- March 27 2016
Introducing Typical Okinawan Food & Drinks You Must Eat!
Have you heard of Okinawa Prefecture? It is located far south in Jaoan and is popular distination for holiday. It may not be popular to tourists from overseas yet. Let us introduce this exotic and beantiful area!
As I mentioned, Okinawa Prefecture is the southernmost prefecture in Japan. The prefecture consists of 363 islands which includes Okinawa main island and Ishigaki Island.
Climate In Okinawa
Most lands in Japan are in the temperate zone, but Okinawa Prefecture is the only area belonging in the subtropical zone. A few islands in the prefecture are in the tropical zone. The underwater visiblility is very high in the ocean which attracts many people for diving and snorkeling.
Okinawa was used to be its own nation called the Kingdom of Ryukyu, and was transfered into Japan in 19th century. Because of its unique history and tropical climate, food, tradition, habit, and reputation in Okinawa Prefecture are very different from the rest of Japan.
Its unique difference attracts tourists from all over Japan! Not only rich nature and good food, but very friendly people welcome tourists in the island.
Enjoy Okinawan Food
Today, we will show you typical Okinawan food and drinks in this article. The article helps you to choose what to eat in Okinawa...but don’t have time to fly there? No worries! There are some Okinawan restaurants in Tokyo as well.
Okinawan Restaurant Shinjuku Yanbaru 2nd Branch
The fisrt Okinawan restaurant we introduce is Yanbaru in Shinjuku. They offer typical Okinawan food at reasonable price.
Orion Beer is brewed in Okinawa and is the most famous local beer. The most Japanese beer is bitter and heavy, but Orion beer has light texture. People often discribe Orion beer is like Singha-beer from Thai.
Umi-Budou (Sea Grapes/Green Caviar)
Umi-Budou (literally means sea grapes in Japanese) is a kind of seaweed, and is only available in Okinawa. As it is often called green caviar, the distinct and succulent texture is similar to caviar. It is often served in Ponzu sauce (citrus flavoured soy sauce).
Tofu is usually made from soy, but Jimami Tofu is made from peanuts. It is sweeter, softer, and more chewy than regular Tofu. It goes great with special blended sweet sauce or simply with soy sauce.
Rafute is Okinawan style pork rib stew. It is skin-on pork stewed with soy sauce, brown sugar, Okinawan traditional alcohol called Awamori, etc. It is very soft and tasty…! Rafute is originally a form of Okinawan royal cuisine.
Shima Rakkyou is a member of onion family. It is only grown in Okinawa and has strong flavour. It is mostly pickled in salt. Because of its strong flavour, it may not the people’s favourite Okinawan dish...but for some people, it is super addictive! If you like Sake, it can be a great finger snack!
Okinawan restaurant Yanbaru has so many more Okinawan good food menus available, but these are the most typical dish in there.
Ryutan At Tokyo Station
The next restaurant which offers Okinawan food is Ryutan. The restaurant is located in the underground shopping complex in Tokyo Station. They offer many set menus at 800-1,000 yen price range. We recommend visiting there for lunch.
Let us introduce this junky and yet tasty Taco Rice… Mexican Tacos on the rice!
Okinawa Prefecture has US Military Bases/Camps, and Americans brought Mexican (well more like Tex-Mex) food into Okinawa, and Taco Rice is created as Mexican fused Japanese cuisine. Taco meat and vegitables are on top of the rice. This may be some kind of junk food, but it is OH SO good!!
Even though it is called Soba, this is basically Ramen in Okinawan style. This noodle is originally from China just like the other Ramen in Japan, but So-ki Soba has developed as its own food.
It is thick and tough noodle, thin Dashi soup, and sweet pork rib, fish cake, and chopped green onion on top… Locals add some sour and spicy sauce called Shima-Tougarashi into the bowl.
Goya is very bitter melon. Its significant bitter taste goes magically mild when it is in Champloo which is Okinawan stir fry dish. Goya Champloo consists of Goya, egg, Tofu, luncheon meat such as Spam or Danish Tulip, and some vegitables. This dish is wonderful with beer!
Moreover, Goya is very rich source of vitamin C. Goya contains vitamin C three times more than lemon in per 100g. People say Goya makes Okinawan girls beautiful!
So...what do you think of Okinawan food and drinks? If you plan on visiting Japan in hot and humid summer, unique Okinawan cuisine is perfect for you to try!