I was truly intrigued after watching the recent Andrew Zimmern's Okinawa episode on the family run Kana Restaurant; specializing in traditional Ryuku cuisine. Wonderful experience, unfortunately I did poor job documenting specific ingredients in my meal.
Irabu Set Meal
Clockwise from Top Left
i) Stir fried vegetable (Carrots, beansprouts,...) with soy bean powder (byproduct from soya bean juicing), ii) Mozuku seaweed, iii) Jimami (peanut) tofu, iv) Local dandelion like vegetable with tofu, v) Tofuyo - tofu cured in local awamori spirit. Similar to chinese cured tofu, vi) Irabu (sea snake) soup.
Seaweed, pork, konnyaku
Taro patties with minced pork
Irabu soup (round 2) - The pièce de résistance. Smoked black-banded sea krait, konbu and tebichi (pig's trotter) in a soup made by combining 4 stocks (pig's trotter, dashi, konbu and sea snake). Extremely laborious process to prepare. Snake rehydrated (venom and all) and fully deboned, - taste like a meat/tuna smoked jerky, very soft gelatinous skin. The best preparation of pig's feet I've ever had, completely falls apart in the mouth. We felt the effects of the soup, feeling flushed 10mins after consuming it.
Mugwort rice - super fragrant from the mugwort
Daikon pickled in milk
Rafute - braised pork belly with raw bitter melon. Similar to dongpo pork.
Everything was extremely well executed with top notch ingredients.This was definitely the highlight of our trip, a truly wonderful evening with our gracious hosts Alex, Izumi and head chef Fujiko Gaja.
Kana Restaurant (カナ)
515-5 Yagibaru, Kitanakagusuku-son, Nakagami-gun, Okinawa-ken 901-2304
Reservations required, cash only