There a lot of fascinating things in Okinawa aside from the ocean and nature. One best example is the food that you can only eat here. Won't you try eating these sweets which you can only find in Okinawa?
Sata andagi, Okinawa's representative snack, is a fried round dough ball similar to a doughnut hole. Although it uses a lot of sugar, it has a very light taste, so people who are not good with sweet things can eat it. In addition, it is a popular souvenir because of its good shelf life, so it's fine to store it at room temperature for several days. Among the many sata andagi shops in Okinawa is Ayumi no Sata Andagi located on the 2nd floor of First Makishi Public Market in Naha, a popular store which often sells out of sata andagi in 10 minutes. Their Maboroshi Sata Andagi is very popular. The handmade sata andagi is made with wheat flour, sugar, milk and egg yolk, and it is crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. Its taste is subtly different from doughnuts, so it's really worth trying it even if you're a doughnut connoisseur.
1 bag of Ayumi Sata Andagi with 9 pieces costs 735 JPY (incl. tax).
※This photo is for illustrative purposes only.
1. Ayumi no Sata Andagi
Chinsuko is a traditional Okinawan baked sweet from the Ryukyu Dynasty (1429 - 1879), and is made by mixing wheat flour, sugar and lard. It's crispy like a biscuit and crumbles when inside your mouth. Originally, this was eaten by royalty and nobles of the Ryukyu Dynasty during festivities. Arakaki Chinsuko Honpo is the pioneer of chinsuko since the store was opened in 1908 by people whose ancestors were cooks of the Ryukyu Dynasty. There are other flavors aside from the plain one like sea salt, purple yam, brown sugar, salt and pepper, and coffee. Arakaki Chinsuko Honpo's chinsuko is available in the Makishi branch along Kokusai Street in Naha, and in addition to the two branches in Matsuo, it is also sold in other souvenir shops as Okinawa's main sweet.
One pack with 4 kinds and 24 pieces costs 1,390 JPY (incl. tax).
*You can also buy it on Arakaki Chinsuko Honpo's online shop.
2. Chinsuko from Arakaki Chinsuko Honpo
Blue Seal is an ice cream shop which originated in Okinawa. The refreshing flavor of this ice cream is perfect for the heat in Okinawa, and it's not only popular with locals but with tourists as well. Aside from the main branch in Makiminato in Urasoe, there are also shops in Naha and Chatan within the main island. It's really pleasant that they have stores which operate until late at night.
There are more than 30 flavors available. Aside from the common flavors like vanilla and strawberry, there are also purple yam, shikuwasa (Okinawan lime) sherbet, and salt chinsuko, all of which are flavors unique to Okinawa. It's amazing to look at these colorful ice creams lined up inside the store. Other than ice cream, they also have parfaits, smoothies, crepes, and more on their menu. In addition, in some stores you can eat light meals like pasta and hamburgers. Be reminded that prices may vary per area.
*Outside of Okinawa, it can sometimes be found in mail-order shops such as online shops, Okinawa fairs, the antenna shop Washita Shop, and more.
3. Blue Seal Ice Cream
In the center of the Okinawa main island, there is a pancake shop near the Yomitan shore. This was constructed originally as a barracks for military troops during the American occupation and was later remodeled into a colorful Western-style cafe. A simple pancake is topped with strawberry sauce or chocolate chips making it moderately sweet with plentiful of serving. You can also top it with ice cream or whipped cream. For people who want to eat pancakes as a meal, you can order one topped with sausage and chili beans or a set meal pancake with fried eggs and bacon sausage.
It's a little hard to find since it's located within a housing area, but since the store sign is rather conspicuous, just do your best in searching for it. The pancake is worth all your troubles.
A classic pancake costs 600 JPY (incl. tax).
4. Jakkepoes Pancake
Zenzai is a sweet normally eaten during winter in which adzuki beans are boiled into a jam-like consistency and it's topped with with shiratama mochi (dumpling made from rice flour). However, Okinawa's zenzai uses lightly boiled red kidney beans, shiratama mochi, and shaved ice, and it is served regardless of the season.
At Fujiya the shaved ice is in a cold cup which is served separately from the beans and shiratama mochi. The broth from the red kidney beans is frozen and is then shaved, making the ice light brown and sweet. According to Fujiya staff, you're actually supposd to top the shaved ice with the beans and shiratama mochi, but since it comes separately customers can eat it any way they like.
Fujiya is a store with a meal ticket system so be sure to buy a ticket from the ticket machine beforehand. In addition, aside from zenzai, you can also eat taco rice and other light meals.
Fujiya Zenzai costs 320 JPY (incl. tax).
5. Fujiya Tomari Main Store Zenzai
We have selected 5 must-eat sweets among several that are only available in Okinawa. Try to eat these Okinawan sweets while gazing at the sea and enjoy a delicious vacation.
*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.