Monday, May 17, 2010

okinawa eats

Eating in Okinawa was a little more difficult than I expected. I had researched a few veggie options before I went, but a Taiwainese restaurant that I found on Happy Cow was out of business, and other spots that I found there and elsewhere on the web were remote and hard to get to.
This island is really meaty. Spam and dried pig faces proliferate. Even the soba noodles, usually just having a little fish item in the bowl, boasted a couple of pork bones resting on the top. Despite this I managed to pick and choose a few delicious bites at various izakaya. Sea grapes/海ぶどう was one such dish. These salty little pearls are a fresh surprise.
Beni-imo, a purple tuber, are also popular in Oki, and these fritters were really yummy. So good alongside a simple goya salad dressed in vinaigrette, which we ate by the plateful.
Fresh papaya rolls. Washed down with tumblersful of shikuwasa juice, a native citrus. Love!
Emi got this nira crepe, too. And of course I ate boatloads of shaved ice, ice cream, and frozen yogurt. Tropical island; what can you do?
Please don't hurt me.
Apparently, Okinawa is all about sweet potatoes, freaked out shisa (lions), sugar cane, and penis towers.
I was also invited to a goat party.
"We're going to a goat party!"
Me (thinking): Hmm... What's a goat party? Lots of old dudes with goatees?
We arrive at an open-air sculpture atelier in the middle of the field, where the folks are... roasting a goat on the barbecue.
"Here! Eat! Eat! Delicious. We Okinawans love goat. Why aren't you eating! Hurry, there's still some left."


  1. Woh I'm gonna go to Okinawa just for goat

  2. Don't forget the pigface! Another popular item (for tourists?) is the huge-ass jar of awamori likker with a pickled habu snake coiled at the bottom. Yum.


    mmmmm. remember penguin the parfait place? opposite it is an okinawan place that i go to just to order sea grapes

  4. Of course I remember Penguin! I rhapsodize about it to everyone I know. Just ask Beth. And Jessica. And Emi. Seriously.

  5. That food looks fascinating.

  6. Aron - it was very good. You have a nice blog.