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Okinawa soba

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Okinawa soba is one of the must-try dishes for tourists visiting the island. Although sharing the same generic name, Okinawa soba is totally different from standard Japanese soba. While Japanese soba is made from buckwheat flour, Okinawa soba is made from 100 percent white flour. With kansui (alkaline water) employed in the preparation of the dough, Okinawa soba is similar to Chinese noodles. Typically Okinawa soba uses thick noodles and is served in a bowl of clear, hot broth, made by simmering dried bonito flakes, pork bones and pork pieces for hours and carefully skimming off the scum. The flavor of the broth varies from restaurant to restaurant. Broth with a bonito flavor is lighter in taste, while pork-flavored broth is rich and creamy. The toppings for Okinawa soba include slices of braised sanmainiku (pork belly), soki (pork ribs) boiled until soft and easily cut with chopsticks, collagen-rich boiled tebichi (pig’s feet) and fried vegetables. Prices for a bowl of soba range from ¥500 to ¥800. Many restaurants serve homemade soba produced by following a traditional recipe. Unique and new types of soba using local specialty products, such as mugwort leaf and beniimo (purple sweet potato), are also available. Some restaurants serve soba kneaded with quality salt produced in Okinawa. Okinawa soba is the best loved noodle dish on the island, and every Okinawan has a favorite soba place. Characterized by noodles with a silky smooth texture, Okinawa soba is perfect for a hot summer’s day. If you have trouble choosing a place to try Okinawa soba, ask an Okinawan for a recommendation or pick a place heavily frequented by locals.

  • Soki soba: Okinawa soba with soki (pork ribs)
  • Okinawa soba: Okinawa soba with Sanmainiku (pork belly)
  • Tebichi soba: Okinawa soba with tebichi (pig’s feet)
  • Nankotsu Soki soba: Okinawa soba with pork cartilage
  • Yasai soba: Okinawa soba with vegetables


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