Japanese food

Miso soup could help protect against cancer, research suggests

Miso soup could help protect against cancer, research suggests

Miso soup is a staple of the traditional Japanese diet and has long been anecdotally connected with Japanese people’s famously long life expectancy. Now, research has linked consumption of miso soup with a reduced risk of stomach and breast cancer.

Japan’s cancer rates are low compared to western countries, but the country’s relatively high rates of stomach cancer have often been blamed on the high sodium content of the traditional Japanese diet. However, research suggests that miso, the fermented soybean paste which makes the base of miso soup and many other Japanese dishes, could actually counter-act the harmful effects of sodium consumption and even smoking.

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【TBT】Kyoto noodle house serves one big, long noodle

【TBT】Kyoto noodle house serves one big, long noodle

Udon is one of Japan’s most well-loved noodles dishes, ranking in line with soba and ramen. Everyone has an opinion over which is the tastiest, but those who like a bit of girth in their noodles will probably go for udon, which are traditionally rolled thicker than other Japanese noodles.

If you really want something to chew on, Tawaraya, an established noodle house in Kyoto, makes udon noodles so thick that only one fits inside the bowl.

Our resident foodie, Kuzo, recently took a train out to the ancient capital to try Tawaraya’s udon for himself. Check out his report below!

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Onigiri in Paris: Small lunch shop brings traditional Japanese rice balls to France

Onigiri in Paris: Small lunch shop brings traditional Japanese rice balls to France

Though extremely simple, Japanese onigiri, those handheld balls of rice and seasoning, are simply delicious and addicting. Dating back over 1,200 years to the Nara Period, onigiri were created as a portable snack. Now, not only have rice balls transcended the humble kitchens of old-timey Japan and nestled their way into convenience stores across the nation, they’ve also made their way abroad. Mussubi is a delightful lunch shop in Paris that has brought onigiri and bento to the people of France. With elegant and fresh ingredients tiptoeing throughout the menu, this quaint shop has earn high praise from local residents.

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We try traditional Japanese soup stock at a specialty standing bar in Tokyo

We try traditional Japanese soup stock at a specialty standing bar in Tokyo

There’s plenty of standing ramen bars in Japan, but this may be the first standing dashi bar. For those who are unfamiliar with the term, dashi is a soup stock that makes up the base of many delicious Japanese dishes such as miso soup and ramen. Typically made of shaved katsuo bushi (preserved bonito fish), dashi is the lifeblood of traditional Japanese food, adding plenty of umami to even the humblest of dishes. Let’s take a closer look at Nihonbashi Dashi Bar, a shop that specializes in serving hot dashi by the cupful. Read More

Too lazy to cook? Try these new ready-made meals from Japanese convenience stores!

Too lazy to cook? Try these new ready-made meals from Japanese convenience stores!

If you are hungry, Japanese convenience stores are beautiful places that have pretty much everything your heart could desire, from a quick on-the-go snack to a yummy summertime ice cream treat. And some of the best things they offer are ready-made meals like curry and rice, pasta or ramen. These ready-made meals can be like a gift from heaven on a busy day when you don’t have time to cook and need to take a break from frozen food.

But did you know that many convenience stores in Japan put out a new ready-made meal every Tuesday? Since you may find it hard to stake out every convenience store, we sent our reporters to try out some new meals. Click below to see the six that they recommended!

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Why does MOS Burger break from actual burgers for their Japanese-style menu?

Why does MOS Burger break from actual burgers for their Japanese-style menu?

Since coming to Japan, I’ve had to adjust my expectations when it comes to eating out at burger joints. I’m not sure whether it’s their selection of spices or the addition of strange, seasonal toppings that affects the taste so much, but for better or worse the flavor of Japanese hamburgers rarely matches that of the burgers back home in America.

MOS Burger presents the perfect example. This Japan-based fast food chain’s main claim to fame is a delicious sort of sandwich that tastes like the love child of a standard hamburger and a sloppy joe. But that’s only the beginning. MOS Burger truly pushes the boundaries on what constitutes a burger with their corner of the menu for Japanese-style flavors like miso mackerel between “buns” of tightly packed rice.

Really, what sort of logic could possibly prompt a burger shop to pursue such Japanese style? Sure the company is based in Japan, but who goes to a burger joint for the rice and miso soup?!

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10 Japanese foods you can make at home!

10 Japanese foods you can make at home!

If you’ve noticed, many of our writers here at Rocketnews24 have crossed the seas to make Japan their second home. Sure, we love the local flavor, but sometimes we just crave a solid meal that smells of our hometown. The same goes for Japanese nationals living abroad.

Even though Japanese cuisine has more or less infiltrated most of the major cities worldwide, domestic foodstuffs and condiments still remain mostly inaccessible and rare in most countries. Japanese blogger Madame Riri shares a list of 10 Japanese foods that can be made at home, no matter where that may be! We’d like to call it the lifesaver list for Japanese abroad, or the inspiration list for non-Japanese who would love an authentic taste of Japan in their own kitchen!

