Another series from Doll Eats, but this one is really jam-packed. Okinawan Food is vastly different from main Japanese cuisine so I was super happy I got to try it out and eat to my hearts content.
Okinawan style dessert. Okinawan crepes called “Chinbin” made with a combo of wheat and mochi flour. Paired with Okinawan’s own Blue Seal Ice Cream. The two flavors are purple sweet potato (beni-imo) and Okinawan sweet potato. I use a combo of tapioca flour and whole wheat to make these at home. But not right now, sugar ban
My hotel offered an Okinawan food plate. Try all the specialties at once? Hell yes! From top right clockwise: rafute (Okinawan glazed pork), mimiga, tofuyo, umi-budo, pork fat, and sweet potato.
Umi-budo or Sea Grapes. It’s a type of seaweed usually served with ponzu sauce. Quite delicious!
Tofuyo is a fermented and aged tofu that is really strong. It’s made to be served like a tiny bite like above. On top are sukugarasu a popular Okinawan fish.
Mimi-ga is boiled thinly cut pigs ear. Pork is king in Okinawa. It was actually quite good.
An Ode to Goya
Goya aka Bitter Melon is a seriously ugly looking fruit. It looks like a cucumber broke out in acne. It’s ugly, it’s incredibly bitter, but somehow it’s the tastiest food. Opinions differ. I think Goya is almost the Natto of Okinawa. Native Okinawans usually praise it while they’re shocked foreigners even like it. But it’s sooooo good
Instead of it being so ugly instead think of it as “Goya-chan” the cute stuffed mascot I found at Bios on the Hill.
Goya’s most famous dish is Goya Champuru/Chample. Chample means stir fry in Okinawan. It’s a combo of goya, tofu, eggs and pork (or spam). The soft flavors really set off the bitter melon taste.
You can have Goya so many ways! Like Goya juice. This along with many vinegar drinks are popular in Okinawa.
Or vinegared goya and pork bites.
Okinawan style yakisoba that I got to make myself. With beloved goya.
It’s a hard to like taste, but once you eat it you want more and miss it. Chinese goya isn’t the same.
Hibiscus Tea and Okinawan Kokuto or brown sugar. It’s a very unprocessed brown sugar and can be used as a sweetener or eaten as a candy. Quite delicious!
Taco Rice is actually truly an Okinawan food. I make it at home a lot. Often comes with a fried or soft-boiled egg on top. I add avocado and sometimes crumbled Doritos on top (my favorite Okinawan restaurant in Tokyo does this). It’s a big hit with guests in my house! Crumbled seitan works best if you’d like to make it vegan. If you’d like to use cheese a sharp cheddar works best.
I’ve got another Okinawa food post coming, but it’s in combo with other things. Oh what am I kidding it’s me eating. I’m seriously amazed the waves didn’t carry me out to sea like the overfed manatee I became.