Warabimochi (蕨餅)

Warabimochi  is a popular confection in Okinawa.  It is enjoyed primarily during the hot months because it is “suzushige” which means cooling/refreshing (涼しげ). Warabimochi is different from regular mochi because it is made with the starch of the bracken root, rather than glutinous rice powder.  This means that it is […]

Maitake (Grifola Frondosa) – “Dancing Mushroom” 舞茸

“Maitake” is a mushroom native to northeastern Japan.  It is used widely in Japanese and Chinese medicine as an aid to restore balance to the body. Known here as the “king of mushrooms”, it is one of the principle mushrooms used in Japanese and Okinawan cuisine. It can be used many ways, including (but […]

Hmong Red Cucumber (Cucumis sativus) 赤キュウリ

The Hmong red cucumber is a rather deceiving vegetable.  From the outside it looks like a gourd or a squash.  Many Westerners here in Okinawa have come across them and not known they were looking at a cucumber in disguise! The flesh is mild and very juicy.   Perhaps more mild […]

Egg Fruit / Canistel (Pouteria campechiana) (Kanisuteru) 卵、果物

The “egg fruit” (scientific name: Pouteria campechinana) is a sweet, light fruit, originally from central America.  It is cultivated widely throughout Southeast Asia, including Okinawa. It grows on a hardy evergreen,  (Sapotaceae family) and is a distant cousin of the shea nut from the African shea tree, (Vitellaria paradoxa).[, of […]

Hanami Dango 花見団子. 三色だんご

Perhaps the world’s first “cake pop”, The “hanami dango” is a popular confection in Japan and Okinawa.  Similar to the popular mochi dessert of Japan; which is a sweet dumpling made with machiko (glutinous rice flower), it is served on a skewer to celebrate flower blooming times.  Hanami means “flower viewing”; […]

Hyuganatsu Mican (citrus tamurana) 日向夏柑橘

The farmer’s markets here in Okinawa are nothing short of extraordinary.  Never before, in all my travels; have I seen such a volume of fresh markets spread over such a small area. You can easily shop at four or five in one day.  Although, why you would, when every one […]

A Great Time At Soba Class

Recently, my husband, myself and our new baby had the honor of attending a class on Okinawa Soba, given by Chef Nozaki San in the little village of Onno, Okinawa. Soba, also known as Yakisoba, is a mainstay of Okinawa cuisine.  Many people confuse Okinawa soba for the northern buckwheat […]