SEASONAL DELIGHTS (Winter 2023) - Oshōgatsu: Japanese New Year Celebration (お正月)
Kyushu Dashi Hot Pot Soup (九州だし寄せ鍋つゆ)
Ingredients: Soy sauce (domestic), mirin, sugar, grilled flying fish, dried bonito flakes, seafood extract, salt, dried shrimp, dried shiitake mushrooms, alcohol (includes wheat and soybeans)
Suggested uses: To make a hot pot, add two packages of the hot pot soup to 400ml of water. Add your favorite ingredients such as meat, fish, vegetables, mushrooms, and tofu, and boil until they’re cooked. You can then also add noodles such as udon* or cooked rice (serves 2). You can also use it as a soup base or for ochazuke (by pouring it on a bowl of cooked rice).
Yosenabe is a basic Japanese hot pot that is the ultimate comfort food to keep you warm in winter. Its name comes from the combination of yose “to put together” and nabe “pot”, and is a reflection of how easy this dish is to make. Just add your favorite protein and seasonal vegetables to the hot broth, boil and enjoy!
A flavorful broth is the secret to any delicious yosenabe. This classic hot pot soup, made without chemical seasonings, includes four special dashi (broth) ingredients from Kyushu: grilled flying fish from Nagasaki, shiitake mushrooms from Tsushima, dried bonito flakes from Kagoshima, and dried shrimps from Oita. The combination results in a luxurious, deep flavor. It also includes honjozo (traditionally brewed) soy sauce made from whole soybeans which adds extra umami.
Choko Shoyu was established in 1941 by 29 local soy sauce producers as the first soy sauce cooperative in the industry. The group has carefully preserved traditional brewing techniques for soy sauce and miso with a commitment to safety, quality, taste, and the United Nations’ SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals). They are also a member of the Good Food Making Association - an organization that is reexamining food in pursuit of health and deliciousness in daily life. They believe that those who produce and sell food have a responsibility to preserve traditional, seasonal flavors while protecting the environment.
Daiginjo Narazuke (Pickled Melon) (大吟醸の奈良漬 きざみ 獺祭の酒粕使用)
Ingredients: Shirauri (white melon) (Yamaguchi Prefecture), pickling ingredients (sake lees, mirin, sugar, shochu)
Suggested uses: Enjoy as is (pairs well with sake!), mix with cream cheese and spread on a baguette, dice and mix into egg rolls or scrambled eggs, mix with natto, add to potato salad with chopped ginger, use as a topping for ochazuke (rice with tea poured over), dice and add to ice cream (like a Japanese version of rum raisin with walnuts!).
Storage: Refrigerate after opening and use as soon as possible.
These nazaduke (pickled melons) are made by pickling white melons (known as shirauri) sourced from Yamaguchi prefecture that have been pickled using Daiginjo sake lees (or sake kasu, the byproduct of sake production). Diaginjo is regarded as the highest-grade of sake and is usually the most prized bottling of a sake brewery as it represents the height of the brewmaster's craftsmanship. Extra care is taken when polishing the rice to remove at least 50% of the outer layer of the grain.
The sake lees comes from the award-winning sake brewery Dassai, located deep in the mountains of Yamaguchi. Dassai grew from a small brewery to one that has received international recognition. They focus on producing top-quality sake that is created using a careful combination of traditional labor-intensive hand-crafted methods and cutting edge technology, using the best quality rice for sake brewing, Yamada Nishiki.
The combination results in a sweet and sour taste that is delicate, refined and graceful.
Ingredients: Tofu: soybeans (from the US, non-GMO), bittern, baking soda;Liquid dashi (broth): sugar, soy sauce (includes soybeans and wheat), salt, mirin,iriko (dried sardines), yeast extract, dried bonito flakes, kelp seasoning extract, dried bonito seasoning extract, kelp, alcohol
Suggested uses: Stovetop directions: In a small saucepan, bring 2¼ cups of water combined with the packet of liquid dashi to a boil. Add the tofu from the package and let it float to the surface. Cover with a lid and simmer over low heat for 12 mins. To add an optional egg topping, pour a beaten egg over the top just before turning off the heat, and bring to a boil. Remove and serve once the egg is cooked. Microwave directions: Put 2⅙ cups of hot water and the liquid dashi into a heatproof container and mix gently. Place the tofu in the container, cover with a lid, and heat for 9 mins at 500W. The koya dofu can also be used to replace a baguette in the Miso and Cream Cheese “Bruschetta” recipe provided.
