Pacific Rim Flavors Inspire a Fusion of Culture and Cuisine


In 1964, Dr. Hirotomo Ochi founded Nikken Foods and became a pioneer in using natural food extracts from the Pacific Rim flavors commonly found in vegetables, fruits, seafood and grains.

The last 50 years saw the rise of demand from consumers for high-quality, natural ingredients that starts with the food manufactures – and that’s how we’ve expanded to serve clients across 40 countries through facilities in Japan, China, Thailand, Taiwan, the USA and Australia.

So, we weren’t surprised when Whole Foods named Pacific Rim Flavors as their top food trend for 2019. They just caught on a little later than Dr. Ochi.

Pacific Rim flavors are inspiring cuisine all over the world with a taste of the tropics found across a medley of ingredients in Asia, Oceania, Hawaii and the western coasts of the Americas.

And with flavor, we find culture. Consider the rise in popularity of Filipino cuisine –  beyond comfort food with sweet and sour tendencies, it gives a glimpse into the different cultures represented based on the chefs who prepare it.

Now our culture is embracing the flexibility of Pacific Rim cuisine and letting those dishes drive by substituting in their most popular ingredients. Sugar is being replaced with luo han guo or monk fruit. Jackfruit is now a common plant-based, meat alternative. And coconuts, acai berries, guava, dragon fruits and passion fruits are dominating the local smoothie franchise.

Pacific Rim flavors have become such a popular style of cooking due to the fusion of natural ingredients from one country with another. Consider these common flavor fusions:

The spicy flavors of Vietnam (amplified by our komi powder 7400 product) play nice with the starchy, savory tendencies of the Philippines (look no further than our umami medley 7503 product).

Alternatively, you can easily combine the rice-forward cuisine from China (found in our fermented rice extract 5390 product) with the “California fresh” approach to using simple, sustainable ingredients.

Hawaiian poke bowls are inspired by the raw fishy talent that put Japanese food on the map with toppings that typically center around soy sauce (try our traditional soy sauce powder – 5305) and seaweed (captured perfectly with our seaweed powder 1914).

Essential spices are balanced carefully in these exotic foods and sauces to elevate the flavor, not overpower it. Cilantro for salsas, cardamom for rice, garlic for seafood, fennel for soups, lemongrass for curries, ginger for stir fries, saffron for dressings, turmeric for grains. Every spice plays a supporting role in bringing Pacific Rim flavors to life.

Dr. Ochi employed this same approach all those years ago as he used his traditional Japanese methods and advanced technologies to extract parts of raw materials and create rich, complex ingredients.

Today, whether it’s “Asian Fusion” or “Euro-Pacific” cooking, Nikken Foods has over 50 years’ experience cultivating the diverse, delicious powdered ingredients that make up the Pacific Rim flavors you and your customers love.

Contact us today to find the missing ingredient in your next dish.