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Our 100% authentic Asian food products are sourced from reputable distributors and importers with exclusive
access to premium food producers in various Asian countries.

Introducing an Asian lifestyle from East to South!

Market Kokoro brings you only the best, get to know more about the countries we import from such as South Korea, Japan and Thailand.
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History of Korea
Korea is a peninsular Region in East Asia. After World War II ended in 1945, the region was split into two, North Korea which was heavily backed by Soviet influence and was known as the Democratic People's Republic of Korea and the South Korea which had a western backing and was known as the Republic of Korea. This was shortly followed by the Korean War which had an aim of reunifying the two regions under communist rule. The Korean war left mass devastation on both a human and material level. Following a series of diplomatic talks, a cease-fire agreement signed in 1953 brought an end to the war but still left the two regions separate. Since then, South Korea boosts a thriving economy and is considered one of the leading developed countries in the world. On the other hand, however, North Korea remains very isolated from the global community and relies on aid from their diplomatic allies. These two stark differences are very known about Korea and is another characterises that makes the peninsula unique.


Korean Food
Due to South Koreas international presence, most of the information and knowledge we have on Korean food, comes from this part of the region. As mentioned earlier, Korea is a peninsular which means that it is surrounded by the seas, in particular the Yellow East China Sea and the Sea of Japan, as a result most of their cuisine contains seafood, such as Crab, Shrimp, fish and so forth. However, it must also be noted that Korea has very great soil and thus allowing them to cultivate their own grain and rice among other foods such as soybean, Red Bean, Millet (a type of grass grown for its edible seed) among a wide variety of other products. Koreans do not only cultivate their grains and rice they also cure and pickle their fish, were highly skilled in making wine and bean paste and often use honey and oil in their cooking. As with other Asian countries the use of chopsticks is very popular in Korean and for a fun fact – they are the only Asian country that use stainless steel chopsticks.

The cleanliness of Korea’s water allowed them to experiment and create a variety of drinks. Korea is known to have one of the best quality Ginseng Drinks and Teas available on the market, they also have an extensive variety on Ginger based drinks. True to any prosperous nation, Koreans also consume some great wine and spirits (home to the famous Soju) and often consume such beverages on special occasions. Another traditionally Korean drink is the Jung Gwa (which is a ginger-based tea often drank on the New Year, in winter).

Korea like its neighbouring Asian counter parts include rice and vegetables in their meals very often , and enjoy the use of cooking methods such as Stir-Fry, Steaming and Braising (which is the idea of food being browned in oil and then slow cooked in a liquid). Koreans do not very often use red meat in their meals and in Korea it is often rare to find and rather expensive. So true their healthy nature, the use of seafood and vegetable is key.

Another distinguishing characterise of Korean food is the spiciness, in most meals they often use red pepper, green onion, soy sauce, bean paste, garlic and ginger as a form of seasoning and flavour enhancers.

The Korean way of preparing food is healthy, being overweight in Korea is considered to be a sign of wealth and is more common among the rich and high officials. A meal served for a larger number of people often includes several large dishes and may have as many as twenty side dishes. Some common traditional dishes may include Kimchi, Kamja Guk (Potato Soup) and Hin Pap (White Rice)
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History of Japan
Known as an Archipelago (Meaning that is a country made of a group of Islands), Japan boosts an amazing 6,852 islands and is considered to be the largest island country in East Asia and the fourth largest in the world. There are four main islands, namely Hokkaido which is the northern most part, Honshu which is the largest and is home to the well-known capital Tokyo, thirdly there Kyushu and the smallest of these is Shikoku.


Japanese Food
Historically because of its geographic placing, Japan is known for cuisine that is mainly fresh seafood based and like other Asian Countries includes rice in many of their meals. Some other aspects of Japanese cuisine that can be attributed to its Asian placing is the use of chopsticks, Soy Sauce and Soybean Curd (Tofu).

The Japanese are known for their small meals and their simpler way of making food which gave way to the Japanese cooking system which is still widely practised today. This system broke food down in 5 colour groups (Green, Yellow, White, Red, Black-Purple) and 6 tastes (Hot, Sweet, Sour, Bitter, salty and Delicate).

As we go deeper into Japanese food, it can openly be said that there are two main staples namely Rice which is either boiled or steamed and is served with all meals. Second to rice which is also extremely popular are noodles which come is a number of variations, these being Soba (a thin brown noodle made from buckwheat flour), Udon (Thin or thick white Noodle made from wheat flour) and Ramen. Other products that are staple to Japanese food is Soy Sauce, Soy Bean, Miso (which is a fermented Soybean paste) and Tofu (Soybean Curd that resembles Custard). Other commonly used ingredients consist of Bamboo Shoots, Ginger, Daikon (Giant white radish), Seaweed and Sesame seed products. As an island nation, Japan is never short of fresh seafood for their delicious dishes.

To accompany meals, the Japanese often have Green Tea, which is considered to be the national drink of the country, but you also find Black Tea. Sake (Sah-Kee) which is a wine made from rice usually served warm. And Beer is very popular.

The Korean way of preparing food is healthy, being overweight in Korea is considered to be a sign of wealth and is more common among the rich and high officials. A meal served for a larger number of people often includes several large dishes and may have as many as twenty side dishes. Some common traditional dishes may include Kimchi, Kamja Guk (Potato Soup) and Hin Pap (White Rice)


Dishes Unique to Japan
Often when we think about eating Japanese foods there are two main dishes that we love and enjoy which are unique to the popular island nation.


