B gourmet

Seriously? Olive oil!? Turn ice cream into gourmet gelato with this easy but fattening trick

Seriously? Olive oil!? Turn ice cream into gourmet gelato with this easy but fattening trick

When I was a kid, I used to love using a spoon to whip my ice cream into a fluffy consistency. While it significantly sped up the ice cream’s melt time, I found the new texture I’d created a lot more agreeable than the spoon-bending hardness of the straight-from-the-freezer stuff. It never occurred to my sugar-addled, 10-year-old mind that in the process of whipping up my ice cream, I was actually making a sort of off-brand homemade gelato.

But now that I’ve grown older and my palate has matured, I still enjoy the ice cream whipping trick, but don’t do it as frequently as I used to. There’s just something missing. To my 30-year-old taste buds that have known such exotic delicacies as fugu, unagi, foie gras, street tacos and meatball subs, it’s just mushy ice cream.

But now, thanks to this secret trick we found on the Japanese Interwebs, I’ve rekindled my love for Poor Man’s Gelato.

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7-Eleven’s Premium Popcorn is apparently so good it barely even exists

7-Eleven’s Premium Popcorn is apparently so good it barely even exists

We’ve already talked about Japan’s penchant for limited stock and limited-time seasonal items, but I’m starting to get the impression manufacturers and retailers are playing us for fools. Zipping down to the grocery only to find that at least some of the basic items you wanted are sold out is a common headache in Japan, as if retailers are hoping we’ll all be like, “Oh man, white bread must be really trendy right now. Guess I’ll buy five loaves next time.”

Convenience store chain 7-Eleven is downright diabolical about this kind of stuff, with a constantly shifting roster of goods that seem to come and go arbitrarily, which Japanese consumers have apparently picked up on because they’re currently in a crazy purchase panic over 7-Eleven’s delicious new Premium Popcorn.

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Slow News Day Special: We cook pasta with Tokyo Bay seawater

Slow News Day Special: We cook pasta with Tokyo Bay seawater

Given that there were no murders, Abe gaffs, North Korean human rights violations or major Attack on Titan events today, we decided we’d do something a little fluffier and… saltier with our reporting today. After hearing that professional chefs claim pasta should be boiled in a combination of water and salt that closely resembles seawater, we wondered: Why not just use, you know, actual seawater?

Since it’s essentially an unlimited and free resource, it seems like a waste to go out and buy pure water and sea salt and combine the two when you can just head on over to Odaiba on Tokyo Bay and fill up an empty bottle with real seawater.

One of our Japanese reporters did just this, with… somewhat mixed results.

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Japanese people most like to drink green tea with their chips, incredibly dull survey finds

Japanese people most like to drink green tea with their chips, incredibly dull survey finds

As a hardcore carnivore (not omnivore – I literally only eat meat), I’m not big on potato chips personally, but Japan is a surprisingly junk food-obsessed country and potato chips are as ubiquitous as the Pocky and Koala March candies that otaku across the globe are familiar with.

There are a huge variety of flavors, thicknesses, textures, shapes and designs to Japanese potato chips, and the industry is apparently so lucrative that consulting firm My Voice Communications – which has absolutely no affiliation with the potato chip industry – put together an insanely exhaustive and, frankly, thoroughly boring survey about Japanese potato chip preferences.

We yawned through the full survey so that you don’t have to. Here are the major takeaways, with all most of the dull stuff cut out:

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Ignore the name, Kitchen Dive’s bento are cheap and delicious!

Ignore the name, Kitchen Dive’s bento are cheap and delicious!

There are only three reasons one could possibly fathom going to any establishment that’s known in American English as a “dive”: Cheap beer, cheap beer, and greasy burgers.

Now apparently you can add a fourth reason: Cheap, delicious bento lunch boxes, thanks to whispered-about bento  shop, Kitchen Dive. With just a handful of locations around Tokyo, we’d never actually seen one in the flesh before and almost thought they were some apocryphal legend; some cruel prank older, wiser salarymen were playing on the newbies, maybe (“Oh yeah, there’s a shop selling 200 yen bento. Right around the corner. Caaaan’t miss it.”).

Finally, we spotted an honest-to-goodness, 24-hour Kitchen Dive in the unassuming Kameido area of Tokyo and the 100 yen coins in our pockets practically flew out of their own accord.

