Take a Bite

Future food straight from Japan

March 24th, 2016

PHOTOS BY NADINE KAM / nkam@staradvertiser.com

Kyushu is known for its hot springs and Beppu shiitake that contains potassium to help lower blood pressure, vitamin D to prevent osteoporosis and bowel cancer, lentinan used in Japan as an anti-tumor medicine, and eritadenine to lower blood cholesterol and help prevent arteriosclerosis.

The Hawaii Restaurant Association welcomed "The 5th Japanese Food Trade Fair" to the Japanese Cultural Center of Honolulu on March 24, showcasing products various companies want to introduce to the local market.

The event, geared toward retailers, wholesalers and restaurants, included more than 100 products by 20 Japan vendors. I'm hoping to see some of them on store shelves in months to come, such as delicate warabi mochi from Kyoto; plum-accented furikake, and vegetable furikake that can be folded into omelettes as well as sprinkled over rice; yogurt-and-strawberry, cream cheese and other wonderful flavors of mochi; and packaged spicy tuna to speed sushi-making at home.

The event was presented with support of the Japan External Trade Organization, and included a mochi tsuki demonstration and sushi-making demonstration.

A second, public "Sunshine Market" will take place March 26 at J-Shop, during which consumers will be able to purchase the products from 10 a.m. until they are sold out. The J-Shop grocery store is at 1513 Young St.

Local boy Travis Miyamoto now works for Hidecho Suisan Co., in Uwajima City, and taught their cooks how to make poke out of the company's fish, including samples of hamachi and tai that he was serving up.

To speed food prep, silver salmon from Aichi prefecture is marinated in mirin lees and miso and packaged. At home, just grill and eat.

The packaged and finished salmon.

One of the most intriguing products is an all-natural liquid that allows caterers or food preparers to freeze sushi and preserve it for a year. Without freezing, use of the preservative will allow sushi to sit for two hours without refrigeration. The quality, when thawed, he said, would be comparable to grocery store sushi.

Sushi made from packaged spicy tuna and salmon.

Popso extra virgin olive oil is spiced with sansho pepper and contains natural rock salt comprising seven to 10 minerals. It contains no trans-fatty acid and no cholesterol. In the background is the spiced oil and popcorn shrimp sautéed in the oil.

Furikake with dehydrated vegetables and the red of plum.

Fresh mochi was made on the spot, starting with the pounding of the rice, shaping and dredging in kinako.

T

This cheese manju was delicate and delicious.

A guide to flavored manju.

A guide to flavored mochi ranging from chocolate to cream cheese.

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