Okinawa Food



Capital is Naha 那覇.
The main market there is the Makishi market, 牧志公設 Makishi Koosetsu.
. . . CLICK here for Photos !

Ryuukyuu ookoku 琉球王国 Ryukyu Kingdom
An independent kingdom which ruled most of the Ryukyu Islands from the 15th century to the 19th century.
© More in the WIKIPEDIA !

shiisaa シーサー Shisa
Traditional Ryukyuan decoration, often found in pairs, resembling a cross between a lion and a dog
© More in the WIKIPEDIA !

kansen ryoori 官船料理 cuisine for the Chinese ambassadors in Ryukyu

nuchigusui ぬちぐすい / 命薬 "medicine for long life"
inochi no kusuri
Medizin des Lebens


Okinawa Ryori (Okinawa Ryoori) 沖縄料理

CLICK for more photos

Kurobuta kakuni 黒豚角煮 black pig square fry
rafutii ラフテイ, rafuti, rafute
. . . CLICK here for Photos !
geschmortes Bauchfleisch
... mimigaa (mimiga) みみがー gekochte oder gebratene Schweineohren
... nakami 中身のお吸い物 , nakamijiru ... Suppe mit Innereien
... sooki (souki) そうき geschmorte Rippchen
... sookijiru そうき汁 Suppe mit Schweinerippchen

CLICK for more photos

Kurosato with ginger,
black sugar with ginger


It was only 100 years ago that the kingdom of Okinawa was incorporated into Japan, and the southern islands still maintain their own distinctive culture, language and cuisine. Okinawan cooking tends toward stronger and spicier flavors than Japanese food, and is more heavily influenced by Chinese cooking styles.

Pork is a very important ingredient, and every part of the pig is used, from pig's feet and pig's ears to pork tripe. Other ingredients include local seafood and native tropical vegetables and fruits. Black sugar and awamori (an Okinawan brandy-like liquor made from rice) are used in cooking along with soy sauce and miso (fermented soybeans). Kooreegusu is a condiment made from red peppers marinated in awamori.
kuusu 古酒(クース)Kusu. aged awamori.

Note: Double vowels represent long vowel sounds.

rafutii -- chunks of pork stewed in awamori, soy sauce and miso

sooki -- pork stewed with bone sookibuni-- spareribs, usually flavored with salt, lemon, and/or ginger

minudaru-- pork stewed and flavored with sesame

nakami-jiru or nakami no suimono -- pork tripe soup

ashi-tibichi -- stewed pig's feet

chiragaa チラガー -- pig's skin from the head. Chiraga
. . . CLICK here for Photos !

mimigaa -- pig's ear in vinegar

deekuni -- daikon radish and pork stew

kuubuirichi -- konbu (seaweed) and pork stew

hiijaa sashimi -- raw goat meat

hiijaa-jiru -- goat meat in soup

chanpuru -- stir-fry with eggs, leeks and/or tofu

gooya chanpuru -- chanpuru stir-fry with goya
(gooya ゴーヤーbitter gourd, Bittermelone)
. . . CLICK here for Photos !

maaminaa chanpuru -- tofu and bean sprout stir-fry

soomin chanpuru -- ソーミン Somin chanpuru with soomen noodles

nakami irichi -- pork tripe and miso stir-fry

hira yaachii -- Okinawan-style okonomiyaki

jiimamii-dofu -- peanut tofu

toofuyoo -- concentrated Okinawan tofu

sunui -- pickled kombu (seaweed)

iriko -- tiny dried fish, roasted

yaeyama kamaboko -- Okinawan-style fishcakes

papaya misozuke -- papaya pickled in miso (fermented soybeans)

shima rakkyou -- pickled shallots

yakisoba (Okinawa-fuu) -- thick noodles fried with vegetables

soba (Okinawa-fuu) -- soba noodles in soup with vegetables

sooki soba-- pork spareribs (with bone) with soba noodles in soup

juushii -- rice porridge (zousui) with pork, carrots, shiitake and spring onions

fuuchibaa juushii-- rice porridge with a bitter leaf vegetable (yomogi)

saataa andagii サーターアンダギー -- Sata Andagi, Okinawan doughnuts
saataa means sugar, andagi is fried in oil.
. . . CLICK here for Photos !

Orion-- Okinawan beer

awamori 泡盛 -- strong liquor made from rice or millet
It has a strong taste and is often diluted with cold coffee or even milk.
In former times, housewifes would put some coffee beans in a bottle of awamori to soften the flavor.
. . . CLICK here for Photos ! 

. awamorisoo 泡盛草 (あわもりそう) Astilbe .
..... awamori shooma 泡盛升麻 - Astilbe japonica

source : www.virtualokinawa.com . © Virtual Okinawa

- quote
About Okinawan cuisine
Okinawa is the subtropical islands between mainland of Japan and Taiwan.
The ingredients of Okinawan cuisine are somewhat different from the mainland, because Okinawa has warm climate and own history.

