If you have ever been to Ehime Prefecture in Japan, you would know that they are famous for their delicious mikan (蜜柑, tangerines) and are the largest producers of citrus fruits in the whole country. But do you also know that Ehime uses specially created techniques to breed and produce ‘Mikan Fish’?
Researchers from Ehime first began to introduce ‘Mikan Fish’, or citrus-scented fish such as sea bream, flounder and yellow tail, which are reared normally but are fed the rind of the famed Iyokan (伊予柑) tangerine so that their fats will carry the telltale aroma.
And now, you can taste this fascinating combination right at home all thanks to Emporium Shokuhin, the first Japanese food shopping and dining destination to open in Singapore.
Located in Marina Square’s new retail wing, Emporium Shokuhin stocks premium Japanese groceries and features a live seafood market with 22 specially-designed sea water tanks where over 20 types of live fish and shellfish will be available daily. The grand 34,000 square feet (roughly the size of 28 five-room HDB flats) which belongs to Emporium Shokuhin is also home to a beef dry-aging facility, where quality premium beef will be aged onsite and sold in different cuts for shabu shabu (しゃぶしゃぶ), karubi (カルビ, boneless short rib), steaks and more.
And over the last weekend, the first Ehime Prefecture endorsed satellite store-in-store outside of Japan held its grand opening ceremony, which was attended by VIPs like Mr. Nakamura Tokihiko, governor of Ehime Prefecture, and CEO of Emporium Shokuhin Mr. Lim Li-Wei.
The Ehime Specialties corner has over 200 products exported directly from Ehime Prefecture, some of which are exclusive to Emporium Shokuhin. Seasonal varieties of Ehime’s sweet mikans will also be flown in regularly, and other products such as natural sea salt, marmalades, frozen seafood and sake are well-represented as well.
According to Mr. Nakamura, the decision to test out a permanent Ehime Specialties corner in Singapore was based on our strong economic growth and business momentum. He also pointed out that with over 800 Japanese and Japan-centric restaurants in Singapore, the quality of Japanese food in Singapore can only increase. He hopes to bring higher quality produce from Japan to Singapore, which in turn translates to higher quality dishes which are more authentic at the same time.
Mr. Nakamura also explained the rationale behind some of the products they chose to export to Singapore. Being the top producer of mikan in Japan with more than 40 varieties of citrus fruits sold in the market, mikans are available all year round, and are especially abundant in February. This is also why the official mascot of Ehime is represented by mikan too!
Ehime Prefecture also comes up top in terms of fish-rearing. An estimated 60% of tai (鯛, sea bream) produced in the whole of Japan comes from Ehime, but fisheries have also begun rearing other quality fishes such as mahata (マハタ, seven band grouper), hirame (ヒラメ, flounder) and fugu (フグ, puffer fish). At the grand opening, we were also given the opportunity to watch the carving of a huge 40kg maguro (マグロ, tuna) which was flown in specially from Ehime. Sliced fresh and served as sashimi (刺身), even the akami (赤身, lean meat) and chūtoro (中トロ, medium fatty meat) was extremely flavourful and melted in my mouth before I could even get a few bites in.
As Emporium Shokuhin continues working closely with Ehime to bring some of its finest produce to Singapore, we can look forward to exploring and discovering our favourite Ehime foods. With 8 dining concepts located within its premises, there is also a chance that produce from Ehime might be used in their menus in future.
The next time you are looking to taste something new from the land of the rising sun, make a trip to Emporium Shokuhin and get your hands on some famous Ehime products!