Okinawa Tourism Information:Series/IslandBlessing,IslandTastePart23IslandhotpepperPart1

Series / Island Blessing, Island Taste Part 23 Island hot pepper Part 1

post : 2017.06.13 21:00


Cute island hot peppers have vivid red color. They are extremely hot. You might have seen the hot peppers soaked in awamori (Okinawan sake) in a bottle at any Okinawa soba noodle shops. As the recipe of the condiment (kooreguusu) is quite simple, many of noodle shops make their own.


Recently, other than kooreguusu, different kinds of condiment using island hot peppers are available. I would like to introduce you some of them here.


First of all, I want to mention “taberu” chili oil.  Taberu indicates “solid” as opposed to “liquid” here. This taberu chili oil was once hard to obtain because of its popularity.



Chili oil Ishigakijima Raayu or, “Ishiraa”  from Pengin Shokudo in Ishigaki Island has many fans. Such is its  popularity that the process of making the special sauce was made into a movie. Before we moved to Okinawa my family, friends and I used to join together to place combined orders.



Other kinds of hot pepper condiment have been created over the past few years.



“Shima Rihassa” (left on the photo) is made with olive oil, hot peppers, garlic, salt, cumin, choumeisou (a local herb). It has moderate spiciness and great flavor. It is versatile, and great for taco rice, pasta dishes, couscous dishes, couscous, fried rice, noodles and soup. 


Namashichimi (center on the dish) is shockingly spicy. It contains raw hot peppers, shiikuwaasaa (local citrus) peel, salt, ginger, vinegar, black sesame, aasaa (seaweed) and awamori. It is incredibly spicy, but really tasty! The aromas of ocean and mountain join together in your mouth. It is good for fried rice and any stir fried food. It is even delicious just with rice. I found this condiment at Ritou (neighbor island) fair held in Naha City. Once the bottle was opened, it disappeared very fast. The spiciness and the flavor  grow on you.


Shimaichimi contains hihatsumodoki (Piper retrofractum) and citrus peels. Flavorful, shimashichimi, contains turmeric, lemon and three kinds of local herbs. 


Since my children can’t take the heat, I need to avoid making spicy food and just add spiciness to my own food. The bottles are very handy.


I can only introduce some of island spicy condiments here but there are many more of them. They can be a great choice for souvenirs. Why not give one of them a try?  I will be making my own spicy oil with island hot peppers next time. See you then!

Ishigaki Island Raayu Studio
“Shimarihassa”, “Namashichimi”, “Shimaichimi” and “Shimashichimi”
Agricultural Union, Ishigaki Island Uminomono Yamanomono
Tel: 0980-86-7757
Dish: Yoshiriki Yamada and Katsushi Shimabukuro
Photo Shooting and Styling: Haraiso
Okinawa CLIP photo writer: monobox (Tetsumasa Kono and Kozue)