cool Japanese gems for hot LA nights….

We’ve got everything you need to make poke. Use our poke marinade with soy, yuzu, sesame oil, and sambal to dress some sushi-grade ahi tuna or Ora King salmon. Serve it over Koshihikari rice (the short-grain rice of choice for most sushi chefs) and the avocado, scallions, and cucumbers from the produce box. We also have tins of salmon roe which we love to pile on top. 

To take your rice bowl to the next level, we have a special furikake from Sonoko Sakai: educator, champion of local grains, artisan noodle maker, cookbook author, and gardener. Sonoko’s integrity is evident in the Japanese pantry items she makes. Her furikake is a “wet” or “sticky” style rice seasoning made with sesame seeds and Weiser Farm’s Jimmy Nardello peppers. It’s spicy, salty and sweet, and terrific on rice, fish, toast and salad. Sonoko even likes it on ice cream! You can listen to Sonoko describe her process and product in this interview from Good Food.

For something ready to heat and serve, we’re making homestyle Japanese braised chicken thighs. Gently cooked in chicken stock and black vinegar with shitake mushrooms, ginger, and scallions, these chicken thighs will have succulent, tender meat that falls off the bone. Serve it over rice, and family dinner is made. And for something to cook from scratch, we have whole free-range chickens and Meiji tofu, handmade locally in small batches with non-GMO soybeans. We are offering their supreme tofu, which is silken and pudding-like, as well as their firm block tofu. 

To dress or dip your farm box vegetables, we’re making a batch of carrot-ginger salad dressing and introducing Mel’s umami-licious miso sauce. This savory blend of garlic, shallots, miso, lemon, and chili is gently cooked in oil until it all submits and softens into a luscious, spoonable sauce that’s delicious on seared salmon, tofu, chicken, eggplants, tomatoes and of course, rice.

On our trips to Gardena to pick up the Meiji tofu, we discovered Kansha Creamery, a family-run ice cream shop dedicated to sourcing local, organic ingredients whenever possible and donating a portion of their profits. (This week one of our favorite organizations, Miry's List, will be the recipient of their generosity.) Their Aoi premium matcha ice cream is the perfect way to finish your Japanese-inspired meals. 

And if you want to make it a sundae, we’ve got handmade mochi bits from Fugetsu-Do, a family-owned and operated Japanese confectionary store in Little Tokyo since 1903. Mochi is a traditional Japanese confection made from glutinous rice. These bits are similar to what you might find at a frozen yogurt shop but much fresher! And Mel is making a batch of hot fudge with Strauss dairy and Valhrona chocolate to drizzle over it all.

All summer, I drink roasted barley tea, a popular drink throughout East Asia. So I was thrilled to learn that Sonoko is sourcing local barley from Kodo Farms in Dos Palos, CA, and roasting it in small batches. You can enjoy it hot or cold, but during these dog days, a tall glass of iced barley tea is the most refreshing drink I know.