cooking

Totoro, Levi, and beautiful flowers – All part of the edible world of okonomiyaki art 【Videos】

If you’ve never had the pleasure eating okonomiyaki, you’re missing out on one of Japan’s greatest culinary treats. Sometimes referred to as “Japanese pancakes” or “Japanese pizza,” Okonomiyaki is a circular crepe filled with cabbage and other vegetables along with meat, seafood, or whatever else you want to put in it.

The whole thing gets topped with a sweet, reddish brown sauce which not only tastes great, but can also serve as a great canvas on which to create awesome-looking and edible okonomiyaki art!

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Japanese pancake artist offers new batch of amazingly edible pancake character art!

Pancakes have existed since the Greek and Roman eras, and are one of the oldest surviving forms of food made from grain. Whether or not it’s the king of breakfast foods may be debatable, but almost every culture has their own version of this delicious treat.

Since Japan’s pancake kick over the past couple of years, we’ve introduced a number of ways you can add more pancakes to your breakfast or snack menu, like this rice cooker recipe for beginners, or for those of you looking to impress, this pancake character art that almost looks too amazing to eat.

This time we’ve got the scoop on pancake art from another artist in Japan, whipping up plates of not only classic cartoon and anime characters, but other more recent anime and manga favorites as well.

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Sweet and squee-worthy Totoro tarts tutorial makes us want to bake! 【Video】

When you want to impress with your cute culinary skills, Japanese characters are always the way to go. And with plenty of detailed online tutorials out there, it’s easy to whip up something adorable without too much effort. And the choice is endless – you could make Rilakkuma Bath-Time Curry, or whip up some Gudetama pancakes…or you could even bake up a batch of Totoro tarts, like the ones this video teaches how to make!

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Got a bunch of old rice lying around? Let us show you how to revive it!

Most of the food you find in supermarkets in Japan comes in small packages, and people tend to buy just enough for a few days. You won’t find many supersized, bulk discount items at the local grocery store, with one big exception: Rice! Many families eat bowls of rice with most of their meals, so it’s easy to go through a few pounds a week.

But what happens when you overestimate and end up with bags of rice that go untouched for years? While it won’t exactly “go bad,” it will end up pretty stale. You could throw it out, but what  a waste that would be. Instead, try our lifehack to get your old rice tasting fresh and yummy!

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You are going to wish this Singaporean chef was making your lunches for you【Photos】

The art of bento making is one that truly forces the creator to plan out every single move ahead. You can’t just plate and then decorate; you need a game-plan right from the start. Plus, it’s not just about presentation – the food has to taste good too. There are plenty of amazing bento artists in Japan (basically any creative mom) but the craft is slowly making its way off the island nation.

A passionate chef from Singapore has been wowing us with her creative and stunning bento that are practically too good-looking to eat. But, any good chef knows that we eat with our eyes first, which means we have been absolutely devouring her cute food.

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How to make Japan’s coolest summer snack: Onigirazu! 【Recipe & Video】

Everyone knows and loves onigiri, or rice balls. They’re the perfect portable snack, available in every conbini with a wide range of different fillings. But some of us have grown tired of the same old snack. Thus, the “onigirazu” was born! We’ll show you how to make it right here!

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The art of cooking ramen – Two foreigners find it’s a lot harder than they first thought 【Video】

If you grew up eating instant ramen noodles or survived through university on the stuff, you would probably scoff at someone who says that making ramen is difficult. They’re probably not talking about the just-add-boiling-water stuff you can find in your supermarket for 10 cents a pack, though – in Japan, true ramen doesn’t come easy, taking many hours to make the perfect broth and lots of skill and precision to serve up a perfect, steaming bowl of noodles.

If you’ve ever been to a ramen shop in Japan, the speed and accuracy with which the chefs whips up some noodles and broth makes it look super simple. But as American YouTuber Ramen Adventures found out, it’s a lot harder than it looks! Check out the video of his experience and see what all goes in to making a good bowl of ramen.

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Japanese marshmallow omelette: A real thing you can (and should) make right away 【Rocket Kitchen】

Recipes with marshmallows instead of sugar have soared in popularity online in Japan recently. We love marshmallows, so we’re hardly about to complain — so soft! so sweet! — and the rise in popularity even got the attention of some our Japanese writers, who decided to try out a recipe using marshmallows.

And what is the recipe? Cooked eggs!

Wait, cooked eggs and marshmallows? This really can’t turn out well…can it?! Read on to find out!

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Celebrate the incoming Attack on Titan movie with a suitably colossal Oreo cookie 【Recipe】

With less than a month to go before the release of the live-action Attack on Titan film in Japan, related merchandise and tie-in collaborations have brought us everything from point cards to hot dogs in recent days.

Whether you’re anxiously awaiting the movie’s opening date here in Japan or further abroad, there’s one way everyone can join in the celebrations: with a giant Oreo cookie. Check out the delicious recipe after the jump, complete with all the mouth-watering step-by-step details. A snack this sweet and giant-sized is sure to stop any Colossal Titan in its tracks!

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Beat the heat with Japanese somen noodles dipped in Starbucks noodle sauce?!

For many Japanese, somen is the go to food of choice for keeping the summer heat exhaustion blues away. These thin, white Japanese noodles that resemble vermicelli are traditionally made from wheat flour and served chilled.

But what do you do if a somen craving hits and you don’t have a full serving of mentsuyu, or noodle dipping sauce, on hand to eat them with? What if you’re tired or eating somen the traditional way?  Or what if you’re in need of a little caffeine kick with your meal?

If you answered mix your noodle sauce with Starbucks coffee, congratulations! We’re stumped as to how our Japanese staff arrived at this weird food combination, but apparently it tastes much better than it sounds.

