Did you know you can make imitation eel that tastes and looks exactly like a real eel using kombu seaweed, tofu and tofu pulp? Eel is being enjoyed all over Japan as a traditional summer food to beat the heat but due to this price soar, many people will not be able to eat eel on a traditional eel day, Midsummer Day of the Ox. Recently in Japan, price soar of eel is hurting people’s dietary since price went up more than double in a year. Midsummer Day of the Ox is believed to be the one of hottest day and people consume eel due to rich vitamin A and B. This tradition of eating eel goes back to as long as 1700’s. At the time eating food name starting with U, such as Umeboshi (sour plum), Unagi (eel), and Uri (cucumber), on the Midsummer Day of the Ox help you not getting a heat exhaustion for the rest of the summer. In modern days, eel is the most common food eaten on the Midsummer Day of the Ox.
I found a news article that alleviates this problem. One food company developed an imitation eel as a substitute of real eel. Imitation eel is made by baking a special paste made of ground Pollack, tofu and “okara,” or pulp generated in the process of making tofu. For the skin, the firm used boiled kombu seaweed. I looked into this company and found that they made milt out of same ingredients as eel. Milt is considered a delicacy and very pricey due to its scarcity. Both eel and milt looks so real and can’t distinguish by just looking at a picture. Moreover, tofu, okara and kombu seaweed all contains rich in fiber and does not use any animal based ingredients so everyone can enjoy this product.
As an employee at kombu seaweed company, I would like to try some of this imitation eel and milt made out of kombu seaweed, but also develop a new product that everyone can afford and enjoy using healthy traditional foods.
Here is the news source:http://www.japantimes.co.jp/text/nn20120727f3.html
This is the company site that invented imitation eel and milt: http://www.japan-sfl.com/dev.html