I just finished reading an excellent article in Saveur about Okinawan cuisine. The author took several cooking classes focused on the most popular Okinawan dishes, one of these Goya Champuru (bitter melon and tofu stir fry with pork belly and eggs). I would love to try this dish before attempting to create a version of it… does anyone know if one could find it somewhere in the Boston area?
Does New York, maybe next year, count?
it’s too bad that even NYC doesn’t seem to have an Okinawan restaurant. That’s a niche I wish somebody would fill.
I think the problem is unfamiliarity. Most of the public knows Japanese as sushi places. Izakaya, ramen are next. When you get to Okinawan, even a population as large, diverse and knowledgeable as NYers may have a hard time understanding and appreciating a lesser known regional cuisine. The best bet is probably finding a chef who came from that prefecture and see if he/she is willing to make the dish off-menu. An example would be the sushi restaurant in Salt Lake City I mentioned in the other thread- you wouldn’t expect to find Okinawan in SLC, but there it was. They had Okinawan noodles and 1 or 2 other Okinawan dishes on the menu because the chef was from Okinawa, and in my opinion, significantly better than the sushi that they were known for.
It makes me wonder - this article was a nicely researched, experienced, and written travel piece that realllllly turned me on to the cuisine… soooooo, do articles like this drive demand? Because I did not realize there was a dearth of outlets that had a focus on Okinawan cuisine. I simply thought, “oh, I must be unannointed…” while still having a hot desire to try this dish. Is it the next new thing??? I could only hope! Thank you for your replies!