Something that I really miss is the great food fairs Mitsuwa Japanese Market would have. So I was really happy to find out that Uwajimaya in Beaverton and Seattle would be hosting a food fair with products from Shimane Prefecture! Not only that but they have a really cute yuru-chara called Shimanekko.
It was a grey day when I went but there were colorful flags in the parking lot. I was hoping they would have some really good items. They brought everything over from Shimane which is pretty unusual for Beaverton, Oregon.
Not only were there many things to choose from ranging from soba noodles, tea, fish and sweets but the people from Shimane offered a lot of samples. While they didn't take up a lot of space they sure had a lot on those tables. Plus there were more items at different aisle in the store. Definitely was worth checking out.
I think I was taken with the different sweets they were offering. From top left clockwise that's Nakaura Yuzu Komochi Fukuro which is a wagashi from Matsue city. It is made with a paste of yuzu grown in Mito-cho, Shimane which is covered with soft mochi. Next to it is Daiso Enmusubi Ohagi which is sweet rice with red bean paste for one and kinako roasted soybeans for the other. On the right is Nakaura Dojyo Sukui Manju which are shaped like traditional dojyo sukui dancer faces. Dojyo Sukui means pond loach scooping. Pond loach are thin long eel like fish that are raised for food. The Dojyo Sukui is a comic folk dance and these manju are popular as omiyage for Shimane visitors to buy. The last three items on the bottom are dorayaki which is pancakes with a flavored paste in between. I picked up a strawberry and blueberry Hiyo Dorayaki and of course a Shimanekko Dorayaki. Sadly I didn't see any Shimanekko souvenirs.
There were a lot of different fish cakes or kamaboko and items for oden for sale. I decided to go with fresh Sawara Yuzu Kosho which is wild Spanish Mackerel from Japan dressed with yuzu, salt and chili. The Matsumura Hijiki Furikake was really good so that was a must buy along with a bag of Sankoen Maccha Izumo Genmaich green tea with brown rice tea which also was really good.
As for that Sawara Yuzu Kosho, I broiled a couple pieces and enjoyed it on top of Sukina brand rice. The quality of this mackerel was very good and while there was a little heat from the chili the flavor of the yuzu matched it nicely. I'm looking forward to enjoying the rest of the mackerel.
I'm also thinking of going back to see if I missed anything, like maybe Shimanekko gotouchi? The Shimane Food Fair ends today, May 17th but goes through May 19th at the Uwajimaya Seattle store. I really hope they have more food fairs in the future. It's a great way to experience Japanese food items you might not normally get a chance to try.