We begin with a fresh look at one of our core sushi products, Crane Bay® and Maneki® Nobashi Ebi.  Our Shrimp Report looks at the effect of low market prices on the shrimp farming industry in Thailand and what it may bode for the future. Join us as we travel to Fukui, an area of Japan which offers a look at ancient earth formations along with a delectable treasury of seafoodNext, read about the potential damage to salmon farming in Chile following the eruption of the Calbuco volcano last month. And lastly, if you are interested in Hamachi, read this month's blog, it is an inside look at this very desirable fish. 



Nobashi Ebi - Crane Bay® & Maneki® Style

Nobashi Ebi has been a core sushi product at DNI Group for over 14 years!  We began offering Crane Bay® Black Tiger and Pacific White Shrimp in 2001. Then in 2006, at customer requests, we brought on our value-added Maneki® brand.  We believe it is important to re-focus on the key products so essential to the sushi trade.  Nobashi ebi is certainly one of those so let's take a look at what DNI Group has to offer your customers.

Crane Bay® Black Tiger Nobashi Ebi

& Pacific White Nobashi Ebi

Crane Bay® is our flagship brand Nobashi Ebi with premium specifications and a stellar reputation for both the Black Tiger and Pacific White varieties. It is only processed from fresh shrimp to guarantee excellent flavor and texture.  Once the vein and shell are removed, the tails are V-cut for excellent eye appeal and plate presentation.  This cut also allows excess water to be removed from tails to avoid oil burns from popping when cooking.  Each shrimp is a uniform weight and length to ensure consistent appearance.  All these preparations result in 100% yield while reducing labor costs for the chef with better margins at the user level.  Tray packed in cases, they are not only convenient for food service kitchen freezers, but fully retail ready for supermarkets and warehouse clubs. 

Maneki® Pacific White Nobashi Ebi

Maneki® brand shrimp products were born from customer requests.  While our loyal clients were pleased with the quality and consistency of our Crane Bay® products, they was a demand for products with a lower price point.  We took this request seriously.  DNI Group and its overseas staff analyzed how to provide a better price point for Nobashi Ebi.  After working closely with the Shrimp ponds, we identified a more natural specification which maximizes size and minimizes cost.  The fact is, shrimp do not grow at even rates over time so we identified the best specifications for size that provided the lowest overall cost structure at the ponds.  DNI Group placed these new specifications under the Maneki® brand. 

Maneki® possesses the same qualities as its predecessor, Crane Bay®.  It too is processed from fresh shrimp to guarantee excellent flavor and texture.  Once vein and shell are removed, the tails are also V-cut for excellent eye appeal and plate presentation.  Like Crane Bay®, each shrimp is a uniform weight and length to ensure consistent appearance.  And with its lower price point, all these preparations result in 100% yield while reducing labor costs for the chef with even better margins at the user level.  Tray packed in cases, they are not only convenient for food service kitchen freezers, but fully retail ready for supermarkets and warehouse clubs.


DNI Group, Trustworthy Supplier of Nobashi Ebi

For years now, DNI Group has been a trustworthy supplier of Nobashi Ebi with our quality brands, reliable inventory, accurate customer service and on-time delivery.  Both Crane Bay® and Maneki® brands are BAP certified to meet the demands of customers who require sustainable products.  If you have customers that are currently using one of these products, we thank you for your support.  If you are not, we urge you to give us a try.  Call a DNI Group representative for a price or better yet, a sample, and see exactly what quality and value you can offer your customers.


RECIPE IDEA: Maneki® Nobashi Ebi Taquitos   

                    Shrimp, avocado and roasted corn baked taquitos.

                    Shrimp, avocado and roasted corn baked taquitos.

Is your customer looking for a new way to use Maneki ® Nobashi Ebi?  These Shrimp, Avocado and Roasted Corn Taquitos are a fantastic appetizer to serve on any May menu. Start by dry roasting fresh corn kernels in a hot skillet until their edges begin to brown and caramelize, set aside.  Next, heat olive oil in the same pan and add one chopped onion, sauté until translucent.  Add the Maneki® shrimp, chili powder, cumin and a pinch of salt and pepper.  Cook for 3-5 minutes until the shrimp are cooked.  Stir in chopped green chiles and minced cilantro and cook for an additional minute, remove from heat.

To assemble the taquitos, place a large spoonful of the shrimp mixture down the center of a small tortilla, flour or corn your choice. Top with diced avocado and a generous sprinkle of Monterey Pepperjack cheese. Roll up the tortilla and place seam-side down on a greased baking sheet.

Bake the taquitos for 15-20 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the tortillas are crispy. Remove and serve immediately with optional toppings and salsa for dipping.  Ole!!


The Challenge of Lower Prices 

Shrimp farmers in Thailand are struggling with multiple diseases on their farms and now face a new, formidable challenge - crashing market prices.  Actually, they face a triple whammy: low survival, slow growth and record low prices.  Prices haven't been this low since before EMS.  The price drop is hitting small shrimp especially hard, and this is about all that farmers can produce because of the disease situation.

