Cow Tongue!

Sendai, Japan is nationally famous for its gyu-tan (cow tongue). We visited the famous Tasuke restaurant for some delicious grilled gyu-tan.

According to my dad, the history of gyu-tan in Sendai dates back to post World War II Japan, a time of heavy US military presence in the area. The average Japanese did not consume much beef back then, but the US military had beef shipped over for their consumption and then they would throw away the parts of the cow they did not eat: the tongue and the tail. The founder of the Tasuke restaurant approached the Americans and negotiated the purchase of beef tongue and tail from them at cheap prices. He began selling meals of grilled tongue, tail soup, and barley rice (because back then barley was cheaper than rice) which became wildly popular, and the rest is history. We visited the legendary original Tasuke restaurant located in Ichibancho, the heart of Sendai’s shopping/dining/entertainment district.

It’s always super crowded, but the service is quick. Everyone pretty much only orders one thing on the menu: the same gyu-tan teishoku (1260 Yen) that’s been on the menu from the start. Barley rice (a mixture of white rice and barley) and flavorful tail soup with fresh negi (green onion) strips. I like to sprinkle a lot of pepper into my soup.

… And grilled gyu-tan with tsukemono. For those of you who have not had tongue before, it’s delicious. It’s perhaps one of the most flavorful parts of the cow and has a nice chewy texture. With a little sprinkle of shichimi togarashi (chili pepper powder mix), it’s absolutely heavenly.

This is a favorite stop for both hubby and I when visiting Sendai.

Aji Tasuke
4-4-13 Ichibancho
Aoba-ku, Sendaishi,
Miyagiken, JAPAN 980-0811
022.225.4641

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2 Responses to “Cow Tongue!”


  1. 1 せっちゃん April 1, 2010 at 10:49 pm

    おー、牛タンですか!!話には聞くけどまだ食べたことありません。おいしそうだねぇ。いつか仙台を訪れるときにはぜひ行ってみなくては!!

    • 2 honolulueats April 2, 2010 at 3:19 pm

      えー牛タン食べた事ないの!こんなにおいしいものを。。。是非今度食べてみてね。


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