9 Weird Foods to Try in Okinawa, Ryukyu Japan
We all know Okinawans are probably one of the healthiest eating people in the world, but we did not expect to see a whole list of bizarre food items included in their everyday diet.
1. Humphead Parrotfish (Scarus ovifrons)/ aobudai
A few have died from palytoxin poisoning after the consumption of humphead parrotfish. But hey, if the Okinawans are eating it, what’s stopping you from trying it, too? By the way, palytoxin poisoning symptoms include muscle pain, rapid heart rate, nausea, vomiting… and more, death is common after poisoning.
Then again, Okinawans do have a higher life expectancy than others in the world.
2. Coconut crab / yashigani
Coconut crab is the world’s biggest land-living arthropod. It was once listed by the IUCN as vulnerable species but removed form the list due to data deficiency.
3. Green Turban/ yakou tai
Enjoy the whole snail raw and see who gets sick first.
4. Blowfish/ fugu
Eating fugu is not news in Japan. Although it is potentially poisonous, most certified chefs know how to handle the toxic parts properly.
Are you really going to eat this cute little thing?
5. Sea Grapes/umibudou
Umibudo/ umibudou is a type of seaweed that looks like green caviars, usually eaten raw with salad. Enjoy the little capsules pop in your mouth.
6. Pig’s Face/ chiragaa/ chiraga
I’ve had pork rinds, pig’s ears, but eating (or even looking at) the whole face seems a bit challenging.
7. Sea Salt Ice cream / Yukishio soft serve ice cream
Sprinkle your own choice of flavoured sea salt on top of a cone of milky, soft serve ice-cream. Sea salt flavours include wasabi, matcha, yuzu, sesame, cocoa, matcha, hibiscus, chili pepper, and more. We went greedy and added all. I loved how the salt and the sugar confused me.
8. Okinawan Traditional Tea/ bukubuku cha
Okinawa’s traditional tea has a layer of foam on top made by whisking up roasted rice tea and jasmine tea.
9. Snake Liquor/ habushu
It’s not a worm in a tequila bottle, it’s a whole pit viper infused in an awamori jar.
Ever wonder why such a potentially poisonous drink can be so popular in Asia?
They say the venom is denatured by the alcohol; some believe snakes have medicinal values, most importantly the ability to increase male libido.
Well, it sure was a long night fro me ;)!