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Savor the tastes of Pork Motsu Kushiyaki (grilled offal on a skewer), recommended by the owner of Aracoya in Sakaemachi, a neighborhood filled with colors of the Showa era.
post : 2022.03.25 02:00
It was in August 2012 that Aracoya, where you can enjoy the fresh pork offal, opened for business. Since then, Aracoya has gained popularity by word of mouth and quickly became a popular spot bustling with local patrons every night. From standard items such as tongue and liver, there are also rare parts not commonly found elsewhere, such as Nodogashira (throat), Fuegarami (artery), and lip.
The reason why the owner of Aracoya decided to set up shop in Sakaemachi, Naha City is because of the nostalgic atmosphere with a Showa era taste that is found there. The well-known area once prospered as an entertainment district, and today, it has regained popularity with many bars and pubs with a unique, “hidden-gem” feel, which is exactly the concept of Aracoya.
"I was impressed when I tried Motsuyaki in Tokyo. Even though Okinawan food is known for the various pork dishes, there aren’t many that use offal. That's why I want the people of Okinawa to try it and enjoy it," says the owner of Aracoya, Hideki Matsukawa, who shared his thoughts on why he wanted to make Motsuyaki the house specialty. Offal meat loses its freshness quicker than regular cuts of meat, and this freshness is particularly important because it gives off a peculiar smell over time. When thinking about offal, some people may first think of its particular scent, but fresh offal has a beautiful pink color and does not have a peculiar smell. Matsukawa-san, who pays very close attention to food safety and deliciousness, uses offal from Ganaha Chikusan (livestock), which regularly wholesales the freshest internal organs. Ganaha offers special pork that has been cultivated with great care in the rich natural surroundings of northern Okinawa.
From the left, Teppo, Hatsu, Tan, Kikan, and Oppai. Liver, Harami, and Gatsu-shin (stomach) are also popular choices from their menu.
Charcoal is used for grilling offal, and the effects of the far-infrared make the meat plump and aromatic. To bring out the texture and umami of the ingredients, we have to be careful about not overcooking. To enjoy the outstanding freshness of the offal to the fullest extent, it’s best to cook it to about medium-rare – aromatic outside and close to rare on the inside. The Motsuyaki offered at Aracoya is carefully prepared with expertise, and has a unique crispness, delicate flavor, and richness and umami that spreads delightfully in your mouth, leaving you with a very satisfied smile. Even if you’ve shied away from offal until now because of the smell or for whatever reason, Aracoya’s Motsuyaki will surely change your view of offal!
For first-time visitors to Aracoya, I recommend their homemade, processed pork products such as ham, pork blood, and Horumon pate, smoked pork tongue, pork terrine using Yamaharajima pork. Another recommendation is their "Charcuterie platter" which has everything you’d want to try, like Iberico pork salami and chorizo, and prosciutto di Parma. You can bet these will go oh, so well with alcoholic beverages. These dishes are available for one or to share with everybody at the table, so do try them.
The other items on the menu are unique creations completed with Hideki-san's commitment and dedication and are gems that you can only enjoy at Aracoya. Next time you’re in Naha, how about a visit to Aracoya, where after your first visit, you’ll probably want to return again and again.
Address: 388-10 Asato, Naha City, Okinawa
Hours: 17:00 to 24:00 (Weekdays), 17:00 to 01:00 (Fridays & Saturdays), 17:00 to 23:00 (Sundays & Holidays)
Okinawa CLIP photo writer, Sachiko.
Originally posted on October 25, 2015
Updated on August 25, 2021