Okinawa Tourism Information:Series/IslandBlessing,IslandTastePart22BrightDeepRedRoselleBud

Series / Island Blessing, Island Taste Part 22
Bright Deep Red Roselle Bud

post : 2017.06.01 18:00

“Roselle” is a deep red colored plant, and it is the native to West Africa. It is a part of family Malvaceae which is the same as hibiscus, and it is cultivated in Southeast Asia, the tropical zone, and subtropical zone for food. Its red colored ripe calyx contains lots of water and citric acid, and its coloration looks very attractive. It is known as the ingredient of hibiscus tea in Japan, and it is available at the market from fall to winter in Okinawa. 

The shape of its flower looks like cotton rosemallow, rounded hibiscus, or okura flower. Its stem and leaves are red also. The stem is used as fiber, and leaves are used as vegetables. 

Roselle is used as a natural medicine from the old days. Citric acid is effective for recovery from exhaustion, and potassium is good for diuretic effect. Since roselle contains lots of anthocyanin pigment, it is a popular ingredient among health-conscious people.

Calyx of roselle can be made as sweet-and-sour jam to use its sour taste. You can also preserve it in sugar or make fruit wine from it. If you preserved leaves of it in salt, you can use it as a substitute for red perilla.

This time, we will introduce our favorite dish called “simple salted roselle.” 

Peel the calyxes of roselle carefully, and rinse them well with water. After drying off them with paper towel or cloth, sprinkle about 10 – 15% of salt for whole amount of calyxes, put them into a scalded bottle, put and leave it in a refrigerator.

After 2 -3 days, soften salted roselle is ready to eat.

You might be wondering how we are going to eat this, correct?

Actually, its flavor is very similar to one food. 

Which is … umeboshi (pickled plum)!!!

You might be recognized the food with its coloring lol

Our family members love roselle rice balls very much. We mince roselle, sprinkle it over freshly cooked rice, and

sprinkle salt on my hands and start making rice balls. 

If you want to add an extra taste, “coriander” is recommended! Roselle’s fresh sour taste and refreshing savor of coriander have good chemistry. 

Our children prefer salted roselle rather than umeboshi, and it decorates bento lunch box and a dining table colorfully. Try it if you found it at a market.

Flower of roselle is for ornamental purposes, and its calyx and leaves are for edible use. You can grow it at your balcony, so you can grow and eat it easily!


Photo studio: Haraiso
Address: 1-9-24 Ishikawa Akebono, Uruma City
Pottery: Katsushi Shimabukuro, Tatsuya Morinaga, Yoshiriki Yamada (in the order of photos)

Okinawa CLIP photo writer monobox (Tetsumasa and Kozue Kono)