Sushi
Sushi which can most simply be described as fresh raw seafood with rice. Interestingly enough, many people associate Sushi with the raw seafood but in actual fact the most important element to the dish is the rice. The word Sushi refers to the sour flavour of the vinegar rice, so if you are eating Sushi and there is not rice - you are not eating Sushi.

Sushi Rice is a key component to the dish, it has distinct characteristics mainly a medium- grained white rice prepared with vinegar and other seasonings such as salt and sugar. Key to Sushi is Japonica rice which has round grains that make is visibly different from the skinner, longer grain rice used in the west known as Indica rice. Another distinct element of this rice is that it contains higher levels of starch which when cooked gives it a sticker texture making it much easier to mould and eat with chopsticks.


Different types of Sushi

Nigiri
This is also known as hand pressed Sushi; it is moulded by hand into an oval shape and has a piece of seafood placed on the top. With this type of Sushi the seafood is usually raw but you do get cases where fish may be fermented or even cooked mainly Eel and Shrimp

Maki
Maki sushi is known for it cylinder shape. It is rice and filling of your choice rolled in a sheet of seaweed known as Nori. It includes ingredients such as vegetables cooked shell fish and sometimes even cream cheese.

It must be noted that Maki – Sushi also has different categories:
  • Ur-maki can be described as inside out version of the traditional Maki, in this instance you find that the rice is wrapped around the Sushi and the fillings.
  • Gunkan maki, also commonly referred to as the “Battle-Ship” is a cross between Nigiri and the Maki and got this name because of it its Nigiri shape and Maki wrapping.
  • Lastly, we have Temaki, this type of Maki can best be identified by its cone shape, and loosely wrapped Sushi Nori with fillings and of course rice.


  • How to Eat Sushi
    Many of us often jump to the Chopsticks when we are about to dig into Sushi, but in actual fact it is meant to be eaten by hand, and only lightly dipped into the Soy Sauce. It is acceptable to use chopsticks as some people may not take to the smell of raw fish on their hands. The use of Ginger is in actual fact meant to be done between pieces as it serves as a palette cleanser. Another thing that must be noted is an actual fact, you should be eating the whole piece at one go.


    Sashimi
    Sashimi is often confused with sushi. However, the only similarly that they have is the fact that raw seafood is a key component in both dishes. Essentially sashimi is the raw ingredient by itself without the rice. We can describe it as raw seafood with soy sauce. It is made with thinly sliced raw foods which usually are fish or other type of seafood however other meats such as your beef, chicken or pork may also be used, but of course these ingredients may be slightly cooked to avoid food poisoning. There is no specific way that sashimi has to look, its all dependant on the food item you are working with, it may be sliced into various shapes which include flat slices, thin strips, rectangular cubes or even diagonal slices.


    How to Eat Sashimi
    Sashimi is eaten with chopsticks and Soy sauce, when enjoying this delicious dish, you take the whole piece of raw seafood, or meat and dip it in the soy sauce and enjoy.
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    History of Thailand
    Thailand stretches about two-thirds of the Malay Peninsula, covering around 514,000km in South East Asia. The region is divided into five major physical regions namely, the central valley, the continental highlands of the north and northwest, the North East, and the small South East coastal region. The country is a tropical region and the temperatures there are mostly very hot.


    Thai Food
    Before the change in 1939, the region was known as Siam and is said to be the only South East Asian country that has never been colonised by the West. This has allowed for Thailand to keep its own special cuisine and cooking style. However, true to Asian nature there are some similarities with other Asian countries that you may find when enjoying Thai cuisine. Thai food uses Rice, Noodles, Dumplings, Soy Sauce and other soy products. When delving deeper into Thailand food it is said the Thai base recipes and blends on five basic flavours, Salty, Sweet, Sour, Bitter and Hot.

    Thai food is also known for their flavourful and colourful curries, the use of spicy seasonings such as Cumin, Cardamom, and coriander is very popular. Furthermore, true to island style the Thai tend to use coconuts and more often than not use it to enhance flavours in all meals, including desserts.

    Just like most Asian countries rice is a main dietary staple in Thai cuisine. There are two main types of rice that you may come across in the region mainly standard white rice as well as your glutinous sticky rice. The use of sticky rice is more common in the northern regions of Thailand and is often rolled into a ball. Rice is eaten with most meals and is accompanied with beef, chicken, pork or seafood, but the Thai also specialise in their vegetation dishes.

    Thai food is famous for it unique blend of spices, although its hot and spicy, there is a special way in which each flavour in the dish is brought out and can be tasted. Thai curries (which are often dishes made with a spicy powder called curry) are predominant in Thai cooking. Other commonly used ingredients include you Hot chillies, fish sauce, dried shrimp paste, lemon grass, and the spices coriander, basil, garlic, ginger, cumin, cardamom and cinnamon. You may also enjoy a great Soup, which is also eaten with many dishes and help balance the variety of flavours that you may encounter.

    Coconut has a significant role in Thai food, you often find the use of coconut milk in Thai desserts and true to their tropical climate, Thai food often consists of a wide variety of Thai Fruit such as Mango, Papaya, Custard Apples with scaley green skin and Jackfruit, which has a large and prickly and yellow flesh.

    Unique to Thailand, is that food preferences differ from one region to another for example in your more Southern Part, you find seafood to be more popular and as you move to another part, your curries are more dominant, you most spicy food can. Be found in the north east region.

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