Okinawan Soki Soba, Kadena AFB
My S.O. remembers having wonderful soki soba insde the air terminal at Kadena AFB when he was there and I'd love to make him some. He thinks the meat was beef but I find in most recipes it is pork.
Can anyone help me here?
"Soki" are actually pork spare ribs. Traditional Okinawa soba is always made with pork (stock is pork/bonito, toppings are pork, with sliced fish cake), but if the restaurant was on base, I suppose it's possible they may have used beef to appeal to Americans. I doubt you'll find a receipe that calls for it, though.
If spare ribs don't sound familiar to him, he may have had it with sliced pork belly.
No buckwheat in Okinawa soba, wheat only. If you live in an area that has Japanese markets, especially the larger supermarkets like Mitsuwa or Marukai, they will likely have Okinawa soba, either dried or with the refrigerated noodles.
I haven't tried to make soba myself, but we made rafute (Okinawan stewed pork belly) from a recipe in a later version of this book (the article's from 2000), and it came out really well, so you might give their recipe a try. You could substitute soki in. I would suggest that where it calls for sugar, use brown sugar (ideally, molasses sugar). That's typically what's used in Okinawa, and it adds a nicer depth of flavor. Also, it doesn't call for beni shoga as a topping, but a few pieces on top of the green onions is traditional (and good!).