If any of you have ever tried your hand at making omurice– a Japanese rice omelette- then you’ll know it can get a bit tricky when trying to plate up. This chef, however, not only makes the process look super quick and easy, but he even turns the process into a mini performance as he shows off his skill!
Until recently, rice-loving Americans looking to add a little zing to their favorite grain would need to trek out to the nearest Asian grocery store to pick up a pack of furikake rice topping. But now, according to Japanese media, the toppings are gaining traction on the US west coast and is becoming more widely available.
Furikake consists of a mish-mash of ingredients that have been dried and powdered and, in Japan, is intended specifically and only to be sprinkled atop a steaming hot bowl of sticky Japanese rice; which explains why many Japanese people are reacting with shock at how the Americans are choosing to deploy the condiment.
Vegetarians traveling to Japan may find it difficult to find food that fits their dietary lifestyle. Fish seems to be in everything including the soup stock used to make miso soup. To make matters worse, many foods in convenience stores, bakeries or even Starbucks have misleading labels, and that “vegetable sandwich,” or “vegetable pizza” may actually have meat in it too! You can order foods like okonomiyaki or monjayaki with no meat, but you still can’t be sure it won’t come with shredded fish flakes on top that there isn’t fish lurking in the dashi-based sauces.
I always recommend to my vegetarian friends that rather than asking Japanese restaurants to make something special for them, it’s better to just order food that doesn’t have fish or meat (or dairy) in it from the beginning. Fish has always been a staple in the Japanese diet, but the eating of wild and domestic game was banned for over 1,200 years in Japan, and Buddhist tradition gave rise to a special vegetarian cuisine called shojin ryori. Even now, the traditional Buddhist meal called ozen (rice, miso soup, pickles, boiled/simmered vegetables and beans), is still served at funerals in Japan.
So traditionally, there is a lot of vegetarian food in the Japanese diet. You just have to discover it. And RocketNews24 is here to help! In this article we’ll introduce you to common Japanese dishes that can be ordered at almost any Japanese restaurant that have no meat, fish or animal products in them, so, let’s jump into Japanese vegetarianism 101.
In Japan “straps” can be found everywhere. They’re like key chains, but with an elastic band. People primarily attach them to their mobile phones, but you can also spot them on anything else under the sun like gym bags or sleep apnea machines.
Now it seems that mother nature is getting in on the action by creating an eggplant with a loophole just right for attaching straps to. And attach straps is just what the lucky owner did.
The recent release of fine porcelain Sailor Moon cups and saucers has anime fans ready to add a touch of elegance to their table. Of course, what’s tea time without some equally posh snacks, right? So if you’re looking to keep your refreshments in the same anime family, why not pair your pour of Darjeeling or Lady Grey with some Sailor Moon macarons?
Tamagoyaki– best described as a fluffy, sweetened rolled omelette that’s often served chilled is a staple in typical Japanese bento lunches. A gummy candy flavor it is not…until now! Adding to an ever-growing list of odd flavors coming from Japan, tamagoyaki-flavored gummies are now a thing, and well-known Japanese YouTuber Hikakin has gotten his hands on these rare odd gems and given them a taste. The verdict? Watch and see for yourself!
There’s a restaurant in my neighborhood that I ate dinner at shortly after I moved to Yokohama. Since in those days I worked night shift, I walked through the door around 9:30 p.m., asked for a table for one, and ordered my food.
It turned out to be one of the blandest, least satisfying meals I’ve ever had, but that restaurant is still in business, more than a decade later, so the food can’t be that bad. In hindsight, I think the fact that it was about the 20th meal in a row I’d eaten alone was affecting my sense of taste. Spending too much time by yourself can mess with your head, and the social aspect of eating with a friend can really add a lot to your enjoyment of the meal, which is why a researcher in Japan says that if you’re going to be eating by yourself, you should put a mirror on the table.
In a lot of ways, Japan’s equivalent to the hamburger is the beef bowl, or “gyudon” as the locals call it. Tasty, fortifying, and cheap, beef bowls are so prevalent and popular in Japan that they essentially have their own strata in the personal food pyramids of many college students and bachelors.
Realizing that much of its customers’ bodies are literally made out of beef bowls, Japan’s largest gyudon chain is now embarking on a research project to investigate what happens after three months of eating the dish.
For those unaccustomed to Japanese food, even the most common edibles may seem quite odd and, well, unappetizing, at first glance. The first time you saw monjayaki, did you not think it looked a little…weird? Of course, not all Japanese cuisine is unappealing to the eyes, but even the delicious-looking food is still not widely known throughout the Western world.
A California-based Japanese food blogger is trying to change that. Gaining momentum from the success of her Ramen Poster, artist Fanny has come up with another hand-drawn infographic displaying some of her favorite Japanese street foods and snacks: The Snack Poster.
