Last Friday, we hosted the next in our Decolonizing Our Diets dinner and discussion series, when the theme for the evening was "Finding Our Way Home: Journeys of Personal Decolonization." Speakers joined us to share stories of reconnection to their Okinawan heritage and how cultural foods, art, language, family, and community activism can help us overcome the legacy of colonization to reconnect us to ancestral abundance.


Our menu for the evening featured some delicious Okinawan favorites made using local ingredients from our farm partners:



Braised 2 Lady Farmers pork belly with Kako'o 'Oiwi ginger

  • 1 1/2 pounds belly pork
  • 1/2 cup awamori, sake or whiskey
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1-inch piece ginger, crushed
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup mirin

Cover pork with water in a large pot. Bring to a rolling boil, then simmer 10 minutes to remove excess fat. Drain and rinse pork; cut into 1/2-inch slices. Combine liquor, soy sauce and ginger in pot; bring to boil. Add pork slices in a single layer. Cover and simmer 1 hour, turning occasionally so both sides are evenly glazed with sauce. Combine sugar and mirin; stir into pot.  Cook, uncovered, 45 minutes or more, until pork is glazed and soft. Serves 8.


Kandaba Jushi

Rice porridge with Homestead Poi ho'i'o, Ho'oulu 'Aina sweet potato greens and mugwort

By Grant Sato and Dawn Mahi


  • 8 cups dashi
  • 2 cups day-old cooked rice
  • 2 slices ginger
  • 2 Tbs shoyu
  • 1 cup uala leaf, chopped
  • Handful mugwort
  • Handful ho'i'o
  • Handful ogo
  • 1/2 c. takuan

Bring broth to a boil, then add rice and ginger.  Stir well and cook until rice is soft and thickened - about 30 minutes.  Add shoyu and uala leaf and simmer, stirring, 3-5 minutes until wilted.  Serve in bowls garnished with ho'i'o, ogo, and takuan.


Braised Veggies with Gomae Dressing

Kahumana Farms carrot, muzina, and turnip with sesame seed dressing

By Grant Sato

  • 1 tbsp goma (sesame seeds)
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp miso
  • 2 tbsp dashi
  • 1 tsp rice wine vinegar
  • ½ tsp yuzu kosho (citrus pepper paste)
  • 1 tsp shoyu
  • ½ pound vegetables, blanched
  • 1 tsp toasted goma for garnish

Mix sesame seeds, sugar, miso, dashi, rice wine vinegar, and yuzu kosho.  Blanch your choice of mixed vegetables - we used mizuna, julienned eggplant, and julienned carrot.  Toss blanched vegetables in sesame seed dressing.


Ninjin Shirishiri

Kahumana Farms carrot and Mrs. Cheng's tofu stir-fry with Kolea Farm green onion

By Aiko Yamashiro

  • 1 block tofu, squeezed and crumbled
  • 1/2 bunch green onion, chopped
  • 1 large carrot, grated
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • Dash olive oil and salt

Heat wok and coat pan with oil.  Stir fry tofu and carrot.  Add egg and fold in gently with green onion.  Stir fry until cooked through.


Tumai Kuru

Sisou Farm Okinawan sweet potato, steamed

Steam, slice, and eat!


Yasei Namashi

Pickled Waialua bittermelon and Kahumana Farms cucumber salad with seaweed


  • 3 3/4 cups rice wine vinegar
  • 3 3/4 cups sugar
  • 10 tsp salt
  • 20 tsp grated ginger


  • 5 cups bittermelon, seeds removed and thinly sliced
  • 5 cups cucumber, thinly sliced
  • 5 cups jicama, julienned
  • 2 1/2 cups green papaya, sliced
  • 2 1/2 cups ho'i'o, chopped
  • 2 1/2 cups carrot, thinly sliced
  • 2 1/2 cups ogo or wakame, 1 inch pieces

Add vegetables to brine and let rest for at least 4 hours.


Coconut Nantu


Baked Mochi

By Mistee Uyehara and Grandma

  • 5 cups mochiko
  • 3 cups brown sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 12-oz can coconut milk
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • Black sesame seeds

Mix dry ingredients together.  Add liquids and mix well.  Batter should be soft and runny.  Pour in a 9x13 inch baking pan greased with shortening.  Sprinkle with sesame seeds.  Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes to 1 hour.  Leave overnight to set before cutting.