Good news for all those who live in Japan and suffer from pollen allergies! Scientists have genetically modified rice in an attempt to desensitize the body to that nasty Japanese cedar pollen that causes all of the sneezing, mask-wearing and eye-watering every spring. Just think, eating some of this special rice everyday could relieve you from all of your hay fever woes!
Nov 22, 2014
While out shopping the other day, I picked up a bag of prewashed rice. The grocery store was having a sale, so it was just as cheap as the unwashed kinds, and I figured, “Hey, there’s no advantage to having to rinse it myself is there?”
But as it turns out, the water left over after you wash the rice, called togijiru in Japanese, is actually pretty useful, as shown by these five ways you can reuse it instead of just dumping it down the sink.
Scott R Dixon
Nov 18, 2014
Preparing a delicious bowl of rice is an absolutely essential part of Japanese cuisine, and fortunately for most amateur cooks today’s modern rice cookers have made that task as simple as pressing as button.
While these handy machines can whip up a tasty bowl of rice with little to no effort, we wanted to try out a time-consuming cooking method we learned from the popular food-themed manga Oishinbo. In it, one of the main characters painstakingly examines and sorts each grain of rice to prepare what is described as “a taste you won’t forget in 15 years.” But is all that hard work worth it?
Nov 14, 2014
All of Japan was thrilled when traditional Japanese cuisine, or washoku in Japanese, became a registered UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage in December last year. And one thing that is for certain when it comes to Japanese food is that we Japanese love our rice with a passion. We have various brands and classes of rice, with differing flavors and prices depending on where it’s grown, much like what you might expect with fine wine, and we all have our favorites. It’s simply an irrefutable fact that rice holds a very central place in Japanese cuisine and in the hearts of the Japanese as well.
Yes, there’s nothing quite like the sensation of inhaling the scent of steaming hot freshly cooked rice when you open the rice cooker, and as fond as we are of rice, we were delighted to have the opportunity this week to attend a reception for foreign media titled “Celebrating Worldwide Recognition of Washoku and Rice“. And when we heard that it included being served a traditional Japanese meal by a master chef from a renowned Japanese restaurant and also a chance to try making some unique sushi rolls ourselves, we knew this was definitely a reception we couldn’t miss!
Oct 17, 2014
In Japan, almost every traditional meal is served with white rice. Sometimes, though, even Japanese diners find themselves craving something a little more flavorful, and when they do, they reach for a container of furikake (lit. “sprinkle over”) flakes to liven up their rice.
Dried fish like salmon or bonito are the most common kinds of furikake, but just like every region of Japan has its own special Kit-Kats, different parts of the country also have their own unique furikake, and today we’re taking a look at seven of the most tempting.
We’re suckers for a good rice cooker recipe and get even more excited when all you have to do is plop a few ingredients into the machine. So we were really happy when we found this super easy rice cooker recipe for “potato chip rice” from successful Japanese chef, Masahiro Kasahara, in his self-titled book, Masahiro Kasahara’s 30-minute Japanese Meals. With only three ingredients (four if you count the water), we were equally parts intrigued and wary as we set out to recreate his bizarre dish.
Onigiri are rice balls, and they’re basically the Japanese version of sandwiches. They’re a fast, convenient snack that you can eat without getting your hands messy, and they’ve been a staple of Japanese lunches since medieval times. But now there’s a hip new version that’s trying to take over from the long-established practice of molding the rice by hand.
Sep 25, 2014
Tokyo and Osaka are only about 2.5 hours away by bullet train, so perhaps you wouldn’t think they’d be that different. But while Kanto (Tokyo, Yokohama, Chiba) holds the image of a glittering metropolis, Kansai (Osaka, Kyoto, Nara) is full of the old, historical aspects of Japan. The most commonly cited difference is the dialects of the two regions. For example, dame in Kanto-ben is akan in Kansai-ben, both meaning something like “wrong, no good.”
So when Japanese people were polled about their food habits, it wasn’t so surprising that the two regions answered very differently.
Aug 23, 2014
In Japanese cuisine, one of the easiest dishes to prepare is ochazuke, or a bowl of rice mixed with tea. While you can spruce it up with things such as plum, salmon, or spicy cod roe, the rice and tea are really all you need.
But while almost all Japanese people enjoy an occasional ochazuke session, some foreigners find it a little unnatural to pour what’s generally a beverage over their food. The whole thing becomes even less attractive if you’re not a particularly big fan of the Japanese green tea that’s normally used.
So if you’re interested in gradually easing yourself into ochazuke, maybe you’d prefer to start with a less astringent beverage, like cola.
Jul 29, 2014
Food always seems to taste better right after getting in some exercise. Unfortunately, sometimes a long workout leaves you feeling starving and exhausted, which is a problem when you then have to go foraging for food after you leave the gym.
