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2019-01-24 14:36 / Posted by to Gourmet

Okinawa's longevity genes cannot be separated from a unique dietary structure. It retains both the traditional cuisine of the Ryukyu Kingdom and Japanese cuisine that combines local specialties, American fast food, which incorporates Okinawa ingredients, is more unbelievable. What do you eat? Let’s go!

1. Salt Ice-Cream

Ice-cream with… salt? It may sound strange but when in Okinawa, you just HAVE to try this Yukishio Soft Serve Salt Ice-Cream only available at Yukishio Saltworks. ‘Yukishio’ means snow salt, and is considered to be a health food from Miyako Island in Okinawa. It is said to contain the most variety of minerals in the world and comes in a selection of funky flavours — hibiscus, cocoa, wasabi, pepper, black sesame, green tea etc.

Surprisingly, the wasabi flavour goes best with the ice-cream. It gives an initial kick but doesn’t overpower the vanilla, enhancing the sweetness of the ice-cream. Mmm… refreshing!

2. Sata Andagi (Okinawa Donuts)

Sata Andagi is a sweet, round doughnut deep-fried to perfection, so its outsides are nice and crisp, while the insides are light and fluffy! This sweet snack, native to the Okinawan prefecture, is also very popular in Hawaii and come in various flavours — sweet potato, red bean, sugar (most popular) and brown sugar.

3. Taco Rice

Taco, rice, cheese, lettuce, ground beef, chopped vegetables, put them together and BAM, you get a delicious mix of tangy goodness! This longstanding favourite of the U.S. Military stationed in Okinawa, you can choose to have it with or without salsa.

4. Sweet Potato Tart

The sweet potato tart is one of the must-have tidbit souvenirs from Okinawa. The traditional store, Okashi Goten Sweets Palace is frequented by both visitors and local alike. You can even make your very own batch of sweet potato tarts at the Onna Store Branch. You can register for classes just one day before and can choose from 10am, 1pm and 4pm time slots.

5. Umi Budo (Sea Grapes)

Sea Grapes is a kind of seaweed with little bubbles at the end of the stems. They are best eaten chilled dipped in soy sauce and vinegar, making it the perfect succulent snack with a cold beer! There’s a slightly refreshing salty taste to it that will keep you wanting more and more. It’s also been known to be a health snack rich in minerals.

6. Rafute

Rafute is a pork rib dish that’s a hit with locals and visitors alike. Stewed in soy sauce and fish broth, the locals believe that it’s supposed to help with longevity. It’s known as “Shoyu Pork” in Hawaii and was brought over to Hawaii since 1900. It’s either served dry, with a bit of sauce and radish, or even skewered over a grill. Personally, I prefer the one stewed to perfection and melts in your mouth. But you take your pick!

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