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Get a taste of Okinawa Vol. 1

Rich and versatile: Okinawa’s food culture


Taco rice, steak, a set meal commonly known as C-Lunch, local fast food franchises A&W and Blue Seal ice cream… These are among the most popular Okinawan foods that have developed under the influence of American food culture.
Along with Okinawan home cooking dishes, Ryukyu palace cuisine, which was created for the enjoyment of Chinese envoys during the Ryukyu Kingdom era, is indispensable when speaking of Okinawan food culture.
The unique culture, called champuru (mixed) culture, is often mentioned when describing the island’s attractions. Influenced by Japanese, Chinese and neighboring Asian countries’ cultures, Okinawa developed its exotic champuru culture, and it is clearly reflected in its unique food culture as well. Okinawa’s traditional home cooking has recently been attracting a great deal of attention as it is believed to be the secret of longevity. One of the most popular home-cooking dishes in Okinawa is a stir-fly known as champuru. Prepared with a lot of vegetables, champuru is a fast, cheap and tasty recipe best loved by Okinawans. As you travel throughout the island, you will encounter a variety of specialty dishes made with local ingredients under the concept of ‘’Local production for local consumption.’’ There are a number of restaurants specializing in the Ryukyuan-style macrobiotic diet and various foods for the health conscious, as well as Okinawa’s premium meats, including aguu pork and Ishigaki beef as well as fresh, locally caught seafood. Okinawa will surely satisfy your culinary desires!




Aguu – Okinawa’s premium pork

The aguu pig is a black-haired breed native to Okinawa. Today, due to the difficulty of breeding aguu pigs compared to foreign species, only a limited number of these pigs are produced in Okinawa. Aguu pork is highly valued because of its limited supply as well as for its succulent and nutrient-rich meat: it has a quarter of the cholesterol of regular pork, while containing more glutamic acid (a type of acid that gives it a rich flavor) and vitamin B than regular pork. Aguu is becoming very popular among health-conscious people, and there are many aguu specialty restaurants scattered all over the island.




Ishigaki beef

Ishigaki cattle are black-haired wagyu raised on Ishigaki, which is the southernmost point in Japan where wagyu cattle are bred. Blessed with vast, perpetually green pastures, abundant sunlight and a warm climate throughout the year, Ishigaki Island is a perfect place for raising wagyu. The secret of raising healthy wagyu is in their diet. The cattle graze on grass that contains a large amount of ocean minerals. You can enjoy Ishigaki beef at various places on the island.





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