Nov 19

Posted by Benjamin Martin, a 5th year JET in Okinawa, publisher of the blog and author of the YA fantasy novel Samurai Awakening (Tuttle).
A bowl of Fried Rice

Chahan is an Okinawan take on fried rice. Like many Okinawan dishes it is heavily influenced by Chinese cuisine.  Like Chanpuru, a similar category of Okinawa cuisine, Chahan’s basic flavor comes from a combination of soy, garlic, and dashi.  Since there are many ways to make or buy dashi, the final flavor of the dish, and the ease of its recipe can be changed depending on your approach.  Modern Chahan also often has an American influence in the addition of spam.  Below is a modern, yet quick take on this Okinawan dish.  It is by far my most popular post on  I hope you enjoy my take on a classic Okinawan favorite.


  • 3 servings cooked white rice
  • 1 piman (green pepper)
  • 1 tamanegi (onion)
  • 1 package frozen vegetables
  • 2 large eggs
  • 170g meat (sausage, pork, chicken, spam, whatever)
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil or no-stick cooking spray


  • 1/4 tsp ginger
  • 2 tsp hachimitsu (honey)
  • 1 pkt dashi (5g)
  • 1 tbsp powdered or minced garlic
  • 4 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp sake (cooking, mirin, awamori, nihonshu, etc)
For directions and a video showing the creation of the recipe, visit

3 comments so far...

  • leesean Said on November 19th, 2012 at 6:56 pm:

    Wow, the honey was unexpected. I’ll have to try it soon.

  • Leah Said on November 20th, 2012 at 8:51 pm:

    Forgive me if I’ve misunderstood, but is this a specifically Okinawan style of chaahan? チャーハン just refers to any type of fried rice–it’s eaten all over Japan, and there’s Hokuriku style, Kinki style, 中華 style…

  • morethingsjapanese Said on November 20th, 2012 at 9:23 pm:

    This recipe is based off of what I’ve eaten on small outer islands in Okinawa prefecture, but is an original creation. It’s true there are a lot of fried rices out there. The fact Chahan is written in Katakana implies it is a loan-word, and while I’m not an expert, I believe it comes from China. I haven’t traced the path of Japanese fried rices, but with Okinawa’s long history and close proximity to China, I think the Okinawan version is likely closer to Chinese than mainland chahans. Likely, you can find all kinds of variations of any food no matter where you go, that’s one of the joys of traveling!

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