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Exploring the Diversity of Fermented Foods: From Gunma to San Francisco(1)

 Fermented foods include a wide variety of products, including miso, koji, and soy sauce. Each has its own distinct types, such as white miso, red miso, barley miso, rice miso, and flavored misos such as yuzu or green chili miso, as well as miso powder. In addition, products such as salt koji and soy sauce koji, and even soy sauce itself, vary greatly depending on the brewery and the method of production. Among these, 13 products from Gunma, a region known for fermented foods, were selected for introduction to the American market through a workshop and tasting in San Francisco.

 As mentioned in our previous article, for those of you who were unable to attend, we are eager to share the deliciousness of fermented foods by presenting the recipes for the nine dishes that were served at the tasting event, along with the products that were used. These products, while only available at SF76 for a limited time. In addition, some of these items will soon be available for purchase at https://store.177milkstreet.com/, providing an opportunity for those in America to experience the depth and variety of fermented foods.

Bon Appétit!
From here, we will introduce the recipes for the nine dishes and the products used, divided into two articles. Stay tuned for these delicious explorations in our upcoming posts.

❶Koji-Cured Hamachi with Root Beer Date

Hamachi Cure Ingredients:

 • 300g Hamachi (Yellowtail)
 ★50g Shio-koji (Salt Koji)
 • 30g Sugar

Cure Instructions:

  1. Combine the Shio-koji and sugar in a bowl.
  2. Coat the Hamachi evenly with the Shio-koji and sugar mixture.
  3. Place the coated Hamachi in the fridge to cure for 45 minutes.

Ponzu Ingredients:

 ・15g Mirin
 ・30g Sake
 ・50g Freshly Squeezed Citrus Juice
 ・80g Soy Sauce
 ・30g Rice Vinegar
 ・1 (4-inch) piece Kombu (Dried Kelp)

Ponzu Instructions:

  1. In a small pan, simmer the mirin and sake for one minute, then remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature.
  2. In a jar or container, combine the cooled mirin-sake mixture with the citrus juice, soy sauce, rice vinegar, and kombu.
  3. Allow the mixture to steep overnight.
  4. Strain the ponzu through a fine strainer or double layer of cheesecloth.
  5. Store in the refrigerator for up to a couple of weeks.

Root Beer Date Sauce Ingredients:

 ・225g Pitted Dates
 ・1 bottle Root Beer

Root Beer Date Sauce Instructions:

  1. In a pot, cook the dates in root beer for 10 minutes.
  2. Transfer the mixture to a blender and blend until smooth.

Enjoy this unique combination of flavors by serving the koji-cured Hamachi drizzled with the ponzu sauce and accompanied by the root beer date sauce. This dish marries traditional Japanese techniques with a modern twist for a truly memorable dining experience.

➋Soba Noodle Salad

Ingredients:

 ・8 ounces dry soba noodles
 ・200g frozen shelled edamame, thawed
 ・200g finely shredded purple or green cabbage
 ・1 large red bell pepper, thinly sliced
 ・200g julienned carrots
 ・50g chopped cilantro leaves
 ・50g sliced green onions (about 3 stalks)

Dressing:

 ・3 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
 ・2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
 ・2 tablespoons rice vinegar
 ・2 tablespoons neutral oil (such as olive, avocado, sunflower, or grapeseed oil)
 ・1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil (use the teaspoon for drizzling)
 ・1 tablespoon agave nectar or maple syrup
 ・1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
 ・2-3 teaspoons sriracha
 ・1 clove garlic, minced

For Topping:

 ・Black or white sesame seeds
 ★Nihonichi All-in-One SPICE
 ・Additional cilantro, chopped
 ・Additional green onions, sliced

Instructions:

