food

Japanese people list 10 ingredients they never, ever want to find in their miso soup

Miso soup is a staple food in pretty much any Japanese household. Served morning, noon or night, this thin, slightly salty broth is tasty, filling, and, as you’ve probably already realised, is the perfect accompaniment to rice. It is so deeply ingrained in Japanese culture that in some areas of the country there even exists a joke that a man may indirectly propose to a woman simply asking, “Will you make my miso soup for me every morning?”

But one person’s idea of a perfect bowl of miso soup can be another’s salty soy nightmare. With so many ingredients that go, or at least seem to go, well in a bowl of Japan’s favourite broth, it can be difficult to find a bowl that ticks all the boxes, and there are some ingredients that – depending on one’s upbringing, personal tastes or geographical location – are considered simply unacceptable.

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We try ramen from a can on the backstreets of Tokyo【Taste Test】

Akihabara has a well-deserved reputation as having Japan’s highest concentration of anime and video game shops, not to mentioned maid cafes. There’s one other thing it’s known for, though, and that’s weird vending machines.

And no, we’re not talking about Japan’s fabled panty vending machines, but rather automated sales of odd canned food. A few years back, Akihabara came to be known as the place to score canned bread. Next came the canned oden craze.

On a recent trip to the Tokyo neighborhood, however, we stumbled across something we’d never seen before when we spotted a vending machine that spits out hot cans of pre-cooked ramen.

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ZOMG! ICE CREAM! Taste-testing the best autumn-flavored ice cream in Japan

It’s no secret that we love ice cream around here. In fact, we’ve often thought about petitioning someone to get it added to the food pyramid as a new, essential group unto itself. So far, no one has taken up our cause, but maybe they will after they see this list of delicious autumn-themed ice cream from Japan.

There are plenty of…unusual ice cream flavors, but chestnut might be the strangest we’ve seen. Here’s the real question though: Is it as tasty as it is bizarre?

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You can eat a polar bear in Kagoshima

That’s right, you can eat a polar bear in Japan. But before you start freaking out about animal cruelty or endangered species, we are actually talking about the funky dessert in picture above, not the big furry mammal. Meet the shirokuma or polar bear, a delicious treat of shaved ice, sweet milk syrup and fruit from Kagoshima.

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Proceeds from gourmet New Year’s meals to be donated to help feed undernourished children

As a nation of die-hard foodies, Japan is always on the lookout for a memorable meal. We’re just a couple of months away from New Year’s, when Japan dines on some of its most opulent dishes of all as part of the multi-dish osechi meals that are traditionally eaten at the beginning of the year.

Recently, more and more families have begun purchasing their osechi rather than making their own, and we imagine quite a few have been tempted by the Mickey Mouse and Frozen versions we talked about last month. If you’re willing to hold off on satisfying your inner child for the sake of the world’s less fortunate actual kids, though, you might be interested in an osechi set that helps raise funds for charity group Table for Two.

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If you love sushi so much, why don’t you marry it with these sushi rings and pendants?

I love sushi. I really can’t overstate that fact, and it’s to the point that I’d totally understand if you asked, “If you love sushi so much, why don’t you marry it?”

First, I’m already married, and there are several ways in which my lovely and human wife is a superior spouse compared to a slice of raw fish, no matter how delicious the latter may be. Second, even if I were single and ready to take my relationship with Japanese cuisine’s most famous discipline to the next level, what kind of ring would I use to propose?

Here with the answer is American designer Carolyn Tillie, who’s crafted a whole line of sushi-themed accessories.

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Rice cooker oden: Quick, cheap, and delicious

Between rising sales tax and the dropping value of the yen, prices are on the rise for food in Japan. That puts us in a bit of a bind, since food is one of our favorite things to buy, along with swell stuff like shelter and clothing (although if you’re a work-from-home Internet writer, you can sometimes get away without that last one).

Thankfully, we recently found a way to make a delicious, hot meal that’s also dirt cheap, by tossing the stewed vegetable contents of a pack of oden from 7-Eleven into our rice cooker.

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Spotted in Japan: “Wild Bacon”

Sometimes when you’re hungry for a delicious, savoury treat, even regular bacon isn’t enough. Sometimes, you need WILD bacon.

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C*ck wear becomes cookware in latest Japanese cookbook

Wonder what’s for dinner tonight? Your pantry is loaded and there are so many choices! Sometimes, you are just looking to utilize your favorite cooking apparatus. Let’s browse the cookbooks we have here. Everyone Screams for Tagine, Casserole Role Call, Fast Recipes for the Slow Cooker, Cooking with Condoms, wait, what? Yes, you heard us right, an actual cookbook available for your favorite e-book device. Leave it to the Japanese to use whatever they have lying around…

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Japanese restaurant’s recruiting ad promises time off for anime conventions

On the application for a lot of jobs in the service sector, they’ll ask if you’re willing to work nights and weekends. Oftentimes, it’s hard to see this as anything other than a trick question. On the one hand, candidates obviously want to put their best, most eager face forward, and if you say you’d rather not take shifts then, you’re opening yourself up to the very real possibility of losing the job to someone who’s, at least on paper, more industrious.

