food

Man vs. Beast! Competitive eater Kobayashi takes on hamster in hot dog-eating contest 【Video】

Man vs. Beast! Competitive eater Kobayashi takes on hamster in hot dog-eating contest 【Video】

I didn’t watch a lot of TV during college, and before you think I’m saying that to try and come off as some high-minded intellectual, I’ll quickly admit that I filled that spare time playing video games and watching anime DVDs. One program I do remember catching, though, was a Fox special in which humans went against animals in a series of contests.

In one event, Takeru Kobayashi, Japan’s champion competitive eater, was pitted against a bear to see who could eat more hot dogs. The bear won with ease, because, well, it’s a bear for God’s sake.

Now, though, Kobayashi’s back for a rematch with the animal kingdom, but this time with a smaller opponent: an adorable hamster.

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Tokyo Disney Sea adds pitch-black sausage, other spooky treats for Halloween

Tokyo Disney Sea adds pitch-black sausage, other spooky treats for Halloween

Japan has gotten into Halloween in a big way in the last few years. By mid-September, stores start putting up decorations and offering seasonal treats, even if the practice of trick-or-treating hasn’t really caught on here yet.

So it’s only natural that Halloween gets special treatment from another popular import, Tokyo’s Disney theme parks, as Disney Sea is offering up some spooky Halloween menu items, including a pitch black sausage.

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Master Japanese chef’s knife skills turn cucumber into edible art in just three minutes

Master Japanese chef’s knife skills turn cucumber into edible art in just three minutes

Artists of different disciplines each have their own unique tools of the trade. A painter has his brushes and canvas, while a sculptor’s skills might call for a chisel and block of marble.

And a Japanese chef? All he needs to make beautiful, edible artwork is a cucumber and a kitchen knife.

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From plums to panties, the strange and beautiful bento of Keisuke Umeda【Photos】

From plums to panties, the strange and beautiful bento of Keisuke Umeda【Photos】

When you think about the media that artists can work in, ink, paint, stone, metal, wood, and glass all spring readily to mind. We could take an even broader view and include things such as film, sound, and even light. But even then, we’d still be overlooking the creations of Keisuke Umeda, who brings to life scenes of beautiful nature, disturbing juxtaposition, and offbeat humor through the medium of boxed bento lunches.

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Use your rice cooker to bake delicious cinnamon honey apples

Use your rice cooker to bake delicious cinnamon honey apples

Life can be tough in Japan when the weather starts getting cooler and cravings for baked comfort foods start taking hold of our thoughts. With full-size western ovens an absolute rarity in the common Japanese home, roast dinners and home-baked pies become more like lost friends from a bygone era; somewhere else but still etched in our hearts and never quite forgotten.

If the Japanese kitchen is lacking in the stove department, it makes up for it in volumes with a marvellous piece of wizardry known as the rice cooker. Its mettle has only recently been put to the test with some surprising recipes like fast food dinners and enormous pancakes of epic proportions. And now as the weather cools, there’s another easy recipe to try – soft baked cinnamon honey apples.

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Horsemeat sushi: For when you’re tired of spicy tuna and California rolls

Horsemeat sushi: For when you’re tired of spicy tuna and California rolls

Although “sushi” is often thought to mean raw fish, that’s not actually what the word means. The name actually refers to vinegared rice, and some varieties of sushi don’t contain any fish at all.

Kappa maki, for example, are rolls of seaweed, rice, and cucumber, while inarizushi is made with rice and fried tofu. On the other end of the spectrum, if you’re in the mood for non-seafood sushi but also don’t want to go vegetarian, you can try horse sushi, like we recently did.

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Boys love manga pork: BL anime characters now in the chilled meat section

Boys love manga pork: BL anime characters now in the chilled meat section

We’ve been bringing you news of the BL craze in Japan, with cafés, books and even university courses featuring homoromantic male relationships, commonly referred to as Boys Love. With more and more people becoming exposed to the trend, what began as an underground sub-culture is becoming more well-known and popular, with men and women alike.

Now it seems the boys have gone mainstream, as stars of a major campaign for supermarket chain Ito Yokado. Only they’re not advertising beauty products or clothing lines. They’re advertising meat.

