food

We test the mayonnaise hair pack, plus give vegetable and olive oil a shot, and the winner is…

Recently, do-it-yourself mayonnaise hair packs have caught the attention of people who want to look their best, save a little cash, and maybe find a second use for that jumbo-sized jar of the condiment they picked up at Costco. And while we don’t know where she sources her mayo from, our Japanese-language correspondent Shimazu was one of those intrigued by this possible meeting of the beauty and culinary worlds.

So to see if it’s really as good for your hair as its fans say, Shimazu hopped in the shower, lathered up, and slapped on a coat of mayo. She didn’t stop there, though, as she also grabbed a couple of other bottles from her kitchen so she could compare the results versus treating her hair with vegetable and olive oil.

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Learn to love the taste of raw daikon with this simple recipe 【RocketKitchen】

Daikon is one of the cornerstones of Japanese cuisine. It has a firm yet yielding texture and ability to meld with any flavors it comes in contact with such as oden broth. However, most ways of eating daikon involve cooking which largely squanders the precious vitamin C that it contains.

You could eat it raw, but on its own daikon has a bitter and bland flavor suitable for no one. At least, it did until now thanks to a recipe posted on Cookpad, Japan’s premier recipe site, by a user with the handle of ayureo. This recipe is certifiably delicious, cheap, and so simple that anyone can do it — even us!

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Oh no, osechi! Why don’t young people in Japan like eating traditional New Year’s dishes?

During the year of college I spent doing homestay in Tokyo, for New Year’s, my host family and I ate a traditional osechi meal. Served in a multi-layered box, almost each of the dozen or so dishes had some sort of auspicious meaning behind it, and the presentation and cultural significance of the whole affair was a memorable experience.

That said, I’ve never found myself craving osechi again, and it turns out my lack of enthusiasm isn’t a result of my foreign background. More and more young people born and raised in Japan are deciding they can do without osechi at New Year’s, and they’ve actually got some pretty sound reasons why.

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Got a beef with Japan’s Christmas shortcakes? Then try one made out of chicken

I like Christmas. I get that some people feel it’s over-commercialized, but for me, I’m happy to see some nice decorations and have an excuse to get together with family and friends. Really, the only complaint I’ve got is the cake.

See, in Japan, you can’t celebrate Christmas without a cake. Ordinarily, adding cake to just about anything makes it better, with “a mug of beer” being the sole exception I’ve found so far. But almost every Christmas party here features the exact same “Christmas cake.” It’s basically a strawberry shortcake, which, by my criteria, is sorely lacking in the three most important ingredients of a really good cake, which are, in no particular order, chocolate frosting, chocolate sponge, and chocolate filling.

So if you’ve also got a beef with the standard Christmas cake, maybe you’d prefer one that’s made out of chicken.

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【TBT】Sampling strawberry ice cream panda bean curry

Café Latino sits in the quiet residential area of Asakusa, and seems to be your average urban curry restaurant with cozy, modern decor. Certainly, one wouldn’t expect to find something like ‘Strawberry Curry’ on the menu.

Part of Café Latino’s spring-only menu, Strawberry Curry is available from late December to mid-March and requires a reservation for customers who wish to order it. We put in ours, and made our way to the restaurant to see how this unlikely combination holds up.

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Love curry? Why not wear it around your neck? Plastic food neckpieces get netizens talking

Japan sure loves its plastic replica food. It’s a handy way for restaurants to demonstrate the dishes on offer, and it’s an absolute godsend for tourists who don’t read Japanese. Instead of grappling with menus written in complicated characters, they can simply point at the tasty plastic versions. In recent years, however, plastic food has found its way toward decorating all sorts of objects, from phone cases to accessories. We think that things might have gotten a bit out of hand, however, because now you can apparently wear a serving of plastic food around your neck. Join us after the jump to see the whole range!

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3-D green tea latte art adds a splash of whimsy and color to your cup

While browsing around Twitter the other day, one of our Japanese reporters came across some adorable 3-D matcha latte art on the Matcha Fan Club (抹茶同好会) official account.

According to the tweet, the photos came from a sweet shop at the Karasuma Oike Station in Nakagyō-ku, Kyoto called Saryo Suisen. Our reporter just had to see more, so she headed over to their official Twitter page and was treated to some beautiful latte art designs created by the shop barista, Sudo-san.

Of course, we just had to share them with you!

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A Ghibli mystery solved — the identity of exotic looking food in Spirited Away revealed!

If you’re a Ghibli fan, chances are you’ve been fascinated on more than one occasion by the various colorful and tantalizing foods that appear in their films. Perhaps you’ve even seen some of the dishes recreated in real life. And then there are those mysterious looking foods, the identity of which we quite aren’t sure, like this stretchy, jelly-like translucent item that Chihiro’s father is seen eating in the film Spirited Away. Well, word on the Japanese Internet recently has it that the mystery as to what that food is has finally been solved.

Care to take a guess what it is? We’ll give you a hint: it’s not a Japanese dish!

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Yokohama restaurant serves fried axolotl, along with giant isopod, camel, and crocodile

It’s no secret that there are a lot of unusual food choices available in Japan–some of which have upset quite a few people. There’s a good chance that this offering by a Yokohama restaurant will be no different and will likely divide people between the “gotta have some” and the “WTF?!” crowd. In addition to offering crocodile, ostrich, and camel meat, Chinjuya in Yokohama also provides customers with the opportunity to munch on fried axolotl grown in captivity.

You can even order giant isopods!

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Adorable chicken traveller actually headed to nauseating final destination in series of promo pics

“Go forth, young one,” the adorable fowl’s equally adorable parents probably said. “It is time for you to strike out on your own. You are destined to do great things.”

