Okinawa soba is the best loved noodle dish on the island, and every Okinawan has a favorite soba place. Characterized by noodles with a silky smooth texture, Okinawa soba is perfect for a hot summer’s day. Typically Okinawa soba uses thick noodles and is served in a bowl of clear, hot broth, made by simmering dried bonito flakes, pork bones and pork pieces for hours and carefully skimming off the scum. The flavor of the broth varies from restaurant to restaurant. Broth with a bonito flavor is lighter in taste, while pork-flavored broth is rich and creamy. The toppings for Okinawa soba include slices of braised sanmainiku (pork belly), soki (pork ribs) boiled until soft and easily cut with chopsticks, collagen-rich boiled tebichi (pig’s feet) and fried vegetables. Prices for a bowl of soba range from 500 to 800 yen. Many restaurants serve homemade soba produced by following a traditional recipe. Unique and new types of soba using local specialty products, such as mugwort leaf and beniimo (purple sweet potato), are also available. Some restaurants serve soba kneaded with quality salt produced in Okinawa. Okinawa soba is definitely a must-try dish for tourists visiting the island, and If you have trouble choosing a place to try Okinawa soba, ask an Okinawan for a recommendation or pick a place heavily frequented by locals.
Soki means “sparerib.” Soki soba is served in a tasty soup topped with big chunks of soki. It is one of the most popular kinds of soba in Okinawa.
Tebichi are boiled pig’s feet. These are simmered for several hours on low heat, which makes them soft, glutinous and easy to eat.
Sanmainiku is dialect for “three-layered pork.” It looks like a chunk of fatty meat, but in fact the fat is full of collagen, which is known to revitalize the skin.
Taste too plain?
Koregusu is a small pepper soaked in awamori and used as a seasoning. Rich in vitamins, koregusu can be employed in cooking.