[NEW] FOODS THAT PAIR WITH ALCOHOL: “Otsumami” Care Package

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Otsumami are a selection of foods in Japan that are meant to accompany alcoholic beverages and open one’s palette to the meal to come. With an infinite array to choose from, the bite-sized snacks vary in their flavors, how they're prepared (raw, cooked, deep fried, pickled, smoked or preserved), how they're served (from hot to cold) and the alcohol they pair with.

We encourage you to try the suggested pairings provided by our sake, wine and beer experts included in our English brochure or discover your own favorite combinations as you explore the wide ranging flavors and textures of otsumami.

Kanpai! ("Cheers" in Japanese)

IBURIGAKKO/SMOKED TAKUAN (PICKLED DAIKON RADISH) (いぶりがっこ)
Producer:Yumekikaku
Prefecture:Akita
Ingredients:Dried daikon radish, sugar, rice bran, salt
Size: 80g
Suggested uses:Enjoy as is or as commonly eaten topped with a dollop of cream cheese on top. Can also be used instead of pickles in sandwiches or hamburgers, or chopped up and mixed into mashed potatoes.

Pickled foods, known as tsukemono, are an integral part of Japanese cuisine. Made from local ingredients, they’re served alongside almost every meal or enjoyed as a snack. Iburigakko are a special tsukemono made from Japanese daikon radish and have a noticeable smokey flavor.

Yumekikaku was founded by Sudo Kentaro when he was 60 years old with the dream of recapturing the original taste of hearth-smoked takuan. Made the traditional way, harvested daikon is smoked for up to two days over wooden fires and then soaked with rice bran for over 100 days. The resulting pickles are lovingly called “golden storehouse”.

SANSHO TERIYAKI SARDINE JERKY(テリヤキ ジャーキー いわし 山椒)
Producer:Hiramatsu Foods
Prefecture:Aichi
Ingredients:Sardine (domestic), sugar, soy sauce (includes soy and wheat), starch syrup, glucose, hon (true) mirin, starch, Sichuan pepper, sansho pepper, ginger
Size:40g
Suggested uses:Enjoy as is, as a topping on salads, oras a topping for ochazuke (rice bowl steeped in tea). Can also be chopped into small pieces, mixed with cream cheese and used as a spread on bread or crackers.

Jerky is a quintessential otsumami and is typically made from seafood in Japan. This sweet and spicy Sansho Teriyaki Sardine Jerky begins with domestically caught sardines which are combined with a traditional teriyaki sauce and another quintessential Japanese seasoning: sansho. Sansho, also known as “Japanese peppercorn”, are similar to Szechuan peppercorns but with a noticeable citrus flavor and strong spice. 

Using skills inherited in their over 100 years in business, Hiramatsu Foods’ mission is to bring traditional Japanese food culture to the world by using quality domestic ingredients. The process to make their tsukudani (foods simmered in a sweet and savory sauce) takes three days to complete, allowing for the deep, umami-rich flavors to develop. 

SMOKED MENTAIKO (COD ROE)(スモーク明太子)
Producer:Minato Suisan
Prefecture:Miyagi
Ingredients:Cod roe, salt, sugar,  fish sauce, mirin, shredded bonito shaving, kelp, chili peppers 
Size:20g
Suggested uses and pairings: Enjoy as is, with rice, as a filling for onigiri (rice ball), as a topping for ochazuke (rice bowl steeped in tea), or on bread or crackers.

Mentaiko consists of whole Alaskan pollock/cod roe sacs which is cured with salt and marinated in various seasonings and spices. It is not overly fishy in flavor yet is rich in umami. This unique mentaiko is lightly smoked using sakura (cherry blossom) chips to add an extra depth of flavor.

To create this artisanal product, Minato Suisan begins with carefully selected ingredients and instead of using machinery, they take the time and effort to pickle their cod roe by hand which results in a rich and uniform flavor.