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We try McDonald’s Japan’s new “Classic Fries with Cheese”

We try McDonald’s Japan’s new “Classic Fries with Cheese”

When McDonald’s Japan announced recently a rolling set of new menu items based on supposedly classic American recipes, the majority of the Internet – recalling how awesome the Big America series was – collectively foodgasmed in anticipation.

Unfortunately, now that the first items are finally here, consumer reviews have viciously skewered the new “Classic Fries with Cheese,” with comments ranging from, “This is unpleasant” to “This tastes like sloth pee.” Questions of how some Netizens know what sloth pee tastes like aside, it’s safe to conclude opinions are widely divided. So, of course, fast food connoisseurs that we are, we had to try the item for ourselves and throw our hat into the public debate ring.

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This is what happens when you order ramen with “200 times” the regular spiciness

This is what happens when you order ramen with “200 times” the regular spiciness

Ramen is a popular comfort food in Japan because, unlike many Japanese foods, there’s very little formality in eating it, it’s not especially good for you and therefore tastes wonderful, and you’re generally free to customize to your heart’s content, choosing a broth of your liking and then heaping on the toppings until you can barely see the noodles if you so desire.

Spicy ramen varieties aren’t uncommon, either, with many popular chains such as Ichiran offering customizable spiciness levels from one to ten. Of course, if you’re the right combination of bored, crazy and rich, you can pay extra to exceed the tenth level of spiciness; right on up to 200 times normal.

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The 6 best frozen foods at a Japanese grocery store

The 6 best frozen foods at a Japanese grocery store

Have you taken a look in your freezer lately? Has that carton of ice cream from last summer grown into an ice fortress yet? What about that mean-looking freezer burn on that mystery meat? Maybe it is time to clean out the chiller and fill it up with some surprisingly yummy frozen foods from your local Japanese grocery store.

While this is far from world-class gourmet dining, the following six foods will definitely make your stomach happy on a night when pushing the microwave’s “start” button is all the cooking you want to do. Click below to find out which Japanese frozen foods are worth your hard-earned yen!

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Mochi and Cookies & Cream together at last with new Yukimi Daifuku flavor

Mochi and Cookies & Cream together at last with new Yukimi Daifuku flavor

If you’ve never actually been to Japan and had a Yukimi Daifuku recommended to or forced upon you, you probably have no idea what that headline means.

Yukimi Daifuku is an ice cream treat that wraps the Japanese candy staple, mochi – rice pounded to a gooey consistency – with ice cream. It may be one of the few ice cream desserts in Japan that is popular outside of the summer months, most likely because it combines so many different flavors and eating experiences: The gooey, sticky mochi – which is slightly savory – contrasts with the sweet, creamy ice cream to create a totally unique treat you’d be hard pressed to find outside of Japan.

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Ninja life skills: Do you know the correct way to eat this traditional Japanese sweet?

Ninja life skills: Do you know the correct way to eat this traditional Japanese sweet?

Shingen mochi – a relatively common wagashi Japanese sweet similar to the more well-known warabi mocha – is a treat made from pounded rice lightly coated in roasted soybean flour (kinako) meant to be drizzled with syrup before consumption.

It comes in a plastic container which is then wrapped in a decorative plastic sheet and sealed with a small, flat spear-like utensil meant to skewer the mochi with while eating. That plastic sheet is also the key to the “proper” way of eating shingen mochi.

Unfortunately for anyone who has consumed shingen mochi until now, the manufacturer’s marketing department decided not to tell even one single person how to properly eat their product. Thankfully, a helpful YouTuber here in Japan has shared a video showing the correct way to eat this traditional sweet. Find out after the break.

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Salted fish dog is popular Kyoto snack that looks about as appetizing as you’d expect

Salted fish dog is popular Kyoto snack that looks about as appetizing as you’d expect

The Kyoto Aquarium is offering a limited summer snack officially dubbed the “ayu salt-cooked hot dog.”

To the uninitiated, this probably sounds like a hot dog topped with some exotic, delicious spice called ayu, but adventurous expats will recognize ayu as a native Japanese fish species often served grilled whole on a stick.

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Stand back guys, I’m hitting the salad bar! Diners get creative at Pizza Hut China

Stand back guys, I’m hitting the salad bar! Diners get creative at Pizza Hut China

Tired of being taken to the cleaners by overly enthusiastic patrons at its all-you-can-eat salad bar, a few years ago, Pizza Hut China decided to limit customers to a one-plate serving. After implementing the new rule, however, the company still found itself losing money as customers started stacking their fruit and vegetables into enormous towers, packing as much onto their plates as physically possible.