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16 fancy eggs from Japanese bento lunch boxes

16 fancy eggs from Japanese bento lunch boxes

Eggs are greatly underrated in the bento world. It’s usually rice and all the fun forms it can be molded into or seaweed and its ability to be cut into any shape that takes center stage in lunch boxes across Japan. But the humble egg can be quite fancy in the hands of a highly skilled and creative cook. Let’s take a look at 16 fancy eggs from Japanese kitchens!

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Increase your EXP with this Dragon Warrior-inspired Slime Curry, don’t forget the Squelch spell

Increase your EXP with this Dragon Warrior-inspired Slime Curry, don’t forget the Squelch spell

A Curry Slime draws near!

Over the years, various goods and edibles have been spawned by Slimes, the ever-popular video game baddies from the Dragon Warrior/Quest series. To get in on the google-eyed action, funky Japanese bookstore chain Village Vanguard has come up with this newest addition to its lineup of creative pre-made curries: the Slime Curry. It’s not quite as cute as the Hatsune Miku curry and it’s not quite the ghastly shade of green of this matcha one, but this gloopy little curry slime can’t wait to sidle up to your next plate of rice!

Command?

Eat
Run
Get details after the jump!

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Our dreams have come true, a ramen donut exists!

Our dreams have come true, a ramen donut exists!

We love to talk about food. Whether we’re salivating about new food, getting grossed out by weird combinations, or pining away about foods we can’t eat anymore, the topic of food is rarely far from our lips. There are certain foods that we always sit up and take notice for. One is ramen, a wonderful delicacy of Japan, and another is donuts, the staple breakfast food of an office worker. So, what happens when you mash those two worlds together?

A ramen donut, obviously.

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A tiny coffee stand in Japan is selling some of the most lifelike gummy bugs we’ve ever seen

A tiny coffee stand in Japan is selling some of the most lifelike gummy bugs we’ve ever seen

The Japanese have long been known for their dexterousness. From origami to bonsai to precision engineering, Japan does small and detailed incredibly well. One thing we had no idea they were so good at, however, was gross.

What you see in the above photo, dear reader, is not in fact a trio of insect larvae but delicious, blueberry-filled gummy bugs. And they’re making one little coffee stand in northwest Japan very famous.

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Invasion of the moon rabbits: the delicious tradition of otsukimi 【Photos】

Invasion of the moon rabbits: the delicious tradition of otsukimi 【Photos】

If you happened to be in Japan this week, you may have noticed rather a lot of rabbit-themed goods, particularly sweets. Not to worry, the Japanese haven’t gotten their dates for Easter spectacularly wrong, these lapine lovelies are part of otsukimi, a tradition celebrating the harvest moon.

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Burger King Japan has two new burgers with jet-black buns…oh, and BLACK CHEESE!

Burger King Japan has two new burgers with jet-black buns…oh, and BLACK CHEESE!

Regular RocketNews24 readers will no doubt already be aware that fast food chains in Japan like to mix things up every so often by giving their buns a splash of colour. In the past 12 months alone, we’ve seen McDonald’s present a Sakura Pink teriyaki egg burger in time for the cherry blossom, and last October Burger King rocked a Black Ninja Burger which sported charcoal-black buns and a huge tongue-like slab of bacon.

This week, Burger King has taken its worship of the darkness a step further with two more jet-black offerings: the Kuro Diamond and Kuro Pearl, which feature not just black buns, but slices of cheese and a tangy sauce that look dark enough to swallow any would-be diners whole.

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Mega Burger Pizza rises from its cheesy grave, available again for a limited time

Mega Burger Pizza rises from its cheesy grave, available again for a limited time

This year, one of our favorite Japanese monsters has returned. Gigantic and terrifying, we still can’t help but cheer at its reappearance, even as we realize it’s likely to destroy us.

Are we talking about Godzilla? No, our dark idol is far tastier: the Mega Burger Pizza.