Unique vegitables are used, but kinds of mushrooms are used little.
Though the islands are surrounded by sea, there are little dish of fish. Alternatively pork is used much.
Few spices and condiment are used despite subtropical area.
Seaweeds are often used. Not only the seaweeds in the close sea but also konbu from Hokkaido is the very important ingredient.
The cooking method is mainly stewing, frying and deep-frying.

The cuisine has evolved in modern times, especially because of the American military presence in Okinawa since the end of World War II.

Pork dishes
Vegitable and tofu dishes
Other popular Okinawan dishes
- source : www.travel-around-japan.com


aguu あぐー Agu pork
The pigs are raised in Northern Okinawa. The pig dates back to the time of the Ryukyu-Kingdom, more than 600 years. Its meat has less cholesterol than usual pork meat, but more umami glutamate to taste better and sweeter.
aguu gyooza あぐー 餃子 chinese meat dumplings with agu pork
. . . CLICK here for Photos !

A pan Aパン type of Krebbel donut from Okinawa

aroe アロエ Aloe vera
used as a food ingredient

beni-imo poopoo, beniimo poopoo べにいもポーポ / 紅芋
crepe from purple sweet potatoes. Beniimo popo
. . . CLICK here for Photos !

bukubuku cha / Buku buku cha ぶくぶく茶
a kind of Okinawa tea ceremony
"bubbeling tea" Buku-buku-cha
. . . CLICK here for Photos !

chanpuru チャンプル Champuru "mixed ingredients"
. . . CLICK here for Photos !

chinsukoo チンスコー Chinsuko
is a traditional sweet often sold as a souvenir (miyagegashi) on Okinawa, Japan. It is a small biscuit made of mostly lard and flour, with a mild and sweet flavor. Chinsuko was introduced to Okinawa some 400 years ago from China. It originated from the word Chinrusko and changed to Chinsuko.
© More in the WIKIPEDIA !
. . . CLICK here for Photos !

erabujiru, erabu jiru 永良部汁 soup of sea snake
えらぶうみへび【永良部海蛇】. irabujiru
also called Irabu Soup.
The poisonous snake can get about 1.5 meters long, belongs to the cobra family.
erabu unagi えらぶうなぎ "erabu eel"

fuchagi ふちゃぎ mochi for moon viewing
In Okinawa, dango are not used as offerings. Mochi are prepared with salt and also the red azuki are cooked with salty flavor. The more azuki beans cling to the mochi, the better. Red is a color of good luck.
This is the Okinawa version of "tsukimi dango".
CLICK here for PHOTOS !

gooya ゴーヤ bitter gourd
Momordica charantia

gurukun グルクン / takasago タカサゴ : double-lined fusilier
Pterocaesio digramma
The national fish of Okinawa.
. . . CLICK here for Photos !

handama はんだま Okinawa spinach, purple spinach
Gyunura crepidioides
The leaves have two colors, either dark green tops and purple on the bottom or bright green on both sides.
Tasts good with scrambled eggs.
. . . CLICK here for Photos !

honejiru 骨汁 soup with bones
The bones war first used to make broth for Okinawa Soba noodle soup.
They are then boiled again with dashi served in a large portion, immersed in their own dashi. The bones are eaten with hands and a large plate of plain bones is left after the meal.
This dish was invented about 30 years ago by the owner of a soba noodle shop, who thought it a waste to throw the bones away every day.
Okinawa people are used to eating pig legs (tonsoku) and eating them with their hands.
. . . CLICK here for Photos ! 

kasutera kamaboko カステラ蒲鉾
castella cake with kamaboko fish paste
. . . CLICK here for Photos !

CLICK for more photos
kokutoo, kurozatoo 黒糖 "black sugar", brown sugar
it has quite a fruity taste and comes with various flavors, often ginger flavor. blueberry is new too.
. . . CLICK here for Photos !
Schwarzer Zucker. Brauner Zucker aus Okinawa.


Iriomote : Gazami soba
gazami, a type of watarigani crab
. . . CLICK here for Photos !


mabuyaa aisu マブヤ- アイス ice cream with the hero Mabuyaa
Mabuya is one of the manga heroes of Okinawa.
CLICK here for PHOTOS !
amedama あめ玉が 琉神マブヤ〜! sweets with Mabuya

mozuku もずく(水雲/海蘊) seaweed, Nemacystis decipiens
Okinawa mozuku オキナワモズク Cladosiphon okamuranus
. . . CLICK here for Photos !

mozuku nikuman もずく肉まん bun with mozuku


muuchii 鬼餅 (むうちい . ムーチー) muchi, "demon mochi"
devil rice cake (oni mochi)
..... muuchi zamu 鬼餅寒(むうちいざむ)"demon mochi" in the cold
observance kigo for mid-winter

On the 8th day of the 12th lunar month, the day of MUCHI, rice cakes are offered to the deities and then eaten with the wish for the health and well-being of children.
They build a small hut called muuchiiyaa ムーチーヤー (mochi-ya) where children come to make a fire and eat the rice cakes. They have a song

oni no chibi yaki muuchii yaa 「鬼ヌ尻(チビ)焼き、ムーチーヤー」Burning the backside of an Oni.