Koya dofu, or freeze-dried tofu, is a staple in any Japanese pantry. Like most tofu, koya dofu has a mild, nutty flavor but with a delightful spongy texture. When cooked in a broth, the tofu soaks up the liquid, making it almost burst in your mouth when you eat it.
The origins of koya tofu are a bit of a mystery. Legend has it that in the Kamakura period (1185-1333), a monk living high on Mount Koya in Wakayama Prefecture accidentally left his tofu outside in the bitter cold. When he thawed the frozen tofu in the sun and ate it, he discovered it was surprisingly delicious and thus koya dofu was born.
Koya dofu is a traditional part of obanzai cuisine in Kyoto and refers to small, everyday side dishes, often eaten alongside rice and miso soup. This style of eating developed in Kyoto at a time when it was difficult to transport fresh ingredients into the city given its location in a basin surrounded by mountains. As a result, people living in Kyoto developed many side dishes, like koya dofu, that were dried and preserved. Now koya dofu is popular around Japan for its ease of storage and distinct texture.
Yamashiroya, which specializes in dried foods, has been led by four generations of women, starting from 1904. The company began as a wholesale supplier of dried sardines gathered by local fishermen and prospered for decades until the entire business was destroyed in World War II. The next female descendant rebuilt and reestablished the company in 1946, and then passed it on to her talented daughter-in-law. The crops that form the basis of their dried foods are grown by hand, not by machine, and rely on the wisdom and experience of their farmers who put time and effort into cultivating rich soil and the resulting high-quality crops.
Ingredients: Fish meat (domestic), starch, rapeseed oil, salt, amazake (sweet sake)
Suggested uses: Warm by peeling back the cover ~2cm and microwave for 1 mins (500-600W) or by heating it in a toaster oven or lightly pan frying until golden brown. Can also be enjoyed as is.
Storage:Refrigerate after opening and use as soon as possible.
Popular in Ehime Prefecture, jakoten is a local fish cake made from fresh small fish found in the Uwa Sea. The fish are minced with their skin and bones and shaped into cakes which are then deep-fried. The resulting fish cake is delicious and flavorful, and can be found in simmered dishes or winter hot pots.
Based in Uwajima City, Maeda is surrounded by the warm, rich nature of Ehime and for more than 90 years, they have been bringing home-made taste to homes using only carefully grown domestic ingredients, made without additives or colorings. They now offer over 100 in-house products.
Konbu (Kelp) Salt (昆布塩)
Suggested uses: Use as you would any fine finishing or cooking salt to add umami to your dishes. Sprinkle on a bowl of rice, to make onigiri (try with umeboshi (pickled Japanese plum) or katsuobushi), in pasta, stir fries, etc. It can also be used to lightly pickle vegetables as in the Salted Konbu and Daikon Asazuke recipe provided.
Nagaike Konbu was established in 1864 and is currently in its fifth generation. The shop maintains the personal spirit and pride of retailers who sell their own products, with an aversion to mass production. They use high-quality local ingredients and produce handmade, traditional products made by skilled craftsmen.
Morokoshi (Sweet Red Bean Adzuki Confection) (両面焼もろこし)
Ingredients: Caster sugar (domestic), red bean powder (red bean (Hokkaido)), white bean paste
Suggested uses: Enjoy as is. Pairs well with any of our Japanese green or specialty teas.
Storage: Room temperature.
Morokoshi is a slightly sweet traditional wagashi (Japanese confection) from Akita Prefecture made from the flour of sweet red beans known as adzuki. Adzuki are said to bring good luck and can be found simmered with sugar to make a paste that is used in many traditional Japanese sweets. In morokoshi however, adzuki are uniquely roasted to enhance their flavor and aroma. Domestic adzuki branches from Hokkaido are first dried in the sun for about 15 days. The adzuki are removed from the dried pods before the core (known as ginjo (high-quality) adzuki) is roasted then ground into a fine powder. The adzuki bean flour is blended in a perfect ratio with sugar and water by skilled artisans to create a smooth paste which is poured into a mold, dried in a furnace and grilled in a flaky outer crust.
