food

What do our Japanese writers think about putting lemon juice on watermelon?

Depending on where you’re from, you may have a very specific way of eating watermelon. For example, in Japan, people almost always put salt on their melons. As someone from the U.S., this was a bit of a surprise for me, but it’s not bad by any means!

However, P.K., one of the writers for our Japanese site, recently discovered that people in Italy apparently put lemon juice on their watermelon. We’re not sure how accurate that is, but he decided to give it a try anyway! Will he like it better than salt? Will his fellow writers enjoy it too? Read on to find out!

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Sushi-flavored potato chips?!? Could our world really be so beautiful? 【Taste test】

At the start of my workday, my boss asked me if I’d be interested in trying some potato chips that taste like o-toro, the extra fatty tuna that’s a highly prized sushi ingredient. Looking at the clock, I calculated that it had been about 14 hours since I’d had sushi for dinner, and since that’s honestly about two hours longer than I like to go without eating some of Japan’s most famous culinary creation, I solemnly accepted the mission.

But while I’d already experienced potato chips inspired by fine American cuisine, I’d never had sashimi-flavored ones, so I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, even before I discovered the other big surprise waiting for me.

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Do old eggs really float? We test this common “lifehack”

Listen guys, unless you have a huge surplus of pants hangers, Q-tips, dental floss and whatever weird detritus that’s often recommended, a lot of so-called “lifehacks” – those hobo techniques for saving money and/or accomplishing some inane task with “readily available” household objects – are a bit impractical, if they even work at all.

But there’s one, at least, that seems like it could perfectly epitomize the intended convenience of the lifehack: Testing the freshness of eggs by just dropping them into a cup of water. We’ve all got water and a cup on hand and, so long as you’re a sentient human being and not, like, a family dog reading this on your owner’s tablet after you taught yourself English.

But does this egg trick really work? Impressed at having actually found a real, potentially useful lifehack, we took it upon ourselves to test it out. Here’s what we found.

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Who needs fast food? Tokyo tempura totaling less than 10 bucks

Here at RocketNews24, two of the things we love most are delicious foods in our bellies and cash in our wallets. Unfortunately, those two things don’t always go hand-in-hand, especially in the Michelin star-studded culinary landscape of Tokyo.

But in a city as big as Tokyo, you can find just about anything with a little searching. Even if you’re totally bereft of folding money, you can still get a great meal in Japan’s capital, and you don’t have to settle for eating at a fast food chain either. On the menu today: a nine-piece tempura meal in the heart of Tokyo for less than 1,000 yen (US$8).

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Burger King Japan unleashes red burgers and Angry Sauce on my stomach 【Taste test】

When Burger King Japan first brought out its black burgers, more than a few people were shocked, and even a little intimidated, by their sinister appearance. After diners got over their fear and tried them, though, they discovered they were pretty tasty, and they’ve now become a welcomed, sporadically appearing item on the chain’s menu.

Seeing how well that gamble played out, Burger King has decided to spin the roulette wheel once again, but this time they’re betting on red with two new sandwiches with crimson buns and cheese. So how do they taste? We decided to grab the pair and try them for ourselves.

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Does the way you eat ice cream say something about you? Japanese Twitter users compare styles

In Japan, it’s common to try to pinpoint a person’s personality type based on a variety of factors, from the more traditional blood type theory and looking at first names to analyzing nail shape.

In a new trend, Japanese Twitter users have been comparing the way they eat ice cream with one another and musing what that says about them as people. Sadly, while no one has created an infographic yet depicting what the different types mean, it’s still fun to marvel at all the eating styles out there. Where do you fit in with them all?

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Book by Tokyo patissier uses Japanese sweets to represent all of the country’s 72 seasons

One of the many delights about living in Japan is, as many Japanese people will be willing to tell you, the country’s four distinct seasons. Imagine our surprise then when we learnt that there are actually 72 seasons in Japan! An ambitious new project by a Japanese patissier aims to showcase all 72 seasons with traditional Japanese sweets, one sweet per season. The results are stunning and will be sure to please anyone with a sweet tooth or an eye for the visually aesthetic.

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Super Mega Important Debate: Fried gyoza or boiled gyoza? 【Poll Closed】

They may have come from China originally, but Japan has made gyouza – those little parcels of deliciousness that go perfectly with a cold beer – their own just as much as they did ramen. Tasty and moreish whether made fresh at home or bought in bulk at the supermarket, gyouza are one of the simpler foods you’re likely to encounter on a trip to Japan, but one that you’d be a fool to miss out on.

But while we may all agree that these things are delicious, one issue divides us on the gyouza front: namely, are they better 焼き yaki (fried on one side before being steamed in the pan), or 水 sui (gently boiled and often served with, or sometimes even containing, tasty soup)? Some argue that sui is the purer, not to mention healthier, form of gyouza, but others will tell you that yaki is infinitely better.

Let’s find out what you good people have to say on the matter!

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Japan Railways recently revealed ramen-style rice balls in its convenience stores

Walk into any Japanese convenience store or supermarket, and you’ll find a row of rice balls waiting. You can always count on the old standards, such as salmon, pickled plum, and spicy cod roe being represented, but each store also sets aside a bit of shelf space for unique, limited-time versions as well.

In the past, this form of carbohydrate-packed one-upmanship has given us such wonders as the bacon cheeseburger musubi and headscratchers as the fish butt onigiri (musubi being one of the Japanese words for “rice ball,” and onigiri the other). It’s always a flip of the culinary coin whether these outside-the-box rice balls are going to be a hit or a miss, but when we heard about ramen-style onigiri, we were immediately onboard.

