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NOURISHING ESSENTIALS (June 2019) - Okinawa: Tropical Tastes and Centenarian Secrets

Mozuku Udon
もずく麺

(SEIWA SHOKUHIN)

Seiwa Shokuhin's mission is to share the merits of Okinawan mozuku, a type of seaweed revered for being a vital longevity food. Okinawa mozuku is characterized by its thick chewy texture, and contains many minerals and nutrients (including calcium, magnesium, folic acid and fucoidan). 

These Okinawan mozuku noodles are made from two simple ingredients: mozuku produced in Iheya Island in the northern part of the main island of Okinawa and wheat flour produced in Tokachi, Hokkaido. Raw mozuku accounts for about 30% of noodles, giving it a smooth and springy texture. No salt, preservatives or chemicals are added. 

Suggested use: Add noodles to 1 litre of boiling water for 10 mins. Drain and rise under cold water. For hot udon, add the noodles to a bowl of the broth (included) mixed with 400-500ml of hot water. For cold udon, dip the noodles into a bowl of the broth (included) mixed with 100-200ml of cold water. You can also add green onion, Japanese horseradish, mozuku or Okinawan red pepper for extra flavor.   
Ingredients: Noodles: Wheat flour (Hokkaido), Okinawan mozuku Broth: Organic soy sauce, kelp extract, bonito dashi, dried shitake mushroom, sugar, sweet sake, salt, fermented wheat sauce, starch, fermented extract (includes wheat and soy)
Nutritional information: Per: 100g, Calories: 10.7kcal, Total Fat: 1.6g, Sodium: 1.01g, Total Carbohydrate: 74.5g, Protein: 10.7g

Raw Ponzu Umami Dashi
生ぽんず うまみだし
(GOYA COMPANY)

Ponzu is a versatile citrus sauce that can be described as a mix between a light soy sauce and a vinaigrette. This ponzu combines Moromi black vinegar from Ishigaki Island with mackerel, shiitake mushrooms and kombu to give it a true island umami taste.

It will add a delightful citrus flavor to any of your favorite dishes while enhancing the flavors of the ingredients. It can be used as a dressing, dip, seasoning or sauce.

Suggested use: Can be used in dressings, as a dip for grilled meats, fish and gyoza, in noodle broths and as a seasoning for any of your favorite dishes.  
Ingredients: Raw soy sauce (including wheat and soybeans), mirin, sugar, Awamori moromi (distilled rice liqueur) undiluted solution, shequasar juice, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, salt, mackerel, shiitake mushroom soup, kombu seaweed soup, vegetable soup stock (Nagatake mushroom, daikon radish), alcohol, agar
Nutritional information: Per: 100g, Calories: 100kcal, Total Fat: 0.1g, Sodium: 7.2g, Total Carbohydrate: 22.8g, Protein: 2.2g


Ishigaki Gourmet Chili Oil
石垣島らー油
(HENGIN CAFETERIA)

This sweet and spicy chili oil is said to be the original catalyst for the gourmet oil phenomenon in Japan. It was created on Ishigaki Island with the Okinawan philosophy of "Nuchigusui" which means "life’s medicine" - a concept that describes how food, relationships and meaningful connections can create a happy, long lived life. 

It combines a variety of unique local island spices and seasonings including local sweet and spicy chilis, turmeric, salt from the sea of Ishigaki, Okinawan black sugar, garlic, sesame seeds, black beans and a dash of "chimuguru", the heart and soul of the Okinawan spirit. 

Meet the couple behind the product who source ingredients from their own backyard in Ishigaki to create this special Chili Oil in our Producer Spotlight.

Suggested use: Adds a sweet and spicy flavor to any of your favorite dishes and is a versatile hot sauce substitute that can be used on top of tofu, stir fries, or vegetables, or to add extra spice to noodles. Mix well before using to blend all the ingredients and to experience the true combined flavors of the Island! Try this Ishigaki Gourmet Chili Oil Natto recipe or this Ishigaki Gourmet Chili Oil Pork and Tomato Soup recipe.
Ingredients: Canola oil (domestic produced), red pepper, sesame oil, garic, black beans (soy beans), salt, sesame, sansho pepper, olive oil, island red pepper, black sugar (Okinawan brown sugar), turmeric, pepper
Nutritional information: Per: 100g, Calories: 802kcal, Total Fat: 84.9g, Sodium: 1.3g, Total Carbohydrate: 9.0g, Protein: 2.9g


Purple Potato Chips
紅イモチップス
(OKINAWA TOKUSAN HANBAI)

The Okinawan sweet potato made up almost 70% of the centenarian's diet and is thought to be one of the reasons for their longevity. Rich in beta-carotene, vitamin A and vitamin C, the purple potato also has 150% more antioxidants than blueberries.

These Okinawan purple potato chips are thickly cut and vacuum fried in low temperatures to preserve the taste and nutritional value. They have a delectable crunch and a wonderful sweet taste.

Suggested use: Enjoy as is.  
Ingredients: Purple potato, vegetable oil, malt sugar, salt
Nutritional information: Per: 40g (package), Calories: 197kcal, Total Fat: 8.6g, Sodium: 0.8g, Total Carbohydrate: 28.3g, Protein: 1.6g


Kokuto (Black Sugar)
黒糖
(OKINAWA KUROZATO KYODO KUMIAI)

Kokuto (black sugar) is one of the most popular foods from Okinawa and can be found everywhere throughout the islands (the sugarcane crop makes up about half the farming land in Okinawa). It's made by slowly boiling sugar cane juice to achieve a complex and dynamic sweet taste.

Kokuto has an elegant liquorice-like flavor and is considered a healthier option to regular sugar as it contains high levels of calcium, iron, and vitamin B. It's also thought to support intestinal and liver function. 

These adorable packages have local designs which represent a different Okinawa island and it's unique culture. 

Suggested use: Can be enjoyed as is or used to replace any sweetener. Can also be sprinkled on top of ice cream or frozen yogurt. Two packs included.
Ingredients: Okinawan sugar cane
Nutritional information: Per: 100g, Calories: 354kcal, Total Fat: 0.0g, Sodium: 0.1g, Total Carbohydrate: 89.7g, Protein: 1.7g, Calcium 240mg, Potassium: 1100mg


Shell Ginger Tea
月桃茶
(GREEN PLAN SHINJO)

Could this be the secret to longevity?

Home to many of the world's centenarians, Okinawa has been labeled a "Blue Zone" and has been carefully studied to uncover the longevity secrets of its residents. The Okinawan diet is thought to be a main factor, with one food in particular, shell ginger, being a key component.

Shell ginger, which is part of the ginger family, is a plant commonly used in Okinawan cuisine and as a traditional herbal medicine. 

This shell ginger tea is made from leaves grown on a local Okinawan farm. It contains no caffeine and has 34 times more polyphenols than red wine. It's been thought to have antibacterial and antioxidative effects while potentially helping to manage blood pressure and supporting liver and kidney function. Its aroma can also help relax your nerves and has been known to improve sleep quality.

Drink to your health!

Suggested use: Add hot water and enjoy!
Ingredients: Shell ginger leaf
Nutritional information: N/A