While I still haven’t found a gym that’ll reward you with a protein-packed steak for breaking your bench press max, or a pool that’ll hook you up with some sashimi after 1,000 meters of backstroke, there actually is a town in Japan that’ll give you a sack of rice for completing a 5K run. The only catch is, you’ve got to carry it with you during the race.
Jul 18, 2014
For most of the year, the tiny town of Inakadate in Aomori Prefecture doesn’t get a lot of visitors. With only some 8,000 residents, most of whom make their living through agriculture, there’s not much to do there, unless you feel like staring at the farmers’ fields.
Every summer, though, droves of visitors come to do just that, as Inakadate’s rice paddies transform into gigantic works of art. And this year is no exception.
Scott R Dixon
May 19, 2014
Ehime Prefecture on the western coast of Shikoku is known all through Japan for its tasty mikan, or satsuma oranges. Although the fruit is delicious enough on its own, the people of Ehime love to think up new ways to enjoy the fresh taste of a local orange. In the past, we have seen funny-shaped oranges and even citrus-flavored fish, but now there’s a new way to get some vitamin C in your life: orange-flavored rice balls.
We dropped by a shop near the hot springs that inspired Hayao Miyazaki’s Spirited Away which sells the rice balls. But these little delicacies are only available for a limited time, so click below to find out more about this surprisingly delicious culinary creation!
【Thursday Throwback】We Make Oreo Rice to Celebrate Oreo’s 100th Birthday, “Tastes Like Tiramisu in Risotto Form”
Michelle Lynn Dinh
Nov 29, 2013
“America’s Favorite Cookie,” Oreo, is celebrating its 100th birthday this year and while the cookie may not be as popular in Japan as it is in its homeland, we here at RocketNews24 wanted to contribute to the festivities in a way that could represent the Japanese people’s love for Oreo.
As long-time readers may know, we enjoy experimenting with original recipes, and it wasn’t long before it struck us: what better way for us to honor “America’s Favorite Cookie” than by wedding it with Japan’s favorite food: rice.
Ladies and gentlemen, we are proud to bring you Oreo Rice!
Oct 15, 2013
Where their younger counterparts may have fallen by the wayside, a senior pop group from Niigata, Japan, is going strong. Their new song, ‘Rice-Colored Unrequited Love’, expresses their fierce love for the famed Koshihikari rice of Niigata Prefecture. In particular, the rice from Uonuma in Niigata is so delicious and sought-after, it usually fetches the highest prices in Japan, so it’s not surprising that the locals are passionate about it. But the Rice Girls take it a step further. In fact, they sing that ‘rice is better than love‘!
Well, love is patient. Love is a battlefield. Love is blindness. (According to Google Predictive Search.) Rice? Rice is nice!
Sep 7, 2013
One of our reporters recently drew the enviable assignment of visiting this year’s Nippon no Umai, an annual event sponsored by Kirin that brings the best of Japan’s regional delicacies together under one roof. With so many tasty options on display, those of us not lucky enough to attend the tasting session, held at the super swanky Imperial Hotel in Tokyo, would have to settle for living vicariously through our correspondent’s report after he returned.
We were a little underwhelmed when we asked what he’d eaten, and his answer was “white rice with salt!” but we soon came to understand why he was looking quite so content.
Ah, election season in Japan! While for other countries this might mean a deluge of angry black-and-white TV commercials, in Japan it mostly means street-side speeches.
Last week, Prime Minister Abe swung by Fukushima City in Fukushima Prefecture to support local candidate Masako Mori, who’s the current minister of the Consumer Affairs Agency. And what did he talk about?
How great Fukushima-produced food is, of course!
Something every guidebook mentions about table manners in Japan is that, while almost every restaurant and home keeps a bottle of soy sauce on the table, it’s there to add to things like sashimi and grated radish, and not to be poured on white rice.
This isn’t to say that people in Japan always eat their rice plain, though. A recent Internet popularity poll pitted four of the country’s top rice toppings against each other in a battle royale.
May 5, 2013
Say ‘sushi’ and you automatically think ‘Japan’. But a recent taste test by the experts suggests that the perfect sushi may not be 100 percent Japanese. Read More
Michelle Lynn Dinh
Feb 3, 2013
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 weekend for a new post or read more on her website here!
When I went on a camping trip last summer with the junior high students that I regularly teach, there were many things that surprised me. For example, we lit fireworks (sometimes firing them at each other), took a night walk to a creepy overgrown shrine, and stabbed snails at the bottom of the sea.
But the thing that caught my interest the most was the way they cooked rice while camping.
Oct 23, 2012
Despite it being the backbone of the country’s agricultural industry, rice consumption in Japan is on the decline.
While favourites like sushi and donburi continue to be enjoyed, increasingly few young Japanese sit down to a bowl of rice with their meal compared to even ten years ago, with more and more people are choosing bread and pasta instead, citing their convenience and “cooler” image.
