Okinawa champon (沖縄 ちゃんぽん)

    Okinawa champon with spoon below

    There are many dishes unique to Okinawa at restaurants in Okinawa, and one of them is “Okinawa Champon.” When most people hear the word champon, they imagine a noodle dish with a milky white soup, chewy medium-thick noodles, and plenty of toppings, but Okinawa’s champon is not a noodle dish, but a rice dish. Speaking of Okinawan cuisine, Soki Soba and Goya Champuru are probably famous.

    What is Okinawa champon?

    Okinawa champon on pot

    In Okinawa Prefecture, Okinawa champon (沖縄ちゃんぽん) is a regional dish where locals stir-fry various ingredients, mix them with eggs, and then serve them over rice. In Okinawa, the rice dish Champon surpasses the popularity of the noodle version and is regularly available at convenience stores. Similar to a Chinese rice bowl, it features stir-fried vegetables atop rice, but it’s served on a flat plate and eaten with a spoon, akin to taco rice.

    The preparation method for Okinawa Champon varies among establishments, but generally involves adding bite-sized vegetables like cabbage, onions, carrots, bean sprouts, and chives to pork luncheon meat or corned beef. These ingredients are then stir-fried and seasoned with salt, pepper, and dashi stock.

    Okinawa champon History

    Okinawa champon on black plate

    The birthplace of Okinawa Champon is a shop located along National Route 58, between Kumoji and Matsuyama intersection. The shop’s exterior is typical, with bright signboards, and it’s mainly frequented by locals. It doesn’t have the modern restaurant vibe; instead, it’s lit with fluorescent lights and has simple tables, giving it that classic Okinawan restaurant feel. Surprisingly, unlike the typical image of champon with noodles, this restaurant serves champon with rice. They top white rice with a mix of vegetables, coarsely ground corned beef, and stir-fried eggs, offering a wide variety of veggies. It’s a well-known Okinawan specialty with a long history. When you taste it, the egg holds everything together beautifully. The seasoning is simple and soft, with a hint of sweet miso adding depth. It’s a dish you could enjoy every day.

    What is the appeal of Okinawan restaurants? 

    Ingredients prepared Okinawa champon

    The appeal of Okinawan restaurants is that they are reasonably priced and voluminous. You can enjoy a wide variety of menus at low prices, including Okinawan home-cooked dishes such as Champuru and Okinawa Soba, as well as hearty tonkatsu and curry. Also, since we have a variety of customers such as students, couples, and individuals, one of our attractions is that we have a relaxing atmosphere that everyone can enjoy. Most of the restaurants have tatami rooms, so people with small children can enjoy their meals without hesitation. Local people and local grandmothers make the food in the cafeteria, and it is a true taste of Okinawa.

    Other unique Champon dishes from Japan

    Okinawan Champon, a rice dish, is an extreme example, but Champon (noodle dishes) with unique ingredients and manufacturing methods exist all over the country. 

    Takanezawa Champon (Tochigi Prefecture)

    other champon dishes

    Takanezawa Champon is a local gourmet dish from Takanezawa Town, located almost in the center of Tochigi Prefecture. The green soup made with komatsuna paste has a healthy and gentle taste. Plenty of vegetables such as edamame are placed on top of the noodles, vividly expressing the rural scenery of Takanezawa.

    Tobata Champon (Fukuoka Prefecture)

    other champon dishes

    Tobata Champon, which is popular mainly in Tobata Ward, Kitakyushu City, is characterized by the use of thin steamed noodles that have a chewy texture and a light taste. The smooth noodles mix well with the rich pork bone soup, creating a unique taste.

    Amagasaki’s “Ankake” Champon (Hyogo Prefecture)

    other champon dishes

    Amagasaki’s Champon is popular by the filling topped with a thick bean paste. The people who introduced Champon to Amagasaki were people who came to Amagasaki from Kyushu for group employment during the period of high economic growth.

    Okinawa champon FAQ

    Is Okinawa Champon similar to Nagasaki Champon?

    Many people may think of “Nagasaki Champon” when comparing Okinawa Champon. Nagasaki Champon has thicker noodles than traditional ramen, which are boiled and served with broth and vegetables, creating a hearty and satisfying meal. However, in Okinawa, it’s a rice bowl with stir-fried vegetables covered in egg on top of rice and has a sweet taste similar to oyakodon.

    Is Okinawa Champon typically served with any accompaniments or side dishes?

    Locals served this with a variety of accompaniments or side dishes depending on personal preference and the establishment. Common side dishes might include pickled vegetables such as takuan (pickled daikon radish) or gari (pickled ginger), as well as a bowl of miso soup or a simple salad. Some eateries might also offer additional toppings or condiments like chili oil or shredded nori seaweed.

    Okinawa champon Recipe

    ingredients of okinawa champon

    Okinawa champon Ingredients

    Ingredients for 2 personsMeasurements
    Corned beef100g
    Carrot 40g
    Onion 20g
    Cabbage 60g
    Egg 69g
    Warm rice400g
    Sweet sake 14g
    Soy sauce 14g
    Black pepper3g

    How to make Okinawa champon?

    Cut all ingredients

    Slice the carrots into thin strips, and cut the onions into wedges 6 to 8 mm wide. Cut the cabbage into bite-sized pieces.

    Sauté carrots, onions, and corned beef

    Heat the salad oil in a frying pan over medium heat, add the corned beef and stir-fry. Add carrots and onions and stir-fry until softened, then add cabbage and stir-fry quickly.

    Add seasonings and serve on rice

    Add all the seasonings and stir-fry. Beat the eggs and stir in. Cover with a lid and simmer over low heat until the eggs are half-cooked. Place the rice in a bowl and put it on top.

    In addition to corned beef, luncheon meat, tuna, fish sausage, bacon, etc. also go well. as you like.

    Where to buy Okinawa champon?

    Yanbaru Restaurant (奥やんばる食堂)

    okinawa champon from Yanbaru Restaurant

    This is a restaurant open 24 hours. The menu is so extensive that you will be spoiled for choice. They sell their Champon for 470 yen.The ingredients are cabbage, bean sprouts, carrots, onions, eggs, corned beef hash. Many restaurants use corned beef hash instead of pork.

    Address: 1280-1 Oku, Kunigami, Kunigami District, Okinawa 905-1501, Japan
    Phone number: 09-8041-8933
    Hours open: 24 hours open

    Mikasa (お食事処 三笠 松山店)

    okinawa champon from Mikasa

    Mikasa, located along National Route 58 in Matsuyama, Naha City. The ingredients for Champon vary depending on the store, but here at Mikasa it’s quite different. Stir-fry minced meat and onions and cover with egg. simple. It’s like breaking an omelet and putting it on rice. Their champon costs 500 yen.

    Address: Miyagi Apartment 1F, 1-12-20 Matsuyama, Naha City, Okinawa Prefecture
    Phone number: 098-868-7469
    Hours open: [Monday – Wednesday] 9:00 – 21:30 (LO 21:00) [Friday, Saturday, Sunday] 9:00 – 22:00 (LO 21:30) open on Sundays


    okinawa champon on white plate

    If you find yourself in Japan, make sure to try Okinawa Champon! This hearty noodle dish, with its flavorful broth, tender pork, and fresh vegetables, is a culinary delight that’s sure to leave you satisfied. Whether you’re exploring the bustling streets of Okinawa or wandering through the vibrant cities of mainland Japan, keep an eye out for this local specialty.

    Okinawa champon with spoon below

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