Shiso leaf, also known as beefsteak plant, or Perilla frutescens, is part of the mint family, Lamiaceae. Green shiso is commonly referred to as oba in Japan. This fragrant herb is typically used with sashimi or tempura. It has grown to compliment numerous dishes across cuisines, from salads and sauces to meats and pastas.
The clear blue waters of Okinawa produce some of the richest sea salt in the world. Prevalent coral reef life provide sea water minerals that are highly valued in the islanders' diet. Many types of Okinawan sea salts are mild flavoured compared with other sea salts around the world, making them well-liked in hot dishes, desserts, snacks, and beverages.
By consuming naturally grown coral powder made from weathered reef coral that has died, we rely less on artificial materials. It is found that human absorption of minerals is improved when you ingest the nutrients contained in whole living beings rather than as separate minerals. Calcium carbonate is the main component making up 34%-85% of coral powder.
Okinawan brown sugar is processed from sugarcane grown in fields receiving strong sunlight, and salt minerals from the sea spray. It differs from conventional brown sugars that are made by adding molasses to refined white sugar in that Okinawa’s production process retains the sugarcane rich content with a lower glycemic index.
Turmeric is a pungent, bitter and astringent spice that is part of the ginger family. There exists many varieties, four of which are grown in Okinawa - spring (or wild), autumn (or yellow), black, and white. Turmeric is widely consumed in Okinawa in beverages, snacks, condiments, dishes, and more.
Shikuwasa citrus fruit is different from lime and kalamansi. The entire fruit, pulp and skin, is used in a variety of products from food to cosmetics and aromatherapy oils. It is grown only in Okinawa and Taiwan. The majority is grown in Ogimi village, Okinawa, where according to data from the World Health Organisation, we find the highest concentration of centenarians.