food

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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How to make epic pancakes with your Japanese rice cooker

How to make epic pancakes with your Japanese rice cooker

Every summer, I try to spend as many days as possible on the beach at Enoshima, and each time I get out of the station and walk towards the sand, I pass a long line of people waiting for a seat at the local pancake restaurant. This isn’t Japan’s only pancake joint with a lengthy wait, either, as you can find similar eateries with comparable lines in Tokyo, too.

It used to strike me as a little weird. After all, whipping up a stack of pancakes isn’t exactly the most challenging culinary feat. It can get tedious, though, as you settle into a monotonous pattern of plopping batter into the pan, flipping the half-cooked cake, and repeating over and over again.

Or, you could bypass all that by making an entire batch of pancakes all at once in a rice cooker.

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Yea or nay? Japanese netizens get the nori rolling as they weigh in on the all new dragon-maki

Yea or nay? Japanese netizens get the nori rolling as they weigh in on the all new dragon-maki

The now ubiquitous California roll first made its debut at a Los Angeles restaurant in the 1960s. Developed by chef Ichirō Mashita, it was perfect for the not-yet-adventurous as it contained no raw fish, and the ura-maki (reverse roll) technique kept the nori hidden from view (this was cleverly cooked up by another chef after he saw American patrons peeling the black stuff off).

Before long, the world was overflowing with innovative creations like the rainbow roll, spider roll, Alaska, Vegas, monkey, Godzilla… what were we talking about again? Right, sushi! And as you can imagine, many of these unique maki-zushi have become popular reverse imports since the advent of the first American-born roll.

But how does the general public in Japan feel about these flamboyant works of fusion? Is sushi still a revered art form with tried-and-true traditions, or a limitless playground? To explore this the RN24 way, let’s consider the dragon roll above since it has been garnering lots of attention as of late. Read on for a look at Japanese netizens’ varied and entertaining responses!

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Jojo’s bizarre coffee – Anime characters to grace cans of java in Japan

Jojo’s bizarre coffee – Anime characters to grace cans of java in Japan

With their dramatic posing, frenetic accessorizing, and manic shouting, you could easily arrive at the conclusion that the cast of long-running manga and anime Jojo’s Bizarre Adventures is one seriously over-caffeinated set of super powered bare-knuckle brawlers.

Don’t expect Jojo and company to settle down anytime soon, though, as the characters created by artist Hirohiko Araki are set to grace cans of Coca-Cola Japan’s Georgia coffee this summer.

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“A Taste of Japan”: Mouth-watering video of one man’s incredible gourmet trip 【Video】

“A Taste of Japan”: Mouth-watering video of one man’s incredible gourmet trip 【Video】

A filmmaker based in Los Cabos, Mexico, is attracting attention online in Japan with his stunningly beautiful food video. Entitled “A Taste of Japan”, Mike Arce’s video features the food he fell in love with on a trip to the Land of the Rising Sun. In an impressively expansive gourmet tour, Arce sampled everything from Kyoto speciality tofu cuisine to delicious hot-plate favourites like okonomiyaki and sukiyaki, even squeezing in a trip to Sukiyabashi Jiro in Roppongi for some high-class sushi, too.

If you didn’t already want to go to Japan really, really badly, you will after you watch this!

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Crocodile ice cream: It won’t bite back!

Crocodile ice cream: It won’t bite back!

With summer very nearly upon us, it’s time to break out the cold foods like kakigori, Garigari-kun, and, of course, ice cream. Even now, as we struggle through the rainy season and moisture hangs in the air, there’s little in this world as wonderful a giant bowl of strawberry ice cream.

If you’re in Tokyo like we are, there are plenty of places and reasons for gobbling up a chilly bowl of sweet ice cream–and the same is certainly true for the Philippines as well. However, while Tokyo may have some of the best restaurants in the world, Davao City in the Philippines has something Tokyo does not–crocodile ice cream. Don’t worry, though–it won’t bite back!

