food

Our recipe for green tea rice-cooker pancakes: amazingly tasty, ridiculously easy

Our recipe for green tea rice-cooker pancakes: amazingly tasty, ridiculously easy

We recently found out that you can use a rice cooker to make awesome, gigantic pancakes. Our first reaction was surprise, as we’d honestly never even thought to try. Soon enough, though, our surprise faded and was replaced by something even stronger: hunger.

So we decided to get off the culinary sidelines and whip up a batch for ourselves. Since we were using Japan’s most beloved kitchen appliance, we decided to take another cue from our adopted country and spruce things up a bit by making matcha green tea pancakes.

We’re going to spoil the ending right now and tell you that they taste amazing. Want to make them yourself? Read on and we’ll give you the whole incredibly easy recipe.

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Turn the baggage claim carousel into a sushi train with these new sushi luggage covers!

Turn the baggage claim carousel into a sushi train with these new sushi luggage covers!

Sushi was once a strange delicacy confined to the shores of Japan. Thanks to its health benefits, the humble sushi has since travelled the world, popping up in all sorts of remote and obscure locations from Iceland to the Middle East.

Now sushi is on the move again, this time coming with you on your travels and hugging your luggage in the form of clever suitcase covers. With four designs to choose from, baggage claim carousels are set to look like giant sushi train conveyor belts this summer!

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Fast food flavour cup noodles recreate the authentic American experience in a pot

Fast food flavour cup noodles recreate the authentic American experience in a pot

Japanese people love their cup noodles, there’s now doubt about it. You can see endless varieties on sale at the conbini or supermarket, from the ordinary to the weird and wonderful. Recently Nissin Foods has released two limited edition cup noodle flavours to be sold at AEON which are definitely at the weirder end of the scale: Cheeseburger Noodles and Hot Dog Noodles.

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The Sailor Moon apron: practical cosplay for domestic adults

The Sailor Moon apron: practical cosplay for domestic adults

For fans of animation and video games who’ve formed a particularly strong attachment to their favorite fictional characters, there’s nothing quite like the escapist fun of cosplaying as one of the hobbies’ heroes or heroines. In the past we’ve seen college students, toddlers, and even dogs sporting creative getups, but what if you’re an adult human with a busy life?

Past a certain age, work and family start taking up the bulk of your time, and your schedule might not be able to accommodate a day of showing off your costuming skills at the local anime convention. Not to mention that if that’s the case, you’re probably too old to just dress up in costume at home without feeling silly. If only there was a practical cosplay outfit that you could wear around the house.

Actually, there is, in the form of the Sailor Moon apron.

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Stay cool with somen ice Cup Noodles this summer

Stay cool with somen ice Cup Noodles this summer

Nissin Cup Noodles are outrageously popular in Japan and have a firm following worldwide. Now, to keep the love flowing throughout the hot summer months, they’ve released a new special version designed to be eaten icy cold. For the first time, the company will be releasing somen, the thinnest of traditional Japanese noodles, for a meal so light and tasty you’ll be wanting to eat them all year!

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Craving cheese but on a diet? Try our “advanced tofu pickles!” 【Recipe】

Craving cheese but on a diet? Try our “advanced tofu pickles!” 【Recipe】

Summer has a way of creeping up on us before we can shed those extra pounds in this, the season of skimpier clothing. As such many people take up diets including our own reporter, Hotaru. At one point during her weight management, Hotaru had decided to go to a vegan restaurant thinking it wouldn’t be as high in calories as other establishments.

However, when her curry arrived she noticed that there were little bits of what looked like cheese on top. They tasted kind of like cheese too. Confused by this non-vegan and diet-bending food, Hotaru asked the staff what it was. “Tofu pickles” they replied.

Hotaru also learned from them how to make this delectable topping and found it was actually incredibly easy. So easy, in fact, that she also developed her own “advanced tofu pickles” recipe. We’d now like to share these recipes with you so that you many enjoy some tofu pickles in your own home.

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Why climb Mt. Fuji when you can eat it with these special Fuji foods in Yamanashi?

Why climb Mt. Fuji when you can eat it with these special Fuji foods in Yamanashi?

Although Mt. Fuji has been around for thousands of years, and the subject of countless paintings and photographs for hundreds, Japan has taken a new interest in its most famous mountain following its 2013 designation as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Filled with pride, designers have spent the past year churning out Mt. Fuji merchandise, with everything from umbrellas to masking tape on offer.