In the past, both morning and evening meals in Japan were comprised of rice, a bowl of miso soup and fish, meat or vegetables. Lunch, too, often included rice or onigiri rice-balls. While the nation still continues to eat vast amounts of the stuff, and we’re in no danger of losing cute and creative bento packed lunches any time soon, it has been revealed that Japan now consumes more bread than it does rice, and that rice farming is in trouble.
In an effort to keep its rice industry alive, however, Japan Agriculture, along with a host of rice producers, have struck upon an idea that’s proving to be a big hit and putting a little cool back into the nations staple food.
Introducing: The Moé Rice Revolution!!!
- Do clothes make the man or the man make the clothes? Japanese Twitter user tries to find out1
- Forget shuriken: 10 stealthy and dangerous ninja tools you didn’t know existed2
- From San-X to Attack on Titan, yummy cake rolls take over Bean-Throwing Festival’s sushi custom3
- Friends too busy to go to the Pokémon Cafe? No problem! Pikachu himself will sit with you4
- First Kit Kat Chocolatery shop with cafe opens in Kyoto! New Chocolatery items released too5
- Fushigi Yugi stage adaptation gets cast and schedule as Mysterious Play becomes a real one6
- Japanese wasp-filled crackers: Their sting is far worse than a bite7
- New magnetic “slate” lets you write on actual paper, digitize your drawings in real-time8
- A visit to Sushi Dai, Japan’s best sushi restaurant according to world travelers9
- Flaptter flying machine from Ghibli’s Castle in the Sky brought to life!10
- Nobel Prize-winner Shuji Nakamura to Japan’s young people: “Get out of Japan”1
- No more photo retouches! New makeup for cosplayers claims to create photo-perfect skin2
- The cat hairband, for when cat ears just aren’t enough3
- New magnetic “slate” lets you write on actual paper, digitize your drawings in real-time4
- Cross-dressing Cosplay Idol Group a Huge Hit in China5
- Cross-dressing talent Matsuko Deluxe: AKB opening the Tokyo Olympics “would embarrass Japan”6
- Chinese netizens left reeling after father of slain Japanese hostage apologizes to the public7
- Attack on Titan’s Universal Studios Japan attraction opens8
- Fushigi Yugi stage adaptation gets cast and schedule as Mysterious Play becomes a real one9
- Side-boob Shirt is the useless evolution of last year’s Boob Turtleneck10
- Nobel Prize-winner Shuji Nakamura to Japan’s young people: “Get out of Japan”1
- Kyoto taxi drivers reduce convenience store robberies by 50 percent by doing absolutely nothing2
- Cosplay ideals vs. cosplay reality, a.k.a. cool vs. funny 【Photos】3
- Internet ready to shut up and take your money as preorders finally start for Cat Ear Headphones4
- Edo era Samurai were pretty gay5
- Ugly-cute makeup genius feeds off negative troll comments on Twitter6
- New magnetic “slate” lets you write on actual paper, digitize your drawings in real-time7
- Teacher draws over students’ doodles to make red pen masterpieces8
- Photos of people lining up outside of the Sapporo Apple Store make us feel positively frozen9
- Netizens hatch adorable baby birds from supermarket eggs, provide evidence10
- Hayao Miyazaki working on new project, says “I’m going to continue making anime until I die”1
- Self-taught Singaporean artist creates unbelievably realistic art on plywood2
- Buyers’ remorse in China: After a record-breaking day of online shopping, the angry selfies begin3
- 1,200 Japanese workers convert above-ground train to subway line in a matter of hours4
- Tiny town in northern Japan creates gorgeous, gigantic artwork out of rice paddies 【Video】5
- Japanese high school holds annual contest to decide the prettiest “girl” in school6
- Nobel Prize-winner Shuji Nakamura to Japan’s young people: “Get out of Japan”7
- Kyoto taxi drivers reduce convenience store robberies by 50 percent by doing absolutely nothing8
- Sorry guys! Video of “sexy ice cream girl” in Taipei only delivers on half its milky promises9
- Oysters’ amazing cleaning skills shock Japanese netizens who question their shellfish habit10
- Fushigi Yugi stage adaptation gets cast and schedule as Mysterious Play becomes a real one
- Japanese wasp-filled crackers: Their sting is far worse than a bite
- New magnetic “slate” lets you write on actual paper, digitize your drawings in real-time
- A visit to Sushi Dai, Japan’s best sushi restaurant according to world travelers
- Flaptter flying machine from Ghibli’s Castle in the Sky brought to life!
- Is Japan’s “Daughter in a box” a myth?【Myth-Busters Series】
- This ‘Rock Climbing’ ramen will make a man out of you!
- Ninja-cats are hiding in homes around the world and we have 20 photos to prove it
- Steam Garden: Tokyo’s steampunk festival might be better than a Victorian time machine
- The cat hairband, for when cat ears just aren’t enough
- We try the new 1,500-yen Kobe beef burger from Lotteria 【Taste Test】
- Side-boob Shirt is the useless evolution of last year’s Boob Turtleneck
- Traditional wood-carved guitars prove Japan is the most metal