LOVE Sanuki's report

No. 81 Romaine Lettuce

One of the major projects of Yoshimoto, "A project to live in your town", to make Japan feel good from the area. Entertainer "Kaji Tsuyoshi" who lives in Kagawa reports on local products.


We aim to be entertainers loved as thick and long as udon! Expect to ask Kaji Tsuyoshi in the future!

KAJI Tsuyoshi

NSC Osaka school 22nd grade
2005 Formed "Katsuyama Kaji" with Moody Katsuyama
2008 ABC Comedy Newcomer Grand Prix Newcomer Award
2010 Active as a pin entertainer
Birthplace: Mitoyo City, Kagawa Prefecture Born March 1981, 3

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Romaine lettuce is a vegetable that began being commercially available in Kagawa Prefecture in 2016, and is grown mainly in the western part of Kagawa Prefecture. Mr. Kaji visited Ohira Yasai Co., Ltd., which grows romaine lettuce in Kanonji City, Kagawa Prefecture.

  • Romaine lettuce is shaped like Chinese cabbage.

    Mr. Kaji visited in February, during the peak of the romaine lettuce harvest season. Kentaro Matsukawa of Ohira Yasai Co., Ltd. had freshly harvested romaine lettuce ready for us. "Is this romaine lettuce? The shape is different from the lettuce we usually eat," Kaji said with great interest.

  • Normal lettuce (heading lettuce) has leaves that curl inward and has a round shape, but romaine lettuce has a vertically long shape similar to Chinese cabbage. Although it is not widely available in Japan, it is a standard vegetable often used in Caesar salads in the United States.

  • In Kanonji City, regular lettuce has often been grown as a secondary crop for rice cultivation. Ohira Yasai started cultivating romaine lettuce after a customer asked if they could grow romaine lettuce.
    Although cultivation has become difficult in recent years due to climate change, Mr. Matsukawa said that he is encouraged by customer comments such as ``It's sweet'' and ``It lasts a long time.''

  • Romaine lettuce is in season in winter

    Romaine lettuce is harvested for about seven months, from October to late May.
    Seed sowing starts after the Obon holidays in August and continues until March. Sow the seeds in plug pots, and when they have 8 to 3 leaves, transplant them into the rice field. When temperatures are high, the seeds will grow to a harvestable size in about two months after sowing, but in cold winters, it will take about four months from sowing to harvest. The sowing and harvesting process is repeated from August to May.
    At Ohira Yasai, we select and grow delicious varieties and varieties suitable for the season from among several varieties of romaine lettuce.

  • During winter cultivation, a tunnel like a small greenhouse is built to prevent frost damage caused by the cold weather. I add tunnels before it gets cold and remove them before it gets warm so that the romaine lettuce can grow easily.

  • From harvesting to shipping of romaine lettuce

    When you open the tunnel, you will see rows of large romaine lettuce plants. Each crop is harvested by hand, by inserting a sickle into the soil. The key is to avoid leaving any stems or leaves at this time. By cutting carefully from the roots, the freshness will last longer.

  • Harvested romaine lettuce is immediately sent to the shipping area. To maintain the freshness of romaine lettuce, it is stored in the refrigerator, and in some cases, it may be rapidly refrigerated. We then trim the excess leaves, pack and ship.
    The unloading port of the truck uses the same dog shelter (enclosed entrance) system used in refrigerated food factories, allowing food to be loaded onto the truck while still being kept cold.

  • Growing vegetables with respect for food safety, the natural environment, and workers

    Equipped with the latest equipment and carrying out thorough quality control, Ohira Yasai has been working on growing vegetables with a focus on the deliciousness and natural sweetness of vegetables since its founding in 2014.
    In addition, we acquired Global GAP (official name: GROBALG.AP Global Gap) in 2021.
    Global GAP is an international standard agricultural certification system that is used in more than 120 countries around the world. This is a globally recognized brand given to excellent companies that practice good export transaction conditions and sustainable production activities. In Europe, most supermarkets have adopted it as a procurement standard, and it is becoming widespread in major Japanese supermarkets as well.

    [Main fields]
    Food safety
    Conservation of the natural environment
    Occupational safety for producers
    human rights protection
    Agricultural business management

  • Mr. Matsukawa says that by practicing agriculture that takes food safety, the working environment, and environmental conservation into consideration, and by establishing traceability, he has gained trust with business partners and consumers.
    Mr. Kaji was also impressed and said, ``It seems like they value not only the deliciousness of their vegetables, but also food safety, the natural environment, and their workers.''

  • Raw, boiled, or stir-fried! Romaine lettuce is suitable for any cooking method.

    Mr. Kaji heard various stories and wanted to try romaine lettuce. Hiromi Shindo of Ohira Yasai prepared a variety of romaine lettuce dishes.
    ``Caesar salad'', ``Romaine lettuce and olive pork belly mille-feuille hotpot'', ``Romaine lettuce cooked rice''. It's delicious when eaten raw in salads, but it's crunchier than regular lettuce, so it's also delicious when cooked, such as grilled, cooked in a hot pot, or made into a hot dish.

  • Shindo-san's recommendation is "Romaine lettuce steak."
    Romaine lettuce steamed on a hot plate, topped with Caesar salad sauce, cheese, and hot spring egg.
    "It's incredibly crunchy. When you bite into it, you can really taste the sweetness of the romaine lettuce," says Kaji. You can almost hear the crunchy chewing sound.

  • ``Romaine lettuce and olive pork belly mille-feuille hot pot'' is made by layering romaine lettuce and pork belly alternately and simmering them in dashi stock. This dish takes advantage of the moistness of romaine lettuce, and allows you to enjoy the perfect texture without falling apart. This one is served lightly with ponzu sauce.
    "Romaine lettuce is a versatile vegetable that goes well with a variety of ingredients and cooking methods," said Kaji, who also liked it.

  • Mr. Kaji learned about the deliciousness of romaine lettuce and the commitment to quality of Ohira vegetables. “I would like more people to eat romaine lettuce produced in Kagawa Prefecture.”
    Mr. Matsukawa and Mr. Shindo were also enthusiastic about continuing to grow vegetables that are kind to the people who eat them, the people who make them, and the natural environment.

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