Okinawa Southwest Islands cuisine

  

Okinawa Southwest Islands

Most people are familiar with standard Japanese delicacy such as sushi or ramen. Okinawa has unique offerings which gives you a different taste for Japanese food. The culinary style evolved from combination of subtropical climate in Okinawa and island topography. It has also evolved as key historical events occur such as independence from Japanese ruling until end 19th century, trade connections with China and US occupation during World War 2. Its local fare combines influences from Japan mainland, Korea, US and China. It is said that Okinawan delights can lengthen the lifespan. Fish and other seafood are not the main ingredients. Pork is made the main dish ingredients. Seaweed is also a treasured delicacy.

The first Okinawan food favorite is brown sugar. It has been in production for centuries. They come from sugar cane harvested in areas rich in minerals. It has beneficial iron and calcium content that is pleasing to the taste bud as well. It is often used for making sweets or ice cream. It can be used for tea as well. Eating It raw is also an option that will give you much needed adrenaline boost. Okinawan doughnuts are small in shape and filled with black sesame and coconut or sweet potato. It is best eaten fresh and hot. Most restaurants serve them together with ice cream. Sweet potato purple in color is another highlight. They are a loyal ingredient to many local Okinawan dishes. They come in different shapes and sizes in the form of ice cream, doughnut or sliced chip.
Another top delicacy is the Okinawa soba. It is thick and white in color. They are best eaten with hot broth boiled with pork. It is tasty and nutritious. Extra flavoring can be added such as chilli peppers or pickled ginger. Mozuku seaweed is also worth mentioning. It is usually eaten raw as serves as a side dish, combined with sesame seeds. Eating the seaweed coupled with tempura would form the best combination. It is light and delicious. Tender seaweed coated with crispy batter would make a hearty meal. Bitter melon is another delicacy unique to Okinawa. It is bitter, as the name suggests and not suited for certain people. It takes time to appreciate the taste. It has high levels of vitamin C. It is usually served with tempura or as a side dish. Goya beer can be made out of the melon juice and it is well loved by many travellers.
Awamori is a rice liquor without sugar. It was first produced during the Ryukyu Kingdom's reign and exported to China about few hundred years back. It has high levels of alcoholic content, up till 80% but tastes mild and mellow. It is a good social drink consumed at dining events. People usually drink it after dilution with water. A recent recipe was made to combine Okinawa brown sugar to form plum liquer, rich in taste and intensity. Awamori can also be served with ice cream with raisins as toppings.
Shikuwasa is a citrus fruit best consumed during summer time. It is served with ice and extremely sweet and addictive. Freshly made shikuwasa juice are better compared to the pre-packaged vending machine bottles. It can be used as sashimi sauce, or mixing with rice liquor. The fruit actually resembles a lime, but plumper. Its taste is hard to describe, most refer it as a fusion between lime, lemon as well as grapefruit.
Coffee is another local Okinawan drinks delight. It has its famous roasted Coffee 35. It can be found at selected cafes around the Naha region. Try out a café named 1-15-23 located at Tsuboya, where the digits in the shop's name literally means coral. Coffee used are locally roasted using coral, and 3.5% cut of profits is channeled towards preserving corals around all the islands.

 

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