The tiny islands that make up the tropical paradise of Okinawa are some of my favourite destinations in Japan. The pace of life, the weather, the beauty and of course the food make them a great place to visit. Okinawa is known for many things – the birthplace of karate; a unique fusion cuisine that blends southeast Asia, China, the US and Japan; and extremely high quality produce, from pork to bitter gourds to seaweeds. Two of its most famous exports are a rich, black sugar called kokutou and mineral-rich sea salts. Of course, if you can get those products from Okinawa, more’s the better, but otherwise any dark brown sugar and sea salt flakes will do.






Skill level

Average: 3.2 (122 votes)


  • 80 g lard or vegetable shortening
  • 60 g soft dark brown sugar
  • 150 g plain flour
  • 1 tsp sea salt flakes

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Heat your oven to 160°C. In a medium saucepan, heat the lard and brown sugar together over low heat until liquid and combined. Add the flour and mix to a soft dough. Roll the dough between two sheets of baking paper to around 1cm thick and cut into 8cm x 3cm batons (using a crinkle cutter if possible).

Transfer the biscuits to a baking sheet and scatter with sea salt, lightly pressing it into the top of the biscuit.

Bake for around 25 minutes until firm. Allow to cool before serving.



Recipe and image from The Zen Kitchen by Adam Liaw (Hachette Australia, $49.99 hbk).