Okinawa Tourism Information:Ofukuroservesdeliciouscollagen-richOkinawan-styleodeninKumoji

Ofukuro serves delicious collagen-rich Okinawan-style oden in Kumoji

post : 2017.08.11 07:00

Customers start flowing into this popular restaurant in Kumoji, Naha City soon after they the doors open at 5:30 p.m. Ofukuro has been a popular place for special oden (hot pot food) with great Okinawan taste. Oden goes very well with alcohol. 

 

 

People may have an idea that oden is a typical winter food because that’s when it is usually eaten in many areas of Japan. But, you can enjoy this particular “winter food” any time of the year in Okinawa. Locals often stop for dinner after work as the restaurant is located in the middle of the business district. On weekends, it is crowded with tourists because it takes only 4-5 minutes by foot from the Yui Rail’s Kenchomae Station. Often the decision to eat here is the result of them checking online reviews.

 

 

Owner Masako Yamakawa opened at this location in 2003 after having owned an oden restaurant in central Okinawa for about 20 years. In all, she has been oden business for about 35 years.

 

People in Okinawa like to eat oden after drinking alcohol. Oden is considered a “last call food” when they go out drinking and that’s why Yamakawa used to stay open until morning. “I used to get very tired back then,” Yamakawa said. “So, I started wanting to open and close earlier. That’s when I decided to move to a business area in Naha.”  

 

 

 

Her oden ingredients may include popular daikon, deep-fried tofu, kelp, boiled eggs, konnyaku, mochi (pounded glutinous rice), beef tendon, pork tripe, various tofu products, corn, scallops, omelets, udon noodles, tomatoes and so on. It was surprising to learn that over 50 ingredients to choose from. Of course chimagu (pig’s legs), tebichi (pig’s feet), leaf vegetables and other Okinawan ingredients are also available. The chimagu are served after simmering for two days with several water changes. Legs don’t have much meat but do contain lots of collagen from skin, tendons and cartilage. They are great for healthy skin. Yamakawa adds each ingredient at different times in the pot to cook so that ingredient is cooked perfectly. Tebichi are cooked in a different pot for seasoning.

 

 

Pork and bonito are used to make Okinawan oden stock. Salt is used for taste as opposed to the soy sauce and sweet sake used on the mainland. The soup is not too rich, but it gets lots of depth of flavor. I could taste the soup in the center of each ingredient. Now, I see why people like to eat oden with alcohol.

 

Customers mostly choose the all you can eat and drink course. It’s very reasonable at only 2,000 yen for two hours. “If the price is reasonable, people don’t hesitate to come in even two or three times a week,” said Yamakawa. “I like it when my customers get energized on their oden and alcohol after work so they work hard the next day. I want them to come back here for all occasions.

 

 

Other than oden various a la carte dishes are available. Homemade food includes salted pork belly, baked pig’s legs, sashimi, boiled liver with salt, bitter vegetables with blue cheese, stir-fried squid and bitter vegetables with squid ink, fried noodles, stir-fried bitter melon and more! With over 30 dishes – regular items and day’s specials – you could come every day and never get tired of the food. 

 

 

Eating at Ofukuro is like relaxing with mom’s cooking with alcohol. It is especially great to feel her kindness with her homey food when you visit. Reservations in advance are recommended: This is a popular place.

 

Ofukuro

Address: 1-8-7 Kumoji, Naha City, Okinawa

Tel: 098-868-6721

Hours: 17:30–24:00 (Monday through Friday); 17:30–23:00 (Saturday)

Closed: Sunday and holidays 

 

Okinawa CLIP photo writer: Sachiko

Information

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