The muchi are prepared with brown sugar or the local purple sweet potatoes. The dough is wrapped in fragrant leaves of ginger plants (月桃 gettoo, Alpinia zerumbet).
Sometimes the wrapped mochi are hung from the eves of the home to ward off evil spirits.

. oohari ni onimochi tsurusu gosun kugi .

Rice cakes (mochi 餅)

. onibi 鬼火 "demon fire", "devil's fire" .


nakami jiru ( なかみ汁) “Nakami no suimono (pig intestines soup)
is a traditional cuisine which is called “Nakaminuushi-mun” in Okinawa language, or “Nakamijiru”.
clear guts soup. "Nakami" means guts of pig, and "jiru(shiru)" means soup.
It is made by boiling guts cut in rectangles, making clear hot soup with dashi and a little shoyu, and adding guts, shiitake mushroom and konnyaku to the soup.
Generally before eating, grated ginger is added.

- source : facebook


painappuru パイナップル pineapple sponge cake
Izumi Pineapple Garden, Motobu Okinawa
Pineapple ... kigo for late summer Ananas

satookibi さとうきび【砂糖黍】 sugar cane
One of the most important products of Okinawa.

shiikuwaasaa, shikuwasa シークワーサー Shiquasa
. . . CLICK here for Photos !

shirishiri しりしり
carrots are sliced with a rough cutter (shirishiriki, にんじんしりしり器)
. . . CLICK here for Photos !
finely chopped carrots にんじんしりしり / 人参しりしり ninjin shirishiri
fried and with an egg added.
. . . CLICK here for Photos !
The people of Okinawa eat the most carrots of all in Japan !

sumijiru, sumi-jiru 墨汁 soup with the ink of the squid
... ika sumijiru イカ墨汁
. . . CLICK here for Photos !
Schwarze Suppe mit Tintenfisch und Tinte

supagetti スパゲティ spagetti
They are usually served with a thick slice of butter toast.
This was first introduced by a shop owner who had seen the American soldiers in Okinawa eat spagetti with two slices of garlic-toasted french bread. Now toast served with all spagetti dishes, and you do not have to order it extra.


taimo, ta-imo 田芋 (タイモ) "field potato", kind of taro
mizu imo ミズイモ(水芋), taasomu ターンム
. . . CLICK here for Photos !

Taketomijima : waterbuffalo carts
gyuusha 竹富島の牛車
. . . CLICK here for Photos !

Ishigakijima : beef of Ishigaki Island
Ishigakigyuu 石垣牛 炭火焼ステーキ

The most southern local beer of Japan!


umibudoo, umi budoo 海葡萄 (うみぶどう) sea grapes
Coccoloba uvifera
. . . CLICK here for Photos !


yagi ryoori ヤギ 山羊料理 dishes with goat meat
raw as sashimi, in soups, in gyoza fillings, stir-fried with vegetables .
Goats are making a comeback in Okinawa and find their way on the table.
. . . CLICK here for Photos !

Goat meat in Okinawa
... examine the current needs and future possibilities of goat meat consumption. The experimental results of the present study lead us to conclude the following:
(i) improving the smell of goat meat and combining the sale of goat meat with recipes may increase goat meat demand among housewives;
(ii) it seems to be difficult to disseminate Okinawa goat cuisine to non-Okinawa residents because of the typical odor of goat meat, which is unlikely to be preferred by the public;
(iii) the "chewiness" of goat meat is rated highly by young participants according to a sensory evaluation, and loin meat is rated highly compared with hind leg meat; and
(iv) there is a rapidly increasing interest and a tremendous purchasing drive towards goat meat among university students. However, these facts call for further investigation of the goat meat demand in Japan.
The following three further experiments are needed to solve this issue: (i) breeding to improve the taste of goat meat; (ii) expanding the marketing of goat meat combined with the invention of Japanese-style goat recipes and tie-in sales supermarkets; and (iii) implementing further sensory analyses to compare goat meat with other meat and carrying out market analysis in Japan.


Yanbaru buta 沖縄・やんばる豚 from Yanbaru, Yambaru pork
. . . CLICK here for Photos !

Things found on the way

Okinawa Dolls / 沖縄民芸とだるま with Daruma San

CLICK for more photos

Okinawa Bingata : Dragon Patterns


. toshibi iwai 年日祝 (としびいわい)
birthday celebration at the New Year .

shoonen iwai 生年祝 celebrating the birthday

Related words

***** Hara hachibu ... eating only 80% of your capacity an Okinawan diet

***** WKD Regional Dishes of Japan




News said...

First came the Ishigaki-teien, a mass of soaring limestone rocks, judiciously placed cycads and two lines of highly concentrated fukugi, the closely-matted leaves of the trees traditionally used in Okinawa as typhoon barriers.
Owned by the Ishigaki family, who have lived on the island of the same name for generations, the dry landscape garden created in 1800 is, sadly, not open to the general public.

- Japan Times -

Gabi Greve - WKD said...

November 01
awamori no hi 泡盛の日 day of awamori liquor, Okinawa

Introduced in 1989.
Preparations for the liquor start from this day.
Calendar days in November