PRODUCER SPOTLIGHT: Ishiwata Shoten - 3 reasons why this is the first real oyster sauce you've ever tasted

  • 2 min read

Ever wonder why regular oyster sauces taste more like sugary syrup than actual oysters? Ishiwata Shoten's Milky Oyster Sauce is made from plump whole oysters harvested in the spring off the coast of Kesennuma Bay. It has a noticeable oyster flavor that distinguished it from other oyster sauces and here's why:

The perfect breeding ground for the tastiest oysters

Tucked away in the northeastern Tōhoku region (東北地方, Tōhoku-chihō) of Honshu lies Kesennuma Bay, one of the largest fishing ports in the region.

Kesennuma Bay in Miyagi prefecture Japan

A combination of fresh and seawater flows into this picturesque coastline, creating the perfect breeding ground for some of Japan's juiciest and plumpest oysters.

The Bay benefits from the warm north-flowing Kuroshio currents combining with the subarctic south-flowing Oyashio currents, as well as rainwater from the nearby forests drawing phytoplankton-rich nutrients from the soil, to create the ideal environment for oysters to thrive.

Ishiwata Shoten oyster harvesting

Spring harvesting when oysters are at their plumpest 

Ishiwata Shoten has been harvesting oysters in Kesennuma Bay for over 60 years, leveraging the in-depth knowledge and expertise of local fishermen.

They harvest between March and late May (instead of the typical winter season), as this is just before spawning season, when the oysters are at the plumpest.

This is what gives them their deep rich flavor and the reason they're called the "milk of the sea".

Only the highest quality oysters are chosen, which means once they're sold out, you have to wait an entire season for the next batch. 

Ishiwata Shoten oyster harvesting

Made without preservatives using the whole oyster (not just the broth)

Unlike most oyster sauces that use the boiled broth of the oyster as their main ingredient, Ishiwata Shoten uses the whole actual oyster and does not add any chemical preservatives.

This means that their oyster sauce maintains a distinct and delicious oyster flavor and savory umami taste.

They also believe in full transparency and provide customer access to each of their ingredients.

Ishiwata Shoten premium Milky Oyster Sauce

The thick and full-bodied taste of Ishiwata Shoten's oyster sauce is something you won't soon forget and is a great addition to any type of cuisine or cooking style.

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