The delicious delights of being in Japan aren’t limited to the amazing sushi and tea. Being in the country also surprisingly gives you access to the world’s greatest variety of Kit Kat flavors and variations.
We’ve already seen the tasty confectionaries show up in cheesecake flavor and atop pizzas, and now the crossover between the chocolate wafers and baked goods continues as one of Japan’s most popular coffeehouses is now selling Kit Kat croissants.
As we expect you already know, character lunch boxes or “chara-ben,” short for “character bento,” are all the rage in Japan. And their creators are rarely shy about sharing their awesome work, so you can find hundreds of examples of how to make lunch time more adorable on social media networks like Instagram and Twitter.
One of the biggest themes for chara-ben right now is Disney’s Tsum Tsum, a line of stuffed toys that has been adapted into a smartphone game by Line. There were so many great photos, we had to compile our favorite Tsum Tsum chara-ben shots from Instagram for you to check out. But don’t forget to grab a snack, because you’re definitely going to get hungry!
Namikoshiken is a Nagoya-based sweets store that’s been in business since 1927. They produce some of the most adorable animal-themed manju, buns with various filling like sweet bean jam, we’ve ever seen! With all that experience and a product this cute, it’s hardly a surprise they’re blowing up the Internet with photos of their manju spreading like wildfire online.
Kaitenzushi restaurants have come a long way. In the beginning, their system of having diners grab their own plates of sushi from a revolving conveyor belt was seen as a quirky technological novelty, or by more severe critics as a sub-par tarnishing of the proper sushi-eating experience.
Since then, though, kaitenzushi has become one of the most broadly beloved sectors of the Japanese restaurant industry, having grown so popular that certain operators are experimenting with unique new kaitenzushi niches. Now, one company is planning to take its revolving sushi restaurants into a bold new direction by revamping them so that the sushi doesn’t revolve.
If you’re vegetarian or simply not a fan of raw fish, a visit to a sushi train restaurant with friends isn’t exactly going to fill you with joy. While the touch panel screens and the treat of watching your orders arrive on a conveyor belt is always entertaining, wouldn’t it be nicer if there were a few more fish-phobic options on the menu?
That’s exactly what a new chain of restaurants in Japan is offering, with vegetarian sushi, made with fresh, seasonal vegetables, and a host of other meat-based dishes, including ham and pork-topped sushi options, available for customers.
We paid a visit to Sushi Nova at their brand new location, the first of a hundred to hit Japan by 2019, and were incredibly impressed with what they had to offer.
At Japan’s branches of Subway, what you might think of as more conventional sandwich toppings—like cheese or vegetables—wrestle for space on the menu with other optional extras, like a scoop of tuna mayonnaise or five prawns for 100 yen. And when a man like our very own reporter P.K. Sanjun sees that he can have his Subway sandwich topped with an extra five prawns, his first thought is: “I wonder how many prawns I could fit in one sandwich?!”
So when P.K. heard that there were actually secret toppings that you can order at Subway, and that one of those off-menu toppings was roast beef, he prepared his brain, and his stomach, for an extra-large order, and headed to Subway to find out: just how much beef can one Japanese sandwich hold?!
In Japan, customer service tends to pretty amazing across the board, but perhaps nowhere more so than in the restaurant industry. Some restaurants may be boisterously friendly and others may be quietly courteous, but you can just about always be assured that everyone on the staff, from your server to the owner, is working hard to ensure an enjoyable dining experience.
But even by those standards, this yakiniku restaurant goes above and beyond the call of duty, with an extensive list of extra special services they’re willing to provide. Of course, courteousness is a two-way street, so the restaurant also has 10 unique requests it in turn makes to its customers.
Whether rightfully or not, Chinese products are much maligned for their supposed lack of quality. Even the Chinese people themselves are often critical of their own country’s products, criticizing everything from Chinese news to rice cookers.
But are they really that bad? Our Japanese reporter Meg recently went on a trip to China and brought back a Chinese rice cooker to test it out. She had a couple of surprises along the way, involving everything from getting the rice cooker to even work, to the taste of the final product, so read on to see how it all turned out!
Calbee’s Jagariko is among the tastiest snacks in Japan, if you ask us. The little cups of potato sticks come in a variety of flavors, including cheese, butter, and salad. There are also some seasonal flavors, like yuzu-shio, or yuzu and salt, available now! If you haven’t tried Jagariko yet, this is definitely a great introduction to one of the best snacks in Japan!
In Japan, going on a trip often means you’ll be coming back with about twice as much luggage as you left with, as you are almost always expected to bring back souvenirs for your friends, family, coworkers, teachers, neighbors…pretty much everyone you’ll run into at some point after returning from your trip, even if it’s just a weekend getaway.
The plus side of this? Pretty much anywhere you go in the country, you can find local treats available only in that specific area, and sometimes also limited to the seasons as well. Tokyo is no exception, and today we’re going to be taking a look at some rare, special eats that you’ll only find within the terminals of Haneda Airport.