food

Japanese casual steak joint set to debut in New York

Japanese casual steak joint set to debut in New York

When one thinks of exported Japanese food, one tends to imagine sushi, miso, and other dishes that have become so ingrained in the English lexicon that they no longer warrant italics.

One thing you almost definitely don’t consider when thinking about Japanese food is steak. Why would you? Steak is the territory of Western food, often associated specifically with American diners; Which is what makes the New York debut of Ikinari Steak – a Ginza-area chain – so much more surprising.

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U can haz Pokénoms! A how-to guide to cooking your own Pokémon pancakes

U can haz Pokénoms! A how-to guide to cooking your own Pokémon pancakes

The recent news that Denny’s Japan is offering Pikachu pancakes—but only on the kids menu—has some readers, and us too if we’re being honest, pining for Pokémon sweets. While store-bought kits have had less than perfect results, even when they’re for cakes, we are determined to produce cute ones at home!

Thankfully, with this recipe, you can make your own “Peachu” pancakes! Pichu is essentially a baby Pikachu, making it even cuter, right?

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Areas in Japan’s Ibaraki Prefecture working to protect custom of eating crow

Areas in Japan’s Ibaraki Prefecture working to protect custom of eating crow

Although apparently so famously gross it earned its own idiom in English, there are some communities around Japan that have long felt when it comes to fowl, crow is the way to go. For example the crow dish above can be found at Espoir De Maison, a French restaurant in Chino City, Nagano.

Ibaraki residents such as hunter Shinya Senmatsu say that such wild animals which feed on natural vegetation have more pleasant and less smelly meat. It’s uncertain if that really applies to crows who are omnivorous scavengers, but the locals swear by its surprisingly “soft and sweet” taste, to quote a local veterinarian.

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We have an American sample Denny’s 40th anniversary American Fair menu

We have an American sample Denny’s 40th anniversary American Fair menu

In honor of the Denny’s restaurant chain opening its first Japanese location 40 years ago, Denny’s Japan will be offering a special “American Fair” menu starting on April 15. Of course, such an announcement raises questions about just what exactly this American Fair involves and whether it’s authentic or not.

Fortunately, we here at RocketNews24 were able to enlist the services of a real, live American to specially sample the menu for us to tell us whether Denny’s offerings were anything like the real deal! This young man is none other than IKE, a member of the  six-man Japanese comedy group/band Choshinjuku who was born in New York and raised in Seattle. Ike vowed that if the menu didn’t live up to his expectations, he would send a message to the restaurant manager and shut down the whole campaign.

Do you think that Denny’s American Fair menu passed his test? 

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But it’s good for the skin! Russian cheese factory busted after employees post milk bath photo

But it’s good for the skin! Russian cheese factory busted after employees post milk bath photo

To add to our gross-out file, a Russian court ruled today that the Omsk Cheeses factory be closed for 40 days after a photo of employees enjoying a milk bath in one of its vats went viral on social media.

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Food, hard liquor, and guns all on the menu at Tokyo’s airsoft bar

Food, hard liquor, and guns all on the menu at Tokyo’s airsoft bar

When you want to blow off steam, there’s nothing like blowing something away, which partly explains why Japan’s interest in airsoft guns, which fire BB-like ammunition, continues to grow. But even though work is a major source of stress, most people don’t have the time to drive out to one of Japan’s rural airsoft fields (or catch a plane to the awesome urban set-up in Korea) after their shift ends.

Thankfully, though, there’s a way for Japanese professionals who’ve had a rough day at the office to fire off a couple rounds without putting a hole in their living room wall, as we found out at a Tokyo restaurant with its own airsoft shooting range.

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We try the adorable Krispy Kreme chick donuts convincing Japan to love Easter

We try the adorable Krispy Kreme chick donuts convincing Japan to love Easter

Japan has wholeheartedly embraced Christmas and Halloween, but Easter is a different story. In a way, this is kind of surprising, as a holiday that gives people an excuse to dye eggs in pastel colors, eat chocolate, and even dress up like a bunny if they’re so inclined seems like it would hit the Japanese trifecta of cuteness, desserts, and cosplay.

