Quality Japanese Food Products to Share with Family and Friends

Posted on Dec 5, 2012 in Hiroko's Blog

At this holiday season, the best artisan processed kelp – MAKOMBU, shoyu – KISHIBORI SHOYU (Japanese soy sauce) and sea salt – SUZUSHIO are available at www.theingredientfinder.com. Sharing quality food among family and friends has become easy.

I have just shipped a box of The End of The Year gift to my Mom in Japan. The content was a cashmere sweater for her to stay warm during the cold winter, Hiroko’s American Kitchen to critique, packs of very special MAKOMBU (“finely shredded” Makombu kelp) and Suzushio sea salt. I have introduced Suzushio and MAKOMBU to her in the past and she now loves them. There is a reason why I send to her in Japan this special kombu which comes from Japan.

Matsumae-ya Company, Osaka, in Japan, which has been in kelp business since 1912 and has been the major distributor of Makombu in Japan, several years ago came up with a fantastic, new kombu product for US market – finely shredded kombu packed in a small plastic bag or one-quart size plastic container. Shredded kombu made many things possible. It is easy to store (it is not bulky so it does not take up space), it is easy to use (the needed portion can be measured in a measuring cup) and it infuses water with much richer flavor than un-cut kombu does.

My mother loved all of these new features. After she used up all of the packs of shredded Makombu which I have sent to her, she headed to Matsumae-ya stores in Tokyo, which are housed in several large department store food courts. She was told by all of the store managers that such shredded kombu products does not exist in Japan. This is why I need to send her this special kombu.

When you bite a single tiny shred, powerful umami and sweet flavor explode in your mouth. There is a interesting story of Kombu Harvest and recipes of how to make kombu stock – both traditional easy way and Chef’s method – in Hiroko’s American Kitchen.