Okinawa is a great Japanese prefecture that has the most different food cuisine. It depends on a unique history of the island and influence of different factors such as local climate and agriculture, a neighborhood with South East Asia and China and visit of Americans during World War II. Let’s take a look what local chefs can prepare for you from their unique local cuisine.
Champuru is a dish that is prepared by different stir-frying ingredients. It can be vegetables, meat or seafood. The most famous local Champuru is a Goya champuru. The meal includes bitter goya ingredients that stir fried with tofu, pork or spam, and eggs. You can see other types of Okinawa`s Champuru with adding thin noodles, wheat gluten or green papaya.
2. Okinawa Soba
If you are thinking that Okinawa soba has something common with noodles soba (which is very popular on Japanese mainland), you are wrong. At first, the chef makes noodles from wheat flour, at the moment as at other Japanese prefectures they are made from buckwheat flour. And at the second, in Okinawa soba are much more udon noodles than soba noodles. Local chefs serve the dish in a bowl with various of toppings. You can add pork, green onions or red ginger.
3. Taco Rice
Taco rice is a dish that was brought by Americans to this prefecture. In a bowl of rice, the chef adds the ingredients that perfectly suit for original Taco. The dish consists of lettuce, ground beef, tomatoes, and salsa. All of them are served on the top of the rice bowl. You can ask the chef to add special toppings to your bowl like cheese or onions.
If you like pork, Rafute dish is a perfect Okinawa`s food for you. Try this delicious cuts of pork that is specially boiled for being softer. The dish is served in a bowl that has three meat pieces. The pork is cooked in soy sauce with awamori and fish broth. You will like rich taste of the meat pieces.
Source: Hajime NAKANO
Another one pork dish in Okinawa`s local cuisine. Mimiga is a dish that is made from pig ears. The chef cuts it into the pieces and boiled them or steamed. For great taste, cook adds salt, ponzu sauce or peanut dressing. Perfect small dish to try before the main meal or it can be a great snack with a bottle of beer. Just try.
Source: Lim Ashley
Umibudo in Japanese literally means sea grapes. Umibudo is a type of local seaweed that you can eat. The chef serves it in a little bowl with adding a soy sauce or vinegar. It is a little bit salty but tasty. Works like an appetizer. Moreover, this dish is very useful for your body health because it consists of many vitamins and minerals that are really good for you.
One of the most popular dishes in Okinawa is Tofuyo. It is made from tofu that is soaked into the awamori and malted rice. Tofuyo changes its color because of adding a red yeast to it while cooking. It looks like a piece of cheese, the same color, and texture, but the taste is different. To feel the true taste of Tofuyo dish takes a glass of awamori as an addition to the meal.
8. Yagi Sashimi
Are you a challenging person? If yes, we have prepared for you an information about one of the most challenging dishes of Okinawa for tourists. Yagi Sashimi looks like a normal seafood dish, but its main ingredient isn’t a seafood, it is a raw goat meat. It looks pretty and is served like a usual sashimi set. Yagi Sashimi has a strong flavor and it is little bit chevy.
Source: Naotake Murayama
Awamori is a famous local alcohol. It isn’t used only as a drink but also as the main ingredient for a meal. You will find the cocktails with Awamori almost in every bar of Okinawa`s prefecture. You can find it similar to another Japanese drink – shochu. The drink is made from thai long-grained rice and black koji mold. Usually, Awamori has a 30-40% of alcohol.
Source: Shig ISO
Sanpin-cha is a traditional Okinawan jasmine tea. You will find that this drink is widely popular all across the Okinawa prefecture. Try Sanpin-cha like a hot drink at cold autumn or winter days, and like ice-tea in hot summer days. Try this tea in the restaurant or cafe, and if you like the rich taste you can buy few packs for yourself. You will find it in every shop or supermarket of Okinawa.
Sukugarasu is little tofu bricks with salted baby fish on a top of it. It is a popular local appetizer and an accompaniment to sake drinks. This is one of the favorite meals of locals, as well as of travelers. Each tofu brick is eaten only with one bite. You will like intense flavor of the fish combined with the mildness of the tofu.
Everyone knows that Tempura is Japanese dish that you can order in everywhere you want. But you know that every prefecture of Japan has its unique recipe for cooking this dish. Okinawa`s tempura is cooked only from local ingredients such as purple sweet potatoes and goya(usually made with prawns). Of course, it includes the same ingredients like eggplants and mushrooms, but the taste is different from other Japanese Tempuras.
13. Sata andagi
Sata andagi is a local version of a donut. Sweet and tasty and looks a little bit different from American. The Okinawa’s donuts are made from sugar, eggs, and flour. This is the most popular snack during different outdoor events and festivals in Okinawa. Don’t worry, you will find this delicious dessert in every local restaurant or cafe. Totally must try for every sweets-lover.
14. Orion Beer
Source: Banzai Hiroaki
Won`t be surprised when you see the Orion Beer in every bar. The point is that this beer is made in local warehouses and it is the most famous in Okinawa prefecture. It is familiar for other Japanese beers but has its unique aftertaste. Orion beer is a perfect refreshing drink for summer, especially it is good to drink with a big company in a cozy seaside bar.
15. Okinawan-style okonomiyaki
As we know some local dishes exist in other prefectures but they differ by preparation and some ingredients. Okonomiyaki is not an exception. In Okinawa okonomiyaki dish is called hirayachi. You will find it in every restaurant of Okinawa. The main difference from another Japanese okonomiyaki is that Okinawanian is the thinnest one. And it has an additional layer of green onions on the top.
Now you know the most delicious dishes and drinks from Okinawa`s cuisine. While visiting this prefecture don`t forget to try few of them. This food experience will give you more impressions from your trip.
Have a good trip and travel!