Origin: Okinawa, Japan
Key ingredients: Raw fish
Flavors: Light, subtle

Okinawa may be part of Japan, but 400 miles of open ocean lies between the island and the rest of the country. Because of the distance, Okinawan cuisine, also known as Ryukyuan cuisine, has had time to develop its own flavor and character apart from traditional mainland Japanese food. Tropical fruits are used abundantly, spices like turmeric show up more often, and kombu, an edible kelp, is used in many dishes.