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Created with an Inquisitive Mind and Plenty of Love, the Delicious Okinawa Zenzai at [Zenzai-no Fujiya] (Naha City)
post : 2021.02.05 15:00
[Zenzai-no Fujiya] is just a 10-minute drive from Naha Airport, and ever since an Uchinanchu (Okinawan) friend told me about this place, I’ve always wanted to visit. The secret to the delicious Okinawa Zenzai (¥420) from Fujiya can be found in their spirit of inquiry and attentive consideration to their customers. People of all ages love their wonderful zenzai.
The spacious interior has a surfboard hanging from the wall, while the exterior of the shop has colorful paintings and even a swing. The fun atmosphere of the shop may suggest that it’s a newer establishment, but actually, they have a pretty long history. The shop welcomes its 30th year since founding, and in this article, I’d like to introduce a part of their secret to their tasty zenzai that they have been offering to their customers the decades.
The adzuki beans play a central role in Okinawan zenzai, and at Fujiya, the beans are carefully separated at their factory. Quality is assured through stringent management of cooking time and the beans are fully intact and each bean glistens beautifully after they’re cooked. I enjoy Okinawa zenzai and eat it frequently, but I’ve never had anything that looked as good as Fujiya’s. The beans are not soggy but have just the right amount of moisture, and a gentle sweetness that I enjoyed to the very last spoonful.
They’re also very particular about the ice for their zenzai. To enjoy the signature taste of their zenzai, the ice that they use is made from the broth that the beans are cooked in. They offer zenzai takeout in three different coarseness of ice shavings according to when the customers plan on eating them. Whether you’re eating in, or getting it to go to enjoy in 30 minutes, or maybe in an hour, they select the right coarseness of ice to time it just right so that the ice won’t be melted away before you dig in.
When eating in, the zenzai is served in a stainless-steel tumbler made in collaboration with Hydro Flask, a company famous for their tumblers. Even if you take your time, you can enjoy the delightful texture of the ice all the way through.
According to the staff, the best way to enjoy your zenzai is by scooping the ice into the bowl of beans as you eat, but in three separate scoops. That way, you can enjoy the special taste of Zenzai-no Fujiya consistently and evenly to the last drop.
Accompanying the zenzai is the local snack, Kame Senbei. The gentle sweetness of the zenzai and the slight saltiness of the senbei balances the tastes and is pleasant on your palate.
From beans, ice, and container that it’s served in, the Okinawa zenzai offered at Zenzai-no Fujiya is made with great attention to detail, and even takes into consideration the timing of when its customers will eat the zenzai, as well as balancing out the aftertaste. Their zenzai is truly a fruit of careful consideration from their spirit of finding the best way to enjoy their zenzai, and packed with TLC for their customers. Just as my friend did to me, I can proudly recommend the zenzai from Fujiya to anyone and everyone.
I have some great news for those of you who live in other parts of Japan. You can order their zenzai from their online shop! Now you can enjoy the great taste of Fujiya wherever you may be in the country. This is wonderful news for Okinawans living elsewhere in Japan, and also those who tried Fujiya’s while they were visiting here and craving their Okinawa zenzai again. Of course, this is a great way for those of you who have never tried it before, too. Check out their online shop and see what they’ve got to offer, and when you visit Okinawa, be sure to go by Zenzai-no Fujiya.
[Zenzai no Fujiya]
Address: 2-10-9 Tomari, Naha City Okinawa
Hours: (From October thru June) 11:00 to 19:00
(From July thru September) 11:00 to 20:00
Online Shop: https://fujiyazenzai.official.ec