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Haneda Airport’s ramen rice bowl is here to save indecisive fliers who hate airline food

Haneda Airport’s ramen rice bowl is here to save indecisive fliers who hate airline food

For the most part, I have very few complaints about air travel. Maybe I’m just incredibly lucky, but usually when I fly, I get through the check-in and security lines fairly smoothly, and while I’d never choose to outfit my living room with seats from an airliner, I can generally put up with them until I reach my destination.

I’ve even largely made peace with the unappetizing flavor of airline food, often sidestepping the issue by picking up something else to eat before I get on the plane. Selecting my last tasty meal for the next couple hours can be tricky, though, and sometimes I’ll find myself waffling between two options, such as ramen or a rice bowl.

Thankfully, a new to-go item at Haneda Airport eliminates that dilemma, though, with a ramen-flavored rice bowl from one of Tokyo’s most popular noodle emporiums.

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Japanese supermarket shrink-wraps a whole pig for hard-core pork fiends

Japanese supermarket shrink-wraps a whole pig for hard-core pork fiends

I get a twinge of excitement every time I peer into the cooler case at the grocery store in Japan. Not only are there tons of unique, tempting flavors of ice cream and popsicles, you can also find all sorts of tasty frozen entrees, too. The most common are things like dumplings and meatballs, but one Twitter user in Japan recently found something even more substantial, if a little sad to take in: a whole pig wrapped in plastic.

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China’s Baidu announces high-tech chopsticks that will keep you safe, skinny and healthy

China’s Baidu announces high-tech chopsticks that will keep you safe, skinny and healthy

Ever sit down to eat a meal and wish you knew how many calories or salt were in your food? Ever cooked a piece of meat or fish only to later wonder whether it might have gone bad? Last week, Chinese Internet giant Baidu announced that it has been working on a pair of wi-fi-enabled high-tech chopsticks that will be able to detect the nutritional makeup of the food it touches as well as warning consumers of any safety issues such as contaminants or expired food.

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LA hotel gets ready for Hello Kitty expo with themed hotel rooms, food

LA hotel gets ready for Hello Kitty expo with themed hotel rooms, food

Now that the whole debacle over Hello Kitty’s identity is settled, fans can get back to other things, like preparing for the first ever Hello Kitty convention, set to take place from October 30 to November 2 in Los Angeles.

And, at least in that small corner of town, everyone is ready. The Line, the official hotel of the convention, is trotting out special Hello Kitty-themed rooms, and a Hello Kitty Spam musubi by chef Roy Choi.

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Reddit user claims common Tokyo chain has “best ramen ever” for just US$6, we investigate

Reddit user claims common Tokyo chain has “best ramen ever” for just US$6, we investigate

A decade or two ago, the big Japanese food export that everybody raved about was sushi. Sushi joints cropped up all over the place, with the more authentic places employing highly skilled Japanese chefs slinging expertly crafted sushi at exorbitant prices. In places like New York City, sushi was the go-to food if you wanted to eat out but keep it at least a little on the healthy side.

Then, Westerners apparently took a look at all the diet food in their grocery stores and bland sandwich wraps in their food trucks and decided to revolt. Suddenly, wraps, sushi and other healthy foods were replaced with cronuts, cupcakes, “all the bacon and eggs you have,” and, of course, ramen. Delicious, fatty, greasy ramen quickly replaced sushi as the hip Japanese food and Westerners are willing to pay top dollar for it.

Of course, some Japanese (primarily the slightly feral citizens of 2chan) argue that, for all the money they’re shelling out, Westerners couldn’t pick out a truly great bowl of ramen to save their lives. So, 2chan was unsurprisingly amused when Reddit user lemonpls posted to a foodie subreddit that he’d found the greatest bowl of ramen he’d ever had in his life… at a common fast food chain in Tokyo.

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KFC Japan offering chicken-themed keyboard, mouse, flash memory in exchange for tweets

KFC Japan offering chicken-themed keyboard, mouse, flash memory in exchange for tweets

I don’t know about you guys, but whenever I think of Kentucky Fried Chicken, or “KFC” as it doggedly insists on being called, I immediately think of computer peripherals. What’s that, you say? You’re a normal human being and so you’d never make such a peculiar connection? Oh. Well, perhaps you think of earrings instead?

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