VIDEO: Okinawa Kitchen: Chinnuku Jyushii a winter treat

VIDEO: Okinawa Kitchen: Chinnuku Jyushii a winter treat

by Shoji Kudaka
Stripes Okinawa

If you live on Okinawa, you might have seen a seasoned rice dish called “jyushii.” This Okinawan dish is similar to mainland Japan’s takikomi gohan but features ingredients like fuuchiibaa (artemisia) and chiribira (Chinese chive).

Jyushii is readily available in supermarket bento boxes and convenience store onigiri rice balls, but it also is a staple dish for the obon period in Okinawa. During obon in August, unkee jyushii is served along with other dishes and items used to welcome our ancestors’ spirits.

 

You’ll find jyushii is a very common dish on the island and though it is easily found at the store, cooking jyushii at home is pretty common and easy to do.

Depending on how you cook it, you’ll have a porridge-like version called “boro boro jyushii,” or if it has a steamed rice texture, it’s “kufa jyushii.”

During the winter season, chinnuku jyushii, a version of the dish with taro is served. On winter solstice or “Tunjii,” the dish is called Tunjii jyushii.


Taro

For the 2022 winter solstice on Dec. 22, I tried my hand at cooking up some chinnuku jyushii to mark the seasonal transition.

To prepare the dish, peeling the taro root skin took some time and effort. Wiping my hands of the taro’s gooey texture was a little annoying, but it was worth it because the recipe turned surprisingly well. Not really a fan of jyushii, I still couldn’t stop eating the seasoned rice.

Taro may be something you don’t eat very often, but in Okinawa you’ll find this striped root vegetable at farmer’s markets, especially in the autumn and winter months. It is also noteworthy that “chinnuku” is low-calorie food rich in fiber and kalium, which can help improve your digestion and blood circulation.

So, enjoy this healthy way to keep warm and enjoy the season on Okinawa!

Ingredients

Rice (400 cc)

Pork belly (150 g)

Taro (200 g, net)

Carrot (40 – 50 g)

Dried Shiitake Mushroom (2 pieces)

Bonito Broth (600 cc)

Salt (7.5 cc)

Soy Sauce (25 cc)

Recipe

1. Boil the pork belly for 20 to 25 minutes.

2. Cook dashi (Japanese soup stock) by boiling bonito flakes in hot water. Remove the flakes by pour the broth through a strainer.  

3. Rinse rice with water and put it in a bowl/basket.

4. take the skin off the taros.

5. Cut off stems from shiitake mushrooms and slice them into cubes with 5 mm sides (Make sure you rehydrate the dried shiitake mushroom before slicing it).

6. Likewise, slice a carrot into cubes with 5 mm sides.

7. Do the same with the boiled pork belly.

8. Chop taro into the size of your choice.

9. Boil the taros until they soften.

10. Put the ingredients in a pot and add bonito broth, salt, and soy sauce. 

11. Heat the mixture over medium heat for 5 minutes, over low heat for 4 minutes, and over high heat for 10 seconds.

12. Stop heating and let it sit for 10 minutes.

13. Serve it up in bowls and “召し上がれ (Bon appetite)!”

 

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