Okinawa Tourism Information:Series/IslandBlessing,IslandTastePart6Mozuku

Series / Island Blessing, Island Taste Part 6 Mozuku

post : 2014.11.11 16:00

Sunui is what mozuku (type of edible sea) is called in the Okinawan dialect. It is posited the name sunui is from sunori (vinegar seaweed).  It is a familiar ingredient in Okinawa and at first it surprising to find that it is called by a different name. After living in Okinawa for 4 years we find that we natural use the Okinawa name of thing.
Mozuku is low calorie and high in fiber making it invaluable as a healthy ingredient. The slime contains the antioxidant properties of fucoidan and it is being studied to be used for supplements and cosmetics.

Every April, if you go to the shore and when waves softly hit the shore you can see mozuku. From Hamahiga Bridge between Henza Island and Hamahiga Island in Uruma you can see the ocean that is the fishing grounds for mozuku.
This is the recommended season for mozuku. After being harvested it is wash in seawater and sold as is. It is different long lasting salt pickled mozuku in that it is vibrant, slimy on the tongue and taste like a refreshing sea breeze.      
If you wring a citrus fruit, you can really enjoy the flavor of the ingredients. It can accent a hot pot, can be a spice in ramen and udon and can even be enjoyed as an ingredient in miso soup.

The standard way of eating it is topping it with mirin, vinegar and soy sauce for the famous “mozuku-su”. All over Japan I have not seen a supermarket without mozuku-su, such as one with a topping three pack.
In Okinawa the seasoning is different from house to house.  Mozuku tempura is had as a snack or with alcohol and is a popular local dish with everyone from kids to adults.

I am personally into the mozuku croquette at Marukichi Shokuhin in the Hama District of Hamahiga Island. In front of the port, there are shops where you can buy freshly fried croquettes and tempura, and when in season you can buy raw mozuku and hijiki (a type of edible seaweed). There is also Okinawa soba and meals, so while taking a break from driving and look at the port it is a perfect time to stuff your face with freshly fried tempura and croquettes.   

 80% of Japan's mozuku production is from Okinawa and 40% of that is harvested by the Katsuren Fishing Cooperative.
The “fresh picked mozuku soup” that the cooperative came up with takes the first mozuku of the season and freeze dries them. Just by adding warm water, you can make it into a soup which is no doubt useful for working women!

In April at Katsuren Heshikiya, Uruma at the port there is “Mozuku Day” which is a public relations event for the fishing cooperative and producers.
There are side shows such as the mozuku eating contest, local middle and high school students dance “Kimutaka no Amawari” and playing wind instruments and kindergarteners performing Soran Bushi. Thare are also producers who take their boats to show how they harvest. With the mozuku eating contest the rules get more and more difficult each year and this year you have to use chopsticks to win.
It is a day where you can know and get your fill of mozuku. So you definitely check it out.

Mozuku Day Event
Date: 3rd Sunday of April (April 20th this year)
Time: 10:00am-5:00pm
 Place: Urama City Katsuren Heshikiya Fishing Wharf

Shops that sell Shinzen Hayatsumami Mozuku Soup (Fresh Picked Mozuku Soup)
 In Okinawa: Tida Marche (Naha Airport 2F), Michi no Eki Kadena (Kadena), Kouri Island Product Center (Kouri Island), Kaldi Coffee Farm (Naha, Ginowan), Umi no Eki Ayahashi (Uruma), Katsuren Castle Ruins Rest Area Umaru (Uruma), Ace Mitsukoshi (Toyosaki, Naha Makishi)

Outside of Okinawa: Kaldi Coffee Farm (Nationwide), Shokoku Foods Plaza (Tokyo), Okinawa Takarajima (Aichi, Saitama, Tokyo), Washita Shop (Fukuoka, Nagoya), Aoki Toyosu (Tokyo), Nihon no Goshisou En Shinmaru Bldg, Roko Marche (Shizuoka)
*As of 16 April, 2014

Inquiries about Katsuren Mosuku
Katsuren Fishing Cooperative
3821-18 Katsuren Heshikiya, Uruma-shi, Okinawa
TEL: 098-983-0003
FAX: 098-978-7710

Marukichi Shokuhin
Address: 72-2 Katsuren Hama, Uruma-shi, Okinawa
TEL: 098-977-7905

Okinawa Clip Photowriter monobox (Kozue and Tetsumasa Kono)


3821-18 Katsuren Heshikiya, Uruma-shi, Okinawa