We’ve also sourced everything to make the most beautiful, nourishing bowl of miso soup, and we’re thrilled to offer Sonoko Sakai’s homemade live miso. This small batch, unpasteurized, probiotic rich red miso is made with organic, non-GMO soybeans. It can be enjoyed straight from the jar (Sonoko calls it a “miso lick”), or added to salad dressing, butter or marinades. To make a pot of miso soup, start with Sonoko’s mushroom dashi powder. (Dashi broth is the foundation of miso soup and many other Japanese dishes.) Stir the powder into boiling water to make the stock, then add the miso paste. Of course, you’ll want to add some of our favorite local Meiji tofu. Then, to fill your bowl with the traditional land and sea vegetables, we’ll have daikon, napa cabbage, and scallions in the produce box and we’re excited to introduce wakame seaweed from Daybreak Seaweed Company, the source for regeneratively farmed seaweed from the Pacific Ocean. Pick your reason to love this product: the mission, flavor, or health benefits.
For something ready to heat and serve, Mel’s 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 koshihikari rice, and family dinner is made.
Whenever we have koshihikari rice, we love offering all the poke pieces to put on it: Dress sushi-grade ahi tuna or Ora King salmon with Mel’s poke marinade. Add a wakame seaweed salad or crisp chips, and pile some salmon roe on top.
To take your rice bowl to the next level, finish it with one of Sonoko’s original furikake creations. These sweet-and-savory blends of seeds, seaweed and dehydrated fruits are delicious sprinkled on ramen, rice or poke (or almost anything) for added flavor. Both the tomato and oro blanco are finalists in this year’s Good Food Awards competition.
For other raw proteins, we have Wagyu Denver steaks, Peads and Barnetts’ pork chops, and free-range boneless, skinless chicken breasts. The wagyu steak only needs salt to taste like butter, and the pork chops and chicken would be delicious finished with some miso compound butter.
When our menu leans Japanese, we all want carrot-ginger salad dressing to dress or dip our farm box vegetables. And if our menu is rooted anywhere in East Asia, we’re making the trek east to Hui Tou Xiang dumpling workshop in San Gabriel to get handmade pork, chicken and vegetable potstickers. And we’re restocking our supply of Gimmedat’s chili crisp since dumplings are the perfect conduits for our favorite condiment.
To wash it all down, we have a couple of drinks from our Friends at Forage. Akitabare “winter blossom” Daiginjo sake is rich and round. And although is isn’t new or obscure, Hitachino Nest’s White Ale is always smooth and delicious.