March 14, 2023

Steam cuisine: cooking in Japan's hot springs

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2023-03-14 18:00:17

March 14, 2023

Using geothermal resources to generate electricity is a divisive prospect in Japan, but there is little disagreement about another use for it: natural steam for cooking.

There's the "onsen tamago"—eggs cooked in geothermally heated water at around 65 degrees (149 degrees Fahrenheit) to produce a relatively firm yolk with a creamy soft white.

And then there are small round cakes called "onsen manju", a popular snack sold at the approximately 2,900 hot spring locations across Japan.

In Beppu, a small coastal town in Japan's southwestern Kyushu, an abundance of natural hot springs has given rise to a local speciality: "jigoku mushi" or "hell steaming".

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