Malica Ferments presents the online pre-order event "Hara farm’s 100% Organic Buckwheat Soba feat. Nitto’s Vegan Shiro Dashi" from 13th April until 11th May 2022
We welcomeMarika Groena.k.a. Malica Ferments, a Japanese fermentation specialist based in Amsterdam. Under the topic “Hara farm’s 100% Organic Buckwheat Soba feat. Nitto’s Vegan Shiro Dashi”, Mono Japan will introduce you to Marika’s special selection. The best thing is: you can also buy these undiscovered authentic buckwheat soba noodles and Shiro dashi from April 13th to May 11th.
Thanks to everyone who followed us, our food edition of MONO MONTHY is back again this spring! This will be our 3rd time since the last spring, and we have been very happy to be able to enjoy many hidden Japanese masterpieces with you and to spend a rich time together up to now.
So, what gets the spotlight this spring?We have been preparing an exciting combination in backroom since winter, and I am so happy to finally be able to introduce these two products to you. We are so confident that any Japanese person, or even those who have a slight dislike of this food, will overcome this time and become completely addicted to it.
Our theme of food MONO MONTHLY April 2022 is “Hara farm’s 100% Organic Buckwheat Soba feat. Nitto’s Vegan Shiro Dashi”! A long title, I know, but we are so excited to present this dream combination to you now.
Do you like soba noodles? Living outside Japan, it is very difficult to find quality soba noodles. My husband is Dutch, and the first soba he ever ate was on an aeroplane, and he thought that all soba had this kind of texture and taste. One day, however, he went to a soba restaurant in Japan and said to himself, "This is real soba!” Since then, he’s been eating soba rather than ramen, zarusoba on warm days and hot soba on cold days. I always try to make sure that we have enough stock of good soba in our pantry because it is difficult to find one in The Netherlands. I love buckwheat noodles, but I have always regretted the fact that my favourite buckwheat noodles, in particular, are hard to find in Europe.
Last year, I met Daichi Hara, a dedicated organic buckwheat noodle farmer from the town of Shintoku in Hokkaido, online. Mr. Hara's aim is to create a recycling-oriented farming system that takes care of the natural environment and utilises local resources, so that future generations can enjoy a healthy lifestyle. I will tell you more about it this month, but I’d like to begin with the conclusion: Mr. Hara's Juwari Soba was shockingly delicious.
Juwari means 100% in Japanese. Juwari soba is soba noodle made of 100% buckwheat without using any other flour. At the end of last year, I got lucky to get his soba from him and I was awakened to the taste of soba once again. When you talk about juwai soba, you’d think of rough texture in noodles but Mr. Hara's soba had such a wonderful texture that I couldn't believe that nothing else other than buckwheat was used to hold it together, and while it is sticky, it slides down your throat easily. Of course, I enjoyed it by dipping it in the sauce, but I found it to be an ultimate dish that tasted good on its own without any additional ingredients. I had never tasted such a type of juwari soba before, even in Japan.
What was even more surprising was the boiled water after the soba noodles were cooked. The boiling water was so full of flavour that I could not throw it away, and I had to re-evaluate the potential of soba noodles from scratch. I was surprised that such soba noodles existed.
This spring, we would like to introduce to everyone the long-sought-after juwari Soba, together with Mikawa Shojin Shiro Dashi (dashi made from Mikawa Shiro Tamari, a secret weapon of Nitto Brewery in Hekinan, Aichi Prefecture, which was exhibited last spring), as soba-tsuyu (soba soup).
Last but not least, we will be offering that Mikawa Shiro Tamari at the same time. Whoo-hoo!
Nitto Brewery's Mikawa Shojin Shiro Dashi, as the name suggests, contains no animal ingredients. Based on Asuke-brewed Mikawa Shiro Tamari, this product is made without yeast extract, vegetable extract or sugar, and is finished with the flavour and sweetness of the ingredients themselves. Moreover, all the ingredients are domestically produced. I will tell you more about it this month, but this way even vegans who want to eat soba but can't have bonito dashi can enjoy it with peace of mind.
The " Hara farm’s 100% Organic Buckwheat Soba feat. Nitto’s Vegan Shiro Dashi " fair finally kicks off this spring! I hope you will follow along, discovering the new encounter of Hara and Nitto’s dream products with us.
About the producers / 作り手について
Hara Farmis a dedicated organic buckwheat noodle farmer who started farming in Hokkaido in 2009. The farm is located in Shintoku-town, in the north-west of Tokachi in Hokkaido, a region with a rich natural environment where the Daisetsu Mountains and the Hidaka Mountains meet. In such an environment, the farm does not use any pesticides or chemical fertilisers during the growing season. Taking advantage of the cool climate, the farm grows buckwheat, and their dedicated partners process their crop and turn it into a delicious buckwheat noodle. Hara farm also actively engages with local residents and works ambitiously to enrich and revitalise the town by communicating the beauty of agriculture and buckwheat noodles.
Nitto Brewery provides us with Shojin Shiro Dashi, the vegan white dashi as a soba-tsuyu (sauce for soba) to go with Hara’s juwari soba noodles. Many of you may remember Shirotamari that blew us away at the Mono Monthly in the last spring. Shirotamari used in this Shojin Shiro Dashi is a rare white soy sauce that originated in Hekinan, Aichi Prefecture. This soy sauce contains no soya beans. Mikawa Shojin Shiro Dashi is made by combining the unique Asuke-brewed Mikawa Shirotamari as a base with carefully selected domestic plant-derived ingredients. Hekinan is not only the birthplace of white soy sauce, but also a treasure trove of world-class fermented foods, including soybean miso, gluten-free tamari soy sauce, Mikawa mirin and sake.
About the products / 商品について
The two products from Hara Farms that we are introducing under the brand name “Genki Soba” Noodles are juwari nama soba and juwari dried noodles. Juwari means 100% in Japanese, so juwari soba is 100% buckwheat soba.
Juwari Nama Soba is a simple product using only buckwheat flour produced at Hara Farm and salt.
The buckwheat is carefully grown at Hara’s farm, and is processed in Shimane Prefecture, famous for its Izumo soba. The beauty of nama soba is that, unlike dried noodles, the original texture of raw soba can be enjoyed. On the other hand, juwari dry noodles are processed in Nagano, famous for Shinshu soba, and use only buckwheat flour produced at the Hara Farm, allowing you to enjoy the original flavour of pure buckwheat.
Especially for dried noodles, a thick and creamy sobayu can be obtained after boiling the soba noodles, so after eating the noodles, enjoy the sobayu or add other ingredients to make a soup. Sobayu from the nama-soba (fresh noodles) is also quite nice as it is because it contains a little salt. It goes well with Nitto's Shojin Shiro Dashi or Shirotamari in Japanese style, as well as eating it like pasta or as a salad in western style.
Nitto’s Shojin Shiro Dashi, which we are proud to recommend as soba-tsuyu, is an all-purpose dashi stock made from only carefully selected plant-derived ingredients, without using animal ingredients such as dried bonito flakes. Not to mention all the ingredients are domestically produced: dashi from Hokkaido ma-kombu and shiitake mushrooms from Kyushu, sweetened with Mikawa mirin and sun-dried kiriboshi daikon dashi.
It does not contain yeast extract, vegetable extract or sugar, so it has a mild, deep, yet clean and gentle flavour. It is perfect as soba-tsuyu but at the same time it is a winning seasoning that helps you level up any type of dishes in your kitchen.