NOURISHING ESSENTIALS (August 2024) - Fusion: Blending the Borders of Cuisines (フュージョン)

All Purpose Katsuo (Tuna) BBQ Spice Blend
All Purpose Katsuo (Tuna) BBQ Spice Blend
(万能 かつおスパイス)
Producer:Kanesa Katsuobushi Shouten
Prefecture: Shizuoka

High-quality hand-volcanic roasted and dried bonito flakes impart a subtly smokey umami flavor in this all-purpose spice blend, enhancing the charcoal flavor from the BBQ, while garlic and dried green onions add vegetal freshness and tang. Soy sauce and sesame seeds give this versatile seasoning a touch of Japanese flavor, making it a great way to get creative on your grill!

Kanesa Katsuobushi Shouten, founded in 1882, produces katsuobushi using a “hand volcanic roasting and drying” method that has been used for more than 300 years. Bonito (skipjack tuna) are smoked at a high temperature over the open flames of a fire built in a two-meter-deep hole, a sort of man-made volcano. Given the hard work, very few manufacturers use this method. However, Kanesa Katsuobushi Shouten is committed to keeping the tradition alive and sharing bonito culture with the children of Izu and the world.

Ingredients: Salt (domestic), dried bonito powder, garlic, kokatsuo (bonito flakes, salt), starch, powdered soy sauce, oil, yeast extract, black pepper, chili pepper, dried green onions, sesame seeds, vegetable oil (partly wheat) (includes sesame seeds and soybeans)
Suggested uses: Sprinkle this flavorful spice blend on your favorite grilled meats before serving to add a Japanese twist to BBQ favorites. It’s also great on french fries, chips, or even fried eggs! Mix it with mayo to create a dip for everything from chips to vegetables.
Storage: Room temperature
Dried Kimuchi (Kimchi)
Dried Kimuchi (Kimchi)
(ドライキムチ)
Producer:International Product
Prefecture: Gunma

Drawing inspiration from its neighbor to the west, Japan has created “kimuchi”, a less spicy and salty adaptation of Korean kimchi. Adding starch syrup and sugar makes it somewhat sweeter and helps to lessen the heat, making it a great stepping stone for those who shy away from traditional kimchi. International Products uses FAM dry technology to dry this shelf-stable kimuchi at ultra-low temperatures to maintain its vitamins, minerals, taste, and aroma. The unique drying process also allows the kimuchi to be rehydrated to its original state by simply adding water and letting it sit overnight.

International Products uses its high-tech ultra-low-temperature drying systems to contribute to the local community in Gunma Prefecture. By collaborating with local farmers and fishermen to source ingredients, as well as providing new jobs, the company helps to improve the local economy and revitalize the region. The company also partners with local agriculture groups to devise ways to utilize surplus crops, preventing food waste.

Ingredients: Chinese cabbage (domestic), starch syrup, sugar, daikon radish, garlic, salt, red chili powder
Suggested uses: Pair this dried kimuchi with beer for the perfect otsumami (drinking snack). Crumble the dried pieces into soup or on top of rice for a kick of spice and fermented flavor. This dried kimuchi can also be rehydrated by placing it in a container, adding water, and letting it sit covered overnight.
Storage: Room temperature

Fermented Butter Rusk
Fermented Butter Rusk
(発酵バターラスク)
Producer:Uchiyama Misoten
Prefecture: Ibaraki

Popular in Germany and much of Europe, rusks are a type of twice-baked biscuit cookie made by baking balls of bread dough in tightly packed pans, cutting them into the desired shape, and then slowly re-baking them to a dry texture similar to Italian biscotti. Uchiyama Misoten’s fermented butter rusks are made by soaking high-quality shokupan (Japanese milk bread) in house-made fermented butter. The butter is fermented using natural yeast sourced from the Uchiyama miso-making process and imparts the rusks with a luxurious buttery taste without making it too rich or oily. By baking the rusks at a low temperature they achieve a perfect golden brown color and a delightful melt-in-your-mouth texture.

For over 150 years Uchiyama Misoten has been making the most of the Hitachi City area’s abundant natural resources and rich culinary history. Using only water from the Izumi Mori Spring Water District, one of the one hundred best water sources in Japan, and domestically grown rice and soybeans, this long-established business is still fermenting miso the same way the shop’s founder did back in 1872. These traditional methods are a labor of love but well worth the results. In addition to preserving these timeless techniques, the company is pushing the boundaries of fermented foods and even incorporating koji and miso into confections and baked goods.

Ingredients: Flour (wheat), butter, sweetened condensed milk, sugar, fresh cream, kojidane yeast, honey, raw yeast, salt, vitamin C (includes wheat, dairy, and soy)
Suggested uses: Enjoy as is for a sweet treat, perfect to pair with a cup of Japanese tea!

