Did someone say squid pigs? We make Russia’s cutest recipe ever

Russia is a fascinating country for many reasons, but food tends not to be one of them. For example, how many of us have a Russian restaurant in our neighborhoods? It’s not surprising as dishes with names like “borscht” don’t exactly electrify the taste buds.

But not so fast! One Russian dish has been trending online recently not only for its delicious taste but its adorable appearance as well: Squid Piglets! As you might imagine they are little pigs made out of squid and other delicious stuff.

Or, if you’re struggling to imagine such a thing, join our reporter Meg as she shows us how to make these squiggly wiggly little squid-piglets.

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The makers of wasabi-beef chips bring you… transparent chips and how to make them! 【Video】


How do you automatically make anything cooler? By making it transparent, of course! We’ve seen transparent coke and transparent smartphones before, but what about transparent food? Being able to see through something while you eat it has to make it more delicious, right?

Well, that’s what the people who made transparent potato chips thought. Yamayoshi, the same company that brings you delicious wasabeef (wasabi and beef flavor) chips, tried their hand at making chips that give a nice, clear crunch. Check out their video demonstrating the creation of the glass-like chips to see their reaction and then try making some yourself!

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An extremely simple trick to spice up plain rice for a refreshing, citrusy summer treat

Recently, our Japanese reporter Aya Ayabe went out to an izakaya [Japanese pub] and finished her revelries with an order of sudachi rice, sudachi being a type of sour Japanese citrus fruit. The slightly bitter flavor really hit the spot in the midst of the nighttime summer heat, and it got her thinking: “What would happen if I cooked rice with some ponzu sauce [a citrus-based sauce which mixes sudachi with other citrus fruits and soy sauce]?” Still curious, the next day she tried making a batch for herself, and the results were apparently quite epic: “This is the most exciting thing that’s happened to me all summer! I’ll never forget this day as long as I live.”

In any case, Ayabe would like to share her extremely simple recipe for creating ponzu rice with you–a delightfully refreshing treat for the dog days of summer which can be enjoyed either hot or cold. 

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Five Japanese tacos that Taco Bell should have released by now, made and taste-tested【Photos】

Dear Taco Bell Japan,

I’m writing this open letter to first welcome you back to Japan, but also to warn you of a great danger that lies ahead.

When you first announced you would open in Shibuya I was among those who felt that warm feeling of an old friend returning. And even though there were a few hiccups with your grand opening such as the lack of beans and “supreme court tacos” on your online menu, I had faith Taco Bell would rise to greatness in Japan.

However, since then we haven’t really heard much from your restaurant, and that worries me. So, I’d like to present you with five ideas for uniquely Japanese tacos that will not only appeal to the local crowd, but be eye-catching enough to make your brand a name to remember. I even went ahead and actually made and taste-tested them for you!

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How to make Japan’s coolest summer snack: Onigirazu! 【Recipe & Video】

Everyone knows and loves onigiri, or rice balls. They’re the perfect portable snack, available in every conbini with a wide range of different fillings. But some of us have grown tired of the same old snack. Thus, the “onigirazu” was born! We’ll show you how to make it right here!

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New fried take on Yoshinoya’s original beef bowl really hits the spot! 【Recipe】

For those looking for a quick and cheap meal in Japan, beef bowls, or gyudon, from fast food chains like Yoshinoya are a great option for both your stomach and your wallet. While in the past we’ve shown you how to make your own Yoshinoya-style beef bowl, odds are if you’re a regular patron of the famous chain or others like it, you probably aren’t that handy in the kitchen.

Still, every now and then people like a change of pace, or they find themselves trying to impress guests with a home-cooked meal. Luckily we have a fried Yoshinoya beef bowl recipe that fits that bill, and best of all it doesn’t require much of your effort or time, granted you have a Yoshinoya nearby.

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We tried making edible jewels: One recipe gives you three delicious versions!

Remember those beautiful edible “jewels” that we shared with you a couple of weeks ago? Made simply from sugar, agar-agar, and a beverage of your choice, the jewels are both pretty to look at and make a cool – in both senses of the word – summer treat.

They’re still all the rage right now on Japanese social media, so our Japanese reporter Shimazu decided to try making some jewel flavor combinations for herself. She even experimented with three different manners of preparation–serving them right away, freezing them, and letting them sit for a few days to harden.

Which method of making them do you think she enjoyed the most?

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Taiwan’s watermelon bread will delight your senses, confuse your tastebuds

Japan loves unusual watermelons. You’ve probably heart of square watermelons before, but what about pyramid and peanut-shaped watermelons? Or heart-shaped ones? It can’t get any crazier than that, right?

Well a new challenger has appeared: watermelon bread. Yes, that’s right, watermelon bread. It’s green on the outside, red on the inside, and even has black “seeds” sprinkled throughout. Your taste buds will never be more confused, or more excited, than when they take a bite of this.

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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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RocketKitchen: A simple and delicious recipe for cooking tuna

Tuna. It’s definitely a fish most of us all grew up with. And if you’re anything like one of our RocketNews24 crew, P.K., then you may have grown up believing that tuna only comes from a can!

Though you may associate tuna with cans, that need not be the case. You can actually use fresh tuna in your meals, and today we’ll show you how with a simple recipe that’s sure to impress, even though it requires only five ingredients. Read on to learn how to make this delicious yet simple tuna recipe!

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Got a great recipe that requires soy sauce? Enter this competition to win 100,000 yen!

If you fancy yourself as a bit of a soy sauce connoisseur or if you enjoy dabbling in Japanese fusion cooking, we’ve found a perfect way for you to earn some easy prize money.

