October 30, 12 | Takako Chiba
In Yuni Town the original taste of miso flavored hormone cooked in an iron saucepan has been a favorite for half a century.
The original iron saucepan used to cook up the dish is uniquely shaped, nearly square with turned up sides. Fresh hormone (cow or pig entrails) is cooked up with onion and bean sprouts. Added into this single serving size mix is three spoonfuls of a secret miso sauce, and care is taken during cooking not to lose any moisture. The original saucepan allows a peculiar mix of grilling and boiling to occur, which is what makes Yuni Town's Tokyo Hormone so special!
Currently Tokyo Hormone is on it’s third generation of owners. The shop's first owner came to Hokkaido from Tokyo, which led to his nickname "Mr. Tokyo," and subsequently became the shop's name. When I visited the shop I asked the current owner, Mr. Miura, about this. He told me "There's no doubt that this shop has about 60 years of history, but we don't actually have any of the shops old records to check."
Even without records, you can be sure that the taste of their hormone is the same as it was when the shop first opened. The taste has allowed the shop to expand not only in it's hometown of Yuni, but also across the Yubari district and even into Sapporo.
▲ Hormone with vegetables ready for cooking!
▲ Each single serving of Hormone gets three spoonfuls of the secret miso sauce.
The hormone used here is from Sorachi pigs, and makes use of the stomach and small and large intestine. Although a bit of extra flavoring is added, the main taste comes from the secret miso sauce.
We here at Hokkaido Likers tried to find out the secret sauces ingredients, but it didn't go so well...
Hokkaido Likers: "Mr. Miura, what exactly do you put into this sauce?"
Mr. Miura: "It's a secret! Even I'm not sure how it's made..."
▲ Mr. Miura explaining how they cook the hormone.
Sagari (a specific portion of meat from the diaphragm) is also an extremely popular menu item. First the sagari is boiled and then fried, giving it a tender texture. For those readers who find hormone too smelly, or too hard to chew, this is the dish for you. The sweet and spicy miso mix adds flavor to the meat, making a bowl of white rice the perfect side dish. The deliciously tender meat and the crunchy texture of the veggies achieve a perfect balance here; a truly wonderful dish.
▲ The sagari is also delicious!
It seems that many customers also purchase hormone at the shop to take home and cook up themselves. However, cooking it up on a normal hot plate just doesn't give it the same taste, so you'll be happy to hear that they also sell their original design iron saucepan as well!
Mr. Miura says, "I've heard that a lot of thought and trial and error went into crafting the shape of our original iron saucepan. And, although the shape has been seen before in "dustpan" saucepan designs, what makes ours unique is the use of iron instead of stainless steel."
▲ Tender, easy to eat hormone.
When you've filled up, the best way to use up the leftovers is to cook them up with some yaki-soba!
A single serving of hormone is reasonably priced at 315 Yen, making it perfect for a family meal. I would certainly recommend trying a bite at the restaurant to get the full original flavor, but for those of you who can't stop by mail-order is also available!
So be sure to get a taste of the amazing Tokyo Hormone flavor right here in Hokkaido!
東京ホルモン (Tokyo Hormone)
299, Yuni-cho, Yubari-gun
■ Hours of Operation
Monday through Friday: 11:00 - 9:00 (Last Order at 8:30)
Sundays and Holidays: 11:00 - 8:00 (Last Order at 7:30)
■ Closed Occasionally on Sundays
(Hokkaido Likers Writer - Takako Chiba)
(Photographs provided by Hokkaido Likers Photo Writer - Megane)