NOURISHING ESSENTIALS (May 2023) - Vegan: Plant-Based Specialties (菜食)


Producer: Yamachan Farm

Kiriboshi daikon is a traditional Japanese food that has been around since the Edo Era. Daikon (Japanese radish) was harvested in the cold winter months, cut into thin strips, then dried in the sun to preserve this seasonal vegetable. Concentrated dried daikon has more calcium, fiber, potassium, and vitamin B1 and B2 when compared to raw daikon.

This special kiriboshi daikon is made from a local mountain daikon grown only in Haruno Town in Shizuoka. Haruno is blessed with fertile soil, mineral rich groundwater and a climate that is hot in summer and cold in winter. The resulting daikon, which is grown without pesticides using recycling-oriented agriculture and an extended cultivation period, is naturally sweeter than regular daikon, with no bitterness.

Cut into thinner strips compared to common kiriboshi daikon, this unique kiriboshi daikon doesn’t need to be soaked in water before being used and therefore maintains more of its flavors and nutrients. It can also be enjoyed as is, with a natural sweetness and umami-richness that is enhanced the more you chew.

Yamachan Farm has been around for over 100 years and is run by the great-grandson of the founding farmer. Their mission is to revitalize Haruno Town through agriculture, to convey the importance of food as a farmer and to bring smiles to people's tables with vegetables from their farm.

Ingredients:Daikon (Japanese radish) (Haruno Town, Shizuoka)
Suggested uses:Unique to this kiriboshi daikon, it doesn’t need to be rehydrated before using.Enjoy as is (pairs great with alcohol) or add directly to stews or miso soup. Try it in theKiriboshi Daikon and Cucumber with Sesame Dressing or the Kiriboshi Daikon Coleslaw recipes provided.
Storage:Room temperature but can also be stored in the fridge to keep the flavors fresher for longer. Note: Given this product is natural, the daikon may turn brown over time. This does not affect the quality.



Producer:Shinshu Shizen Okoku

Shiitake mushrooms are one of the main ingredients used to create umami in Japanese dishes. Here shiitake’s earthy, savory flavors are seasoned with roasted onions, garlic, mirin, olive oil and pepper to create an umami-rich, versatile paste that can be used as a vegan substitute for anchovy paste.

In an effort to protect the natural environment and to go beyond just being “earth-friendly”, Shinshu Shizen Okoku coined the term “Environmental Cultivation”. This approach removes any burden on the environment throughout the entire process, from organic farming, to production and processing, and even to how products are shipped.

Ingredients:Fermentation seasoning (rice malt, rice bran malt, salt, yeast, lactic acid bacteria), shiitake mushrooms, roasted onions, garlic, mirin, olive oil, pepper
Suggested uses:The salty rich flavors make this a great substitute for anchovies/anchovy paste. Try adding it to soups, in garlic pastas, in avocado dips or as a dip for vegetables, in salad dressings or in potato salad, as a spread on baguettes, sandwiches or canapės, or as a seasoning for boiled potatoes, white fish, chicken or pork.
Storage:Refrigerate after opening.



Producer: Inoue Spice Kogyo

Curry rice (pronounced karē raisu) is one of Japan’s most popular dishes and the ultimate comfort food. Whether served as kyushoku (school lunch), enjoyed in a restaurant, or prepared at home, this dish is a favorite amongst children and adults alike. In fact, many Japanese people eat curry rice at least once a week!

Japanese curry is easy to make yet deliciously satisfying. The most basic rendition includes chunks of onions, potatoes, and carrots. However, Japanese curry is highly versatile and can include your favorite proteins and seasonal vegetables. Essential to any Japanese curry is the sweet, mildly spicy sauce it's served in.

This special curry powder uses the power of koji, a traditional Japanese fermenting microorganism, to intensify and enhance the flavors of the ingredients included.The paste also uses rice flour instead of wheat flour as a thickener given its lighter aftertaste. Instead of using sugar, it’s sweetened with amazake (lit. “sweet sake”) which is a non-alcohol sake that adds a natural, gentle sweetness. The spices are carefully selected to provide a nice tang without being too assertive, while the depth of flavor is achieved through umami-enriching konbu (kelp), shiitake and miso, all made without chemical seasonings or meat extract.

