GARDENA — Calling all grandparents, parents, and aunts/uncles: Bring the kids in your life to learn about Okinawan culture and food.

On Saturday, Nov. 14, at 11 a.m., the Okinawa Association of America (OAA) is offering a food tasting/prepping event for kids (ages 8 to 13 recommended). Participants will be introduced to rafute, an Okinawan-style braised pork belly that is commonly found in Okinawan cuisine. They will use the pre-cooked rafute to make and eat onigiri (rice balls).

Kristi Nakashima
Kristi Nakashima

The goal of this event (and future events like it) is to expose younger generations to traditional Okinawan foods, especially since Okinawan dishes are not available in the majority of local restaurants.

Kristi Nakashima, a food blogger ( and past OAA high school scholarship recipient, will lead with assistance from OAA members.

RSVP is required due to limited space/ingredients, so contact the OAA at (310) 532-1929 or to reserve your spot (deadline: Nov. 13). Admission is $5 for OAA members (one child and guardian) and $10 for non-members (fees will cover the cost of ingredients and go toward future educational/cultural events). Parent/guardian attendance is required.

The OAA is located at 16500 S. Western Ave. in Gardena.

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