  1. Make the dressing: In a small bowl, whisk together soy sauce, lime juice, rice vinegar, neutral oil, 1 tablespoon sesame oil, agave nectar (or maple syrup), minced ginger, sriracha, and minced garlic until well combined. Taste and adjust the flavors as needed. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  2. Cook the noodles: Prepare the soba noodles according to the package instructions. Once cooked, drain in a colander and rinse under cold water until completely cooled. To prevent the noodles from sticking together, drizzle with about 1 teaspoon of sesame oil or a neutral-flavored oil and gently toss to coat.
  3. Assemble the salad: In a large bowl, combine the cooled noodles, thawed edamame, shredded cabbage, sliced red bell pepper, julienned carrots, chopped cilantro, and sliced green onions. Pour the prepared dressing over the salad and gently toss to ensure everything is evenly coated. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.
  4. Serve: Garnish the salad with sesame seeds, additional chopped cilantro, and sliced green onions before serving.

Enjoy this refreshing and colorful soba noodle salad, perfect as a light meal or a side dish for any occasion.

➌Lotus Root Kinpira

Ingredients:

 ・8 oz (3 inches, 7.6 cm) lotus root (renkon)
 ・1 cup water (for soaking the lotus root)
 ・1 tsp unseasoned rice vinegar (for soaking the lotus root)
 ・1 dried red chili pepper
 ・1 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
 ・½ Tbsp toasted white sesame seeds

Seasonings:

 ・1 Tbsp sake
 ・1 Tbsp mirin
 ・½ Tbsp sugar
 ★1 Tbsp soy sauce (kokusan marudaizu shoyu)

Instructions:

  1. Prepare the Lotus Root:
    • Peel the lotus root and cut it in half lengthwise.
    • Thinly slice the lotus root and soak in a mixture of 1 tsp rice vinegar and 1 cup water for 3–5 minutes to prevent discoloration.
    • Drain the water well from the lotus root slices.
  2. Prepare the Chili Pepper:
    • Cut the end off 1 dried red chili pepper to remove the seeds, then thinly slice into rounds. Keep the seeds if you prefer a spicier dish.
  3. Cooking Process:
    • Heat 1 Tbsp of toasted sesame oil in a large frying pan over medium heat.
    • Add the drained lotus root slices and stir-fry until they are almost translucent (about 80% cooked).
    • Add 1 Tbsp sake, 1 Tbsp mirin, and ½ Tbsp sugar to the pan. Continue to cook until the alcohol smell has evaporated.
    • Introduce the sliced red chili pepper and 1 Tbsp soy sauce, stirring well to combine. Add the soy sauce last to prevent it from burning.
    • Once the liquid has almost completely evaporated, sprinkle in ½ Tbsp toasted white sesame seeds and toss everything together to distribute the seeds evenly.
  4. To Serve:
    • This dish can be enjoyed hot, at room temperature, or chilled.
    • Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3–4 days.

Enjoy this traditional Japanese side dish that combines the crisp texture of lotus root with the aromatic flavors of sesame and a hint of spice from the chili pepper.

❶Shio-Koji

Shio-Koji is versatile culinary companions, capable of elevating any cooking method. They unlock the umami essence of ingredients, allowing you to marinate meat, fish, and vegetables for grilling or frying. https://www.komenohana.shop/

➋Nihonichi All-in-One SPICE

This versatile blend combines soy sauce cake, soy sauce, salt, pepper, garlic, and various spices. Perfect for those moments when you can’t decide on a seasoning or crave an extra burst of flavor. It complements steaks, stir-fries, salted pasta, fries, soups, stews, and hotpots. https://nihonichi-shoyu.shop-pro.jp/?pid=151422413

➌Kokusan Marudaizu Shoyu

Our domestically sourced round soy sauce is crafted through aging and fermentation, resulting in a deep and savory “koikuchi” soy sauce. Perfect for dishes like simmered fish and beef stew!If you’re making sushi, it’s an excellent choice for ikura (salmon roe), horse mackerel, and mackerel. https://www.nihonichi-shoyu.co.jp/shop/

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