Ingredients:Rice flour (rice (domestic)), amazake (no-alcohol sweet sake), vegetable oils (vegetable seed oil, palm oil), salt, curry powder, onion powder, chickpea powder, miso, tomato powder, garlic, ginger, carrot powder, yeast extract, spices, kelp powder, shiitake mushroom powder, (includes soybeans)
Suggested uses:Use to make Koji Curry using the recipe provided.
Storage:Refrigerate after opening and use as soon as possible.




Producer:Daikaku Sohonpo

Gomadofu (or goma tofu) is a silky smooth side dish that can be found as part of the vegan Bhuddist cuisine known as Shojin Ryori. Gomadofu, however, is not made from soybeans like typical tofu, but is actually made from goma (sesame seeds) combined with a starch to thicken it into a nutty dish.

This Mt. Koya gomadofu is a traditional and nourishing food that has been cherished and nurtured by the monks of Mt. Koya in Wakayama Prefecture. It’s thickened with kudzu starch which is made from the root of kudzu, a climbing vine which grows native in Japan. Daikaku Sohonpo also uses their own unique technique to create a gomadofu that won't melt even when baked.

Ingredients:Sesame, starch, hon-kudzu ("true" kudzu) flour
Suggested uses:Carefully remove the gomadofu from the package (be careful not to squeeze when removing). Cut thegomadofu into 1cm thick slices. Place in a pan and warm each side for at least 2mins on medium heat with a bit of cooking oil (until it becomes crispy). Top with yuzu miso* and dash of salt*, cheese, chili oil* mixed with soy sauce*, ponzu*, yakiniku (Japanese BBQ) sauce*, wasabi* mixed in soy sauce*, or your favorite sauce.
Storage:Refrigerate after opening and use as soon as possible.




Producer: Kagoshima Organic Farmers' Association
Prefecture: Kagoshima

Gobo (burdock root) is a nutritional Japanese root vegetable that finds its way into many Japanese dishes (you may have tried it in the braised dish known as kinpira gobo which consists of gobo and carrots simmered in a sweet soy sauce* and topped with roasted sesame seeds*).

In this local tea, 100% organic burdock is washed and peeled one by one by hand before being dried in the warm Kagoshima sun. The whole burdock is used, including the skin, to include all the nutritional benefits such as anti-aging antioxidants, polyphenols and dietary fiber. The resulting tea is naturally sweet and smooth.

The Kagoshima OrganicFarmers' Association consists of 160 local farmers, of which 100 are Japan Agricultural Standards (JAS) organic certified farmers (this is quite an accomplishment given how strict and stringent the requirements are to gain this organic certification in Japan!). Together, the farmers produce 140 different seasonal products including rice, fruits, vegetables and tea. Their agricultural products are cultivated without the use of pesticides or chemical fertilizers and since they don’t use herbicides, all weeds are removed by hand.

Ingredients:Organic burdock (Kagoshima and Miyazaki)
Suggested uses:Add 150ml of boiling water and enjoy after brewing for about 3mins.



Producer: Seika Shokuhin
Prefecture: Kagoshima

Hyōrokumochi is a local sweet made and sold exclusively by SeikaShokuhin in Kagoshima Prefecture and can only be purchased in stores throughout Kyushu. It has the soft, chewy taste of mochi to which white sweet bean paste, nutty kinako (soybean flour), umami-rich dried nori powder and bitter sweet green tea are added. It is then shaped into a small cube and wrapped in a thin film of edible starch.

The candies are named after “Ōishi Hyōroku Yumemonogatari” (The Tale of Hyoroku's Dreams), a Kagoshima book written by Mōri Masanao (1761-1803), a samurai of the Satsuma domain in the middle of the Edo period. The story features a brave and courageous boy from Satsuma, Ōishi Hyōroku (depicted on the cover of the package), who sets out to capture a wild fox that lives in Yoshinogahara, northeast of the city, and finally returns home after being tricked by the fox many times.

Seika Shokuhin wasestablished more than 100 years ago, in 1903, as a confectionery wholesaler in southern Kyushu. With an enterprising spirit and energy, they deliver satisfaction through food while living together with the local community and contributing to its development.

Ingredients:Starch syrup (domestic), sugar, maltose, glutinous rice, white sweet bean paste, oblate (starch wrapper), soybean flour, dried nori powder, powdered green tea (Kagoshima), starch, soy lecithin
Suggested uses:Enjoy as is (Note: no need to remove the transparent individual wrapping as this is oblate, an edible starch wrapper). Pairs well with theOrganic Burdock Tea included in this Care Package or any of the teas from our Japanese Green and Specialty Teas: “Ryu” Care Package.

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