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NOURISHING ESSENTIALS (April 2019) - Sakura Inspired

Sakura soba (buckwheat noodles) with soup
Sakura Soba (Buckwheat Noodles)
桜そば
(HONDA SHOTEN)

This limited-edition, seasonal soba is made the old fashion way by kneading domestic sukura leaves with the pure soba unique to Okuizumo, a region located in the southern part of Izumo that is famous for its soba. 

Long ago, iron making and charcoal burning was actively carried out in the mountainous area of Okuizumo. After cutting the nearby trees for fuel, soba was later grown on the land using slash-and-burn farming methods. It was thought that the iron and charcoal added to the nutritious and high-quality nature of the region's buckwheat. 

Today, the soba is still made using traditional flour milling methods. The freshly milled buckwheat flour is used within 3 days of being milled in order to produce the most sweet and delicious soba. The whole buckwheat is used to provide the most nutritional value while also producing a unique texture.

And because it is made without any preservatives or additives, this soba does not produce an odor when cooked (which is typical of other soba). 

Learn more about Honda Shoten's 100 years of soba making traditions in our Producer Spotlight.

Suggested use: Add noodles to 1 litre of boiling water for 3 mins. Drain and rise under cold water. serve hot or cold. Can be added to a hot broth/soup or served cold as is. Package does not need to be refrigerated.  
Ingredients: Flour, buckwheat, cherry leaves, salt, vegetable pigment
Nutritional information: N/A

Sakura matcha
Sakura Matcha
桜抹茶

(SEESCORE)

There is so much to love about matcha!

As one of the most sought after teas in the world, matcha has become synonymous with Japan, its culture and its cuisine. Its health benefits are numerous and its vivid bright green color is unmistakable.

This premium sakura matcha powder combines the delicate flavor of matcha with the floral taste of sakura leaves and has a scent that will remind you of spring. It can be enjoyed on its own as a tea or easily added into any recipe. 

Suggested use: Add one small tablespoon to 250ml of hot water or add to any recipe as required. 
Ingredients: Matcha (domestic), cherry blossom leaf (domestic), salt, citric acid 
Nutritional information: N/A

 Sakura (cherry blossom) salt
Sakura Salt
桜塩
(SEESCORE)

Add the seasonal flavors of spring to any dish with this sakura salt made from cherry blossoms and leaves. To make sakura carpaccio, combine the sakura salt with olive oil and lemon juice and use it as a sauce on white fish sashimi. Or sprinkle it on rice or tempura to add a wonderful burst of color. 

Suggested use: Use as a salt substitute. 
Ingredients: Salt, cherry blossom flower, cherry blossom leaf, yuzu, shiso (Japanese basil), plum vinegar
Nutritional information: N/A

Shirasu sakura furikake
Sakura Shirasu (Baby White Fish) Furikake
桜しらすふりかけ

(TAMAKIYA)

Furikake (振り掛け) is a unique, sweet and salty Japanese seasoning that has flavors from the sea. It's commonly used in Japan and is typically sprinkled on top of rice, vegetables, tofu and fish. 

There is no end to the different kinds of furikake that can be found in Japan. This furikake combines the gentle taste of shirasu (baby white fish) with double layered cherry blossom petals from Odawara and the sour tart taste of ume (plum), and is made without preservatives.

This uniquely refreshing and deep taste can be added to rice balls, pasta, tofu or fish. It can also be used as a substitute for salt. 

Learn about these pioneers of furikake and their 200 year old store in our Producer Spotlight.

Suggested use: Sprinkle on top of rice, pasta, vegetables, tofu or fish. Great substitute for salt.
Ingredients: White baby fish (shirashu), cherry blossom, plum, shiso (Japanese basil), sweet sake, fermented seasoning, dried bonito flakes, starch resolvent, vinegar, salt

Nutritional information: (Per package) Calories: 14kcal, Total Fat: 0.2g, Sodium: 1.0g, Total Carbohydrate: 0.5g, Protein: 2.5g

Sweet sakura amazake
Sakura Amazake
桜甘酒

(SEESCORE)

Amazake is a traditional sweet sake made from fermented rice that contains no alcohol and is natural sweetened from the rice. It's a favorite drink in Japan for both adults and children!

This amazake contains hints of sakura and can be enjoyed as is, served cold, warm or hot. You can also add it to any type of milk for extra richness. Our favorite and recommended way to enjoy it is as a guilt-free sorbet. Pour the contents into a bowl and put it in the freezer until frozen. Makes for the perfect dessert! 

Suggested use: Enjoyed as is: cold, warm or hot. Can be added to any type of milk for extra richness. As a guilt-free sorbet, pour the contents into a bowl and put it in the freezer until frozen.
Ingredients: Malted rice (domestic), rice (domestic), cherry blossom leaf, salt, vitamin C

Nutritional information: N/A

Salt pickled sakura
Salt Pickled Sakura / Sakura tea
桜の塩漬け / さくら茶

(Todaya)

Miyama, a remote, rural mountain area north of central Kyoto, has been called the Alps of Japan. It is here that beautiful double-flowered cherry trees known as "kanzan" or "sekiyama" (関山) bloom. The large yet brightly elegant blossoms of these trees make them ideal for salted pickled sakura.

These salted pickled sakura are picked by hand in April, and are pickled using only plum vinegar and salt. They have an exquisite floral flavor and are a versatile ingredient in Japanese cuisine.

One common way to enjoy these blossoms are as an aromatic tea. Served to special guests or at weddings, this tea is said to bring good fortune to those who drink it. Gently rinse off the excess salt under running water and put 2-3 flowers into a cup. Pour hot water over the flowers and watch them open up while releasing the flavor of sakura into your cup!

These blossoms can also be used in sangria, jellies or blended with rice. They make for a stunning edible decoration when baked into desserts. Just use your imagination!

Suggested use: As a tea: Gently rinse off the excess salt under running water and put 2-3 flowers into a cup. Pour hot water over the flowers and enjoy. Can also be used in sangria, jellies, baked into desserts or blended with rice.
Ingredients: Salt, cherry blossom flower, plum vinegar, vinegar
Nutritional information: N/A