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NOURISHING ESSENTIALS (May 2019) - The Kokoro Twist (A unique take on common Japanese foods)

Premium Milky Oyster Sauce from Kesennuma Bay, Japan
Premium Milky Oyster Sauce
オイスターソース
(ISHIWATA SHOTEN)

You've never tasted an oyster sauce like the before!

Due to its complex ocean currents and proximity to lush forests, Kesennuma Bay in Miyagi prefecture produces some of the highest quality oysters in Japan. The oysters for this Premium Milky Oyster Sauce are harvested between March and late May just before spawning season (instead of the typical winter season), as this is when the oysters are at the plumpest. 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.

The twist? Unlike most oyster sauces that use just the boiled oyster broth, Ishiwata Shoten uses the whole oyster which gives this oyster sauce a distinct oyster flavor and savory umami taste.

Learn more about the dedicated producers and their special approach to harvesting oysters in our Producer Spotlight.

Suggested use: Cook with it (great in a stir fry) or use it as a sauce for meats, seafood or vegetables. Click HERE for recipes.

Ingredients: Oyster extract, sugar, syrup reduction, soy sauce, yeast extract, wheat (includes wheat and soy)
Nutritional information: Per: 100g, Calories: 145kcal, Total Fat: 0.6g, Sodium: 6.6g, Total Carbohydrate: 28.6g, Protein: 6.4g

Japanese beauty udon
5 Grain Beauty Udon
美人うどん (五種の雑穀うどん)

(KOYAMA SEIMEN)

Udon, which is typically made from one single type of wheat flour, is one of the most popular types of Japanese noodles. What makes ours unique (and healthier!) is that it combines wheat flour with five different types of grains: black rice flour, glutinous barley flour, rice bran, red rice flour and brown rice flour. This gives this udon a more dynamic flavor and richer texture.

Black rice, known as kurogome (黒米), is an ancient Japanese grain that gets its black color from a  polyphenol known as anthocyanin. It's said to have stronger antioxidant properties compared to white rice, and contains many nutrients that may support youthfulness, blood vessel protection and increased metabolism. Japanese tradition believed that eat black rice will also make your hair appear darker and younger.

Glutinous barley flour, known as mochimugi (もち麦), contains 25 times as much dietary fiber as white rice and a large amount of water insoluble β-glucan, which can be effective for intestinal regulation. It is also said to help prevent obesity by suppressing the absorption of carbohydrates and helping to maintain blood sugar levels.

Rice bran, known as kibi (きび), is said to have the lowest calories among grains and is characterized by containing a large amount of iron, zinc and magnesium among other minerals. It also contains protein to support physical strength and can help to promote liver function. 

Red rice, known as akamai (赤米), is another ancient Japanese grain that gets its red color from tannins, which are also found in wine. Tannins are said to have anti-inflammatory and anti-allergic properties as well as being anti-oxidative.

Brown rice, known as genmai (玄米), contain high levels of vitamins B and E, especially when unpolished using the  hulls. It is rich in phytic acid and contains vitamin B1 which may help to relieve stress, and vitamin B2, which may help in cell growth and regeneration. Vitamin E is also said to help prevent aging.

The producer has been making udon since 1920 using their grandfather's original recipe. This udon was also voted the Best New Product at the 19th Gourmet and Dining Style Show in the spring of 2016.

Suggested use: Udon can be served hot or cold. Simply put it in a pot of boiling water for 8 minutes, drain, then transfer it to a bowl of cold water to prevent it from over cooking. We recommend recommend you enjoy the taste of the noodles as is, or with a bit of salt. For a simple udon sauce, combine 15 parts dashi (use our recipe) with 1 part soy sauce and 1 part mirin. Also tastes great in any broth or soup, in a stir fry or as a substitute for pasta.

Ingredients: Wheat flour, black rice flour (from Okayama prefecture), rice bran (domestic production), red rice flour (from Okayama prefecture), glutinous barley flour (from Kasaoka city, Okayama prefecture), brown rice flour (from Okayama prefecture), salt 
Nutritional information: Per: 100g, Calories: 346kcal, Total Fat: 1.5g, Sodium: 5.8g, Total Carbohydrate: 72.1g, Protein: 10.9g

 Japanese yuzu miso
Yuzu Miso
ゆず味噌

(YUZURIKKO)

You may have heard of Yuzu, and you've likely heard of Miso, but have you tried Yuzo Miso? 

Yuzu (柚子) is a citrus fruit from Japan that has a unique and delectable taste. It can be described as a mix between a mandarin orange and a lemon and is both sweet and tart in flavor. You can find it throughout Japanese cuisine from appetizers to desserts and everything in between. It's often used in drinks as well.

Miso (みそ or 味噌) is a salty, savory, umami-rich Japanese fermented soybean paste that is one of Japan's most recognizable foods.

They are combined in this yuzu miso to create a heavenly flavor you'll want to add to all your dishes. All the ingredients are made locally in Japan without the use of pesticides. It was also awarded three food prizes by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.

Meet the incredible woman who is helping to revitalize the yuzu industry in Tokushima in our Producer Spotlight.

Suggested use: Extremely versatile, you can use this on rice, tofu and fish, as a vegetable dip, in sauces or dressings or in marinades. Please note this is not to be used for miso soup.
Ingredients: Rice miso (rice (domestic), soy (non-GMO), salt (from Tokushima)), beet sugar (from Hokkaido), yuzu (from Tokushima)

Nutritional information: Per: 100g, Calories: 244kcal, Total Fat: 1.5g, Sodium: 4.6g, Total Carbohydrate: 53.6g, Protein: 4.1g

Traveling kelp (seaweed) from Hokkaido, Japan
Traveling Seaweed Snack (Toromin)
旅する昆布 (とろみん)

(NOTO FOOD)

Take a trip to Hokkaido with this delicious kelp seaweed snack! 

Hokkaido, the northernmost island of Japan, is famous for its seaweed. Sourced from the beautiful seas of Zushi-shi, located just east of Hakodate in Hokkaido, this mineral-rich, umami seaweed snack is handmade and combines two different types of kelp ("real" kelp and gagome kelp). 

Free from additives, this snack is high in fucoidan, a bioactive compound found in brown seaweeds that is said to have anti-inflammatory and immune-enhancing benefits. And you get all these nutritional benefits with almost 0 calories! 

Seaweed like you've never tried before!

Suggested use: Enjoy as is.
Ingredients: Makonbu (kelp), Gagome kelp

Nutritional information: Per one package (24g): Calories: 34.4kcal, Total Fat: 0.2g, Sodium: 1.8g, Total Carbohydrate: 14.8g, Protein:1.9g

Soy coffee from Japan
Soy Coffee (Caffeine-free)
大豆コーヒー

(MINONOMURA)

Even the most die-hard of coffee lovers will be surprised (and impressed!) by the taste of this soy "coffee".

The producers of this "coffee" wondered if it could be possible to recreate the high-quality taste of coffee using soybeans instead of coffee beans. The result was beyond what even they had imagined. With the help of veteran roaster Katsunori Ide, they created this mild yet sweet tasing "coffee" made from local soybeans.

They work with local soybean farmers who grow traditional varieties of Japanese soybeans and work to preserve the soybean culture in Japan. 

Because it's caffeine-free, it can be enjoyed anytime of day and comes with convenient drip packs which make it easy to prepare no matter where you are. 

Enjoy the fresh brewed taste of "coffee" without the caffeine and jitters!

Suggested use: Just add 140ml of hot water and enjoy! (Three packs. Dripper included)
Ingredients: Non-GMO soy (made in Chiba)

Nutritional information: N/A