Active Advance into Japan with Tamna Fish Cake…Anticipated to Export Overseas USD$600,000 Worth of Fish Cake This Year
There is a Korean exporter actively promoting the high quality of Korean seafood products in Japan, even though Japan is the very birthplace of many delicious seafoods including fish cake. That company is Jeju Tamna Seafood Corporation. It has the largest production line among the processed seafood companies of Jeju Island. This is evidenced by the fact that the company possesses HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point System) certification for frozen seafood and fish cake, produces high-quality seafood products in a safe and sanitary environment, and exports them to foreign market.
Last year’s exports of Jeju Tamna Seafood were USD$177,000, but, thanks to the expansion of export items this year, the figure already passed USD$295,000 in June. At the present rate, the company can expect to reach USD$600,000 in exports this year.
Transforming Processed Seasoned Seafood into Surimi-Based Products
Until 2012, Jeju Tamna Seafood Corporation had mainly exported seasoned foods made of mackerel and squid to Japan through an MOU (memorandum of understanding) with Japanese seafood producer Kojima Market. At that time, the main items included mackerel boiled down in soy sauce, mackerel boiled down in soybean paste, squid karaage, and squid katsu. In 2012, the company made an export contract worth about USD$3.4 million with Kojima Market and Hanra (a Korean-Japanese company).
The following year, however, Jeju Tamna Seafood received a fish cake production technique from Japanese seafood producer Minoyakichibe Market. The latter has been making fish cake and various kinds of pickles for the Japanese imperial family for the last 450 years. The development led to Jeju Tamna Seafood starting to produce and export Japanese style kamaboko (a type of Japanese fish cake) to Japan. That’s how the specialization of the company changed from processed seasoned seafood into surimi-based products. Jeju Tamna Seafood supplies steamed fish cake to Minoyakichibe Market where it is packaged and sterilized. The complete product is supplied to the Japanese imperial family and also sold to local consumers. In other words, the Japanese royals are having the fish cake produced by Jeju Tamna Seafood.
Obtained the HACCP Certification…No Wheat Flour or Artificial Additives
The flagship products of Jeju Tamna seafood are Shinjo and Yubamaki. Shinjo fish cake is made of the flesh of white corvina (caught off Jeju Island), salt, and egg whites. The fish cake has a great aroma and is chewy. It comes in seven flavors: shrimp, black sesame, ginger, sea lettuce, shrimp and rape, salted pollack roe, and octopus.
Yubamaki fish cake is a premium product made of high-quality white fish flesh and nutritious vegetables such as carrots, peas, and shiitake mushrooms. The cake is coated with yuba (a thin film formed by coating a product with heated soybean milk), which is high in protein.
Both fish cake products are manufactured on a clean and hygienic production line according to the standards of HACCP. What’s more, none of the products use artificial additives such as synthetic preservatives. For frying, the company uses brown rice oil.
Most fish cake producers use pollack or small fish to make fish cake products, but Jeju Tamna Seafood produces its fish cake with only the fresh white corvina caught in the southern sea of Jeju Island.
Ms. Kwon Sun-a, a staff member of Jeju Tamna Seafood, says, “We have established production lines for surimi-based food and fish cake according to the standard of HACCP and are producing sanitary and safe seafood products. Our seafood products, including fish cake, get a good response from Japanese buyers and consumers.”
Production of High Quality Products Based on the High Technology
The safety of Jeju Tamna Seafood products is secured through the production process. Each step of the production is completely separated from the others. The floor and production facilities are kept perfectly clean.
When a stock of fresh raw fish arrives, the staff clean and remove the fish guts, scales, skin, and bones. Next, the fish is washed more than three times in water under 10℃. After the remaining water is removed, the flesh is separated from the sinews and tenderized.
Finally, the flesh is combined with other ingredients, formed into a shape, heated, packed, and shipped. Jeju Tamna Seafood is one of the very few producers that have their own surimi-based seafood production line in Korea. And that is the main reason the company is able to produce hygienic, high-quality seafood products.
Coming into the Spotlight in Korea…Supplying to Hansalim and Lotte Mart
These days, the demand for high-end fish cake products is steadily increasing in Korea, so the products of Jeju Tamna seafood are also becoming popular among Koreans. The company started to supply its fish cake products to Hansalim (a Korean producer-consumer cooperative) last September 15. Generally, Korean people prefer their food less salty than the Japanese. To meet the taste of Korean consumers, Jeju Tamna Seafood has changed the proportion of the ingredients in its products.
Now the company is negotiating a contract with Lotte Mart (a major Korean distributor) to supply its premium fish cake products as a high-end brand. It is likely that Lotte Mart will start selling Jeju Tamna Seafood’s fish cake products later this year.
Mr. Ji Hyeong-cheol, the head of the marketing team of Jeju Tamna Seafood, says, “We are producing the high-quality fish cake products from the fresh fish caught in the clean sea around Jeju Island. We have sanitary production facilities and high grade skills. We will strive to become a producer of the end products.”
Inquiries JeJu Tamna Seafood Corporation