The timing for all of this couldn't be worse because the main stocking season is approaching.  It remains to be seen if farmers will be willing to gamble what little cash they have left to stock their ponds when prices are so low.
Currently, market prices are below production cost.  Farmers are out of cash due to EMS losses, but EMS is not just about mortality.  Growth is down; the feed conversion ratio is up, so costs are up. Unfortunately, these low prices are coming at a critical time, and it is possible that many Thai farmers will go bankrupt if they stock now.  Farmers who stocked early this year will be rewarded with a loss when they sell their product.
Farmers will have to adapt and pay attention to production costs as we go through this crisis, and it is likely that many farmers will not make it unless prices firm up within the next month or so.  Buyers who play the waiting game, hoping that prices will continue to fall, are playing a dangerous game because that could cause a semi-permanent loss of production.
It's unclear as to where all the "over-supply" is coming from. Vietnam's production numbers are distorted by imports from Ecuador and India, and it is doubtful if either of them will be able to maintain their production levels.  Thailand, Malaysia and China are continuing to struggle and diseases are spreading both in Asia and possibly in Latin America.  The lower the price of shrimp goes, the more difficult is going to be for the industry to get back on its feet.


- Taken from "Shrimp News International"



Crane Bay® Black Tiger Sushi Ebi   

Crane Bay® Black Tiger Sushi Ebi is well known for its premium specifications, bright color and delicious flavor.  It is trimmed and cleaned by hand for excellent eye appeal and its uniform length to 0.5cm results in visual consistency. Steaming the shrimp not only retains the natural shrimp flavors, but enhances its sweetness.  It is an all natural product using no chemicals or additives and contains no MSG.  Sound good?  If so, then now is the time to buy!  We are offering discounts on a limited quantity of this product in all sizes and at all locations.  Sales are on a first come/first serve basis so call your DNI Group representative today.  Don't let your customer miss out on this opportunity to get a great product at a great price.



Ruminate About the Ancient Times in the "Dinosaur Kingdom"  

Tojinbo's precipitous cliffs are nearly 25 meters above sea level at the highest location.

Tojinbo's precipitous cliffs are nearly 25 meters above sea level at the highest location.

Blessed with the excellent fishing grounds of the Sea of Japan where both the warm and cold currents meet, Fukui has developed a rich food culture. Although seafood like Echizen crab, also known as the king of winter flavors, is plenty attractive, the dinosaur museum with its first class collection of artifacts is also gaining popularity. Fukui is full of highlights such as the earth's naturally created beautiful formations, the numerous historical sites that tell us of the Japanese culture from hundreds of years ago as well as the colors that change along with Japan's four seasons.

A Treasury of Seafood including Crab and Blowfish

The joy of Fukui is not only the experience of encountering ancient earth. The Japan Sea, to which this area looks out on, is a treasury of seafood that would impress even a food connoisseur. Mikuni Port, which is next to Tojinbo, is Japan's leading Echizen crab landing areas. Echizen crab, named after the region with its reputation for male Zuwai crabs, is a winter food that can only be tasted during the limited fishing season from November to March. Stuffing our mouths with its hot meat after being boiled whole is a standard eating style for this exceptionally fresh crab but it is also superb served grilled over a charcoal fire, as sashimi (sliced raw), or in nabe (hot pot) cooking.

Alongside Echizen crab is Wakasa blowfish, also known as a Fukui brand product. They are raised in the Wakasa Bay of the southwestern part of Fukui prefecture. Tiger blowfish, raised in Japan's northernmost aquaculture production area where winter water temperatures are cold, is characterized by its firmness, giving it its delicious taste.

Sauce katsudon is also highly popular as a local dish that can be eaten casually at many restaurants throughout the prefecture. These pork cutlets drenched in a special Worcestershire sauce and just served over a bowl of rice are prepared by being coated with fine bread crumbs so as not to soak up excess oil, giving them a nice crispy and chewy texture as well as being healthier than they look. Also, when in Fukui, it is customary in winter to eat mizuyokan, thick jellied Japanese sweet made of azuki bean paste, which is generally eaten in the summer. Tasting this cool Japanese sweet in a warm room with the heater running, will bring true culinary enjoyment.

- Taken from Trends in Japan


SALMON REPORT:  "Industry Update"
8 Percent of Chile's Salmon Stocks in Volcano Danger Zone         

Puerto Montt - Chile's salmon industry operates numerous freshwater facilities in the area directly affected by the eruption of the Calbuco volcano. The Association of Salmon producers (SalmonChile) reported destruction of hatcheries and heavy losses in production.

The Salmon Industry Association A. G. (SalmonChile) estimates that in the volcano danger zone there are 25 million fish (fry and smolts) out of 300 million, about 8.3 percent of the total production of Atlantic salmon and Coho Salmon currently in freshwater facilities.

In the area near the slopes of the volcano there are 11 salmon hatcheries. Four of them have suffered serious damage with significant loss of fish. The companies have been unable to assess losses in detail due to the difficulties of access to the affected area and because they have prioritized the evacuation of workers.

The National Fisheries Service (Sernapesca) activated the emergency protocol for the eruption of the volcano and has granted special provisions to authorize the transfer of fish to safer facilities, while meeting bio-security requirements. Five hatcheries in the area have sought authorization to make movements of fish. To date, about 11.5 million fish have been relocated.
Among the companies affected are Invermar Salmon, Marine Harvest, Cermaq, and Camanchaca Salmon. The fish in grow-out facilities at sea have not reported problems at the moment, due to the direction of the wind, which has directed the ash plume in a North-East direction, towards the Andes Mountain Range and to Argentina.

The losses in salmon production caused by the eruption could result in a decrease in the salmon supply and rising prices in the US market. Since the losses in freshwater facilities affect eggs in incubation, and fry currently weighing 3 to 10 grams, and the fish take about 18 months to reach harvest size, the impact on the production for export to international markets will be realized in the harvests scheduled for November 2016 to March 2017.

Chile is the second largest salmon producer in the world, after Norway. Chilean salmon go to more than 70 markets worldwide, and is the country's second largest export product after copper.

- Taken from SeafoodNews.com 



April Report -  Data from February