Here are 4 traditional Okinawan cuisine cooking recipes and instructions by one of the best Okinawan cooking specialists, Keiko Higa.

Juicy (Takikomi-gohan)

Ingredients (Serves 4):

Rice – 3 cups
Carrot – 1/2
Hijiki seaweed (dried) – 15g
Shiitake mushroom (dried) – 15g
Spam – 1/2 block
Shallot – sliced into pieces
Soy souse – 1 table spoon
Dashi-no-moto (bonito stock) or soup base can be used alternatively

Cooking Directions:

1. Soak the dried hijiki and shiitake mushroom into water. Finely chop the other ingredients into pieces.

2. Put the rice into a rice cooker and add water just enough for the rice (3 cups).

3. Add all the ingredients (except the shallot slices) to the rice cooker over the top of the rice and press the start switch to cook.

4. When it is cooked, serve with the shallot slices sprinkled over the top of the rice.

Useful tips:
When adding water to the rice, use the water to soak the shiitake mushroom. This will give nice flavour. The volume of the water used to cook the rice shall be the same (3 cups).

Miso soup with pork ribs

Ingredients (Serves 4):

Chinese white radish – 1/3
Carrot – 1/2
Kombu seaweed (Kelp) – 1
Shallot – sliced into pieces
Dashi soup – 1000cc
Pork ribs (spam can be used alternatively)- 150g

Cooking Directions:

1. Cut the radish and carrot into easy-to-bite-sized pieces. Wash the kombu seaweed and knot once.

2. Pour over the dashi soup into a pot and add the cut radish and carrot pieces together with the knotted kombu seaweed. Then, bring it to a boil. When it starts boiling up, add the pork ribs.

3. When everything in the pot is cooked, add the miso to dissolve.

Goya Champuru

Ingredients (Serves 4):

Goya (bitter melon or bitter gourd) – 1
Firm tofu – 1
Spam – 1/2 block
Egg – 1
Cooking oil
Dashi soy sauce (soy & stock mixture) or soup base can be used alternatively

Cooking Directions:

1. Cut the goya into halves and scoop out the seeds and spongy centre with a spoon. Cut the goya into thin slices.
Cut other ingredients into easy-to-bite-sized pieces

2. Heat up a pan or wok and oil the surface. Placed tofu slices. Make sure to drain water out of the tofu slices and cover them with flour beforehand. Bake until the both surfaces start to brown. Take them out from the pan and put aside on a plate.
(This process can be skipped if you do not want to brown the tofu.)

3. Oil the pan again and stir fly the goya slices until tender. Then add the spam and tofu.

4. Season as you like and add beaten egg. As the egg start to set, mix it over with the other ingredients to finish.

See more on “Goya Champuru Cooking Instructions and Recipe“.


Ingredients (Serves 2-3):

Flower – 250g
Egg – 1
Sugar (blown and white) – 100g
Ginger – a little bit
Cooking oil
Seven-up – 200cc
Milk – 120cc

Cooking Directions:

1. Mix the flower and sugar together in a bowl.

2. Beat the egg well. Add the beaten egg, milk and ginger to the bowl bit by bit while mixing all the ingredients together.

3. Add the Seven-up to the bowl and mix them together lightly.
* To cook it beautifully in texture, leave it aside for a while.

4. Heat up and oil a pan. Pour the mix over the pan and smooth it out thinly over the pan to cook.

5. When it starts to generate bubbles on the surface, flip it over.

6. Cook the other side lightly. Take it out on a board and roll it over slowly to finish.

The recipe and instructions belong to Keiko Higa – Okinawa Goodwill Ambassador & Cooking Specialist. Please see this article for details.

All the photos were taken by Masami Urasaki