Taste of Japan: Specialty Seafood & Sake Series Kicks Off in Phoenix

Phoenix will be hosting the Taste of Japan: Specialty Seafood & Sake Series this month, which begins Friday, February 16 and runs until Friday, March 1. The special food event will feature 10 local restaurants that will serve unique, limited-time dishes that highlight Japanese seafood, including the succulent Hokkaido scallop.

As interest in Japanese food continues to rise across the U.S. and specifically in Arizona. The Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) and the Consul General of Japan in Los Angeles have partnered with 10 metro Phoenix restaurants to bring the Taste of Japan: Specialty Seafood & Sake Series to the Valley to further promote Japanese ingredients. 

“We are also committed to further strengthening the relationship between Japan and Arizona in the area of food as well as economic and cultural people-to-people ties,” says Kenko Sone, consul general of Japan in Los Angeles. “Japan has high-quality seafood from our rich coastal waters, and sake and seafood have a harmonious relationship that complements and enhances each other. I hope Arizonans will take this opportunity to enjoy the marriage of Japanese seafood and sake.”

Each restaurant will put a unique spin on the Japanese scallop, which comes from the Hokkaido and Tohoku regions of Japan where the water is nutrient and plankton-rich, allowing the scallop to thrive. Scallops are versatile as they can be cooked or eaten raw. Currently, scallops are the most popular Japanese seafood in the world, known for their rich umami flavor and uniquely firm, yet juicy, texture. 

During Taste of Japan, diners will be able to experience Japanese scallops prepared in a wide range of dishes. For example, one of the participating restaurants, Hana Japanese Eatery, will serve the scallop dusted with potato starch, flash fried and topped with soy vinegar vegetables and ao nori, while Kuka Sushi and Izakaya will serve a raw scallop dish with basil olive oil, pink salt and yuzu sherbet. 

Alongside the scallop dishes, participating restaurants will offer a special sake pairing through #SupportSake, an additional JETRO project that supports sake brewers and the sake industry. Diners can use #SupportSake on social media to share their experiences at each restaurant, as well as for the chance to be entered to win round-trip airfare to Japan and other prizes when they use the hashtag #SupportSake and tag @supportsake on social media posts!

Diners can experience Taste of Japan at the following participating metro Phoenix restaurants:

To learn more about Taste of Japan: Specialty Seafood & Sake Series, view participating restaurants and explore each dish that will be available, visit www.tasteofjpn.com.

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