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5 Items You Need in Your Kitchen for Longevity Dishes

by Christal Burnette 03 Apr 2024 0 Comments
Hey there, fellow moai'in! Have you tried making any Okinawan cuisine yet? If you are a beginner, let me first tell you some of the basics when it comes to traditional Okinawan cooking.
The below are the five essential ingredients you need in her kitchen to live like a longevity Okinawa:

1. Purple Yam (Beni Imo):

The Sweet Heart of Okinawan Sweets 
Get ready to add a pop of color to your culinary canvas! Purple yam, known as "beni imo," is not only visually stunning but also a key ingredient in Okinawan desserts. Whether you're making traditional "tartar" (a delightful dessert with layers of purple yam and sweet cream) or incorporating it into ice creams and pastries, beni imo brings a unique sweetness and vibrant hue to your creations. The color is SO vibrantly purple that it almost looks fake, but tell your family, friends, or whoever is eating with you that it is not food coloring or a coloring additive. It is 100% real.

2. Goya (Bitter Melon):

Embrace the Bitter-Sweet Adventure 
If Okinawan cuisine were a treasure map, "goya" would mark the spot of a bold culinary discovery. This distinctive bitter melon might seem like a challenge at first taste, but it's a beloved ingredient in Okinawan dishes. From stir-fries to goya champuru (a delicious stir-fry with tofu and pork), this ingredient adds a unique depth to your meals and is touted for its potential health benefits. Watch my video below if you are unsure how to cut this bumpy vegetable. Make sure to get the soft insides out or you are going to be experiencing a highly bitter taste in your mouth.

3. Shikuwasa:

The Citrus Star of Okinawa 
Prepare to pucker up with joy! Shiikuwasa, also known as flat lemon or Hirami lemon, is a small but mighty citrus fruit that brings a tangy twist to your Okinawan creations. Its zesty flavor and high vitamin C content make it a staple in refreshing beverages, dressings and even marinades. A sip of shiikuwasa juice is like a burst of Okinawan sunshine in your mouth. It is full of nobiletin, too, which is good for inflammation, lowering cholesterol, insulin resistance, and too many more to list here.

4. Rafute:

The Heavenly Simmered Pork Belly 
Cue the mouthwatering anticipation as we introduce you to Rafute – the melt-in-your-mouth pork belly that's been simmered to perfection. This tender and flavorful delicacy is a cornerstone of Okinawan cuisine, often served with rice and pickled vegetables. The secret to its irresistible taste lies in the slow cooking process, resulting in a dish that's both hearty and comforting. It is even full of collagen which is great for your joints.

5. Awamori:

Raise a Toast with an Okinawan Spirit 
We couldn't forget the libations, could we? Awamori, an Okinawan-distilled liquor, is the life of the party in Okinawa. Made from long-grain indica rice, this spirit boasts a rich history and a smooth yet robust flavor profile. Whether enjoyed neat or in cocktails, sipping on Awamori is like raising a toast to the spirit of Okinawa itself. The Okinawans would enjoy a glass or two of Awamori every so often to relax. They are just like their counterparts, longevity Italians who always enjoy a glass of red wine (seeing a pattern here?).
With these five essential ingredients in hand, you're well on your way to creating vibrant purple yam desserts, embracing the bittersweet adventure of goya, and savoring the citrusy zing of shikuwasa. Follow me to learn about Okinawan longevity recipes, my new cookbook, and how to eat like an Okinawan. Yutashiku!
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