The birthplace of karate, Okinawa is also known as one of the world’s blue zones or longevity regions.
A brief introduction to Okinawa’s eating habits may reveal the relationship between longevity and food. The basic food of Okinawa is rice, vegetables, pork, fish, tofu and fruits. Consumption of vegetables is also high, and among them, mustard green, winter melon, pumpkin, bean sprouts, napa cabbage, white radish, and edible wild grass are often eaten. Okinawa’s typical daily menu is composed of rice, miso soup and side dishes, usually the stir-fried dish chanpurū and pickles. Okinawa’s most representative dish, “Chanpuru” (which means mixture) is a fried dish of tofu, green and yellow vegetables.
Okinawan cuisine has two origins. One is the court cuisine of the Shuri royal court which the other is the food of commoners. Court cuisine was developed under the influence of China and Japan during the Ryukyuan dynasty; the latter was born in common families. In addition, various foreign cuisines have been introduced in postwar Okinawa, and now you can enjoy French cuisine, South American cuisine and many others in the prefecture.
For visiting karate enthusiasts to enjoy various Okinawa dishes, the OKIC staff goes out and brings you through this new “Teeanda corner”(1) some new ideas of restaurants and sweets shops that anyone can visit for new Okinawan tastes while touring karate monuments and other cultural sites. Check regularly for new updates!
Tianda No. 1: the restaurant “Ufuyā” (Nago City)
Tianda No. 2: Tomigusuku Shokudō (Tomigusuku City)
Tianda No. 3: Café Captain Kangaroo (Nago City)
Tianda No. 4: Yamagusuku (Naha City Shuri)
(1) In Uchinarguchi or Okinawan language, the expression “Tīanda” means to do your best at cooking. The term supposedly comes from “hand’s oil”; It means that the dish is prepared with so much love that the oil of hands infiltrates the dish during the preparation. On the side, “tienda” in Spanish means a shop. The title of this new column was choosen in reference to these similar words.
Reference: “Okinawa no Bunka – Keys to Okinawan Culture” Published by the Okinawa Prefecture – Year of publication: 1992