Seaweed Shabu-shabu at “Noma Kyoto”: March 17, 2023
Noma is back in Japan this spring!
The team from the internationally acclaimed Noma restaurant is visiting from Denmark to host “Noma Kyoto” pop-up for about 10 weeks.
We are pleased to say they are incorporating our seaweed into their culinary creations.
To enjoy this food extravaganza, Sea Vegetable staff from around Japan gathered in Kyoto the other day.
Among the dishes in the innovative 12-course menu, “seaweed shabu-shabu” — using our seaweed — shone out.
From the kombu kelp of Hokkaido in the north to the red algae of Okinawa and Kumamoto in the south, such as mirin, tosaka-nori, ryukyu-fudaraku, yumigata-ogonori, the chefs are using an array of ingredients that changes from day to day.
All these different seaweeds were either grown by us or supplied by the fishermen who assist us on a regular basis.
As side dishes, there were spinach sprouts from Kyoto, sweet to the stem and root, and citrus Hyuganatsu (“Konatsu”), delicious right down to the white parts.
The simmering pot delivered to the table revealed soup stock made from “smoked mekabu (wakame root).”
First swish the seaweed in the richly sea-flavored stock, then dip it in the special ponzu sauce made with our liquid fermented-seaweed seasoning “Aonori Shoyu”... yum, so delicious!
After being dipped in the stock, the different seaweeds turn bright green or deep brown. Each piece has a surprising texture — guests agree it’s unlike any seaweed they have eaten before.
And how about the drink pairing! A craft beer produced by Yorocco Beer — again using seaweed!
We deal with this marine product every day, but the special dining experience has opened up a new dimension of seaweed as a foodstuff.
Our firm’s first contact with Noma came about through chef Shui Ishizaka. He is in charge of culinary development at Sea Vegetable’s Test Kitchen and has also been helping to develop the menus for “Noma Kyoto.” Last year, Ishizaka and our company’s two co-CEOs visited Noma headquarters in Copenhagen.
Members of the restaurant’s culinary development team later visited our production site and laboratory in Kochi Prefecture. As part of their research trip, the Noma members joined us on a dive to explore the local seaweed beds.
Noma is a trusted partner in our efforts to fulfil the potential of seaweed, an endeavor (and now an initiative of Noma Projects ) transcending national and cultural boundaries.
In a series of surprises, from start to finish, seaweed figured everywhere in the Kyoto pop-up, from the restaurant decorations down to some of the vessels. In procuring the seaweed used for the decorations, we were also able to lend a hand together with our supporters.
As we came face-to-face, taste-to-taste, with the possibilities of seaweed as a foodstuff, we were reminded of the important role we must play in this adventure.
We hope those of you able to visit the pop-up will enjoy the dishes prepared at Noma Kyoto making imaginative use of our seaweed.