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We substitute mirin for sugar in pudding and then taste it ourselves 【Rocket Kitchen】

If you’re in the mood to cook but running short on ingredients, there’s always the old tactic of asking your neighbor for a cup of sugar. If you are in Japan though, why don’t you ask your neighbor for a cup of mirin, or sweet sake used for cooking, instead?

The Sanshu Mikawa Mirin Distillery has recently been promoting sweets made with mirin. This notion is bound to turn some heads as there doesn’t seem to be a correlation between mirin and sweets in Japanese cooking, where it’s instead often used to add a flavorful touch to grilled fish or sushi. So how is it that this seemingly savory flavor can be substituted for the sweetness of sugar? The RocketKitchen is going to get to the bottom of this and eat some pudding too!

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Turn rice balls into rice kitties with this adorable omusubi kit!

The Japanese words omusubi and onigiri are usually translated as “rice ball,” but there’s no rule that they have to be round. Walk into any convenience store or supermarket in Japan and you’ll find the shelves stocked with triangular versions, plus plenty that look closer to a soft-edged hockey puck than a perfectly spherical ball.

What we’re saying is that when it comes to omusubi design, your options are wide open, and with this kitty-shaped omusubi kit, they’re adorable as well.

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Feeling hungry? Dip into this delicious Princess Mononoke-inspired cheese ball recipe

With summer come picnics, potlucks and barbeques, but for those of us who aren’t so handy in the kitchen, it can be a real conundrum trying to come up with a dish that’s simple to make yet tastes great.

If you’re stumped for summertime snack ideas, why not try your hand at this easy-to-make cheeseball recipeShaped like the Forest Spirit from Studio Ghibli’s Princess Mononoke, it not only looks delicious, but is sure to impress any Miyazaki or anime buffs in your circle of friends.

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Japan’s really into toasting marshmallows… on a takoyaki maker!

Mmm, marshmellers (as I like to call ’em.) Those squidgy little puffs of delicious goo. Bad for your teeth, bad for your waistline, but oh-so-yummy, especially when toasted. The outside goes all crispy and the inside melts juuuuust a little bit. In fact, they’re the perfect treat for toasting around the campfire.

But in Japan, they prefer to toast their marshmallows in a slightly more “Japanese” way – by which we mean they toast them over a takoyaki grilling machine!

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We made Sailor Jupiter’s out-of-this-world bento, and you can too! 【RocketKitchen】

Recently we’ve been seeing a lot of ways for you to express your inner sailor scout. There’s Sailor Moon pajamas, Sailor Moon cellphones, and even Sailor Moon designer bags and, um, menstrual pads.

But what about when you want to eat like one of the sailor scouts? Well that’s something we at RocketNews24 have been wondering ourselves, so we decided to try making one of Sailor Jupiter’s legendary bento boxes. How did it turn out? Let’s just say we ran into some interesting characters along the way….

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RocketKitchen: A simple and delicious recipe for cooking tuna

Tuna. It’s definitely a fish most of us all grew up with. And if you’re anything like one of our RocketNews24 crew, P.K., then you may have grown up believing that tuna only comes from a can!

Though you may associate tuna with cans, that need not be the case. You can actually use fresh tuna in your meals, and today we’ll show you how with a simple recipe that’s sure to impress, even though it requires only five ingredients. Read on to learn how to make this delicious yet simple tuna recipe!

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Waiting for your meal is so much more fun with a tiny, projection-mapped chef cooking for you

It’s no surprise that many celebrations and social gatherings center around food. Food is a big part of pretty much every country’s culture, and since many of us eat around three times a day, it makes sense to enjoy your grub in the company of friends or family.

But when we’re out to eat at a restaurant, sometimes the wait for our food can put us in a bad mood, particularly if our stomachs have been empty for a bit too long. One company, however, has come up with a nifty way to help restaurants serve up a bit of high-tech entertainment to its guests: a pint-sized chef who cooks up your meal right on your plate!

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Professional Chinese food chef teaches us how to make the perfect fried rice

If you’re anything like us, you love Chinese food. Ramen, dumplings, spicy ribs, the always delicious chahan (fried rice) – you name it, we’ll keep eating it so long as you keep bringing it! Chahan is, we have to admit, pretty easy to make, but even so we can never get it to taste as good as the stuff they serve in the restaurant.

But no more! A couple of writers from our Japanese sister site recently went to get some pointers on cooking great fried rice from a real Chinese-food chef. Here are his four tips for making killer chahan at home!

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How to make a mouth-watering Japanese beef bowl in just five minutes 【RocketKitchen】

The beef bowl is essentially Japan’s equivalent to the American hamburger. Offered by inexpensive restaurants across the nation, the beef bowl, or gyudon, as it’s called in Japanese, is a tasty, hot meal that’ll give you all the protein and carbs you’re craving without costing you much money or time.

But while you’re usually never far from a beef bowl joint in Japan, what if you live in a town or country that doesn’t have a Yoshinoya, Matsuya, or, most tragically of all, a mouth-watering Sukiya? No problem, because with this amazingly simple recipe, you can make your own Japanese-style beef bowl in just five minutes!

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These rad, super-rare cutting knives are (presumably) for cooking

If you’re gonna slay a dragon, you might as well do it in style. May we suggest these crazily cool-looking cutting knives that only need to be sharpened every 25 years?

You read that right: These knives will keep their edge for an astonishing 25 years – a quarter of your entire life, if you’re lucky, and five times as long as your passing interest in cooking that you took up to impress that one girl in college who was really into kale and organic, grass-fed wagyu beef.

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