Mutual Trading Co's Annual Japanese Food Expo - 2013

The 25th Annual Mutual Trading Co.
Japanese Food & Restaurant Expo
Pasadena Convention Center
October 19. 2013

I've been going to the Mutual Trading Co Show almost every year since 2000, I even attended their show in the NY/NJ area.  Mutual Trading is one of the oldest Japanese food distributors in the U.S.  Based in the Los Angeles, MTC has sales offices in Honolulu, San Diego, Las Vegas, Phoenix, Boston, New Jersey, and New York.  Mutual Trading has beautiful showrooms in Los Angeles and New York City.  I should do a post on their showroom one of these days...

Ready for the breaking of the 
sake barrel to open the expo

 Once inside, lots of food, beverages,
equipment, knives, and products of all kinds.

With 88 vendors, 30 from Japan,
this event had over 2,000 registered attendees.

At the entrance, I ran into my friend 
Tommy Kosaka (chef/owner - Sushi Dragon
and Mr. Kosei Yamamoto (President & CEO, Mutual Trading) 

I look forward to seeing Mr. Yamamoto each year at the show
and around Los Angeles at various food events.

See What Jay Eats...

 A yakiniku sandwich

It was actually a good sandwich

Katsubushi - shaved bonito flakes.

Dried bonito (smoked and dried solid) is
shaved (like wood shavings) and used to make dashi,
the mother of all Japanese stocks, soups, and sauces.

This is how to do it old school and 
still the best way...

with square noodles 

Not the typical round noodles

For some reason, I now prefer the square noodles
over the round ones.

My kind of toy store

Masamoto-Sohonten Ltd is a premiere
Tokyo knife company and
has been family-owned for
six generations, dating back 150 years.

If you visit Tokyo's Tsukiji Fish Market,
look for the Masamoto knife stall

 Every year I look at the sushi knife at the top,
it's for cutting multiple sushi rolls.

I wouldn't even know how to sharpen it

The 30 cm yanagi was added to my
Christmas list, but I think Santa would
say that I'm about $2K over budget.

A really nice knife... 

Mr. Masahiro Hirano
Masamoto-Sohoten LTD.

Hirano-san engraving knives
for customers.

He engraved two of my knives
many years ago.

Food Safety Seminar

I'm always interested in food safety and wished
more restaurant owners and kitchen staff
would too.

At the Zojirushi booth

I'm not used to working with rice cookers
that aren't at least 20 cups. 

Binchotan - Japanese charcoal

Now I want yakitori

New product, not sure how I would use it...

So many vendors to meet
and lots of samples to try.

Scallop with Yuzu Kosho

A citrus flavored Japanese chili pepper paste,
one of my favorite Japanese condiments.

 Sun Noodle was here and so was the line.

They have an array of noodles
for almost every kind of dish.

 Along with their Ramen Lab broths,
one stop shop for noodles and broth
for ramen menus.

 Fish broth ramen

My friend Tommy Kosaka negotiating 
the price of a yanagi. 

My favorite yuzu juice 

Yuzu is a Japanese citrus 
with a clean taste

Matsuri Brown Rice

Wasn't the typical brown rice
that I'm familiar with... 

One of the reasons why I attend these shows,
to see new products.

This one is a frozen takoyaki product,
not bad for a frozen item.

Tuna Cutting Demo

I ran into friends and missed the demo

But I did get to taste it.

Not just food and equipment,
but they also had dish and glass wear on sale

Mr. Hirano giving a demonstration on knife sharpening. 

It's now audience participation time 

One of the best imported Japanese beers.

I'm surprised we don't see more of it around town...

Time to head over to the crowded
beer, sake, and sochu tasting area.

Sorry, my pictures of the beer and sake area
didn't really turn out too well.
They were really out of focus, not sure why...

It's not that I attend these shows only to see all of the new products
or to fill up on free samples.  But to see friends in the industry,
run into chefs I've worked with or vendor reps I've met in the past.
Unfortunately, this is a trade show and only open to those
in the restaurant industry, otherwise I'd say to attend next year.

You'll just have to check back with me next year on what's
new in the Japanese food arena...

Mr. Kosei Yamamoto

Photos by Jay Terauchi
Jay Eats


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