Do you feel like Japanese or Mexican tonight? Let’s do both!
If green tea, Japan’s favorite traditional drink, can make desserts better, why not its most important seasoning, too…right? Right?!?
Whip up a homemade face pack with this Korean recipe that only requires two common ingredients you’ll find in many Asian kitchens: seaweed and milk.
Lunch-making parents in Japan have long been infusing their midday meals with fun characters designed to please the eye along with the taste buds. A common ingredient used for detail and decoration is the humble dried seaweed sheet called nori. The dark color makes it perfect for creating lines and patterns, and since it comes in a flat sheet you can cut out some fairly detailed shapes with a knife. If you quickly browse through some amazing character bento we’ve shared with you before, you’ll see the important role that seaweed plays in their design.
However, it’s not only good in a supporting role; world-renowned seaweed shop Kozen wants to elevate it to a star in the art world! Forget all the other ingredients you might find in a bento, “Nori Art” is all you need to turn your next meal into an unforgettable feast.
Vegetarians traveling to Japan may find it difficult to find food that fits their dietary lifestyle. Fish seems to be in everything including the soup stock used to make miso soup. To make matters worse, many foods in convenience stores, bakeries or even Starbucks have misleading labels, and that “vegetable sandwich,” or “vegetable pizza” may actually have meat in it too! You can order foods like okonomiyaki or monjayaki with no meat, but you still can’t be sure it won’t come with shredded fish flakes on top that there isn’t fish lurking in the dashi-based sauces.
I always recommend to my vegetarian friends that rather than asking Japanese restaurants to make something special for them, it’s better to just order food that doesn’t have fish or meat (or dairy) in it from the beginning. Fish has always been a staple in the Japanese diet, but the eating of wild and domestic game was banned for over 1,200 years in Japan, and Buddhist tradition gave rise to a special vegetarian cuisine called shojin ryori. Even now, the traditional Buddhist meal called ozen (rice, miso soup, pickles, boiled/simmered vegetables and beans), is still served at funerals in Japan.
So traditionally, there is a lot of vegetarian food in the Japanese diet. You just have to discover it. And RocketNews24 is here to help! In this article we’ll introduce you to common Japanese dishes that can be ordered at almost any Japanese restaurant that have no meat, fish or animal products in them, so, let’s jump into Japanese vegetarianism 101.
What comes to your mind when you hear the word seaweed? Some of you may think of the black sheet of nori used to wrap sushi rolls and onigiri rice balls. But that’s seaweed processed into just one particular form, and there are many other ways seaweed is used in Japanese cooking — in soup to obtain stock, for example, or stewing with a variety of vegetables and meat or seafood a slightly sweet soy-sauce based sauce.
As widely used as it is in Japanese cuisine, however, one thing you wouldn’t really expect from seaweed is for it to add “cuteness” to the food; they’re mostly dark green or brownish plants that grow in the sea, after all. Well, you might want to think again, because it turns out we’ve discovered a creative seaweed product that can add tons of cute and fun to your dish. Yes, it’s cat-shaped seaweed, and the best part is, you can get it delivered to your home each month in dried form!
At first glance these might look like some kind of plastic toy, building blocks or a pile of random puzzle pieces, but what you see before you are multi-layered nori (seaweed or laver sheets) and cheese slices, and they’re are making the rounds on Twitter.
According to beer nuts, these savoury little morsels are the perfect accompaniment to beer or wine.
Advertising is a big part of any business. In order to sell your product, you have to make it look appealing to customers in order to tempt them into making a purchase, and thinking of new, creative ways to advertise your goods can get pretty tricky.
However, we’re quite torn over whether this Seaweed Man – discovered at a grocery store in China – is a stroke of advertising genius, or just a creepy, half-assed attempt at it.
As you may have noticed, Japan has pretty much mastered the art of sprucing up food. We’ve already seen a plethora of tools to create bear-shaped rice or smiley face sausages, but we’re particularly excited about a certain product we just discovered up north in Hokkaido. They’re called “message kombu” and the heartfelt messages made out of seaweed are sure to put a smile on anyone’s face.
There’s still some time until Christmas, but it’s never too early to start thinking of gift ideas. Seeing as the youth of today is the future of humanity, you’ll want to get something equal parts fun and educational for those developing minds.
So just image the thrilled look on their face when your favorite youngster pulls (and pulls) a three-meter (10ft) fuzzy green strip out of a box! Granted some children might freak out initially thinking it’s a giant tapeworm, but after they calm down you can explain that it’s actually not a parasite but a giant strip of delicious algae!
If you’re a fan of obento, those delicious looking home-made Japanese lunches full of colour and variety, then you’re going to love this product from Japan: edible cupcake wrappers made from seaweed.
Traditionally, these little wrappers are made from paper or plastic and while they’re great for keeping flavours separate in your lunch box, the daily waste involved isn’t really that great for the environment. Now with this edible variety on the market, you can look forward to taking home an empty lunch box at the end of the day and rest easy knowing you’ve left nature unharmed. Plus, if this idea spills over to the cupcake world, it looks like we could soon be having our cake and eating its wrapper too!
Ask a Westerner what their favorite Japanese food is and there’s a high chance that the answer will be sushi. The widespread popularity of the delicately crafted delicacy has made it almost synonymous with the word “Japan”, even though there now exist dozens of different varieties made by people from all over the world.
Many of you reading this will have had sushi, some of you might even love it more than your mom’s cooking, but even so, that doesn’t guarantee that you have the guts for sushi. We’re not talking about the courage needed to put raw fish in your mouth, but rather, the genes required to properly digest seaweed.
Confused? Here’s the science behind it.
Design NORI, squares of seaweed (nori in Japanese) carefully crafted into intricate and beautiful designs, have been gaining attention both in Japan and overseas. Currently featured in KATAGAMI STYLE, a 19th century Japanese stencil artwork exhibition being held at the Mitsubishi Ichigokan Museum in Tokyo until May 27, they’re going for 840 yen (10 USD) a piece and are currently sold out, the museum unable to keep up with a flood of inquiries.
How did this ‘designer seaweed’ come into being? We visited the Umino Seaweed Shop in Ibaraki Prefecture and spoke with creator Umino Hiroyuki (32) to find out.