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Kamachiya Co. has won a national award for its shiroebi kamaboko – a type of cured surimi made with white shrimp – in a contest co-sponsored by the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute (ASMI).  
The National Kamaboko Competition has been held since the first edition in 1947, and serves as a method of showcasing kamaboko, or surimi, manufacturing techniques and sharing information. The competition is run by the Japan Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries.
The prize won this year by Kawachiya Co. was renamed this year as the “U.S. Embassy Alaska Seafood Award” from its former title of the “U.S. Embassy Award. It recognizes the company that creates the best kamaboko product made with Alaska pollock.
Kawachiya Co. President Hajime Kawachi attributed the win to the company’s focus on developming surimi from high-quality Alaskan pollock. 
“The award-winning white shrimp kamaboko is made by pulverizing white shrimp shells from Toyama Bay, carefully kneading them with high-quality Alaskan surimi, and steaming them,” he said. “Shrimp enzymes have the property of impairing elasticity, and this award was a great encouragement to all of our employees because it was a difficult product to commercialize.”
Kawachiya’s win was celebrated by the ASMI, a government-funded marketing board that conducts public relations and promotional activities around the globe, including in Japan, which is one of Alaska’s most-important seafood export markets. ASMI opened its first overseas marketing office in Japan in 1987, and it regularly releases videos in Japanese showcasing the nutritional benefits of Alaska seafood – like sockeye salmon – for Japanese audiences.  
ASMI recently appointed Hannah Schlosstein as the new international marketing coordinator for Asia.
Photo courtesy of the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute
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