Japanese Superfood

We often see the word “Superfood” on T.V, Magazines, and Radio…almost every media. So, we are going to focus on Japanese superfood “Hijiki”.
In Japan, Hijiki (It’s a type of seaweed!) is eaten simmered with carrots, soy sauce, and other ingredients, but they are so familiar to us, that we don’t often count them as “Superfood”. However, because Hijiki is a traditional food in Japan and known for its richness in fibre, Hijiki is eaten mainly by female.
Also, some people who has an interest in health and beauty recognize this food, and gradually, becoming as new superfood in the States.
“How do I cook this new superfood?”
Well, that’s easy. If it’s dehydrated, leave them in the water until its fully hydrated, and put them in your homemade salad, or stir-fry. Or, you can mix in a mashed potato, or put them in a stew…you can do whatever you want with them!
To check our recipe >> http://www.kurakonusa.com/hijiki/uses_of_hijiki.html%e3%81%8a%e5%bc%81%e5%bd%93%ef%bc%88%e3%81%b2%e3%81%98%e3%81%8d%e7%85%ae%e5%85%a5%e3%82%8a%ef%bc%89

Seaweed Chocolate Bar

Last autumn, The Great and Wonderfun Sea of Change Trading Co. have made premium chocolate bar using “deeply nourishing and mineral-rich” seaweed. This company has been dealing with seaweed, and found cocoa and seaweed, a suitable combination.
According to the article ,
(http://www.pressdemocrat.com/business/4645071-181/windsor-company-makes-candy-bars) this product “offers the best of both worlds — land and sea”, and it is made from
Nori,Dulse and Wakame.
The manufacturer says that the children would love the chocolate. It seems that young people are ready to accept the new trends.
We have mentioned the chocolate using Kombu made in Japan, and this “wave” may have influenced the trend of USA.

Speaking of Snacks rich in minerals, why don’t you try our Seaweed Crisps? It’s healthier than a Chocolate, and also you could enjoy its crispy texture!! http://www.kurakonusa.com/product/seaweed_crisps/index.html

Chocolate Bar / wafflesatnoon

Here we come, Seaweed-Gin!

Alcohol beverage and Seaweed?
I guess you can easily imagine that liquor goes very well with fruit (Orange and cherry for cocktail, and mint for mojito, for instance).
Seaweed may be used in a same way in the near future.
In the previous article, we have introduced you the beer that used Kombu to add Umami (http://www.kurakonusa.com/blog/2014/08/kombu-beer/). Umami of Kombu enhanced the taste of beer, and made it fairly healthy.
This time, The Telegraph (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/promotions/events/11668934/Seaweed-frankincense-turps-is-there-anything-you-cant-put-in-gin.html) introduced “Seaweed Gin”, made in Wales. Gin contains Botanicals, such as lavender and coriander, botanicals that we hardly taste in our daily diet. However, Da Mihile Distillery, the Welsh alcohol beverage maker added 3 types of seaweed including laver, to the original Botanicals.
Can you imagine the flavour?
According to the owner, this gin “still smells like a true gin, but has a whiff of the seaside, a ‘salty air’ quality”.
And then after the “Seaweed Gin”, Edinburgh Gin (http://www.edinburghgindistillery.co.uk/) also made “Seaside Gin”, containing few types of seaweed “to lend the gin a slightly sweet yet refreshingly minerally taste”.

Seaweed was eaten by Irish and Scottish, just like Japanese for a long time, but apparently they have new way of using seaweed in the U.K.
Speaking of munchies, Kombu meatball goes well with alcohol beverage. Why don’t you try our Kombu meatball recipe? (http://www.kurakonusa.com/useful/recipes/kombu-meatball.html)

gin and tonic / Global Jet

New invensions to the ways of eating seaweed

Whats the first thing that came into your mind when you hear “Seaweed”?. If slimy or gloss is your answer, that idea is changing.
This trend of using seaweed in a diet started from restaurants and now, According to The Guardian (http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2015/may/20/seaweed-supermarket-rise-guide-types)
, TESCO has a “stock [of] fresh, edible seaweed, selling 80g punnets of tagliatelle-like sea spaghetti, harvested on the Cornish coast, for £2”, called “Sea Spaghetti”.
Seaweed is known as a food that contains rich in Calcium, Vitamins, and Minerals, however, I think you still do not have a specific idea how to make a meal with seaweed. Probably, the only image you had for edible seaweed was the Nori (the black seaweed), wrapped around Japanese cuisine, Sushi, wasn’t it? This edible, fresh seaweed “Sea Spaghetti” has rich flavour, and not only healthy but it also adds the colour to the meal.
Surprising to us Japanese, some people compare dulse with bacon (yes, that piece of meat you bake on top of your toast), because of its “smoky richness”. And they are suggesting using seaweed in tomato sauces, soups and stews, and vegetable curries, and many more. This article suggests using this “Sea Spaghetti” on paella by “crumbling dried [and] toasted”. Also,
If you had no idea how to start your healthy seaweed life, how about trying healthy seaweed salad using our product? Here’s the link! (http://www.kurakonusa.com/useful/recipes/vegetable-with-seaweed-salad-on-the-go.html)

Walmart’s “Action Alley” Display Signs Feature Value and Convenience on Popular Shopping Items / Walmart Corporate

Umami chocolate using kombu seaweed

Its bit late but we are going to talk about Valentine’s Day, because who doesn’t like candy?? So in all over the world, Valentine’s Day is usually a day for lover, but here in Japan, it’s the day people give out chocolates for friends and lover. Every time of this year, many media and department tries to bring up the hype for Valentine’s Day.