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Only in Japan? Controversial mystery vegetable you’ve probably never heard of

Only in Japan? Controversial mystery vegetable you’ve probably never heard of

At first glance, it looks like a really long, dirty twig. Not especially appealing, and probably not the kind of thing that you’d ever think of eating. Even if you were starving in the forest, you’d probably start with berries and leaves, right? However, you may be missing out on a unique taste sensation!

Growing about one metre long and a slender two centimetres wide, this is a root vegetable sadly underappreciated in the West, sometimes known as “beggar’s buttons” or “love leaves”. It’s crisp and delicious, with an interesting texture. Originally used for medicinal purposes, it has plenty of fiber and all kinds of alleged health benefits. You’ll find it adding crunch to Japanese dishes kinpira and tempura. Can you guess its real name?

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Must try before you die: Fugu and shiokara from Japan make bizarre food “bucket list”

Must try before you die: Fugu and shiokara from Japan make bizarre food “bucket list”

When you’re hovering on the verge of leaving this world, the last thing you want to feel is lingering regret about those unique foods you never had the chance to try and all those unimaginable flavours and textures you missed out on, or never knew existed. To avoid such a terrible fate, a list of 20 strange bucket-list foods has recently been compiled by a British news site and has been widely commented on in Japan, as it features two home-grown favourites: fugu and shiokara. Fugu is the poisonous pufferfish of Simpsons fame, while shiokara is a relatively harmless dish composed of shreds of meat from a sea creature (commonly squid) in a slimy paste of its heavily salted, fermented raw guts. I mean, viscera.

So my taste buds won’t spend an eternity regretting the tragic circumstances that left their fugu and shiokara cherry unpopped, I aim to get to the bottom of these Japanese dishes! Er, okay, maybe not right to the bottom. I’ll have a few cautious bites and see how it goes.

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Tokyo Station’s top 5 breakfast spots

Tokyo Station’s top 5 breakfast spots

As one of Japan’s largest train stations, Tokyo Station is the central hub for many of the JR lines as well as the Shinkansen (bullet train). You can expect some standard grub in most stations, but Tokyo Station has plenty of food places that go beyond the basics. Before setting out on a trip, why not arrive a bit early and enjoy a delicious breakfast before boarding your train? It’s the perfect start to your adventure. Here we introduce five of the best breakfast spots within the station itself.

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Make Your Own Yoshinoya Beef Bowl at Home, Even Better Than the Original 【Recipe】

Make Your Own Yoshinoya Beef Bowl at Home, Even Better Than the Original 【Recipe】

Yoshinoya has been serving “tasty, low-priced and quick” gyudon (beef bowls) in Japan for over a century. In recent years, the chain’s bright orange signs can also be found at around 600 locations throughout Southeast Asia and the United States. It seems the world has fallen in love with the original Japanese fast food.

Now anyone can enjoy the beefy goodness of gyudon from the comfort of their own home thanks to this easy recipe. It’s the closest you’ll get to an authentic Yoshinoya beef bowl without having to put on pants.

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Organic Christmas Lights? No, it’s Persimmon Season in Japan 【You, Me, And A Tanuki】

Organic Christmas Lights? No, it’s Persimmon Season in Japan 【You, Me, And A Tanuki】

You, Me, And a Tanuki is a weekly featured blog run by Michelle, a Californian who is currently one of only two foreigners living in Chibu, a tiny fishing village on one of the Oki islands in Japan. Check back every Saturday for a new post or read more on her website here!

Starting around the beginning of October, houses and trees throughout the neighborhood are dotted with orange orbs.  It’s kaki season; time to eat some persimmons.  The little fruits almost look like Christmas lights in the daytime, lining the rafters of the houses.  They sway back and forth in the strong sea breeze and are susceptible to being stolen by the crows that lie in wait for an easy meal.

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School Lunch in Japan 【You, Me, And A Tanuki】

School Lunch in Japan 【You, Me, And A Tanuki】

You, Me, And a Tanuki is a weekly featured blog run by Michelle, a Californian who is currently one of only two foreigners living in Chibu, a tiny fishing village on one of the Oki islands in Japan. Check back every Saturday for a new post or read more on her website here!

Ah, school lunch in Japan.  I’ve had some of the best meals served to me on those plastic lunch trays.  I’ve also had some of the worst.  You might remember my post from last week that talked about the worst school lunch in the world. But for the most part, school lunch in Japan is surprisingly delicious and enjoyable.

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Japanese School Lunch Fail【You, Me, And A Tanuki】

Japanese School Lunch Fail【You, Me, And A Tanuki】

You, Me, And a Tanuki is a weekly featured blog run by Michelle, a Californian who is currently one of only two foreigners living in Chibu, a tiny fishing village on one of the Oki islands in Japan. Check back every Saturday for a new post or read more on her website here!

