In Japan's Fukushima prefecture, recently a "party" focusing on showcasing regional ingredients was held, headed by traveling catering chef Rua Soda. Soda is known for his culinary motto of "deliciousness knows no borders", focusing on using local ingredients to craft a new type of cuisine not limited to any one genre.

For this event it was no different, as Soda traveled throughout the prefecture to select regional ingredients. Inspired by his interactions with the farmers and producers who provided fresh and local flavors, Soda began to cook and create a spread that explored the many delicious tastes of Fukushima.

Fresh seafood from Matsukawaura lagoon

Blackthroat seaperch from Matsukawaura lagoon, lightly roasted in an oven and then used as a base for a unique dashi.

Uni (sea urchin) baked in a shell, from Iwaki city

A healthy serving of Iwaki city's specialty, fresh uni, stuffed into a surf clam's shell and steamed (in the Fukushima, these can be purchased locally as frozen specialty goods), then grilled to a savory taste.

Fukushima beef

As with most renowned wagyu, Fukushima beef is characterized by high quality marbling. Soda grilled large blocks of the premium beef over a charcoal grill, the simplicity of the cooking speaking to the quality of the meat.

Fukushima prefecture's original rice, "Ten no tsubu"

Fukushima prefecture's original rice "Ten no tsubu", a product 15 years in the making. The shiny rice is praised for its wonderful scent, great texture, and deliciousness when cooled--making it perfect for the party's main menu item and way to serve all the prepared delicacies: riceballs!

Using Fukushima's special "Ten no tsubu" rice, Soda collaborated with locals to pack the celebrated rice flavor into easy to eat onigiri--or traditional Japanese riceballs, served elegantly upon traditional Japanese paper over plates. In a pleasant surprise, attendees rediscovered the charm of Fukushima's local flavors through simple and familiar onigiri, as the above delicacies were used as stuffing for the riceballs.

Fukushima prefecture's culinary charm can be "eaten with your eyes"

A video provided by website FUKUSHIMA NOW, which promotes the regional charm of Fukushima prefecture both within Japan and abroad, details the party and the delicious dishes served.

Both the video (titled "SHAPING FUKUSHIMA ~ ONIGIRI PARTY IN FUKUSHIMA") and party event were made with the feelings of expressing the delicious flavors and regional cuisine unique to Fukushima prefecture. Presented altogether, the produce and meats of Fukushima certainly look delicious, and are to be sought out by anyone visiting.

Located in the southern part of the Tohoku region, Fukushima Prefecture is divided into three areas: "Aizu", "Nakadori" and "Hamadori". Nurtured by rich nature and climate, the prefecture has developed a diverse but strikingly unique food culture.

By way of shinkansen (bullet train), Fukushima is just a two hour ride from the Tokyo area, making it a doable day trip for sightseeing. If you're traveling through Japan and are a fan of trying regional delicacies, think about stopping by Fukushima prefecture, and check out the FUKUSHIMA NOW website for more information.

By - grape Japan editorial staff.

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