Morokoshian, a small sweets factory, was established in 1957 in Kakunodate Town (present-day Senboku City in Akita Prefecture), the Little Kyoto of Akita. The town is known for its samurai residences and cherry blossoms. The young owner wanted to promote Akita's traditional confectionery, morokoshi, as a signature product of the beautiful historical and cultural town. Their skilled, artisanal craftsmen use quality ingredients to bring out the best taste.
Instant Raw Izumo Soba with Soup (出雲そば 飛魚つゆ付)
Producer: Honda Shoten
Ingredients: Noodles: wheat flour (domestic), buckwheat flour (domestic), saltSoup: soy sauce (honjozo) (contains wheat and soybeans), sugar, salt, glucose, yeast extract, dried flying fish, dried bonito flakes, alcohol
Suggested uses: Combine the noodles with 300ml of hot water and heat in the microwave for 3mins (can also use room temperature water microwaved for 6mins) (600W). Add the soup from the package and gently stir. To cook on a stove top, boil the noodles in 350ml of water for 3-3½ mins. Add the soup, stir and serve.
Toshikoshi soba (lit. “year-crossing soba”) is enjoyed on New Year’s Eve in Japan as the noodles are easily cut, representing a letting go of the past year. The noodles are made from soba, the Japanese name for buckwheat, which despite its name is not actually a type of wheat, but is a highly nutritious seed with a nutty, buttery flavor.
This special soba is known as Izumo soba, which tends to be darker than regular soba with a stronger aroma and flavor. This is a result of grinding the buckwheat noodles with its husk. The flour milling method is called "Hikigurumi" or "one-meal milling", and involves thoroughly kneading the buckwheat seeds into the noodles to produce a more textured and richer flavored soba. And despite being quick and easy to make, this soba is authentic and traditional in its texture and taste.
Honda Shoten uses 100 years of traditional raw soba making methods to create their additive-free, homemade soba from freshly ground domestic buckwheat flour. The quality is noticeable in the taste and texture, as well as the lack of odor when boiled (this can be common in other soba). Their noodles are made within an hour of milling to preserve the flavor and by leveraging the expertise of generations of soba makers, they've created this natural soba that doesn't require refrigeration before opening yet maintains its freshness.
Old-Fashion Kenchinjiru (Japanese Vegetable Soup) (昔ながらのけんちん汁)
Producer: Aszac Foods
Ingredients: Dextrin, soy sauce, starch, salt, rice miso, fermented seasoning, sesame oil, yeast extract, sugar, bonito flakes powder, bonito stock, kelp extract, spices, ingredients (tofu (domestic), burdock, boiled lotus root, green onion, dried carrots, roasted sesame), tofu coagulant, antioxidant (VE), (contains wheat, sesame, and soybeans)
Suggested uses: Pour the contents into a bowl, add 160ml of boiling water and stir well. It will be ready in about 1 minute. You can also combine one package with 150g of uncooked rice and a pinch of salt and cook with water in your rice cooker to make takikomi gohan.
Kenchinjiru is a heartwarming Japanese vegetable soup that is considered part of the traditional vegan Buddhist temple cuisine known as shōjin ryōri. Its name is derived from Kencho, the Zen Buddhist temple, Kencho-ji, in Kamakura. Although many different vegetables can be used to make kenchinjiru, you will usually find a base of Japanese root vegetables.
This special kenchinjiru includes six different ingredients: tofu, gobo (burdock root), lotus root, green onion, carrot, and roasted sesame seeds, which add a range of texture from the smooth tofu to the crunchy root vegetables. The ingredients are stir-fried with sesame oil to bring out their flavor and richness, and slowly simmered in an umami-rich dashi (stock) to create a deeply traditional, old-fashioned taste.
Miso Pickled Shiso Seeds (越後みそ西のみそ漬 しその実)
Producer:Echigo Miso Nishi
Ingredients: Daikon (domestic), cucumber (domestic), ginger (Thailand), shiso (perilla) seeds, pickling ingredients [miso, sugars (fructose, starch syrup), salt, hon “true” mirin, yeast extract], alcohol
Suggested uses: Given the strong flavors, we recommend enjoying a little at a time. Enjoy as is (pairs well with sake!), mix with rice or use to make onigiri (rice balls) which can also be baked in a toaster oven/pan, mix with cream cheese and use as a spread as in the Miso Pickled Shiso Seeds and Cream Cheese “Bruschetta” recipe provided.
