Okinawa Tourism Information:LimaTapiokaSandShop

Lima Tapioka Sand Shop

post : 2015.01.08 19:00

The sunrise is drawn in green on a yellow nameboard.
The sales copy is “Born in Brail and Grown in Yanbaru”
The name is “Tapioka Sand.”

When I heard the name three years ago, what I knew about tapioca is the tapioka pearls in plenty of coconut milk served as a Chinese cuisine dessert. 

Using the pearl tapioca, how can they make sandwiches?
I could not imagine what kind of food it was.

I tried the Tapioka Sand, and found a crispy, white wrap was like crepe.  When I took a bite of it, it gave me the elastic texture that I had experienced first time.
The wrap had crunchy lettuce, onions and tomatoes inside.
“And what is this? ….what is delicious flavor?”
I asked the owner later to find out it was chickpea paste.

The Tapioka Sand was originated by a couple of Mr. Seiji Lima, who is half Japanese and half Brazilian, and Mrs. Akiko Lima live in Yanbaru (the mountainous northern resion of the main island of Okinawa).

The family moved to Nakijin Village from Tokyo in 2011 and found “powdered tapioka (a starch extracted from cassava root. It is used for sweets, noodles, rice noodles, etc. Characteristically, it is easy to gelatinize by adding water and heat.)” in Okinawa.

Every time they went to a cooperative store in the neighborhood, the powdered tapioka caught their eyes.  Their old memory in their faraway hometown, Brazil came back to them quickly.  Everywhere they went to the store, the powdered tapioka came into their sight.

In Brazil, tapioca is a popular ingredient. Also in Okinawa, some family use the powdered tapioka to make jiimaami dofu (tofu-like dish made of peanut and sweet potato starch) and hirayaachi (food like chijimi (Jeon)).  There is some link between “Okinawa” and “Brazil.”

When they remembered sweets using the powdered tapioca that they used to eat in Brazil, they decided.  “Alright!  We have to make one using the powdered tapioca!”
They reproduced the flavor of Brazil, which is how Tapioka Sand started.

In Brazil, the tapioca is mostly eaten as sweets.  The most popular one is a crepe-like wrap with sweet, fragrant coconut sauce inside.  The wife, Akiko San, who enjoyed the Tapioka Crepe, said “Wouldn’t it be also delicious if we prepare like these?” and suggested the following menu items.   

Then they established their own sandwich styles by sandwiching vegetables and cheese.  There are a staple menu item like “Basil & Cheese”, “Olive & Anchovy”, “Chickenpea Paste & Seasonal Vegetable”, etc.

Add water and salt to the powdered tapioca, mix it well, filter the mixture to remove anything insoluble, and scoop the batter onto a heated frying pan without adding oil.
Soon, the heated batter will be connected to each other and spread like a crepe.

Put Akiko San’s original special basil sauce and cheese on it.

Especially “Basil & Cheese” is very popular among children.
A unique batter that has a crispy outside surface and a glutinous  inner surface contains hot, melting cheese and fresh fragrant basil.
How can it be not delicious!

I would highly recommend “Chickpea Paste and Seasonal Vegetable Sandwich”, which increases your appetite with their distinctive smell of fresh, seasonal vegetable and cumin.  

The Lima Family created a champru food of Okinawa and Brazil.
A new ‘Okinwan Soul Food’, “LIMA TAPIOKA SAND” was born!
Personally I think this is quite an event.

When people try it, everybody shows a happy face because it is too delicious.
Three years has already passed since I was hooked by the taste.

Lima Tapioka Sand Shop keeps making the sandwiches in a laidback island time.  They sell their products in local events as well as in front of Gajumaru Garden along the Ukishima-dori Street in Naha twice a month.

I have been so crazy about the Tapioka Sand that I always check their schedule for sale when I go out to Naha.   

They can offer tailgate sell upon request.  A happy, green vehicle, Tapioka Sand Go will deliver the delicious Tapioka Sand everywhere in Okinawa.

If you would like to try it, please visit Gajumaru Garden in Naha first.

Lima Tapioka Sand Shop

Date for Sale: The 2nd and the 4th Friday of every month (For this month, January 9 and 23)
Place for Sale: Eco Shop Gajumaru Garden
Address: 1-7 Tsuboya, Naha City
TEL: 090-7272-3875

Okinawa CLIP Photo Writer  monobox (Tetsumasa & Kozue Kono)