But while Halloween and Christmas have become mainstream cultural events with decoration going up months ahead of time, Easter comes and go with such a lack of fanfare in Japan that some years we’ve completely forgotten about it until after the fact.

Thankfully, donut emporium Krispy Kreme is looking to up the celebration ante with its new chick-shaped Easter donut.

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Denny’s Japan introduces PokéNOMNOMNOM

Denny’s Japan introduces PokéNOMNOMNOM

For those of you who worked up an appetite searching the world for pokémon on Google Maps, Denny’s has the perfect snack! As of April 1, the chain’s Japanese restaurants will be offering Pokémon-themed pancakes on their new menu. Pikachu comes with a dollop of vanilla ice cream, caramel sauce, honey, whipped cream, and bite-sized pieces of orange, banana and raspberry.

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We learn about the deep-sea armored isopod, then eat one 【Video】

We learn about the deep-sea armored isopod, then eat one 【Video】

Last month, we brought you word about a special event at an aquarium in Yokohama where guests were going to be able to eat deep sea armored isopods, which are known in Japanese with the somewhat more descriptive name of ogusokumushi, or “giant armored bugs.”

We all had a good laugh at the zany idea for a publicity stunt, and our chuckling continued right up until the moment our boss said, “OK, one of us has to go try them.”

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Mr. Sato sacrifices his hands on the altar of all-you-can-eat shrimp

Mr. Sato sacrifices his hands on the altar of all-you-can-eat shrimp

We all have foods that we love perhaps a little more than we should, but for Mr. Sato, a man whose love of food in general has taken him on many a colorful, abdomen-abusing adventure risking his health and even his sanity, the gustatory passion that tops all others is shellfish. So when he headed off to report on an all-you-can-eat shrimp restaurant for us, we feared for his life.

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Kiki & Lala Cafe in Tokyo now serving up star shaped burgers and more!【Photos】

Kiki & Lala Cafe in Tokyo now serving up star shaped burgers and more!【Photos】

Last year, Japan’s most successful creator of cute characters, Sanrio, melted our hearts with the whimsical My Melody pop-up cafe. This spring, they’re working their cute-making magic once again to bring us a limited-time Kiki & Lala (Little Twin Stars) Cafe in the newly opened Shibuya Parco Part 1 mall in Toyko! Twin power for double the cuteness!

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New McDonald’s Japan menu item is lazy, looks suspiciously like dog food, says Japanese Net

New McDonald’s Japan menu item is lazy, looks suspiciously like dog food, says Japanese Net

Not everybody has time to cook a solid, healthy meal on their own every morning for breakfast. We get that. Hell, sometimes we’re forced to drink the leftover grease from last night’s KFC bucket just for some kind of nourishment as we dash out the door, so who are we to judge when someone opts for a fast food breakfast?

But imagine plopping down 619 yen (US$6) for the newest McDonald’s breakfast item you’d been waiting for, only for the cashier to present you with a heaping plate of random food bits that look like they were scraped together from various leftovers they found lying around in the kitchen.

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And how are the “virgin boy eggs” this year? A bit more sour than usual, apparently

And how are the “virgin boy eggs” this year? A bit more sour than usual, apparently

Following tradition, the citizens of Dongyang City, located in the center of China’s Zhejiang Province have prepared the delicacy known abroad as “virgin boy eggs” again this year. Sold by shops and local vendors across the city, the eggs are said to be particularly sour this year, making them extra delicious.

Already a popular spring food, Dongyang City residents are apparently quite happy with this years product, which is nothing more than normal eggs boiled (twice) in young boys’ urine. It make for a grand “wee” time!

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Healthy eating just got better with cupcake wrappers made from seaweed

Healthy eating just got better with cupcake wrappers made from seaweed

If you’re a fan of obento, those delicious looking home-made Japanese lunches full of colour and variety, then you’re going to love this product from Japan: edible cupcake wrappers made from seaweed.