We picture a bittersweet farewell, tears running down the proud parents’ beaks, each pecking nervously at the ground in turn, their prodigal son equipped with nothing but the knapsack ‘round his neck and a meager meal of two leeks.

If only the proud parents had known their young son’s final destination…

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We don’t know what Vanadium is either, but Asahi put it in a drink for you anyway

On November 18, Asahi released its new Fuji-san Vanadium Natural Water Hot, apparently banking on the idea that regular convenience store-going human beings would both a) know what Vanadium is, and b) actually want to consume just plain hot water out of a bottle.

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Beautiful faces and floors – Five great ways to reuse the water from rinsing rice

While out shopping the other day, I picked up a bag of prewashed rice. The grocery store was having a sale, so it was just as cheap as the unwashed kinds, and I figured, “Hey, there’s no advantage to having to rinse it myself is there?”

But as it turns out, the water left over after you wash the rice, called togijiru in Japanese, is actually pretty useful, as shown by these five ways you can reuse it instead of just dumping it down the sink.

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Who knew frozen apples could taste so good!: Simple dessert recipe for the diet-conscious

If you’ve been on an apple diet, you know the pain of having to munch on nothing but apples all day long. Sure, they are sweet and juicy, but the same old apple can get boring. Just when you’re getting sick of the fruit, it’s time to start exploring more delicious ways of enjoying apples to spice things up a little. We have come up with a super easy way of making delicious apple compote that will satisfy your sweet tooth and not ruin your diet! I personally think this is one of the best discoveries we’ve made so far!

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Check out these cool ways to enjoy hot springs in Oita, including eating and breathing them

Oita, on the eastern coast of Japan’s southern island of Kyushu, has taken to billing itself as Onsen-ken. And while that title loses a bit of its rhyming appeal once it’s translated into English, it’s hard to deny that it really is the Hot Spring Prefecture, as Oita boasts more hot springs than anywhere else in Japan.

As a matter of fact, Oita has so much geothermal water that it can get creative with its most attractive and relaxing natural resource, as shown by these unique ways locals and tourists can enjoy the prefecture’s hot springs.

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Japanese netizens show love for “English Toast” which is neither English nor Toast

With such a wide range of delicious and delectable (and, erm, shall we say unusualsnack foods available in Japan,  it’s a little hard to understand when people get whipped up into a frenzy over plainer options, such as toast and bread crusts fried with sugar. Now, twitter users in Japan are getting their tastebuds in a twist over the confusingly-named “English Toast”, a sweet snacklet that first became popular in Aomori prefecture and has now expanded into a whole range of conbini sandwiches. But what on earth is it?

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Why almost all Japanese people hate root beer

When living in another country it’s only natural to miss some of the tastes of home. In my case, the extreme rarity of root beer has been a source of sadness. Time to time I’ll come across a supermarket or import shop that carries it and am sure to pick up a can despite its often exorbitant price of around 200 yen (US$1.69).

The reason for the absence of the drink on the Japanese market is obvious though. Although root beer has its share of detractors even in its home of America, the sheer number of people who can’t stand the stuff in Japan is huge. What is it that makes root beer so overwhelmingly disgusting to Japanese people?

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【TBT】Chocolate-covered squid, corn Kit Kat, and other anomalies of the Japanese snack food scene

Japan is a crowded country, and that goes for just about everything. Even store shelves are crowded. Most people do their shopping on foot, which means supermarkets and convenience stores tend to be on the small size, and shelf space is always at a premium.

As such, companies have to do something to make their products stand out. This is why so many Japanese beverages and snack foods have seasonal flavors that are only available for a limited time. Of course, taste engineers in Japan can only come up with so many normal flavors, and when they run out, the only thing to do is go on to the abnormal flavors.

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Snoopy and Woodstock, ordinarily inseparable pals, getting separate themed restaurant in Tokyo

Japan is always up for a little entertainment with its meals. As a result, dotted around Tokyo you’ll find restaurants where you can dine on food inspired by cute and cool characters from animation, video games, and the like.

Usually, these fictional icons are Japanese in origin, but it turns out that Snoopy and the rest of the Peanuts gang have enough of a following for not just one, but two new restaurants collaborations in Tokyo.

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Burger King Japan’s new Premium Berry burger may sound awful, but it tastes fantastic

The moment it was unveiled earlier this week, dozens of English-language blogs and news sites slammed Burger King Japan’s new seasonal offering, suggesting that the very notion of a hamburger topped with berries and slathered with a sweet pink sauce sounded about as appetising as a sweetfish hotdog served with a side of sick.

Aside from the occasional slice of pineapple, it is indeed rare to find fruit slipped between a hamburger’s buns, but knowing how well meats like turkey and pork go with sweet and sticky glazes and sauces, we at RocketNews24 remained optimistic that Burger King was not in fact trying to kill us with its latest creation, and headed down to try it for ourselves.

And as it turns out, the Premium Berry burger is actually kind of awesome.

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Mayo: Just as good for shiny, healthy hair as it is for sandwiches, say Japanese beauty tips

Which is worse, hair in your mayonnaise or mayonnaise in your hair? Assuming you haven’t actually eaten any, hair in your mayo is actually a pretty easy problem to rectify. You either toss the jar out, or you make lunch for any of your sworn enemies who’d accept a surprise sandwich from you despite your less than friendly relationship.

Mayonnaise in your hair, on the other hand, means you yourself are dirty though, and you’ve got to stop whatever you’re doing (such as crafting diabolical plots against your aforementioned enemies) to go and shampoo, right?

Actually, you don’t, according to people in Japan who say spreading a little mayo on your hair is actually good for it.

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