But if you can’t find the time to go to the mountain, now the mountain can come to you, or your dinner table, at least, with one hotel’s special Mt. Fuji menu items.

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Beautiful hydrangea pattern adds a touch of elegance to traditional Japanese fish cake

Beautiful hydrangea pattern adds a touch of elegance to traditional Japanese fish cake

Certain types of Japanese food, like tempura or grilled yakitori chicken skewers, are pretty agreeable to Western palates. In recent years, sushi has made inroads into the international dining scene, too.

Many non-Japanese diners, though, still feel a little hesitant about kamaboko, or fish cake. Despite its mild flavor, there’s just something incongruous about it in many people’s minds. It’s actually pretty tasty stuff, though, and if you’re on the fence about trying it, we should point out that it has a surprisingly mild flavor.

Or, perhaps we could entice you with this special variety of kamaboko that, when cut, reveals an elegant hydrangea pattern.

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Moroccan recipe leads to awesome stop-motion animation with 1:48-scale figure and iPhone backdrop

Moroccan recipe leads to awesome stop-motion animation with 1:48-scale figure and iPhone backdrop

Back in April, we ran an article on mind-bogglingly tiny kitchens in a bottle. Now, Japanese beverage giant Kirin has gone a step further in another animated short that promotes their soft-drink line, “Sekai no Kitchen Kara” (“From the World’s Kitchens”). Though the multi-brand company is best known for their beers, this yummy non-alcoholic collection emerged after test-kitchen staff visited numerous countries’ bustling kitchens, which are undoubtedly a treasure trove of family traditions and culinary wisdom.

So before you write this off as mere marketing, check out the company’s imaginative stop-motion creation, which amazingly combines 1:48-scale miniature figures with video footage playing on a smartphone screen! Along the way, learn a bit more about this line of libations and the Moroccan tradition that inspired Kirin’s latest drink, “Sparkling Water.”

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Fried Godzilla with a side of Mothra: a plate of epic proportions

Fried Godzilla with a side of Mothra: a plate of epic proportions

Since his first appearance back in 1954, Godzilla has cut his teeth on dozens of films and taken down a number of enemies in the process. When it comes to the battle of the batter, however, it seems Godzilla and his mate Mothra have walked away defeated, as there’s no shaking off a coat of oil and Japanese breadcrumbs.

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Pancake on a stick: Roky makes all your pancake popsicle dreams come true

Pancake on a stick: Roky makes all your pancake popsicle dreams come true

Is there anything better than breakfast for dinner? Well, okay, that’s a silly question. Obviously nothing is better than night-time breakfast–pretty much everyone would agree that sitting down to a plate full of pancakes drenched in syrup at 7 pm is simply awesome. And the best thing about breakfast-as-dinner is that it’s easy to make! Pancakes, eggs, bacon–all easy to throw together without much culinary skill needed.

But sometimes even flipping a pancake is just too much work. Thankfully, Roky – a machine that produces pancakes in the shape of popsicles - ensure that you needn’t lift a finger when ignoring basic dietary advice.

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Be careful how you talk about “spaghetti” in Japanese — you may sound unhip

Be careful how you talk about “spaghetti” in Japanese — you may sound unhip

Although Italian in origin, the words pasta and spaghetti are now everyday words in English. Thanks to the foods’ proliferation around the world these words can also be found in Japanese, pronounced pasuta and supagettī respectively.

But in recent years, it seems as if the word “spaghetti” has been falling out of favor in Japan, being replaced by the word “pasta.” Although in English the distinction between “spaghetti” and “pasta” is pretty clear (pasta being the foodstuff, spaghetti one of its many varieties), it seems there is a whole other world of nuances when the words cross over into Japanese.

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We try Taiwan’s newest taste sensation: Pudding Ramen!

We try Taiwan’s newest taste sensation: Pudding Ramen!

Taiwanese websites have been swirling with a new food fad that has taken the nation by storm. We’re not sure exactly where it started, but it probably had something to do with two people shouting, “Hey! You got your pudding in my ramen!” and “Hey! You got your ramen in my pudding!” And thus pudding ramen was born.

As the news hit the shores of Japan, we felt this was a combination that needed to be tested. It turns out that pudding ramen is not only tasty, it’s really cheap and easy too. Well played, Taiwan!