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Hungry for love – 10 dishes Japanese men want their girlfriends to cook for them

Hungry for love – 10 dishes Japanese men want their girlfriends to cook for them

Men are, in many ways, simple creatures. Our two greatest desires in life are, without question, women and food.

While a tasty meal or a good-looking lass with a nice personality are both things to be thankful for on their own, it’s hard to top the bliss that comes from eating a home-cooked meal made by the girl you like. Still, just as guys have preferences in women, they’ve also got preferences in food, as revealed in a poll that asked Japanese men what dish prepared by their girlfriend makes them the happiest.

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Gyoza Association suggests pot stickers for dinner with suggestive, romantic, crazy ads

Gyoza Association suggests pot stickers for dinner with suggestive, romantic, crazy ads

There’s something overpoweringly delicious about the garlicky pot stickers Japan calls gyoza. Even when they’re not bewitching people into rushing out to get an order as soon as possible (even if that means not getting dressed first), gyoza power still has the ability to override your higher brain functions, as evidenced by Chaozu-kun, the cute/disturbing mascot of the Japan Gyoza Association.

The super happy/super ripped Chaozu-kun isn’t the only weirdness Japan’s pot sticker powers have been up to, though, as we see in this series of sometimes manic, sometimes dramatic, and always odd images from the Gyoza Association’s official website.

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We make chocolate-covered potato chips

We make chocolate-covered potato chips

Potato chips and chocolate aren’t as obvious of a choice as chips and salsa, but the Royce Confectionary Company in Japan has had a impressive amount of success with their Potato Chip Chocolate snacks. With their sweet and salty flavor combination, these little treats are uncommonly satisfying. And even if you don’t live in Japan, you’re in luck, we have a super simple recipe just for you!
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Olaf from Disney’s Frozen is cute enough to eat!

Olaf from Disney’s Frozen is cute enough to eat!

It’s par for the course that an animated Disney film will include a loveable sidekick providing lighter moments throughout the narrative. But it’s not often that these secondary characters can be replicated so well in edible form. Olaf from Disney’s Frozen though, is an absolute treat for cooks who want to add some cute flair to their meals and sweets. His round, white snowman figure is easily created from rice, potatoes, Japanese radish and even sweet icing. Take a look at some of these gorgeous incarnations of Olaf in the food world.

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Mr. Sato tries top secret rated-R fried chicken from popular Japanese convenience store

Mr. Sato tries top secret rated-R fried chicken from popular Japanese convenience store

As we’ve declared before, convenience stores are one of the many things Japan gets awesomely right. And out of all the conbini in Japan, one of the greatest things housed within the walls of popular convenience store, Lawson, isn’t found on the shelves, but nestled safely behind the counter. Yes, their perfectly plump, consummately crispy fried chicken dubbed “Karaage-kun” costs a mere 210 yen (US$2.05) for hot, salty bliss. With a heart full of love for Karaage-kun, we could barely contain our jealousy upon learning that Mr. Sato, the most…unique reporter from our Japanese site, was invited to the Lawson headquarters to try out their new grilled Hokkaido corn-flavored Karaage-kun.

And so Mr. Sato marched down to crispy chicken HQ, still rocking his post-apocalyptic haircut, to try our most favorite convenience store snack. Little did he (or we) know that he would also be presented with an ultra-top-secret fried chicken unfit to be consumed by children younger than 15 years of age.

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Desserts in Wonderland – Our lesson in decorating storybook sweets

Desserts in Wonderland – Our lesson in decorating storybook sweets

The relatively small size of Japanese kitchens, and ovens for that matter, mean the average person doesn’t get many opportunities to bake desserts. Sure, once a year a lot of women will whip up a batch of chocolate or some other sweets, but February 15 is usually the beginning of a 364-day streak of no homemade goodies.

Looking to break this cycle was our Japanese-language correspondent Momo. But how would someone who charred all of her attempts at Valentine’s Day sweets to a crisp as a schoolgirl, fare at her Alice in Wonderland cookie and cake decorating class?

