Have you ever had an experience when you ate two different foods at once, and the resulting flavor tasted like a completely different food? If yes, then don’t worry, because apparently your taste buds aren’t going crazy. Kyushu University in Japan recently publicized a list of different food combinations that mirror this phenomenon based on actual scientific research. Some of them are so outrageous that you won’t believe it until you actually try making them yourself!
Here’s a little question to get you started: What two food items should you combine in order to produce the flavor of corn soup? The answer and four more recipes after the jump.
Last year, Dr. Kiyoshi Toko of the Graduate School of Information Science and Electrical Engineering at Kyushu University became the recipient of a Medal of Honor with Purple Ribbon for his laboratory’s successful contributions in the area of calculating taste (sounds weird, right?). This prestigious award has been bestowed by the Japanese government since 1955 to “individuals who have contributed to academic and artistic developments, improvements and accomplishments.”
Using numerical readings of the ‘taste sensor’ device developed in their laboratory, his team tried combining different base ingredients to create entirely different foods. Keep in mind that the taste reading of the concocted foods was always equivalent to the taste reading of a sample of the actual foods.
Let’s take a look at how you too can reproduce five of these scientific “recipes”!
▼Mikan (orange) + nori (seaweed) + soy sauce = ikura (salmon roe)
Remove two sections of a mikan orange and wrap them in one sheet of nori. If you add a few drops of soy sauce, you’ll be rewarded with the taste of delicious salmon roe! The texture of the juicy orange is even said to mimic the sensation of eating the fish eggs. Mmmm!
▼Milk + pickled daikon = corn soup
Heat 100cc of milk until just before it’s boiling, add some thinly sliced pieces of pickled daikon, and then wait 10 minutes. The timing is critical because if you don’t wait long enough, the resulting concoction will just taste like, well, milk, but if you wait too long, the flavor of the pickled daikon will become overpowering.
▼Yogurt + tofu = rare cheesecake (a no-bake Japanese version of cheesecake, usually hardened with gelatin)
If you mix 20 grams of yogurt with 10 grams of tofu, the resulting acidity and depth of flavor is supposedly spot-on. You can also try combining tofu with lemon juice and fresh cream for a similar effect.
▼Yamaimo (mountain yam) + tofu + salt & pepper = white sauce (creamy sauce)
Combine 100 grams of strained tofu together with 100 grams of grated yamaimo, and finally sprinkle with salt and pepper. If you cook the mixture in the oven it will become exactly like creamy sauce, with less than half the calories! Sounds like a golden diet food.
▼Chicken liver + mayonnaise = foie gras
If this true, what a great trick to indulge in classy/cruel food without breaking your wallet or angering animals rights activists! Soak 15 grams of bloodless chicken liver in ice water for about 30 minutes, then smear it with mayonnaise. Let it sit for one night before cooking. The mayonnaise and saltiness are said to bring out the hidden taste potential in the chicken liver.
If those weren’t enough for you, check out these bonus recipes! Some of them look a bit too unappetizing for us to want to even try. Any takers out there?
Yokan (sweet bean jelly) + butter = sweet potato
Vanilla ice cream + soy sauce = mitarashi-dango (a kind of dumpling made from rice flour with a sweet soy sauce glaze)
Amanatto (sugared red beans) + brandy = marron glacé (a chestnut confection)
Silk tofu + chocolate sauce = almond jelly
Japanese pudding + soy sauce = sea urchin
Avocado + soy sauce = ootoro (fatty tuna)
Soy sauce ramen + vanilla ice cream = pork ramen
Yakisoba (fried noodles) + Japanese pudding = carbonara
Oolong tea + carbonated water = beer
Black tea + lemon + fresh cream = amazake (sweet drink made from fermented rice)