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Japanese soccer fans celebrate the World Cup with Samurai Blue curry

Japanese soccer fans celebrate the World Cup with Samurai Blue curry

Now that the World Cup is well and truly underway, fans in Japan have found themselves in the full-blown throes of soccer fever. While some would remedy the malady with a set of earplugs and a good lie-down, others look to the food world, with World Cup menus popping up all over the country offering all sorts of surprises. One place in Osaka has put together a creative curry and cocktail set that represents the Japanese soccer team, Samurai Blue, and the host country of Brazil. Can you see the two countries in the image above?

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Denny’s Japan to launch microwaveable version of its 40th anniversary jambalaya dish

Denny’s Japan to launch microwaveable version of its 40th anniversary jambalaya dish

You know how you sometimes sit at home watching TV and find yourself thinking, “Man, I wish I could eat a Denny’s meal right now. But, like, from a cup…”? Neither have we, but apparently that product is a real thing and is coming to stores in Japan very soon.

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Disney’s Japanese breakfast in Hawaii probably tastes great, still looks weird

Disney’s Japanese breakfast in Hawaii probably tastes great, still looks weird

For generations, Disneyland and Hawaii have been two of the most popular destinations for Japanese travelers, so it only makes sense that Disney’s Aulani Resort in Hawaii sees visitors from Japan as a key demographic. But while the main appeal of travel is the opportunity to experience something new, Disney realizes that not everyone rolls out of bed at their most adventurous, and so offers a Japanese breakfast for those wanting to start their day with a taste of home.

It’s a considerate service, and for the most part, the resort’s done a great job. True connoisseurs of Japanese cuisine, however, will probably spot three odd quirks to Disney’s (almost) traditional Japanese breakfast.

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Hungry? Travelers pick Japan’s 30 best restaurants

Hungry? Travelers pick Japan’s 30 best restaurants

Travel website Trip Advisor recently released its annual list of the 30 best sightseeing spots in Japan. Featuring centuries-old shrines, futuristic cityscapes, and no fewer than four whale sharks, it’s an impressive collection of much of what makes Japan such a unique and awesome country.

Honestly, if you had the time, we wouldn’t try to talk you out of an itinerary that hits all 30 places. Of course, with that much sightseeing, you’re bound to work up an appetite. Thankfully, Trip Advisor is back again with its top 30 restaurants in Japan.

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Want your cooking to taste like world-famous chef Nobu’s? Here’s the seasoning you need

Want your cooking to taste like world-famous chef Nobu’s? Here’s the seasoning you need

One of the few Japanese restaurateurs to gain international fame and popularity is Nobuyuki Matsuhisa. Better known by his professional moniker Nobu, the Saitama-born chef began his culinary career in Tokyo, before leaving Japan to open restaurants in Peru, Argentina, and the U.S.

Being so far away from the birthplace of Japanese cuisine, though, meant Nobu had to come up with new recipes and flavors that would suit the palates of his non-Japanese clientele. This often meant finding roles for locally available ingredients, but in one case, Nobu took things a step further by developing one of his own: miso powder.

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Snacks turned into art — these impressive visual creations are all made from food!

Snacks turned into art — these impressive visual creations are all made from food!

Now, we’re aware that we here at RocketNews24 have maybe just a tiny bit of weakness for tasty treats (or is it just me?) and we’ve featured many edible works of art on our site, from magnificent Kirby tarts to adorable cat-shaped sweets, but we have to say this particular work has certainly impressed us with its unique simplicity. Who would have thought that a good ol’ Oreo cookie could be changed into an artistic presentation with a few scrapes of the hand (albeit some very skillful scrapes)? And if you’re familiar with Japanese ukiiyo-e block prints, you may have the feeling that you’ve seen the image created with the cream somewhere before. Yes, this actually is a surprisingly expert recreation of the famous ukiyo-e print by Hokusai Katsushika titled the Great Wave off Kanagawa, or sometimes referred to simply as The Wave, and  once you compare it to the painting, we think you’ll agree that the execution really is quite superb!

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KFC now selling bento lunchboxes from exclusive chain of Japanese-style outlets

KFC now selling bento lunchboxes from exclusive chain of Japanese-style outlets

People in Japan love fried chicken. It’s so popular it’s become one of the staple ingredients in Japanese bento lunches, where it’s served in small, boneless pieces known as kara-age, and it’s in such high demand that you’ll find queues outside specialist kara-age joints around the country.

World-famous fast-food chain Kentucky Fried Chicken has finally picked up on the popularity of the chicken piece with a new line-up of Japanese-style hole-in-the-wall outlets dedicated to serving up kara-age in a variety of KFC flavours. And that’s not all. They’ll even serve it up in a bento lunchbox too.

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