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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Hong Kong supermarket’s new offering may take crown as “murderer of sushi”

Hong Kong is famous for lots of great food, but it’s also famous for its avant-garde culinary creations like you might find at Akimasa Sushi (Japanese pronunciation). Last year we reported on their menu which included gunkan sushi topped with sweet beans and mayonnaise as well as fruit jelly and wasabi nigiri sushi.

Their creations have only gotten weirder since, and Akimasa Sushi has earned the nicknames “murderer of sushi” and “sushi hell” from locals. However, now the internet in Hong Kong is buzzing over a new sushi variant that some believe might strip Akimasa Sushi of those titles with its own uniqueness.

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We substitute mirin for sugar in pudding and then taste it ourselves 【Rocket Kitchen】

If you’re in the mood to cook but running short on ingredients, there’s always the old tactic of asking your neighbor for a cup of sugar. If you are in Japan though, why don’t you ask your neighbor for a cup of mirin, or sweet sake used for cooking, instead?

The Sanshu Mikawa Mirin Distillery has recently been promoting sweets made with mirin. This notion is bound to turn some heads as there doesn’t seem to be a correlation between mirin and sweets in Japanese cooking, where it’s instead often used to add a flavorful touch to grilled fish or sushi. So how is it that this seemingly savory flavor can be substituted for the sweetness of sugar? The RocketKitchen is going to get to the bottom of this and eat some pudding too!

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Rock, paper, jealousy… beautiful food vendor draws hate online

Apparently, selling foodstuffs is the sexiest occupation around, judging by the many recent discoveries of incredibly hot people peddling edibles. First, we had the KFC hottie, followed by the Pork Princess. And now, there’s another attractive food seller in Pingtung, Taiwan whose beauty is bringing all the boys to her stall, but it seems that not everyone is happy about her particular brand of marketing her wares.

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Cup Noodle maker Nissin asks Italians to rate its new “pasta style” cups【Video】

The land that invented instant noodles is never one to rest on its instant laurels. Noodle makers in Japan have been constantly coming up with new flavors and dishes to keep their customers happy, and the company that started it all, Nissin, is proud to unveil its newest instant noodle product: pasta!

The folks at Nissin are so excited about their new product, they are giving it the ultimate taste test by taking it to Gragnano, Italy, an area famous for dried pasta. Are these instant noodles going to satisfy the palates of some real Italians? Join us after the jump to find out.

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Distinctive Japanese Häagen-Dazs lids proving unusually versatile

Ice cream manufacturer Häagen-Dazs is pretty popular in Japan. The company has a large enough market share to run near-constant ads inside subway and above-ground train cars; usually a pretty good indicator of market success since ads on JR trains cost, approximately, all the dollars that ever were or ever will be.

One reason for the brand’s popularity in Japan – other than, you know, it tastes good – is the fancy, sturdy packaging used for individually-portioned cups. Now, most people just like them because it contributes to the brand’s premium mystique, but it turns out a lot of Japanese Twitter users are finding recently that the sturdy, distinctive plastic lids have a huge variety of neat, bonus utility and decorative uses even after all the ice cream inside is gone.

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Impressive replicas of iconic Japanese tourist spots made from curry

As kids we were always told not to play with our food but someone didn’t get that memo at a recent curry exhibition. Online marketplace Rakuten recently hosted a one-day event showcasing regional curry dishes from all over Japan, and the curry creations were very playful, and some were downright awesome. As if the spict foodstuff wasn’t already delicious enough, it got even better with iconic Japanese tourists spots replicated from curry!

Check out some of the dishes after the jump. It’s tourism for your taste buds!

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We try Japanese desserts made with bits of tuna. What could go wrong? 【Taste test】

Okay, Japan, I’m trusting you on this one. There have been a lot of times in the past when I was skeptical about your foods, and repeatedly you’ve proven me wrong.

You hit a home run with the raw fish thing. Pasta with spicy cod roe and seaweed? Now one of my go-to choices for a quick, hot meal. Grilled chicken cartilage? Stuff is delicious.

And now you want me to try desserts made with tuna? Sure, let’s do this.

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Turn rice balls into rice kitties with this adorable omusubi kit!

The Japanese words omusubi and onigiri are usually translated as “rice ball,” but there’s no rule that they have to be round. Walk into any convenience store or supermarket in Japan and you’ll find the shelves stocked with triangular versions, plus plenty that look closer to a soft-edged hockey puck than a perfectly spherical ball.

What we’re saying is that when it comes to omusubi design, your options are wide open, and with this kitty-shaped omusubi kit, they’re adorable as well.

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Our 7 best conveyor-belt sushi restaurants in Sapporo

When you think of the Hokkaido city of Sapporo, you probably think of winter. After all, this is the city that hosts the annual Yuki Matsuri snow festival where massive ice sculptures line its bustling streets, and millions of people stop by the city every year while en route to Niseko for some ski or snowboarding fun.

But when Japanese people think of Sapporo, they tend to think summer, when the far-north metropolis boasts cool, mild weather and abundant nature in a season where much of Honshu is blanketed in oppressive heat and humidity; the kind that makes you physically angry every time you step out the door.

Anticipating an influx of Japanese tourists to the area, our Japanese sister site recently put together its top picks for the best conveyor belt sushi restaurants in Sapporo, and we thought we’d share, since, honestly, Sapporo is a really, really nice place to visit this time of year and their seafood is to die for.

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Is this studly tofu maker really all he seems?

Making tofu, believe it or not, actually requires enough physical labor that, even if you’re just making enough for yourself, you’re liable to at least break a sweat (although, honestly, why on earth would you make just a single serving of tofu?). There’s a lot of pressing and carrying heavy things around and grunting involved in tofu creation, is what we’re saying.

But is it hard enough that making a lot of it over time can turn your average tofu maker into a rippled, muscular Adonis? The short answer is, uh…maybe. Your results may vary (and you probably ought to hit the gym, anyway) but Taiwanese media claims to have found at least one particularly fit local tofu maker.

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Feeling hungry? Dip into this delicious Princess Mononoke-inspired cheese ball recipe

With summer come picnics, potlucks and barbeques, but for those of us who aren’t so handy in the kitchen, it can be a real conundrum trying to come up with a dish that’s simple to make yet tastes great.

If you’re stumped for summertime snack ideas, why not try your hand at this easy-to-make cheeseball recipeShaped like the Forest Spirit from Studio Ghibli’s Princess Mononoke, it not only looks delicious, but is sure to impress any Miyazaki or anime buffs in your circle of friends.

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Lotte answers all the ice cream questions you always wanted to know but never knew who to ask

Summer is here! Finally, we can eat gallons of ice cream without looking like weirdos again! We might be sweating and smellier than a gym sock in Tokyo, but at least we have ice cream and that makes it all worth it.

But how much do you really know about your ice cream? We recently discovered that Lotte, a producer of numerous delicious treats in Japan, has a FAQ purporting to answer all your burning (melting?) ice cream questions. See if yours is on the list below!

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