• How to Prep and Store Island Shallots 'Shima-rakkyo'

    How to Prep and Store Island Shallots 'Shima-rakkyo'
    Shima Rakkyo What you see on the label at the Farmer's Market: Kanji: 島らっきょう Hiragana: しまらっきょう Katakana: シマラッキョウ Seasonal Harvesting Period: Spring to Summer The Basics: Shima rakkyo, or island shallots, is one of the representative vegetables of Okinawa next to goya. It is a scallion native to Okinawa, Japan. It is thought to be one of the many vegetables that contribute to Okinawan longevity. One piece is only 6 calories so the perfect diet/health food. Shima rakkyo is a type of scallion that have been eaten in Okinawa for centuries. It has a strong aroma and spiciness...
  • How to Prep and Store Purple Sweet Potato 'Beni-imo'

    How to Prep and Store Purple Sweet Potato 'Beni-imo'
    Beni-imo What you see on the label at the Farmer's Market: Kanji: 紅芋 Hiragana: べにいも Katakana: ベニイモ Seasonal Harvesting Period: Autumn to Early Winter The Basics: Beni-imo, or purple sweet potato, is the most well-known potato in Okinawa. It is used in so many treats on the island that even if you are only in Okinawa for one day, you'll be sure to see this sweet tasting potato. While it is sweet tasting, it is not the sweet potato you commonly know. The inside is purple and found primarily in East Asia. The inside is purple because of...
  • How to Prep and Store Sponge Gourd 'Hechima'

    How to Prep and Store Sponge Gourd 'Hechima'
    Hechima What you see on the label at the Farmer's Market: Kanji: 糸瓜 Hiragana: へちま Katakana: ヘチマ Seasonal Harvesting Period: Summer The Basics: Hechima, or sponge gourd, is more commonly seen in your shower. Yes, not your kitchen, the shower or bathtub. Sponge gourd is hardly eaten outside of Okinawa, but rather grown to manufacture loofahs. Hechima, or na-be-ra in Okinawan language, is considered a soul food in Okinawa. While many children detest hechima, just like their western counterparts detest broccoli, many grow up to love and appreciate the taste of hechima later on.  It looks similar...
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