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Powered by eels – We eat at the founder of Honda’s favorite unagi restaurant

Powered by eels – We eat at the founder of Honda’s favorite unagi restaurant

Soichiro Honda, the man who founded Honda Motor Co., was once quoted as saying that the best-selling car cannot be the best-driving car, because the compromises needed to become the former are incompatible with the lack of compromises required to be the latter.

It’s hard not to respect a person with such unflinching standards, and even want to emulate him a little. So when we found out one of the legendary engineer’s favorite restaurants was just a short train ride from our office in downtown Tokyo, we decided to check it out. Even after we found out it’s famous for its grilled eel livers.

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Is this tequila ramen with pitch-black broth and action movie tie-in macho enough for you?

Is this tequila ramen with pitch-black broth and action movie tie-in macho enough for you?

In recent years, ramen has been making a name for itself as a respectable, in some cases almost gourmet meal. Japan’s favorite noodle dish has even reached the point where some women feel it’s an acceptable choice for a dinner date (provided you follow certain rules).

That doesn’t mean ramen has been entirely gentrified, though. There’s one noodle joint in Tokyo that’s currently offering a throwback to the machismo that used to define the dish, with a bowl of ramen that has an action movie tie-in and is seasoned with tequila.

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Hiroshima’s crème marche is half cream puff, half custard cone, and all delicious

Hiroshima’s crème marche is half cream puff, half custard cone, and all delicious

Even under normal circumstances, we’ve got nothing against desserts, whether they be in parfait or donut form. So when we got off the train at Hiroshima Station, stepped through the ticket gates, and saw a newly opened pastry shop, we knew a detour was in order before we headed to our hotel.

Of course, we’d just spent two days biking the 70 kilometers (43.5 miles) across the Inland Sea on the Shimanami Kaido cycling course, and no dinky dessert was going to satisfy the appetite we’d built up. Thankfully, the shop had something special in its display case: cream puff custard cones.

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Become MASTER OF NUGGETS with this heavy metal recipe book

Become MASTER OF NUGGETS with this heavy metal recipe book

Have you been looking for a way to combine your love of thrash metal with your enthusiasm for trying new food? As you may know, we at RocketNews24 are always looking for ways to mix up new musical experiences, so we were tickled to discover Metal-Meshi, a tour through headbanging history told through metal-inspired recipes!

The brainchild of Tokyo-based foodie and blogger Yasunario, Metal-Meshi takes its name from “meshi”, a slightly slangy, rough-sounding Japanese word for hearty food.The book offers up over 60 mammoth-sized dishes that put some of Japan’s other Americana offerings to shame! So what kind of gastronomical excitement has Yasunario come up with?

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Day Two of our cycling trip across the Inland Sea on Japan’s amazing Shimanami Kaido

Day Two of our cycling trip across the Inland Sea on Japan’s amazing Shimanami Kaido

Between the mentally satisfying sense of accomplishment and physical exhaustion of spending a whole day crossing three islands by bike, plus the after-dinner beer we treated ourselves to, we slept like babies after covering 30 kilometers of the Shimanami Kaido cycling course on day one. We still had more than half the distance to go before we were back on Japan’s main island of Honshu, though, and between us and our destination in Hiroshima Prefecture lay breathtaking vistas, historical artifacts, delicious food, and even a dinosaur.

We recently journeyed by rental bike across the beautiful Shimanami Kaido, the cycling road that island hops across Japan’s Inland Sea between Ehime and Hiroshima Prefectures. If you missed the first day of our 70-kilometer (45.5-mile) ride you can find it here, or read on for the second and final day of the trip.

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10 things Japan does better than anywhere else, according to the international community

10 things Japan does better than anywhere else, according to the international community

Advertising agency Dentsu recently released the results of its annual Japan Brand Survey, in which it asks people from around the world for their opinion on the country. This year’s study involved 3,600 men and women living in 17 different countries, whose responses were used to compile a list of 10 things they feel Japan does better than anywhere else in the world.

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