Storage: Refrigerate after opening and use as soon as possible.
Shiso (perilla leaves or Japanese basil) is a Japanese herb related to mint that has an earthy flavor similar to basil and anise with hints of citrus. Here, the seeds have been uniquely pickled and combined with daikon, cucumber and ginger to create an umami-rich pickle with a salty miso taste that is balanced by the sweet flavors of mirin. The seeds have a texture similar to dried shiso leaves while the daikon, cucumber and ginger add a delightful crunch.
Echigo Miso Nishi has been producing miso and soy sauce products since its establishment almost 200 years ago in 1831. With a goal of preserving the tastes of the past, these golden miso pickles are marinated in sankai-bushi miso, a regional miso made using special soybeans and Koshihikari rice from Niigata Prefecture. Made by the hands of locals, these pickles lovingly embody the climate and nature of Kashiwazaki City in Niigata.
Kobumaki (Kelp Roll) (にしん太巻昆布)
Producer:Otani Masakichi Shoten
Ingredients:Kelp, Pacific herring, fermented seasoning, soy sauce, starch syrup, kanpyo (dried gourd), sugar, fish and shellfish extract, yeast extract
Suggested uses:Cut into 3-4 pieces and enjoy as is.
Storage: Refrigerate after opening and use as soon as possible.
The tradition of serving Osechi Ryōri (the special New Year’s meal) started in Japan over one thousand years ago. Each individual dish represents a wish for health, happiness, and prosperity and are all carefully packed into colorful, lacquered bento-like boxes called jubako). One of these items is a special roll of konbu (kelp) known as kobumaki. It’s made by wrapping a piece of fish in thick kelp, tying it with a bow of dried gourd, and then simmering it gently in soy sauce with a touch of sugar. The result is a savory yet slightly sweet bite-sized morsel that combines the firmness of kelp with the rich taste of fresh fish.
Our producer, Otani Masakichi Shoten, carefully crafts their kobumaki using fresh Pacific herring. Since their founding, Otani Masakichi Shoten has focused on creating foods that allow their customers to experience and enjoy the blessings of nature. They believe that “food is life” and operate with heartfelt social responsibility.
GIFT Ukiyo-e Soap Dish (浮世絵ソープディッシュ)
How to use: Thanks to the absorbing properties and natural materials, this soap dish is perfect for keeping your soap dry and making it last longer. It can also be used as a coaster for tea cups.
Long before the invention of color printing technology, prints were made using lithographs, hand-colored copper plates, and multicolor woodblocks. Woodblock printing, a tradition known as Ukiyo-e, became popular in the Edo period (1603-1868). The Japanese beauties depicted in ukiyo-e were known for their youthful, flawless skin and smooth, satin soft complexion which stemmed from the ancient natural ingredients used in their simple beauty rituals.
This soap dish from EDOBIO is decorated with original Ukiyo-e characters and is made using a special ink that prevents water permeation. Among the pigments is one of the oldest colors used in blue dyes, known as indigo or "Japanese Blue", renowned also outside of Japan thanks to Japanese artists such as Utagawa Hiroshige. The light reddish dye is derived from safflower, a historical traditional color that also appears written in the expression of the Heian period "Engishiki".
The dish is made of diatomaceous earth, a sedimentary rock composed of the fossilized remains of diatoms, a type of microscopic algae. This material has hygroscopic properties, which means it has a natural tendency to attract and retain moisture from its surroundings. It is also highly absorbant thanks to its porous structure.
EDOBIO skincare integrates cutting-edge Japanese biotechnology with ancient natural ingredients that have been in development since the Edo period. EDOBIO optimizes the skin’s natural abilities by soothing it with the timeless nourishment of natural ingredients, moisturizing, balancing pH levels and reducing the burdens of modern living. Beauty blooms from the inside out. EDOBIO encourages cellular rejuvenation and gently revitalizes your skin, producing a radiant glow that stands the test of time. Return to a simple ritual, powered by biotechnology, to renew and enrich your skin.