The Japan Soy Sauce Association is currently accepting entries for two special contest categories: Washoku, for Japanese-style recipes and Your Country’s Cuisine, for food that incorporates the use of soy sauce into traditional dishes from your homeland.

With the top prize being 100,000 yen (US$834.87), if you’re a foreigner living in Japan, now’s the time to get that apron on and get cooking!

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Our reporter tries an English take on a Japanese classic: Miso soup…with beef and kale

Miso soup: the quintessential Japanese food. The soup takes on a different form from region to region and in different households throughout Japan, but it wouldn’t be inaccurate to say that miso soup is the soul of Japanese cooking.

However, one of England’s top chefs recently published his own take on the soup. What kind of “neo-Japanese soup” could this possibly be!? Of course, our reporter just had to find out by making it herself–keep reading to see the results of her cooking after the jump.

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Bacon-fried Oreos make a greasily delicious appearance in Japanese kitchens

Where Japan has taken Kit Kats (originally an English treat) to a whole ‘nother level with seasonal flavors, regional flavors, even “adult sweetness” varieties, America has taken a similar road with another chocolate goody: Oreo cookies.

Intrigued by America’s fascination with Oreos, one Japanese cook took her chances at making a fantastically American concoction: Bacon Fried Oreos. But how does the Japanese palate react? Find out after the jump.

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Mochi hot cakes: The Japanese pancakes you don’t even need a rice cooker to make!

There’s a reason we say “selling like hotcakes”, and that reason is that hotcakes are awesome. These fluffy, light little circles of joy were sent to make snack time delightful and fill the world with rainbows and sunshine.

But if you’ve ever looked down at your little pancakes and thought “hey, this just isn’t Japanese enough for me!” then we have the answer for you. Mochi, Japan’s favourite rice cake, is said to make hot cakes even fluffier and even more awesome. But how do you add a solid, square block of mochi to a bowl of pancake mix anyway?

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Eat like a supermodel with Rola’s Apple and Avocado Dishes 【Recipe】

One of Japanese most popular TV personalities is Rola, a fashion model of mixed Bengali, Japanese, and Russian descent. If you live in Japan you’ve undoubtedly seen her on TV or billboard advertisements numerous times. But who knew she was also harboring delicious and easy recipes?

Not only are they stylish looking but Rola’s Apple Fried in Coconut Oil and Avocado Scrambled Egg Toast and surprisingly simple to make…so we did. But can we really trust a model when it comes to delectable home cooking?

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Make your best-tasting onigiri taste even better with this easy recipe! 【RocketKitchen】

Onigiri, or rice balls, are one of the easiest ways to dabble in Japanese cooking. It’s almost as easy to make homemade onigiri as it is to buy from a store. The popularity of the simple rice ball is so great, there is even a store that sells one from each of the 47 prefectures.

In the RocketKitchen, our aim is to show you the best way to make fabulous Japanese dishes right in your own home. This time, we’re going to share with you foolproof way to create the best-tasting onigiri you’ve ever made. Hope you’ve got some rice cooking–it’s time to level-up that onigiri!

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We follow Twitter recipe to cook “coffee rice”! 【RocketKitchen】

As many of our readers are undoubtedly aware, white rice is an essential part of the Japanese diet, a food that we Japanese treat with reverence. It so happens that we also enjoy various flavored rice dishes known as takikomi gohan, in which rice is cooked with different ingredients to give it a distinct taste. Some of the  common takikomi gohan flavors that we like to have include kuri gohan made with chestnut and  matsutake gohan made with matsutake mushrooms. But a particularly unique kind of flavored rice causing a buzz on the Japanese Internet has come to our attention recently, and as unconventional and unexpected as it sounded, we decided we had to cook and try it for ourselves. The ingredient used in this unusual flavored rice?  It’s something you would ordinarily never associate with rice: coffee!

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Ultimate TKG: We’ll never eat tamago kake gohan the old way again! 【Rocket Kitchen】

Tamago kake gohan (or TKG to the cool kids) is a wonderfully simple Japanese meal, made by beating an egg and then pouring it over cooked rice. And the staff in our Tokyo office are pretty big fans. Our writer Yoshio even goes so far as to say that eating tamago kake gohan is one of the little moments in life when he feels lucky to be Japanese.

So when we discovered this unconventional recipe for Ultimate TKG, we just knew we had to give it a try – and the results were even more ultimate than we imagined! Join us after the jump for a step-by-step guide. All you’ll need is a bowl of cooked rice, an egg, and a strong wrist.

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Feeling frosty? Why not add some chili to your hot chocolate for a spicy pick-me-up!

Here in Japan, there’s a ton of stuff you can use to warm yourself up against winter’s chill, including thermal undies, hot baths infused with ginger, and pocket warmers or kairo, which you can stick all over your body. But as well as applying heat to the outside, it’s also important to make sure you warm up your insides, and one way to do this is by consuming warming foodstuffs like hot soup and hot drinks.

This winter, the major craze is to slurp down a cup of hot chocolate with actual chili peppers floating in it! Check out these Twitter testimonials to find out what’s so great about this unusual beverage!

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We made world-famous French toast in our office, and so can you! 【RocketKitchen】

Have you heard of the Hotel Okura in Tokyo? It’s recognized as one of the top hotels in the world, often housing rich business travelers and foreign heads of state visiting Japan. Every U.S. president since Richard Nixon has stayed there, and even James Bond has been a guest!

But despite all that, the Hotel Okura is best known among us mortals as “the home of the most delicious French toast in the world.” It’s been praised by innumerable websites and reviews, turning the small, simple breakfast dish into a 1,840-yen (US$15.50) delicacy. With a price and reputation like that, you wouldn’t expect us to be able to make the exact same thing in our office kitchen. Right?

Well, we did. And so can you!

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