Traditionally, these little wrappers are made from paper or plastic and while they’re great for keeping flavours separate in your lunch box, the daily waste involved isn’t really that great for the environment. Now with this edible variety on the market, you can look forward to taking home an empty lunch box at the end of the day and rest easy knowing you’ve left nature unharmed. Plus, if this idea spills over to the cupcake world, it looks like we could soon be having our cake and eating its wrapper too!

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How to enjoy wasabi painlessly, or at least as painlessly as possible

How to enjoy wasabi painlessly, or at least as painlessly as possible

A few months ago we mentioned the various health benefits a daily dose of the Japanese condiment wasabi has to offer. Afterwards, I was intrigued by the potential anti-aging and cancer preventing effects that five grams a day could bring.

However, eating that much wasabi every day is easier said than done. As small as it is, that little ball can pack quite a punch if eaten all at once. Other more traditional uses of wasabi like on sushi are small and require you to eat a lot every day.

Luckily, there actually are quite a few ways to try and enjoy wasabi without feeling its notorious sting. If you can get past that, then you can enjoy what a delicious root it truly is.

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“Make your own Pino ice cream fondue” event to be held for one day only in Tokyo

“Make your own Pino ice cream fondue” event to be held for one day only in Tokyo

Pino is one of Japan’s most beloved brand of ice cream snacks. They combine the simple deliciousness of a chocolate covered ice cream bar with the bite sized convenience of a bonbon.

Since their launch in 1976, Pino have become available in other flavors such as double-chocolate or strawberry, but their vanilla ice cream with chocolate coating has remains a firm favorite. However, on 13 April this year, Morinaga Milk Industry will be holding a one day event where you can not only taste brand new Pino flavors, but you will actually be able to create your own from over 100 different combinations. Details after the jump!

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We drink Japan’s spaghetti popsicle (seriously)

We drink Japan’s spaghetti popsicle (seriously)

Don’t worry everybody, we’re fine. We didn’t suffer a stroke halfway through writing this article’s title, and the RocketNews24 offices haven’t been violently seized by half-literate chimpanzees with a penchant for prose (we make a protection payment of a bunch of bananas each week to the simian mafia to prevent just such a thing).

Spaghetti-flavored popsicles really do exist in Japan, though, and we decided to melt one down to see what would happen.

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Need gyoza right now? Great dumpling restaurant is just 20 seconds from Yoyogi Station

Need gyoza right now? Great dumpling restaurant is just 20 seconds from Yoyogi Station

Although the juicy pork dumplings called gyoza originated in China, they’re a favorite of both students and expats in Japan. Filling and cheap, they make a great hot meal, and are also a popular way to fortify yourself for a night of drinking, or to satisfy the alcohol-induced bout of the munchies that follows one.

While Japan is filled with gyoza joints, some of the most popular develop an almost cult following, so when we got wind of a tasty pot sticker depository called Sosan no Mise at the next station over from the RocketNews24 office, we decided to check it out.

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We try pork nigiri sushi at a ramen shop in Tokyo

We try pork nigiri sushi at a ramen shop in Tokyo

Tokyo Ramen Marion, a small ramen shop in the Kita Ward of Tokyo, has a menu item that outshines its namesake dish. That item is the chashu pork nigiri sushi, made to resemble the sushi that is almost always made with fish. Our reporter took a trip out to see what this unusual food was all about and came back with a full belly and a completely new view of Japan’s most famous dish.

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Subway cuts prices for two days, helps out those watching their weight and unable to cook alike

Subway cuts prices for two days, helps out those watching their weight and unable to cook alike

With just days left until Japan’s consumption tax jumps from five to eight percent, we’ve resigned ourselves to having to suddenly pay a little bit more for, well, just about everything. So it’s nice to know that this week brings one last hurrah for budget-based pricing, as for two days Subway is cutting us all a break by knocking the price of two of their most popular sandwiches down to almost half of what they ordinarily go for.

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