When I first got to Japan, I made a goal to try any food that was offered to me.  Sea snails (freshly cracked out of their shells and still alive), check.  Sea cucumber, check.  Shiokara (fermented salty squid), check.  I’ve encountered some of the grossest edible things I’ve ever seen, but stuck to my goal, tried not to think about the slimy mess in front of me, and ate the new food.

To up the ante on my food challenge, I told myself that I would eat every dish  that was served in kyuushoku (school lunch).  The main reason I took this challenge is that I think it sets a good example for the kids, who are made to sit at the lunch table until they finish every bite of their food.  Usually, completing my goal isn’t a chore at all.  I’ve had some of the most delicious meals I’ve ever encountered in Japan served to me in the lunchroom at school.  But it hasn’t all been easy.  I’m not a fan of shishamo (pregnant smelt fish) which are eaten with head, eyes, tail, bones…everything, intact.  As unappealing as shishamo is to me, I still manage to eat all of them when they are served in the school lunch.

Unfortunately, my undefeated school lunch record has come to an end.

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The Birth of a New Osaka Specialty, Hoping to Put the “Osaka Burger” on the Map!

The Birth of a New Osaka Specialty, Hoping to Put the “Osaka Burger” on the Map!

The dainty little burger you see in the photo above is the new “Osaka Burger.” But does it look like a burger to you?  Maybe a burger with the meat on the outside? 

The Osaka Burger actually uses the famous Osaka specialty, okonomiyaki, for buns and consists of a chicken patty, fried egg with shiso leaf and topped with a plum sauce, (bainiku sauce). 

And it actually was known as something else before being called the Osaka Burger: “Ume Chicken”, the most popular item on the menu at Osaka Burger Kaen Hanamaru.  Whatever you want to call it, its originality sparks the curiosity enough to make you wonder: ‘how does it taste? 

The Osaka Burger will appreciate your curiosity because it hopes to represent Osaka cuisine alongside the ranks of okonomiyaki and skewered deep-fried pork by bringing together several regional specialties into a new and exciting culinary experience through the burger!

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Regional Culture of Japanese Food Varies Widely From East to West

Regional Culture of Japanese Food Varies Widely From East to West

If you know a little about eating in Japan, you know about the set menus, particularly popular at lunchtime in many eateries all over Japan.  Its called a Teishoku, or set meal, always including rice, pickles and miso soup, plus a ‘main’ dish.  The main dish varies from meat, like pork cutlets, to grilled fish, to sashimi, the kind of fish depending on availability and season.  All kinds of side dishes can also be included, including a variety of stewed vegetables.  The price of this set meal is usually very reasonable.  It is understandable why the ‘Teishoku’ is such a popular meal all over Japan.

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20 Guilt Free Snacks With Only A Hundred Calories

20 Guilt Free Snacks With Only A Hundred Calories

Imagine, if you will, a conversation in your Pilattes studio or gym locker room, or even on the train in any city in Japan, between two slender women, whom nobody would ever guess to be worried about their weight.  These women could be any age, married, single, with or without children, the point being that they are slender.

“I’m getting fat!  I really have to watch what I eat!”

“Me too!  My weakness is snacks I can’t help eating snacks!”

“Oh, guess what?  I found an article on RocketNews 24 about ‘diet snack food’!  It introduces 20 of them, I’m pretty sure it says they are no more than 100 calories each!”

Two heads meet in the center to gaze over an i-phone. Read More

Popular Japanese Anime enters the food world in soft green form – No, it’s not Jello-O but it still tastes good

Popular Japanese Anime enters the food world in soft green form – No, it’s not Jello-O but it still tastes good

The anime “Mobile Suit Gundam”, or Kido Senshi Gundam as it is know in Japanese, has been a hugely popular series for over 30 years with many spin-offs and affiliated products being produced during that time. The anime has been so popular, that the word “mobile suit”, the name of the large humanoid fighting machines that feature in the series, has become an accepted part of the Japanese language. Now the anime has become a part of Japanese cuisine as well, courtesy of a new food product from Sagamiya Foods Inc. Believe or not, they have made the “Zaku” mobile suit model into Tofu! Read More

New Shop in Tokyo Offers 16 Kinds of Whale Meat and Hopes You Don’t Attack Them For It

New Shop in Tokyo Offers 16 Kinds of Whale Meat and Hopes You Don’t Attack Them For It

The Ameyoko block of Tokyo is a comprised of a busy market street lined with quaint little shops selling various foods, cosmetics and knick-knacks like clocks.  You can expect to find just about anything in Ameyoko, which makes it the perfect location for Geinanhonbo, a whale-meat specialty shop, to open its newest branch.

At Geinanhonbo you can choose from 16 different cuts of whale meat from a giant fridge that takes up most of the shop space.  Red meat cuts are relatively cheap, costing 380 yen per 100g (US$1.32/oz), but more expensive parts like the tail or jaw can run up to 2,800 yen per 100g ($9.84/oz).  The store offers “almost every edible part of the whale” including the heart, which costs about as much as the red meat.

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