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A Food Guide to Ishigaki Okinawa | Japan

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I had the time of my life eating Okinawan food in Ishigaki, some of which are completely unique to this sun filled island. Ishigaki beef, Ishigaki pineapple, purple sweet potato and sea grapes 'umibudo', just to name a few, are all must eats of Ishigaki in Okinawa. You'll be hooked once you try Okinawan food, which is distinctly different to Japanese food on the mainland.

If you are planning a holiday to Ishigaki, these are the Island's must tries:

1) Ishigaki Beef
Whether you have it as a burger, a steak, yakiniku beef bbq, beef curry or croquettes, it is an absolute must. Ishigaki have their own wagyu black cows, and it just tastes phenomenal. They have the perfect buttery fatness to tender meat ratio and a full on beef flavour.


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Ishigaki-Okinawa-Japan-Must-Eats-ishigaki-beef
Ishigaki-Okinawa-Japan-Must-Eats-ishigaki-beef
Ishigaki-Okinawa-Japan-Must-Eats-ishigaki-beef
Ishigaki-Okinawa-Japan-Must-Eats-ishigaki-beef
Ishigaki-Okinawa-Japan-Must-Eats-ishigaki-beef

2) Purple Sweet Potato
Purple sweet potato croquette is an absolute winner. This type of sweet potato is also a speciality of the island and it is insanely good. It is the most intensely purple, purple sweet potato I've ever seen. Purple sweet potato mash in a salad was just as delicious and we even found a limited edition Japanese KitKat!

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Ishigaki-Okinawa-Japan-Must-Eats-purple-sweet-potato-3
Ishigaki-Okinawa-Japan-Must-Eats-purple-sweet-potato-3

3) Ishigaki Pineapple
Ishigaki produce their own delicious and super sweet pineapples, and it was so refreshing as a drink. Okinawa lime drink is also a hit. Our hotel had pineapple on the menu in all of it's restaurants.

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Ishigaki-Okinawa-Japan-Must-Eats-pineapple

4) Umibudo Sea Grapes 
I found these little sea wonders absolutely irresistible. Salty sea grapes dipped in black vinegar is the perfect texture of popping saltiness, cut through with the acidic vinegar. This is the Japanese version of salt n vinegar and it is incredible. It also works perfectly in a salad with seaweed too.

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Ishigaki-Okinawa-Japan-Must-Eats-umibudo-sea-grapes
Ishigaki-Okinawa-Japan-Must-Eats-umibudo-sea-grapes

5) Mozuku seaweed tempura
Mozuku is a brown type of seaweed and it is an Okinawan super food. Served in tempura style, this is a unique local dish to Okinawa.

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6) Okinawa Soba/Okinawa Pork
I fell in love with Okinawa soba back in 2013 when we went to Miyako island (also a part of Okinawa) for our honeymoon. The soba is more like a cross between udon and egg noodles and usually comes with braised pork belly or pork ribs. The braised pork sometimes comes with rice instead of soba.

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Ishigaki-Okinawa-Japan-Must-Eats-Okinawa-soba
Ishigaki-Okinawa-Japan-Must-Eats-Okinawa-soba

7) Okinawa Ice Cream
Salt ice cream at Yukishio is a thing in Okinawa which I experienced the first time in 2013 on my honeymoon. Fast forward to 2019, it’s even better than I remembered. Topped with brown sugar cane and kinako powder, it's the perfect sweet n salty balance.

Another famous ice cream parlour on Ishigaki is Mirumiru Hompo Honten and their choices of flavours are insane. I only wish I had room to try it all! I went for milk flavour, brown sugar cane, purple sweet potato and tofu. The max value supermarket offers an even more exceptional amount of frozen treats. Really enjoyed this Hokkaido milk ice cream lolly with an intense milk flavour (a bit like condensed milk and milk powder all in one).

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Ishigaki-Okinawa-Japan-Must-Eats-okinawa-ice-cream
Ishigaki-Okinawa-Japan-Must-Eats-okinawa-ice-cream
Ishigaki-Okinawa-Japan-Must-Eats-okinawa-ice-cream

If you find yourself in Ishigaki, don't forget this Food Guide to Ishigaki Okinawa, Japan!


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