Honestly though, no one really wants to be working at those times, since nights and weekends are some of the best times to enjoy spending the money you earn as part of raising your overall quality of life. Thankfully, one udon chain seems to understand this, and as part of their recruiting advertising, points out that working at its restaurants won’t get in the way of the more important things in life, life spending your weekends at an anime convention.

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Burger King Japan’s black burgers look unbelievably gross in real life

Burger King recently launched two new hamburgers in Japan that feature black buns and cheese with matching squid ink black sauce. Ads, like the one above, made the burgers look pretty unappetizing. But the burgers, known as the Kuro Diamond and Kuro Pearl, look even worse in reality.

Here are some examples:

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Häagen-Dazs Japan announces azuki bean ice cream, net users go wild

Ice cream is one of those foods that is so delicious, people tend to eat it year round regardless of the plunging temperatures around them. So for the past 15 years, Häagen-Dazs has been releasing special fall/winter flavors in Japan, such as the extremely popular rum raisin. But this year, the beloved ice cream maker has an azuki bean-flavored variety coming out in early October, and Japanese netizens are already clearing out space in their freezer to stock up.

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What your favorite sushi says about your income

There are so many things you can learn about someone simply by observing them. You don’t have reach out of your comfort zone and ask them directly because so much can be learned by their fashion, their posture, their body language and the way they cut their nails. This is especially handy in Japanese society when being direct can be seen as extremely rude.

So how do you find out about really personal things? Certainly the best way to acquire hidden information is by asking innocuous questions that reveal way more than they should! Take the latest tip from an elite business man, who says you can guess about how much a man earns in Japan by asking him one simple question: “What kind of sushi do you like?

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Man vs. Beast! Competitive eater Kobayashi takes on hamster in hot dog-eating contest 【Video】

I didn’t watch a lot of TV during college, and before you think I’m saying that to try and come off as some high-minded intellectual, I’ll quickly admit that I filled that spare time playing video games and watching anime DVDs. One program I do remember catching, though, was a Fox special in which humans went against animals in a series of contests.

In one event, Takeru Kobayashi, Japan’s champion competitive eater, was pitted against a bear to see who could eat more hot dogs. The bear won with ease, because, well, it’s a bear for God’s sake.

Now, though, Kobayashi’s back for a rematch with the animal kingdom, but this time with a smaller opponent: an adorable hamster.

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Tokyo Disney Sea adds pitch-black sausage, other spooky treats for Halloween

Japan has gotten into Halloween in a big way in the last few years. By mid-September, stores start putting up decorations and offering seasonal treats, even if the practice of trick-or-treating hasn’t really caught on here yet.

So it’s only natural that Halloween gets special treatment from another popular import, Tokyo’s Disney theme parks, as Disney Sea is offering up some spooky Halloween menu items, including a pitch black sausage.

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Master Japanese chef’s knife skills turn cucumber into edible art in just three minutes

Artists of different disciplines each have their own unique tools of the trade. A painter has his brushes and canvas, while a sculptor’s skills might call for a chisel and block of marble.

And a Japanese chef? All he needs to make beautiful, edible artwork is a cucumber and a kitchen knife.

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From plums to panties, the strange and beautiful bento of Keisuke Umeda【Photos】

When you think about the media that artists can work in, ink, paint, stone, metal, wood, and glass all spring readily to mind. We could take an even broader view and include things such as film, sound, and even light. But even then, we’d still be overlooking the creations of Keisuke Umeda, who brings to life scenes of beautiful nature, disturbing juxtaposition, and offbeat humor through the medium of boxed bento lunches.

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Use your rice cooker to bake delicious cinnamon honey apples

Life can be tough in Japan when the weather starts getting cooler and cravings for baked comfort foods start taking hold of our thoughts. With full-size western ovens an absolute rarity in the common Japanese home, roast dinners and home-baked pies become more like lost friends from a bygone era; somewhere else but still etched in our hearts and never quite forgotten.

If the Japanese kitchen is lacking in the stove department, it makes up for it in volumes with a marvellous piece of wizardry known as the rice cooker. Its mettle has only recently been put to the test with some surprising recipes like fast food dinners and enormous pancakes of epic proportions. And now as the weather cools, there’s another easy recipe to try – soft baked cinnamon honey apples.

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Horsemeat sushi: For when you’re tired of spicy tuna and California rolls

Although “sushi” is often thought to mean raw fish, that’s not actually what the word means. The name actually refers to vinegared rice, and some varieties of sushi don’t contain any fish at all.

Kappa maki, for example, are rolls of seaweed, rice, and cucumber, while inarizushi is made with rice and fried tofu. On the other end of the spectrum, if you’re in the mood for non-seafood sushi but also don’t want to go vegetarian, you can try horse sushi, like we recently did.

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Boys love manga pork: BL anime characters now in the chilled meat section

We’ve been bringing you news of the BL craze in Japan, with cafés, books and even university courses featuring homoromantic male relationships, commonly referred to as Boys Love. With more and more people becoming exposed to the trend, what began as an underground sub-culture is becoming more well-known and popular, with men and women alike.

Now it seems the boys have gone mainstream, as stars of a major campaign for supermarket chain Ito Yokado. Only they’re not advertising beauty products or clothing lines. They’re advertising meat.

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