Okinawa Tourism Information:Series/IslandBlessing,IslandTastePart20PorkHomemadeTastefromMothertoDaughter–Oden–

Series / Island Blessing, Island Taste
Part 20 Pork
Homemade Taste from Mother to Daughter
– Oden –

post : 2017.05.03 18:00

This time, we want to write about a necessary ingredient for Okinawan dish! So we decided to write about pork this time and next time. 

In Okinawa, it is believed that “people eat every part of pigs except hooves and its oink sound.” Each family used to eat a whole pig to celebrate New Year, so some people still have memories of it.

We visited Kina Farm this time to see our close family friends, Kina Family who manages Kina Farm. We have known each other since right after we moved to Okinawa, and Kina Farm produces a famous pork brand called “Beni Aguu.”

Kina Farm sticks to fodder strictly and raises pigs with their love. “Beni Aguu” is also known as the luxurious food, and it is popular in and out of Okinawa.

And this time, we asked the staffs of Kina Family for cooperation and requested them to cook oden, the yokozuna of Okinawan home cooking. We were lucky to see the whole process of cooking it!!

Even in warm Okinawa, warm dishes start to appear on the tables in chilly December. 

We had Okinawan oden for the first time about 5 years ago. Our Okinawan friend who we met in Tokyo brought oden to our house in Okinawa on New Year’s Day. She brought oden that her mother cooked. 

We never had Okinawan oden until then. We just thought “oh there is oden in Okinawa,” and we did not catch on it quickly.

After we looked in a pan, we saw pettitoes!!! We could not find any familiar ingredients in Kanto Region like hanpen, tsumire, and chikuwabu … what a shock. Besides pettitoes, boiled egg, daikon (Japanese radish), kelp, konnyaku, deep-fried tofu, chikuwa, sausage, and more. However, even though ingredients were different but its taste was so delicious! It had rich taste, so we could eat it easily while drinking awamori.

We remembered when our friend was drinking and saying to us, “I tried cooking oden in Tokyo, but I can’t cook it as my mother did.”

Okinawan oden is the dish that one Okinawan woman misses the most and makes her wants to try cooking in Tokyo. This time, Tomoko Kina, the mother of Kina Family, is going to cook oden. 

“I learned from my daughter that it is easier to use peeler when I peel the skin of daikon.”

Tomoko told me happily.

Tomoko’s daughter, Shinobu got married last year. She worked as a manager of a shopping site of Kina Farm until she delivered her first baby, and she sold products including Beni Aguu and another pork brand named “Beni Buta” through the website. Now Kina Family is filled with lots of happiness after welcoming the first grandchild in summer, and it is almost time for mother to teach her homemade taste to daughter. However, Shinobu has no guts to ask her mother to teach the recipe.

Pettitoes are used to cook oden. It is called as “tebichi” in Okinawa, but actually tebichi is a whole part from shoulders to toes. And toes are called as “chimaguu.” Kina Family uses chimaguu to cook oden.

First, rinse chimaguu with hot water to clean them.

The surprising part of a kitchen at Kina Family is that the sizes and numbers of pans. Relatives get together at the house for every event in lunar calendar and have parties, so Kina Family has many big pans to cook dishes all at once. They also prepare many stoves to warm them up.  

2 big packs of bonito flakes are used to make broth. 

After rinse chimaguu, put them into a big pan, pour in just enough water to cover, boil them about 2 hours, and skim off foam. Boiled chimaguu are puffed up and they seem like they are about to burst.

Mix the broth and cooking water of chimaguu. Next, add daikon, kelp, konnyaku, deep-fried tofu, sausage, chikuwa, and boiled egg into it in sequence, and boil them again.

Seasonings are soy sauce, mirin (rice wine), and salt. The seasonings help to make the taste of broth better.

“Each family has different homemade taste, so I don’t have a recipe of it.”
Tomoko showed me an embarrassed smile. 

Add seasonings into the pan, mix them, put a lid on the pan, and boil it with low heat for 3 hours. The taste gets better by boiling more and more, so it gets better the next day. 

Another point of cooking Okinawan oden is to add greens when you serve oden. Greens will be different depending on seasons. Greens including Chinese spinach, bok-choy, or lettuce go well with oden. Pour some cooking water into a small pan, immerse greens in it lightly, and serve it. The reason why to do so is to prevent its greenery smell to transfer to the cooking water. This is Tomoko’s secret to cook delicious oden, and it is going to be taught to her daughter also.

After boiling oden well, serve it on plates and finish. Also, do not forget to add mustard which is necessary for Okinawan oden. Soured taste mustard goes well with Okinawan oden instead of pungent Japanese mustard. 

Broth with bonito and chimaguu is soaked in each ingredient. Members of Kina Family finish eating all chimaguu first. We actually like daikon because the broth is condensed in daikon. 

After we witnessed when the main chef switched from Tomoko (mother) to Shinobu (daughter) naturally in the middle of shooting, we thought

“Oh, this is how mother teaches how to cook food to daughter.”

And some emotion welled up in us. 

We witnessed when a mother taught her daughter how to cook her homemade taste until oden was cooked. It was the moment for mother to hand over the baton to daughter. We were glad to see the family love and family themselves who support each other.

We are going to write about another major Okinawan food that uses pork from Kina Family’s kitchen, so we will see you next!! 


*A restaurant where you can eat Beni Aguu
Address: 63 Asato, Naha City
Tel: 098-868-3363

*A shop where you can purchase Beni Aguu
Ganjyu Farm
Business Hours: 11:00-21:00
Address: 228 Toguchi, Yomitan Village
Tel: 098-982-8877

Okinawa Beni Buta Internet Shopping Site


Okinawa CLIP photo writer monobox (Tetsumasa and Kozue Kono)