Sip a Taste of Japan at The Soup Spoon from 1 Sep to 12 Oct 2015
In celebration of its 13th year anniversary, The Soup Spoon has launched a rebranding campaign titled, ‘The World in One Kitchen’. New destination-themed Souper Inspirations flavours are introduced every six weeks and a refreshed menu ordering system showcases ‘8 new ways to eat soups’, as well as added food options.
Patterned around co-founder and SouperChef Anna Lim’s love for travelling, ‘The World in One Kitchen’ theme encapsulates the inspirations behind her soup recipes, which are created based on her travel experiences around the world.
What is comfort food to you? What are the dishes that will bring a feeling of nostalgia? Comfort food means different things for different people. For some, it’s a big bowl of noodles. For others, it’s ice cream with chocolate sauce. To many Japanese, it’s soup. Whether it’s because the weather has turned cold or you’re feeling under the weather, a hot bowl of steaming soup can provide solace and comfort.
I have been to Japan a few times and am in love with its stunning natural landscape and strong cultural identity. Its food is notoriously nutritious, with a diet based around super-fresh, seasonal products. Japanese food is one of the most well loved foods in the world, best known for the freshness of their ingredients and their clean flavours. The cuisine offers an abundance of gastronomical delights with a boundless variety of regional and seasonal dishes.
The Soup Spoon is collaborating with JNTO (Japan National Tourism Organisation) and Diners World Travel to explore regions not normally visited and create new souperinspirations, true comfort foods based on our travels through the regions of Kyushu, Chubu and Tohoku.
Through the hungry adventure in Japan by SouperChef Anna, she has discovered foods and cuisines that inspired her to create new and interesting dishes. From Kagoshima sweet potatoes, the different types of miso, the cattle range in Tohoku, staying in a ryokan in the beautiful preserved old town of Takayama in the Chubu, replica food making in Gujo Hachiman, the condiments used for seasoning foods, traditional hotpots eaten here, visiting a wasabi farm and a visit to wholesale seafood markets other than the most famous one, all in a whirlwind 6 days!
We attended the soup party at the Suntec City outlet last week. It was my first time there, most of the time I visited Tiong Bahru Plaza or Bugis Junction outlet. We had fun trying out the soup, and also meeting Anna in person! She shared with us her experience in Japan, and there were also some mini games during the soup party.
Japanese Style Vegan Sweet Potato Curry
Price: $7.50 (Regular), $8.70 (Large)
Being the largest producer of sweet potatoes in Japan, Kagoshima is the “Land of Sweet Potatoes”. Besides being sold fresh for consumption, they are also used as ingredients for brewing Shochu liquor. The subtle sweetness and simple flavour is what makes them popular. This understated vegetable has been tagged as the poor man’s food in Asia. No one would have guessed that this root vegetable with such humble beginnings is rated as the most nutritious of all vegetables.
Inspired by her Kagoshima travels, Anna has been working on perfecting this favourite comforting dish using paleo-friendly sweet potato chunks, combining them with made-from-scratch curry roux paste, roasted red apples, and adding barley to make it a simple yet delicious dish representing the best of Kagoshima in a vegan manner. It is thick and creamy, fruity, sweet and spicy at the same time. Adding a little coconut cream adds a touch of richness and tames the warming spice.
Nikujaga Wasabi Beef Stew
(Contains beef/Contains gluten/Contains dairy/Slightly spicy)
Price: $8.70 (Regular), $9.90 (Large)
There is a category of cooking known as ofukuro no aji (mother’s flavour) – it’s something simple, homely and evokes strong feelings of nostalgia. Nikujaga or stewed potatoes with meat is one such mainstay. Traditionally, this meat and potato dish only contains a small amount of meat which is added more for flavour than substance. It is typically simmered in a soy, mirin, and sugar broth with vegetables. The finished dish, a hearty stew, is both sweet and savory, and thoroughly comforting.
Anna’s visit to Daio Wasabi Farm in Nagano was an eye opener because it was said that only pure pristine mountain water flowing at a constant temperature may be used in the culture of wasabi. Daio Wasabi Farm cultivates wasabi plants using crystal clear snow-melt from the northern Japanese Alps. The temperature of the water of Daio Wasabi Farm is kept 13 degree celsius all year and it takes 2 years for a single plant to reach maturity.
Anna created a hearty Japanese beef stew with a twist, adding the wasabi element, a touch of cream for luxury and konnyaku for its zero-calorie miracle diet goodness. She used seiyo wasabi or western horseradish as she really still wanted that element of nostril-clearing fiery taste that is similar albeit less sharp than the real deal.
Salmon Head Tounyu Nabe
(Gluten free/Egg free/Dairy free/Contains seafood/Contains soymilk)
Price: $9.20 (Regular), $10.40 (Large)
Hotpots are quintessential Japanese comfort food, easy one pot meals of wholesome ingredients poached in broth or stock. Plus it is easy to cook and most importantly, there aren’t too many dishes to wash after that. Indeed a comforting one pot meal!
Anna was also challenged by a friend to think out of the box and incorporate mentaiko into soups. Most of us would have had it in our pastas and pizzas. Mentaiko is a delicious ingredient and so well-loved it was nominated as Japan’s number one side dish in the Japanese weekly magazine, Shūkan Bunshun.
Keeping all these inspiration elements in mind, she has created a salmon head tounyu nabe filled with ichigo tsukune and finished with sweet potato starch harusame, literally meaning “spring rain”. Ichigo tsukune is a mix of ebi (hence the colour of strawberries or ichigo), nagaimo, mentaiko and tofu, inspired by the chicken tsukune she had at Hanamidori. Her interpretation of Japanese soul food, this is a delicious, nutritious, sweet, rounded and delicate in flavour.
This is my favourite soup amongst all because I like the depth and intensity of the salmon flavour in the soup. I got a packet home to cook and added more vegetables, my family love it too!
A firm advocate of clean eating, SouperChef Anna uses sustainably sourced ingredients that contain no preservatives to create affordable and wholesome meals for everyone. These 3 new soup flavours will be will be launched on 1st September till 12th October 2015 and it available at all 21 outlets islandwide.
So you wanna go Japan? Stand a chance to win travel packages to Japan worth $10k when you buy the Japan Souper Inspirations soups!
Here are 2 Ways to Win!
1. Lucky Draw
Simply buy a Japan Souper Inspirations soup to receive a stamp card with a stamp. Collect 3 stamps (one Souper Inspirations soup = 1 stamp). Answer a quiz question, fill out your particulars and drop the stamp card into their lucky draw boxes!
2. Instagram Contest
Simply follow @thesoupspoonsg, snap your best food styling shot with any Japan Souper Inspirations soups, hashtag #TSSTakeMeToJapan, and tell Soup Spoon why you want to go to Japan!
Closing date for both Lucky Draw and Instagram Contest is 12th Oct so hurry!
Find out more at www.thesoupspoon.com/promotions! For more information about Japan, click here to visit JNTO’s website. Have a wonderful week with Soup Spoon’s Japan Souper Inspirations soups, and good luck! いただきますItadakimasu (Let’s eat)!
The Soup Spoon @ Suntec City
Address: 3 Temasek Boulevard #02-308 (Near Convention Centre)
Tel: 6835 7086
Opening hours: Mon to Sun 11am – 10pm
For other outlets, please visit http://www.thesoupspoon.com