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SEASONAL DELIGHTS (Summer 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 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

Yonaguni Bonito (Tuna) Dashi
与那国島かつおだし
(YONAGUNI SUISAN KAKO)

Dashi is one of the quintessential ingredients in Japanese cuisine and cooking. It's a type of stock that's used as the base for many soups and broths, and added to many dishes to provide umami flavor.

This bonito (tuna) dashi combines bonito powder from Yonaguni Island with salt from Ishigaki Island and kokuto (black sugar) from Hateruma Island to give it that true island sea flavor. It's ideal for miso soup, hot pots, as a soup stock or noodle broth, or as an umami flavor enhancer. 

Suggested use: Use it as a seasoning in stir fries or just add hot water to enjoy it on its own as a soup or as a base for noodle soup.
Ingredients: Bonito powder (from Yonagunijima. processed in Ishigakijima), salt from Ishigaki, brown sugar, yeast extract, kelp powder, shiitake powder
Nutritional information:
Per: 100g, Calories: 238kcal, Total Fat: 0.4g, Sodium: 13g, Total Carbohydrate: 33.5g, Protein: 25.0g

Chanpurū Seasoning
チャンプルの素
(GARDEN PANA)

Chanpurū (チャンプルー) is possibly the most representative dish of Okinawan cuisine. It translates in "something mixed" - not only for the mixture of ingredients you'll find in it but also for the mixing of cultures that Okinawa comes from (Japanese, Chinese and South East Asian).

Chanpurū is a stir fry dish typically made from tofu with vegetables, meat or fish, Common ingredients also include goya (bitter melon), egg, bean sprouts and... spam (that's right, this canned luncheon meat was introduced by the US navy and appears in many local dishes. But don't worry, you won't find any spam in this product!). 

This chanpurū seasoning combines lemongrass, shell ginger and sea salt with other local seasonings that are roasted to bring about its traditional flavor. This all-purpose seasoning can be used to make your own Okinawan stir fry or as a seasoning for fried rice, grilled vegetables, meat, fish or chicken, potatoes, soup or carpaccio. 

Suggested use: Use as a seasoning to make your own Okinawan stir fry or as a seasoning for fried rice, grilled vegetables, meat, fish or chicken, potatoes, soup or carpaccio. 
Ingredients: Salt, saltwater salt (Okinawa/Ishigakijima/other), sesame, pepper, garlic, ginger, lemongrass (Ishigaki Island), shell ginger (Ishigaki Island), chili pepper (Okinawa/other), udon (Okinawa/other), laurel plant, moroheiya leaf (Okinawa), green onion (Ishigaki Island)
Nutritional information: 
N/A

Okinawan Pepper
島胡椒ピパーツ
(GOYA COMPANY)

The Okinawan pepper (similar to the Balinese long pepper or Javanese long pepper), is a rare domestic pepper that is similar to a mix between white pepper and cinnamon. It has a sweet smell with a distinctive spicy flavor.

This pepper is best used with ramen, udon or soba to add a little heat and to accentuate the flavors. Also works great in hot pots, soup, stir fries or to add spice to any of your favorite dishes.

Suggested use: In ramen, udon, soba, hot pots, soup, stir fries or to add spice to any of your favorite dishes. Because of its strong flavor, we recommend using a small amount at a time. Please also be careful not to get it in your eyes.
Ingredients: Okinawan pepper (piper retrofractum)
Nutritional information: 
N/A

Spicy Tuna Miso Oil
鮪の生らー油
(YONAGUNI SUISAN KAKO)

This spicy oil combines tuna flakes with miso and a variety of island spices, sugars and salts to create delectable oil full of flavor and tastes. It can be used with gyoza, ramen, cold noodles, fried rice, stir fries and pastas. You can even use it as a spread on bread or as a topping on rice.

Suggested use: As a sauce for gyoza, ramen, cold noodles, fried rice, stir fries and pasta. Can also be used as a spread on bread or as a topping on rice. 
Ingredients: Sesame oil, miso (non GMO-soybean, rice, salt, barley, wheat), tuna flakes, pepper, brown sugar (from Hateruma island), garlic flakes, salt from Ishigaki island
Nutritional information:
Per: 100g, Calories: 356kcal, Total Fat: 17.0g, Sodium: 2.3g, Total Carbohydrate: 34.59g, Protein: 16.2g
 

Goya chips
ゴーヤチップス
(OKINAWA TOKUSAN HANBAI)

Goya, also known as bitter melon, is a staple in the Okinawan diet and can be found in many island dishes (including Chanpurū mentioned above). It looks like a spiny cucumber-shaped gourd and true to its name, is extremely bitter when eaten raw, but loses some of this bitterness when cooked.

In addition to being rich in vitamins and minerals, goya has also long been used in traditional medicine due to its potential ability to lower blood sugar levels, increase the metabolism of glucose, detoxify and aid in digestion. It may also help with weight loss and is said to help cure hangovers.

These goya chips are vacuum fried at low temperatures and have a uniquely bitter and salty tastes. It's an acquired taste that the islanders love!

Suggested use: Enjoy as is.
Ingredients: Goya (bitter melon), vegetable oil, malt sugar, salt
Nutritional information:
Per: 25g (package), Calories: 138kcal, Total Fat: 8.5g, Sodium: 0.2g, Total Carbohydrate: 14.6g, Protein: 0.9g

Herb Chinsukou
ハーブちんすこう(ハーブソルト風味)
(GARDEN PANA) 

Chinsukou is a traditional Okinawan cookie, similar to shortbread, that has been enjoyed since the Ryukyu Dynasty. It's a popular souvenir that's also enjoyed by locals, given its crunchy texture and mild yet sweet flavor. 

This herb chinsukou combines traditional chinsukou with homemade island herbs to create the perfect tea time treat!

Suggested use: Enjoy as is. Pairs well with tea.
Ingredients: Wheat, lard, sugar, salt, pepper, garlic, ginger, lemon glass, shell ginger, laurel, oregano, thyme, tarragon
Nutritional information: 
Per: 100g, Calories: 517kcal, Total Fat: 27.2g, Sodium: 0.97g, Total Carbohydrate: 61.8g, Protein: 6.3g


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

GIFT

Okinawan Minsah Coasters
みんさー織コースター
(AZAMI-YA MINSAH KOUGEI KAN)

These beautiful handmade one-of-a-kind coasters are weaved together using the traditional Minsah method and is a widely popular pattern found in Okinawa. The pattern alternates between 4 squares and 5 squares in each row, which represents a Japanese pun: "itsu (5) no yo (4) made ni suenaku” meaning "will last forever for all-time"

The colors of these coasters symbolize the natural beauty of the Okinawan islands and "Niraikanai" which, according to Ryukyuan religion, is a mythical place on the other side of the sea where the gods live and where happiness is brought to its people. They also represent the beautiful paradise of the Yaeyama sea and the warming rays from the sun.

We hope these coasters take you away to the magical islands of Okinawa!