Evolutionary Partnerships

Be Green Packaging LLC is Genji’s proud partner in bringing our customers the world’s first fiber-based compostable sushi trays. Founded in 2007 by a passionate team of entrepreneurs in Santa Barbara, CA, Be Green is committed to finding green solutions to the world’s packaging needs.

The folks at Be Green are on a mission to design, develop, manufacture, and distribute tree free compostable food container packaging worldwide, and to reduce our reliance on forested and petroleum based raw materials. It’s a green revolution, and Be Green is Living the color™ as their two Cradle to Cradle Silver awards prove. The “C2C” award assesses products on a number of criteria, such as the use of safe and healthy materials; design for material reuse and recycling; efficient use of energy and water throughout production; and instituting strategies for social responsibility.

Furthermore, on Earth Day of 2009, Be Green was presented with the Seal of Sustainability Award from the Sustainable Business Institute (SBI) and the US Congress for having demonstrated continuous commitment to sustainable practices.

As one of the principals of the company, Megan Joy Havrda has stated, “This innovative project with Genji is a win win for everyone involved and demonstrates how Whole Foods provides a dynamic business environment for companies they work with. Together, Genji and Be Green rolled up their sleeves and improved how we package Genji sushi at Whole Foods Market. Ultimately, Whole Foods customers, our communities, and our natural landscape will see less plastic waste…we can all feel very good about this.”

Find out more at http://www.begreenpackaging.com

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In furthering our aim to provide only the finest quality in all-natural, sustainable seafood, Genji is proud to offer our customers Black Pearl Scottish Salmon. The salmon are raised in low-density, environmentally sound pens in the Shetland Islands of Northern Scotland, where the deep cool waters and intense currents provide ideal conditions for aquaculture. To closely emulate the fish’s natural diet, and to maximize the Omega-3 fatty acid content in the final product, Black Pearl uses a 100% marine oil feed derived from sustainable fish stocks.

Black Pearl’s Scottish Salmon has a natural, pure, and buttery-sweet taste making it perfect for sushi and sashimi, where the distinctive flavors of the fish can be fully appreciated. The company’s focus on extraordinary quality, freshness, and ecologically conscious practices is truly a benchmark for the industry.

“We strive to achieve a balance in promoting health, nutrition, and food safety with sustainable fishery management.”
Martin International Corporation

Find out more at http://www.blackpearlseafood.com

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Legend has it that the founder of Kikkoman was the widowed wife of a samurai warrior who began making soy sauce as a means to support herself and her child. Today, 17 generations after the first Kikkoman batch of soy sauce was made, the company is still managed by the descendents of the same family.

Soy sauce actually developed as an adaptation of a meat-based broth from China. A primarily vegetarian and fish-based diet led Japanese farmers to use soy beans instead of meat as the primary ingredient. Gradually, soy sauce became a seasoning sauce used in anything from grilled foods to sushi, and sought-after by emperors and peasants alike.

The Making of...

To start with, soy beans and wheat are combined in large vats with a yeast-like mold, which acts much like a bread-starter does, activating the fermentation process. The resulting ‘koji’ mold is then added to a salty brine solution, which produces a type of ‘mash,’ (known as ‘moromi’) which is allowed to ferment for several months.

During the ageing process, the liquid begins to acquire its characteristic reddish-brown color and the flavor begins to deepen.

After several months, the mash is pressed through filtration cloths, producing raw soy sauce, which is then pasteurized, refined and packaged.

Soy Sauce and Sushi…

Kikkoman’s soy sauce recipe, brewed especially for Genji, is made to complement sushi perfectly because the sweetness of the sake in the soy sauce offsets the acidity of the vinegar used in sushi rice. Together, they form a perfect balance. Furthermore, Genji's soy sauce is made with 37% less sodium than the top 2 national brands of regular soy sauce!

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Founded in 1649, over 360 years ago, this storied company has become the pre-eminent manufacturer of rice vinegar in Japan and around the world. The time-honored traditional way of fermenting and ageing its vinegar are so esteemed as to have earned the company the distinction of being the official purveyor of rice vinegar to the Imperial Court of Japan.

Paired with sushi:

“Sushi-su” (or sushi vinegar) was not always an integral part of sushi. Sushi originated in South-East Asia quite simply as a way to preserve fish by wrapping it with rice and salt and allowing it to ferment. When the ‘cured’ fish was ready to eat, the rice and salt were removed and the fermented fish was eaten. As this process spread through China and on to Japan, it was modified several times over the centuries. Rice vinegar was first added to sushi as a means of speeding up the curing process and of preserving the rice so it did not have to be discarded, but could be eaten along with the fish. Eventually, rice vinegar became a critical element of sushi and Marukan’s particular recipe, one of the most sought-after in Japan.

Ingredients of Sushi-su (sushi vinegar)

Vinegar: used to moderate the fishy smell, oiliness and saltiness of the fish, and to sanitize Sugar: adds a sweet note to the rice and gives it a shiny gloss
Konbudashi: spice mix which adds depth of flavor (Genji does not use this, as it can sometimes distract one’s palate)

The Making Of…

Rice vinegar begins with the rice. Marukan slow-cooks short-grain California rice for several days. The fermentation process is initiated when the ‘koji’’ enzyme is added to the resulting rice liquid. After two days of fermentation, the solid clumps of rice (referred to as rice ‘cake’) are removed. If we were to pasteurize the liquid at this stage, we would produce sake. However, Marukan allows the fermentation process to continue another 30 days by introducing an acid-producing bacteria. The entire process of making Marukan’s rice vinegar takes approximately 2 months from beginning to end, and produces a final product which has a mild aroma and a subtle profile which do not overpower the flavor of the rice or the sushi with which it is paired.

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