Spicy Umami Chili Sauce
Spicy Umami Chili Sauce
(うま辛ジャン(醤))
Producer:Aizu Tenpo
Prefecture: Fukushima

Drawing inspiration from gochujang, a fermented hot pepper paste that is a staple in Korean cooking, this sauce balances the heat of chili peppers with the umami of miso and soy sauce to create a condiment that pairs with everything from grilled meat to ramen. Subtle sweetness from apples, starch syrup, and molasses offer relief from the spice of the chili peppers, while onion extract adds a touch of vibrant acidity.

Since 1817 Aizu Tenpo has been enriching the typical dining experience with its line of fermented foods. With products ranging from miso and koji to amazake and pickles, there’s something for everyone. While times continue to change, this long-established miso shop still takes great pride in preserving the history and traditions of the region, especially the Aizu miso-making process which dates back over 300 years.

Ingredients: Rice miso (domestic), rice koji, chili pepper, garlic, onion extract (sugars (starch syrup, glucose), onion juice concentrate), reduced starch syrup, molasses, apple, soy sauce, alcohol (includes wheat, soy, and apples)
Suggested uses: Add this umami-packed chili sauce to grilled meat, ramen, fried rice, dumplings, and more for a kick of heat and flavor. Try mixing it with miso to make the perfect hot pot base! Recipe ideas are also included in this brochure.
Storage: Refrigerate after opening

Rice Syrup Biscuit
Rice Syrup Biscuit
(米蜜ビスケット)
Producer:Hokuriku Seika
Prefecture: Ishikawa

These bite-sized biscuits are made using Hokkaido wheat flour and roasted barley flour, giving them a subtle toasted nuttiness that is accentuated by the addition of coconut cream. Additionally, Hokuriku Seika has collaborated with other local artisans to incorporate traditional tastes of Kanazawa, including rice syrup from Tarawaya Confectionary Shop (the oldest in Kanazawa) and brown rice amazake (sweet non-alcohol sake) from Yamato Soy Sauce and Miso Company. The rice syrup gives the biscuits a gentle sweetness while the brown rice amazake and salt koji add a unique fermented umami flavor.

Founded in Ishikawa Prefecture’s capital city of Kanazawa in 1918, Hokuriku Seika has worked hard to become one of the biggest names in Japan’s biscuit and cookie industry. Affectionately nicknamed “Hokka” after the Hokuriku northwestern region where the company is located, Hokuriku Seika continues to produce its biscuits using the same methods it has for over a century. This means the biscuits still have the same nostalgic taste customers know and love. Hokka carefully selects ingredients and thoughtfully crafts recipes, ensuring its snacks are nutritious and delicious.

Ingredients: Flour (wheat ( Hokkaido)), vegetable shortening, beet sugar (beets (Hokkaido)), roasted barley flour, rice syrup, wheat starch, coconut cream, brown rice amazake, salt koji, salt
Suggested uses: Packaged in a convenient resealable bag, these mini biscuits are the perfect on-the-go snack for adults and children alike.
Storage: Room temperature

Olive and Sake Rice Seasoning

Olive and Sake Rice Seasoning
(オリーブご飯の素)
Producer:Takara Shokuhin
Prefecture: Kagawa

Enjoy a taste of the Mediterranean with this Italian-inspired rice seasoning! Proposed as a new dish to one day utilize olives from Kagawa Prefecture’s own so-called “isle of olives”, Shodoshima, this creative seasoning combines the salty brine of olives with the slightly sweet notes of Japanese sake. Pieces of plump Spanish olives add a touch of textural intrigue and color to tender white rice, taking daily dishes to the next level. Recommended additions include a drizzle of olive oil, which adds a mellow richness, and black pepper, the subtle spice of which perfectly punctuates the earthiness of the olives.

Specializing in tsukudani (soy sauce simmered side dishes) and other shelf-stable goods, Takara Shokuhin has been striving to produce high-quality budget-friendly products since the company’s founding in 1948. Combining hard work and time-tested know-how with the bountiful nature and resources of Sodoshima, Takara Shokuhin produces items that suit the taste of the times and utilize local goods as well as the latest technology. After collaborating with JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) during an 8-year project, some of Takara Shokuhin’s products have even been enjoyed on the International Space Station!

Ingredients: Olive fruit (Spain), sake, salt
Suggested uses: Wash and strain 2 Japanese rice cups (300g or 1½ US cups) of rice. Add rice and the contents of this rice seasoning packet to the rice cooker pot. Add enough water as per your rice cooker and cook the rice according to your rice cooker. Once finished, let steam in the closed pot for an additional 10 mins. Mix before serving and enjoy. For additional flavor try garnishing with olive oil and black pepper.

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