Trade Show: Japanese Food Expo 2012

It's October and time for Mutual Trading Co., Inc's Annual Restaurant Trade Show.  This showcases their new and popular Japanese food and drink skus available through Mutual Trading Co and their subsidiaries. 

I met up with Foodstory founder, Yoko Isassi, and we explored the floor looking for new ingredients and the next food story at:

The 24th Annual Mutual Trading 
Japanese Food and Restaurant Expo
Pasadena Convention Center
October 13, 2012

This year, Mutual Trading moved it's show
to Pasadena to accommodate the increasing 
interest in Japanese cuisine.

Lots of vendors and plenty of items to sample

Here's What Jay Eats...
(Or sampled)

Too many noodle choices
from Sun Noodle

Soba Noodles
with a dash of yuzu

I was hoping to jazz up the soba taste,
but the yuzu they had wasn't citrus enough,
like you would with pho.

Until I found this one...
My New Favorite Yuzu!

Shibori Yuzu
All Natural 
100% Juice

Super Frozen Tuna
-75º F

Taste Test
Comparing the Super Frozen Tuna
to Fresh Tuna

It was very very close.

Mini Conveyor Belt Sushi
Autec Inc.

Sushi Institute of America students
making sushi

A shy Soy Paper vendor

Masamoto Booth
(Professional Japanese knives)

I'm like a kid in a candy store...

Masamoto-Sohonten Ltd it is one of the oldest
and most respected knife manufacturers in Japan.

Masamoto-Sohonten Ltd has been family-owned
for six generations, dating back 150 years.

Right-handed Japanese knives

Japanese knives are bladed on one side with
an air gap.  One of the reasons, have you ever sliced
tomatoes or cheese and have it stick to the knife?
With this type of design, slicing delicate fish
or vegetables will not stick to the knife.

Other difference is the materials.  Most of these
knives are made from carbon steel.  More maintenance
is required than stainless steel, but can be honed 
very sharp.

Since most of the population is right-handed,
you'd see more RH knives,
Left-handed ones are more expensive.

It's the right size, but I really don't need another knife...

Yes, that's a $1,500 knife...
A hand-forged blue steel knife

Tsukiji Masamoto Hocho Master
Masahiro Hirano
Masamoto-Sohonten Ltd.

He engraved my name on my yanagi and takohiki
in Tokyo many years ago.

 Lots of food to sample

27 Sake Breweries
with over 120 different sakes

New Sake Product
Grapefruit flavored low-alcohol cocktail
by Takara Sake USA Inc.

Sweet Potato Lager
by Coedo
from Japan

Wouldn't have known,
doesn't taste like sweet potatoes. 

I loved the Coedo Shiro! 
A non-filtered wheat beer 

So much sake, so little time... 

One that I really liked...

A woodsy, mushroom flavor,
would be great with hot pots

When you want to learn more about about sake,
Mutual Trading has a school.

Besides sake,
sake-ware was on sale too

Discussing the next Japanese food trend
after ramen with Mr. Kosei Yamamoto,
President and CEO,
Mutual Trading Co., Inc.

But that's just between us...

To get that REAL Japanese charcoal flavor

White Koji

A traditional seasoning in Japan,
it's making it's way to the U.S. market.

made with white koji

The Casual Dining Trend discussion to begin
"Redefining the Future of Japanese Cuisine"

(From Left)  Takaaki Koyama (Daikokuya), Mitsuyasy Shigeta
 (Shinsengumi), Katsuya Uechi (Katsuya Group), and 
Kentaro Uechi (Sushi Institute of America)

 S and B
Chili Oil with garlic chips

Chili Oil with garlic chips, 
tasted great

Another Japanese flavor making it into the U.S. market

Kurobuta Pork
aka Berkshire Pork

The Longest Line of the Show,
was in the dish ware area

More knives on Sale...

It seemed like more than 2,000 registered attendees,
everyone seemed like the new venue
and got to meet/see more vendors than last year.

I even came across a few new items...

Mutual Trading Co., Inc.
431 Crocker Street
Los Angeles, CA 90013
(213) 626-9458


See you next year...

Photos by Jay Terauchi
©Jay Terauchi
Jay Eats


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