SMOKED ISLAND TOFU (スモーク島どうふ)

Producer:Shokuno Kakehashi Company
Prefecture:Okinawa
Ingredients:Tofu (made in Okinawa), miso, rice koji, rice, sugar, kelp extract, nigari (bittern/salt) (includes soy)
Size: 100g
Suggested uses:Use as a substitute for cheese. Enjoy as is, sliced on bread/crackers, drizzled with olive oil and pepper, or in salads (such as a caprese salad).

Shimadofu, or island tofu, is a local tofu from Okinawa, Japan’s southernmost tropical islands. This regional specialty has a firmer texture compared to regular tofu and more protein.

This unique version of shimadofu is made by slowly aging tofu with koji (a fermenting microorganism) then smoking it with cherry wood chips. The result looks and tastes like smoked cheese but with less fat and a flavor that deepens over time. The outside is smoky and fragrant, while the inside is moist and rich. A rare find even in Japan!

By creating inventive foods made from local domestic ingredients unique to Okinawa, our producer, Shokuno Kakehashi, shares their strong commitment to supporting Japan's agriculture, forestry and fisheries.

CRUNCHY BAKED KONBU (KELP)(パリポリ昆布)
Producer:Hokkaido Hinode Shokuhin
Prefecture:Hokkaido
Ingredients:Konbu (kelp from Hokkaido), sugar, konbu soy sauce (includes wheat and soy), vinegar, konbu dashi, katsuo (bonito) dashi, shiitake dashi, yeast extract, salt
Size:25g
Suggested uses and pairings: Enjoy as is.

Hokkaido, Japan’s northernmost main island, is renowned for its seafood and seaweed, including some of the world’s best konbu (kelp). 90% of Japan’s konbu is harvested in Hokkaido and although it’s most often used for making umami-rich dashi (broth), here it’s been reinvented into a delicious and crunchy snack.

Hokkaido Hinode Shokuhin uses locally harvested konbu and seasons it with their original broth made of soy sauce mixed with a konbu, dried bonito and shiitake dashi, before grilling it to add extra aroma, crunch and flavor.

FRIED BROWN RICE MOCHI OKAKI (SWEET SOY SAUCE)(玄米餅を米油で揚げたおかき <甘醤油>)
Producer:Seijibe
Prefecture:Chiba
Ingredients:Glutinous brown rice, rice oil, tamari soy sauce, mirin, kibi sugar, konbu (kelp) powder
Size: 70g
Suggested uses: Enjoy as is.

Okaki, a type of Japanese rice cracker, is made from glutinous rice, or more specifically mochi (a traditional Japanese sticky rice cake). These okaki are flavored with tamari soy sauce, mirin, kibizato (a type of Japanese brown sugar with a hint of molasses) and konbu to create a sweet and savory crunchy snack full of umami.

A 5th generation rice farm, Seijibe grows naturally cultivated rice in Kouzakimachi, the village of fermentation located along the Tone River in northeastern Chiba Prefecture, without the use of pesticides or fertilizers.

DASHIP (SALT FLAVORED SOY CHIPS)(だしップス)
Producer:Mica Corporation
Prefecture:Shizuoka
Ingredients:Wheat, raw sugar, vegetable oil, soy pulp powder, dried mackerel shavings, dried bonito shavings, salt, baking soda
Size: 50g
Suggested uses: Enjoy as is.

These daships are a type of Japanese chip made from okara, the leftover pulp from soybeans which have been filtered to make tofu and soy milk. These unique chips combine the nutritional elements of okara with wheat, an umami rich dashi (broth) made from mackerel and bonito powder produced in Numazu, Shizuoka, and a hint of sweetness, which is then lightly fried in non-GMO rapeseed oil.

Yamahira Suisan, part of Mica Corporation, was established in 1946 as a fishery near the port of Numazu on the eastern side of Shizuoka Prefecture and has been making dashi for 70 years from the abundant fish caught in Suruga Bay. In 2006, the owner, a dashi sommelier, was awarded the Medal with Yellow Ribbon for his knowledge and expertise.

 

DISCLAIMER: We provide ingredients and common allergens based on the packaging as a reference only. Please consume with caution based on your own individual health concerns as we cannot guarantee the presence or lack of certain ingredients, allergens and/or animal products.

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