Check out this collection of photos depicting the monolithic cuisine creations.

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We brave the Tokyo heat to munch on these limited edition Krispy Kreme summer doughnuts

We brave the Tokyo heat to munch on these limited edition Krispy Kreme summer doughnuts

‘Tis the season of the “Summer Gentei” (“Summer Specialties”) in Japan; an exciting time of year where near every food vendor in the country offers up some sort of cold, frozen, or energy-packed  limited edition summer-themed menu. And even the foreign chains are getting into it, with Krispy Kreme Japan currently offering three new summer-only doughnuts and two summer-themed drinks. Because we love you, we went and stuffed our faces.

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Hot steamed buns are a great way to cool down in summer, says our slightly crazy Japanese reporter

Hot steamed buns are a great way to cool down in summer, says our slightly crazy Japanese reporter

I used to have a co-worker who, on the hottest of summer days, would drink a pint of hot water through a straw and claim it helped cool her down. Naturally, everyone thought she was insane or belonged to some weird religion, or both, and would try to avoid working a shift alone with her.

But it looks like her weird sect of Scientology or whatever it was may have been onto something, as our Japanese reporter swears by eating microwaved steam buns to cool off in the summer.

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Hope you didn’t plan on eating this week: we try duck fetus eggs in the Philippines

Hope you didn’t plan on eating this week: we try duck fetus eggs in the Philippines

So it’s come to this, has it? Rocketnews24, after eating pretty much everything under the sun, has reached the last bastion of disgusting culinary curios.

Of course, we’re talking about Philippine balut, or duck fetus eggs. We’ve been here before, but somehow we felt this needed revisiting.

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Subway Japan solves Pink Floyd’s Another Brick in the Wall (Part 2) pudding dilemma

Subway Japan solves Pink Floyd’s Another Brick in the Wall (Part 2) pudding dilemma

Head on over to your nearest Subway the next time you’re wondering, “How can you have any pudding if you don’t eat yer meat?” Starting May 29, the purveyor of those fresh, delicious, made-to-order subs is offering double meat portions on selected sandwiches.
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Want to enjoy the health benefits of natto without the smell? Try this natto and ice cream recipe!

Want to enjoy the health benefits of natto without the smell? Try this natto and ice cream recipe!

Not familiar with natto? Shame on you! Natto is the fermented soy bean “snack” loved throughout the Kanto region for its supposed health benefits that outweigh the questionable flavor and strong smell, which is optimistically described as “cheesy and pungent” and otherwise described by detractors with violent gagging noises.

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Lovers of Red Meat and Cold Hard Cash Should Try For This Gyukaku Meat Eating Challenge

Lovers of Red Meat and Cold Hard Cash Should Try For This Gyukaku Meat Eating Challenge

Gyukaku, the internationally expanding and hugely popular Japanese yakiniku (“Korean barbecue”) chain, is offering a one-of-a-kind chance for meat lovers to actually be paid to come and eat a bunch of meat at one of their Tokyo locations.

There is a catch, though: you have to eat ALL THE MEAT!

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Japan’s Greatest Faux Beers: Everything You Need to Know About Happoshu

Japan’s Greatest Faux Beers: Everything You Need to Know About Happoshu

Whether you realize it or not, you’ve probably had a happoshu (発泡酒)or “low-malt beer-like beverage” if you’ve ever had a night out in Japan.

The taste of a typical happoshu can vary from “pretty close to the real thing” to “yes, this is definitely weasel urine.” Going into a convenience store and blindly grabbing a beer can is thus a bit of a gamble in Japan, so, ever the masculine, barrel-chested and dashingly handsome role model father to our readers, we’ve done the work for you and chosen the five happoshu brands that are worth your time:

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A Very Berry Ramen Experience — “Susususustrawberry Ramen”

A Very Berry Ramen Experience — “Susususustrawberry Ramen”

Here at RocketNews24, we’ve certainly brought to you our share of stories on unusual ramen noodles, from chilled blue ramen to ramen that’s too disgusting to eat. Well, once again, one of our reporters was brave enough to try another very, shall we say, “interesting” ramen. And yes, as you can tell from the picture, it contains … strawberries. Read More

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