Chef Sato’s Okinawan Ohagi Is So Ono

Grant Sato is a chef-instructor and an important part of the culinary world in Hawaii. He is lead instructor of Kapiolani Community College’s Culinary Arts Program and has taught many of our up-and-coming chefs.

He has a new cookbook out, An Okinawan Kitchen, with great recipes passed down from his grandmother. When he joined the kitchen at Cooking Hawaiian Style, he made Grandma’s sweet potato ohagi. I have never had it this fresh before, and it is something worth trying! This buggah is ono.


Image 1 of 2



* 1 1/2 cups glutinous rice (mochi rice)
* 1/2 cup Calrose rice
* 3 cups water
* 1 tablespoon green tea powder (matcha)
* 3 tablespoons sugar
* 2 medium-sized Okinawan sweet potatoes
* 1 can coarse-ground sweet red bean paste (tsubushi an)

1) Combine the rice in a bowl and wash thoroughly, making sure to drain out all the water. Allow the rice to sit for three hours.

2) Place washed rice and 3 cups of water in a rice cooker and cook as you would regularly.

3) Place sweet potatoes in a steamer and steam for 40 minutes. You could steam the rice, as well, instead of cooking it in a rice cooker. Just make sure to place the rice on a layer above the potatoes to ensure the rice will not be discolored by falling purple liquid.

4) Once the rice is cooked, add in the matcha and sugar, and stir well until combined. Allow the rice to cool to room temperature and then form it into 12 egg-shaped bullets.

5) Mash the cooked sweet potato and mix in the tsubushi an.

6) Place a 1-square-foot piece of plastic wrap on a plate and put 1/2 cup sweet potato mixture in the center.

7) Spread out sweet potato mixture into an oval about 1/4-inch thick and put the rice bullet in the center.

8) Carefully lift up the edges of the plastic wrap and mold sweet potato mixture around the rice bullet evenly to form the ohagi.

Watch chef-instructor GrantSato on Cooking Hawaiian Style on OC16 channels 12 and 1012. Visit for more healthy and affordable recipes.