NOURISHING ESSENTIALS (September 2020) - Kyushu (九州): Relax - Rejuvenate - Recover


Producer: Hibiki
Prefecture: Miyazaki

Hyuganatsu is a rare citrus fruit, which is believed to be a hybrid between yuzu and pomelo. Unlike other hybrids which are engineered by humans, this rare crossbred citrus fruit was discovered naturally growing in Miyazaki in 1820. Nature had created an entirely new citrus fruit all by itself!

Hyuganatsu is bright and sour, yet refreshingly acidic, juicy and sweet. In Japan, it is usually eaten sliced and sprinkled with sugar. Like yuzu, hyuganatsu has an aromatic, thick delicious peel, which is rich in vitamin C. Here Hibiki has candied the peel of hyuganatsu to create this sweet citrus treat.

Ingredients: Hyuganatsu peel, granulated sugar, vitamin C
Suggested uses: Eat as is. Or add to cocktails and tea. Use in baked goods which call for dried fruits, such as cakes, muffins, and breads.
Nutritional information: N/A 


Prefecture: Miyazaki

A speciality of Miyazaki, hiyajiru (chilled soup) is a filling yet refreshing dish that has been enjoyed by local farming communities for generations and is said to combat natsubate (or summer fatigue) in Japan. 

Yamae started their shop as a soy sauce brewery and miso producer almost 150 years ago in the city of Miyakonojo. Yamae credits the abundant, clean underground water from the Kirishima Mountains for the crisp flavor and high quality of its soy sauce and miso. This local specialty is a celebration of Miyazaki’s rich natural landscape.

Ingredients: Miso (includes soy), horse mackerel, dried young sardines, sesame seeds, peanuts
Suggested uses: Dilute with cold water (80g of hiyajiru to 300-400 ml of water). Adjust to your preferred taste. We recommend you try it in the Hiyajiru recipe provided.
Nutritional information: N/A



Producer: Matsuoka Shiitake Production
Prefecture: Oita

Considered the “salt and pepper” of Japan, furikake is a unique, sweet and salty seasoning made from an almost infinite array of dried ingredients and is typically sprinkled on top of rice, vegetables, tofu and fish.

This Shiitake Mushroom Furikake from Matsuoka Shiitake Productions combines unique ingredients such as matcha, with more typical furikake seasonings such as seaweed, dried fish and sesame seeds. The star of this furikake however are the dried and seasoned shiitake mushrooms. The majority of shiitake mushrooms come from Japan where they are revered for their deep umami flavor and numerous health benefits. Matsuoka Shiitake Production has been specializing in natural mushroom cultivation for over 100 years, growing their mushrooms on kunugi (Japanese chestnut oak) logs, which give these mushrooms a distinctive sweet flavor. After being picked, the mushrooms are dried naturally in the sun which further concentrates their juicy flavors.

Ingredients: Dried and seasoned shiitake mushroom (produced in Oita) (includes soy and wheat), dried seaweed, sesame seeds, starch, dried onion, matcha flavored powder (includes chicken), soy sauce, rice crackers, salt, sugar, mirin, fructose, yeast extract, fermented seasoning, dried young sardines, grilled shrimp, seafood extract, shaved dried skipjack, brown sugar syrup, dextrin, kelp, dried shiitake mushroom, grilled flying fish
Suggested uses: Sprinkle on freshly cooked rice or use as a seasoning on roasted vegetables and meat and fish dishes. Makes for a tasty salt substitute on baked potatoes, popcorn, or french fries.
Nutritional information: N/A



Producer: Marukawa Nori
Prefecture: Fukuoka

Often called the “City of Water” and the “Venice of Kyushu,” the canals of Yanagawa City in Fukuoka Prefecture are filled with water from the Ariake Sea. With tides that can drop as much as six meters, the mineral-rich waters produce nutrient-dense, umami-filled nori (seaweed). The Marukawa family have made this place their home and use a natural drying process to enhance the flavours of their seaweed while adding a unique combination of seasonings from the sea.

Ingredients: Dried seaweed, kelp, shrimp, skipjack extract, soy sauce (includes soybeans and wheat), sake, mirin, sugar, salt, chili pepper
Suggested uses: Eat with freshly cooked rice. Cut into thin strips and use to season noodles, stir fried vegetables, or freshly tossed salads. Or enjoy as is, as a snack.
Nutritional information: N/A 


Producer: Nagasaki Goto Udon
Prefecture: Nagasaki

The camellia japonica plant grows along streams in the mountains of Japan. These tall, dark-leafed plants bloom deep pink flowers with bright yellow centers. Camellia oil is the secret behind the silky yet chewy texture of one of Japan’s rarest udon noodle: goto udon. Goto udon comes from the Goto islands, one of the westernmost islands of Japan. Even many Japanese have not tasted these noodles!

The shape and texture comes from hand-twisting the noodles into strands and then repeatedly pulling the noodles. Camellia oil is added to smooth the surface of the dry noodles in a process called migaki (literally “polishing”). This technique, which has been passed down over centuries, results in the remarkable smoothness of goto udon. Even after boiling, you can taste the faint aroma of camellia oil from the wooded streams of Goto Islands.

Ingredients: Goto udon noodles: wheat flour (produced in Japan), salt, vegetable oil (rapeseed oil, soybean oil), camellia oil; Dashi soup powder: Sugar, salt (manufactured in Japan), dried bonito powder, powdered soy sauce, yeast extract, dried sardine powder, dried flying fish powder, kelp powder, green onion (includes soy and wheat)
Suggested uses: Cook the noodles for 7 mins in 1L of boiling water. Drain and rinse under cool water. Served in 10g of the dashi soup diluted in 300ml of hot water.
Nutritional information: N/A 

(食べる黒酢 ちょい辛)
Producer: Fukuyama Black Vinegar
Prefecture: Kagoshima

If you travel to Kagoshima, you’ll stumble across fields of knee high black ceramic pots known as tsubo. Inside, three simple ingredients - steamed rice, water, and koji (Aspergillus oryzae fungus) - are slowly fermenting to create Japan’s prized kurozu (or black vinegar). Japanese black vinegar is aged up to 3 years, resulting in a vinegar with a deep, caramel color, similar to whiskey. The flavor is more mild and less acidic than regular vinegar with an earthy aroma. 

Fukuyama Black Vinegar’s brewery boasts a field of over 20,000 jars. This Black Vinegar Paste uses kurozu as its base, which was carefully crafted by Chikara Akaike, who has been making black vinegar for over 50 years.

Ingredients: Organic black rice vinegar, onion, cooking sake, soy sauce, sugar, rice malt, fermented black beans, unrefined sugar, ginger, garlic, chili pepper
Suggested uses: Add a dollop on top of a bowl of steamed rice. Use in meat marinades, to season stir fries or in omelettes.
Nutritional information: N/A

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