Many Chocolate brands come out with new chocolate but this year; the buzz was taken by chocolate made by famous Chocolatier, called DNA chocolate.

This Chocolatier believes that “First thing you tasted when you first came into this world, must be the key for making people want to grab more”. Based on his believe, he came up with chocolate filled with Umami, which is filled in breast milk. Breast milk contains same Umami that kombu seaweed have called glutamic acid. To replicate this breast milk, Ma-kombu seaweed were used.

Ma-kombu seaweed that was used for this chocolate is known for its rich sweetness. I’m sure Ma-kombu matched sweet and bitter chocolate flavor. (For more details of characteristics of Kombu seaweed, click here→Characteristics of Different Kombu Seaweed and its History) This DNA chocolate has won many prizes including gold prize for world biggest chocolate convention. This chocolate may have triggered judges’ nostalgia and Umami in the chocolate.

Just like chocolate have many varieties from white chocolate to dark chocolate, kombu seaweed have many varieties as well. Valentine’s Day maybe over, but if you can use kombu seaweed into daily meal, you may be able to find love of your life!

Chocolates from the Winchester Cocoa Co / Fareham Wine

Exploring Japanese Flavors in Space

Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) have announced 33 new menus for Japanese space food in order to maintain astronauts performance, nutrients and reducing stress. 

The new menus included Hijiki Salad, Nori seaweed and Miso soup. Those menu uses seaweed as an ingredient. Seaweeds are filled with natural minerals and fibers and are perfect for taking in nutrients under harsh condition such as space and this might have lead to be picked as a new space food candidate.

I’m sure they miss their familiar food especially when they are thousand miles above earth. I hope they could find successful result eating these seaweed foods that are basic building blocks of Japanese food.

Seaweed being 2015 food trend

2014 is coming to an end in a month and many food trends has passed by including quinua, chronuts and many more. I’m sure many of you have tried it.

On the Gurdian blog page, they revealed 2015’s prediction of what food is going to be a trend. Seaweeds made one of the lists as it becoming more popular to use in food and beverage. Especially for beverage, the Gurdian mentioned about beer made of seaweed in United States. We’ve touched this story before and how it’s going to become a new trend.

On 2015, we will continue to spread the goodness of seaweed to become food trend.


Seaweed / Chris_Parfitt

Largest Seaweed Salad in the World

In many countries, Navy day is a holiday and Russia is one of the countries to celebrate Russia. In Russia, there are many events throughout country to celebrate this day. For this year in city of Vladivostok, people celebrated Navy day by making a world’s largest seaweed salad. World’s largest seaweed salad consisted of 524kg (1,155lb) and made by 40 chefs.

There is no way one can eat all this seaweed salad cost and time too much but if it’s seaweed salad on the Go, each cup is portioned for one serving and just re-hydration is needed. Why don’t you keep one in your pantry and start healthy life?

Marathon with No Time Competition

Just like America, running is one of the popular sports enjoyed by many and marathon competition is held everywhere in Japan, including unique ones.

In Kanagawa prefecture, marathon called “Human Salted Kombu Seaweed Marathon” is held every year. It’s not only the name that is unique about this marathon. As everyone know, usual marathon competes time you finished, but this marathon compete on how much weight they loss at the end by sweating. This event is 19th annual marathon and has a long history to it.

This unique name derived where when people sweat, sodium and minerals stains on their shirts all white, making them look like white powder on surface of Kombu seaweed.
When you hear this story, you might think that the white powder on surface of kombu seaweed is sodium and minerals, but the actual white powder is Umami. Umami that are contained in Kombu seaweed is crystallized on surface when sun dried. Before using Kombu seaweed, do not wash it with water as umami will washed out, so use tightly wrung cloth to wipe off any sand.
Kombu seaweed is perfect for taking in minerals that are lost during sports and it is often used to avoid heat fatigue. Let’s take healthy meal when you sweat or tired from all the heat, and have a healthy blast with your life.

Tullamore Harriers Half Marathon 2014 (Start) / Peter Mooney

Kombu beer

Kombu is usually used for food to add umami and depth to the dish, but it’s not only food dishes you need umami. Beverage needs some umami too

A local brewery in Maine, U.S.A, Marshall Wharf Brewing Co. is brewing beer out of local cultivated kombu seaweed. This brewer believes that by using kombu seaweed, they can brew tasty beer using umami. Moreover, you can intake all the minerals and goodies and they want to make this their local symbol.

Let’s look at Japan where kombu seaweed is used everywhere, rooting to their culture. In Japan, it is not unusual to eat kombu seaweed to go with beer, but it is not easy to find kombu beer. But, it’s too early to assume that it doesn’t exist. Though it’s not known to many, there is brewer in Japan using kombu seaweed extract. Just like what the brewer in Maine thought, they claim that their beer has umami and depth than other regular beer.

Kombu is versatile superfood ingredient that can be used for anything, not only for the food but to the beverage. Let’s get umami to your diet and umami in you.