya “miso katsu” – a (usually) pork cutlet drenched in miso sauce. Throw that between two slices of bread and you have a little piece of heaven. It is a deep-fried, saucy, carby bonanza that combines the distinctive Japanese miso flavor with the soft, tender pork that makes me (an ex-vegetarian) feel particularly guilty. Nagoya may not to vegetables, or sushi, or fish very well – but the deep-fried bar food is absolutely top shelf.