Yuki Endo

Institute of Food Sciences and Technologies, Kawasaki Plant

Please tell us about your current work.

I have been working to develop “Steam Me”, a seasoning product that offers delicious and quick-cooking recipes. To do this, we repeatedly mixed various ingredients in different combinations to identify the best blend. “Steam Me” for Char Siu Pork enables consumers to cook tender and juicy char siu-style pork. All you need to do is place chunks of pork in the “Steam Me” pouch containing our specially made barbeque sauce and heat the pouch in a microwave.

What motivated you to develop this product?

We developed this product to facilitate the creation of tender, quick-cooking, and unforgettably delicious pork chops. Consumer surveys show that having more dishes on the dining table and more self-made meals, even if simple and easy, improves not only nutrition but also people’s sense of satisfaction. This is especially true today, when we have more opportunities to cook and eat at home due to COVID-19. Under such circumstances, “Steam Me” will be of great help to consumers.

How is your work meaningful to you personally?

Personally speaking, my child has taken a keen interest in the “Steam Me” plastic pouch, which swells like a balloon when heated in the microwave. Whenever I make it, my child always enters the kitchen exclaiming, “I want to see the ‘Steam Me’ balloon!” I believe that in addition to delicious, nutritious, and convenient meals, this product offers both children and adults the opportunity to experience the pleasure of, and develop an interest in, cooking for themselves.

What makes your job worthwhile and interesting to you?

When we receive letters from consumers that say things like, “I made it for my family!” or “It was delicious!” it encourages me to keep improving. It makes me feel that my work connects with households all over Japan, and it keeps me motivated. The reward of my work comes from striving to find solutions to social issues by utilizing the Ajinomoto Group’s knowledge and technologies without hesitating to tackle technical barriers.