At this year’s 30th Annual Mutual Trading Japanese Food & Restaurant Expo, exhibitors rolled out their best to offer special promotional savings to thank clients on this commemorative anniversary event. And with Washoku rising higher and wider in popularity, and with industry professionals in search for the better and the quicker and reasonably priced, the 2,660+ attendees were not to disappoint. Anchoring authentic Washoku as the base, suppliers showcased ages-old culinary traditions as well as products with technology advancement relevant to today’s business environment and consumers’ tastes.
HEALTHY MENU BUILDER
SOMI SHOKUHIN G-SERIES RAMEN SOUP BASES:
One of the longest wait lines came from the Somi Shokuhin booth showcasing their quality ramen soups bases, and this year highlighting their vegan and vegetarian, MSG-free series.
VEGETARIAN SOMI PAITAN G RAMEN SOUP
With the popularity of Tonkotsu Ramen, comes this completely pork-free soup base using fish. Through blind test tastings, following the pork-free reveal, booth visitors could not believe the Tonkotsu quality likeness possible from a fish ingredient source.
VEGAN SOMI SHOYU G RAMEN SOUP
Uses fat-free oils including roasted green onions that lend a deep, toasty flavor. Will not clump up, dissolving completely even when used with cold noodles and cold ingredients.
VEGAN SOMI KITANO MISO RAMEN SOUP
Combines savory Miso and vegetable flavors to produce this high-quality Ramen soup base. Is versatile as a topping sauce and a marinade for popular dishes as roasted Miso Cod.
EDAMAME & RENKON TOFU NUGGETS
Each Tofu nugget packs a generous portion of bright-colored Edamame or crunchy chopped Renkon lotus roots. They’re quick and easy to prep - simply defrost the frozen nuggets, then pan-fry, deep fry, braise, steam, or simply microwave. Since they’re not seasoned, chefs can add their own signature flavors for a vegetable protein-rich and low-fat Tofu dish that consumers will instantly regard as a healthy dish. They’re an ideal addition for the growing gluten-free and vegan customer base.
THE THREE-TIME WAGYU OLYMPIC CHAMPION
Don’t be confused into buying America-grown “Wagyu”. Authentic Japan-grown Wagyu is raised with utmost quality care combined with pedigree science. Among the many growing regions, Miyazaki Prefecture consistently produces the best Wagyu, garnering three consecutive Wagyu Olympic Championships.
Wagyu may command premium prices but - SURPRISE - there are many cuts from the same beef which are just as flavor-packed and tender, but priced up to 40% less than the well-known strip loin and ribeye cuts. Chef Nobuo Fukuda, owner-chef of Teeter House in Phoenix and past recipient of the famed James Beard Award, demonstrated preparation techniques with these still-underrated Wagyu cuts and shared his own business upsides through incorporating them onto the restaurant menu.
THE ULTIMATE UMAMI SALT
Moshio production began nearly 2,500 years ago in Japan, where this staple continues on this day, nearly unchanged. Of more than 4,000 kinds of salt produced in Japan, Mo Shio utilizes one unique method of collecting sea salt by harvesting Hondawara seaweed from Japan’s Inland Sea. The minerals and flavor transfer from the seaweed impart Umami-packed benefits that no other salt can.
HARVESTED FROM IZU PENINSULA
Kinjirushi Wasabi Company, the #1 maker of foodservice and high-quality Wasabi in Japan, now grows fresh Wasabi for the US market. Grown in the pristine brooks that bubble around the west Izu region of Shizuoka, known to be the best locale for Wasabi growing, they’re harvested and flown in every two weeks.
TRANSCENDING BEYOND CURRY RICE
Long regarded as wholesome comfort food for many Japanese, curry flavor is quickly becoming popular among mainstream Americans.
THE NEWEST FLAVOR SENSATION
Miyako Oriental Foods Inc., makers of Yamajirushi Miso and Japanese sauces, introduces their latest flavor: SHISO. They’re the green perilla leaves that accompany Sashimi dishes, that has a distinctive herb-like flavor that cleanses the palate, and actually holds anti-bacterial properties. Widely used in traditional Washoku, Shiso flavor is quickly gaining popularity in Europe. It’s now available here in the US, gluten-free, non-GMO, and MSG-free.