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A wild sushi chase: Our Japanese reporter tries Cuban sushi in a five-star Havana hotel

I mean, we have sushi here in Cuba, but it’s terrible. You’re better off eating it in Japan!” That was the advice our reporter Yuichiro got when, craving a taste of home, he asked a Cuban friend where he could find some tasty sushi in his home country.

But for some reason, his friend’s protestations made our intrepid reporter even more intrigued. “Looking back on it now though,” says Yuichiro, “I wish I’d quit while I was ahead…”

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The delicious food of Japan’s gourmet hospitals: Ramen, hotpot, smoked duck, and more

During my time in Japan, I’ve been thrown into a cherry blossom tree, hit by a car, and sucker punched by a wannabe tough guy in Shibuya Station, but luckily I’ve never needed to be hospitalized. That means I’ve been able to avoid the anxiety-filled situation of having a doctor explain an urgent medical procedure to me in a foreign language, but it also means I’ve been missing out on some of the mouth-watering food some Japanese hospitals serve.

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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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Japanese sushi chef samples the best cheap sushi the U.S. has to offer【Video】

In most Western countries, going out for sushi tends to make for a pretty pricey meal. In Japan, while there are certainly higher-end sushi restaurants that can put quite a dent in your wallet too, there are also plenty of places where you can eat your fill of great sushi for as little as 100 yen a plate (around US$1), or you can pick up a pack of sushi for lunch at the convenience for around 300 to 400 yen.

With sushi growing in popularity, many grocery store delis in the United States have started carrying variety packs of sushi for a more decent price, but how does the taste measure up? In this video, sushi from a number of grocery chains is pitted against the taste buds of long-time sushi chef.

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No dinner plans for Wednesday night? Why not eat a camel hump in Tottori, like we just did?

Here at RocketNews24, every now and again we come across a restaurant or snack maker offering something that doesn’t sound at all appetizing, but is just too unique to pass up. In the past, my coworkers Steve and Amy have sampled wasp-filled rice crackers and bee larvae, and my own stomach and psyche are only now recovering from a dessert of not one, but two types of cakes made with chunks of tuna.

Now, it’s out intrepid Japanese-language reporter Mr. Sato’s turn to pull up a chair to the crazy dining table, and camel hump is on the menu.

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Attack on Titan hot dogs! Because the best way to celebrate is with an extra-large sausage

The only thing better than the upcoming live-action Attack on Titan movie is all the related merchandise that’s slowly being pumped out ahead of its release.

The latest offering from the giants is coming to us from Aeon cinemas, who’ll be bringing us two gigantic hot dogs as part of the celebrations. Netizens, however, are pondering why they’ve chosen to use extra-long sausages to promote the film when a similar-looking appendage is so obviously missing from between the Titans’ legs.

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Twitching meat in China confuses many, others confused by the confusion

One day in Sishui County, Shandong Province, a woman unwrapped some beef that she had bought and was taken aback by what she saw. After recording her lively piece of meat with her phone’s camera, the video was picked up by CCTV who titled it “Nightmarish: woman finds newly-purchased beef pulsating.”

The news site also places a warning that “the images may not be suitable for some viewers.” I on the other hand, would like to encourage everyone to watch.

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Karan Koron Shokudo proves meat-free doesn’t mean taste-free【Veg’n in Tokyo】

Unlike in some countries, where even a steak restaurant will offer at least one vegetarian option, it can be difficult to find meat-free meals in Japan. There are, however, some vegetarian restaurants to be found in the capital, and I’m making it my mission to go around trying them all.

Today I’d like to introduce Karan Koron Shokudo, located right next to Yoyogi Uehara Station.

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Japan’s 10 best restaurants, as chosen by foreign travelers

People travel to Japan for all sorts of different reasons. Many are seeking a taste of tradition and history, and plan visits to the country’s most important shrines and castles. Some are drawn by Japan’s natural beauty, heading for its mountains and forests, while still others come to throw themselves into its neon-soaked urban entertainment centers.

But no matter what’s on your itinerary, at some point you’re going to need to get something to eat, and when your stomach starts growling, you can rely on the experience of those who made the trip before you with TripAdvisor’s list of the 10 best restaurants in Japan.

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Plum crazy Wakayama’s local take on Tabasco sauce is made with Japanese plums

There’s a pretty lengthy list of traditional seasonings Japan uses for its indigenous cuisine, including soy sauce, wasabi, and the sweet rice wine called mirin. But one condiment from overseas that the country has warmly embraced is Tabasco sauce, a dash of which is often added to pasta and pizza in casual dining.

But foodies in Japan love taking foreign foodstuffs and mixing them with a domestic element, which is why one company in Japan is now selling a Tabasco-like hot sauce you won’t find anywhere else, since it’s made with tangy plums.

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We tried the expensive but delicious curry at Ishikawa’s Go! Go! Curry! But is it worth the trip?

Curry in Japan is not usually a fancy affair. It’s mostly found in places that are closer to a fast food level than a top-tier restaurant in Ginza — and that’s fine! Who can argue with inexpensive but delicious?

But not every curry restaurant is merely “cheap ‘n’ tasty.” Take, for example, Ishikawa Prefecture’s Go! Go! Curry, where you can get both regular curry and high-class 5,500-yen-a-plate curry! But is this US$45-curry worth the trip from Tokyo? We sent our Japanese writer Meg to find out!

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