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Healthy food (the secret of longevity)

The most popular Okinawan food is “goya champuru”.
Goya is the most well-known vegetable of Okinawa, and the word “champuru” is to mix and fry. So goya champuru means fried goya and other ingredients.
In English, goya is translated as bitter melons, and it’s actually called “nigauri” in Japanese, but everyone in Japan calls it goya now.
But goya was not very popular in Japan 15 years ago. Many people thought the taste was too bitter and strong. I don’t know exactly why it has become so popular, but Japanese people think eating goya is really good for their health and they eat goya regularly. Some even grow goya in their gardens!
And the most popular goya dish is goya champuru, I think it’s because the taste of green gets weaker since it’s usually fried with tofu, eggs etc.
Okinawan people also love goya salad, but the taste seems too strong for most people who are not from Okinawa.

Okinawa soba

Photo by Inami Yamada

Photo by Masami Fukuda

Okinawa soba is also popular.
If you are a fan of Japan, I guess you would imagine Japanese type of soba, which is made from buckwheat. But Okinawan soba is made from wheat flour.
The soup is more like ramen soup but it’s not too highly seasoned, and people who don’t like Japanese soba can enjoy Okinawan soba.
Some people go to Okinawa just to eat it, and since each restaurant has different style and taste, you will never get tired of it!

Teuchi soba (homemade noodles)

Photo by Inami Yamada

Most soba restaurants just order noodles from noodle-making factories nowadays, but you can still find a few restaurants where they make their noodles by themselves. If you try those teuchi soba, which means homemade noodles, you will just love the taste and the texture! It’s more smooth and a little harder.

Okinawan-American food

American food is also very popular in Okinawa.
The most popular American food restaurant there is where it’s called “Enda” in Okinawa.
This fast food chain restaurant is very famous for its root beer.
Can you guess which restaurant it is?

Root beer

At Enda

Photo by Mirika Tamaki

American style tacos are very popular in Okinawa. They have a lot of taco shops.

Taco rice

Taco rice!
Okinawan people love taco rice. It consists of taco-flavored ground beef served on a bed of rice. It comes with cheese, lettuce, tomatos and salsa. Since it has become so popular, it’s even served as school lunch!

Eating out in Okinawa

Eating out in Okinawa is really fun. People are always very friendly, the food is so good, and it’s very cheap compared to other places in Japan.
If you go to Okinawa, don’t stay in a hotel! Go out and enjoy local food, meet people and have fun!

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