sushi

Tofu sushi? Our writer samples an unusual Dutch take on a Japanese classic

When one country’s cuisine finds its way overseas, things are often lost in translation, either due to the limited availability of certain ingredients or because of differences in local tastes. Japan is just as guilty as any country for offering “foreign” foods that would never be found in the countries they originated from, but Japanese food has not escaped the same type of butchering, as the likes of sushi and ramen gain popularity around the world.

Just as any American is likely to be surprised by some of the things Denny’s and McDonald’s in Japan have on offer, one of RocketNews24’s Japanese writers got a bit of a surprise when he checked the menu at a sushi restaurant in the Netherlands.

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We visit a reasonably-priced sushi shop so good you’ll forget all about that “Jiro” guy

With a whole documentary devoted to him and a coveted place in the Michelin Guide, the (reportedly) rather ornery owner of renowned sushi shop Sushi Jiro has ruled the sushi world with a nori-wrapped fist for some time now. Jiro’s tiny shop, located in an underground mall in Ginza, commands about US$300 per 30-minute “omakase” meal and reservations need to be made months in advance – which is a pretty huge investment for a meal.

That daunting investment seems downright silly, though, when you realize that you can get incredible, world-class sushi in your maw for around a third of the cost just down the road!

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Creatively designed sushi roll towels give daily life a little extra flavor

When made properly, sushi rolls can be a pretty colorful and nicely designed food. There’s the white of the rice contrasting with the black/dark green of the seaweed, and then there are the colorful main ingredients, such as bright-orange ikura, green cucumber, yellow egg, and deep-red tuna. Maybe it’s this presentation that has drawn many companies to make products modeled after everyone’s favorite raw fish roll.

In the past year, a couple of brands have come out with incredibly cute and creative sushi roll towels. Unfolded, they look just like interestingly patterned towels, but bundled up, they turn into sushi rolls that look so delicious you’ll want to take a bite!

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The madness ends now: How to conqueror impossible-to-open Japanese convenience store snacks

Oh Japanese convenience stores. Those bright, white-glowing oases that have everything you could ever possibly need inside of them, all wrapped up with a pair of chopsticks and a warm smile from the clerk.

Except for when you want an onigiri (rice ball) or sushi roll. Anyone who buys one of the items pictured above typically finds themselves suddenly engaged in a battle of wits matching human against plastic wrap. And the plastic wrap usually wins, resulting in a mess of rice, seaweed and tears of frustration.

But fear not! We here at RocketNews24 are here to help with step-by-step instructions so you will never lose to another conbini snack again.

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Wasabi and sashimi bagels on sale now in Japan! We buy some and invent the Japanese dip sandwich

I’ve never been much of a bagel fan. It’s got nothing to do with a dislike of carbs, as I’ll happily chow down on sandwiches, rice bowls, and noodles. Bagels, though, have always struck me as sort of bland.

Sure, I realize there are ways to make bagels more flavorful, but a lot of the most common additions, like berries or cream cheese, don’t really do much for me. But when I found out that one of Japan’s most popular bagel chains was adding a kick to their offerings with a wasabi bagel, my interest was piqued. Then, when I learned that they also offered a bagel sandwich with tuna sashimi, my next meal was planned.

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Continuing our tour of the best sushi in Tokyo’s Tsukiji Fish Market with Mr. Sato! (Part 2)

After the first part of our Mr. Sato-lead tour of Tokyo’s Tsukiji fish market, we’re sure a lot of our readers are excited to see what else our resident gourmand had for us. And now the wait is over! Here are the last four sushi establishments as visited by Mr. Sato and his daring accomplice in raw fish consumption Nakano.

Whether you’re preparing for your first trip to Tokyo or just looking for some great places you might have missed, this is one article you’ll definitely want to read!

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New sushi snowglobe looks good enough to eat…minus the sparkles

Ikura gunkan-maki has always looked like a jewel-encrusted circle of seaweed to me. The beautiful, almost neon-orange spheres look so inviting as they sit glistening atop their bed of rice. But as dazzling as this traditional fare is, whenever I actually eat ikura gunkan-maki, I’m never able to get past the sensation of dozens of salmon eggs popping as I chewed. That’s why I’m very much excited for these sushi snow globes that afford an endless view of this deceptive dish.

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Let’s take a tour of the best sushi in Tokyo’s Tsukiji Fish Market with Mr. Sato! (Part 1)

Obviously, if you love sushi, Tokyo is probably your number one foodie vacation destination, but Tokyo is a big place! There are plenty of excellent sushi restaurants–and plenty of great ones at that. But for seriously fresh sushi, there might be no better place than right off the boat.

And if you want sushi right off the boat, you’ll want to head to Tsukiji-shijo, also known as Tsukiji Fish Market, the “biggest wholesale fish and seafood market in the world.” While that might sound a bit daunting, worry not! Today, we’re going to visit four Tsukiji-shijo sushi restaurants with none other than our very own Mr. Sato!

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Tokyo University campus has its own sushi restaurant where great dining meets higher education

No matter how scholastically talented you are, it’s hard to concentrate on an empty stomach. Even the bright minds at Tokyo University, Japan’s most prestigious institute of higher learning, need to take a break from studying and grab some chow now and again.

Of course, it’s hard to give yourself a mental recharge eating bland cafeteria food. Thankfully, that’s not a concern for the students of Tokyo University’s Kashiwa Campus, who’re lucky enough to have an amazing sushi restaurant right on the school grounds.

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Meet the girl who’s wrapped up in dreams of sushi

If you’ve been captivated by a bizarre breed of sushi cats or fallen in love with a cup-clinging girl called Fuchiko, chances are you’ll soon be swooning over a young lady who likes to hang out inside pieces of sushi.

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A visit to Sushi Dai, Japan’s best sushi restaurant according to world travelers

A portion of Tokyo’s world-famous Tsukiji Fish Market is expected to move to the Toyosu neighborhood in 2016. While part of the retail market and many restaurants will be sticking around, the upcoming relocation of the wholesale operations makes 2015 the last full year to enjoy Tsukiji as the absolute center of the sushi world.

In other words, if you’re looking to make a trip to the area to see it at its peak, now’s the time. And while there’s always something to be said for discovering a largely unknown restaurant with delicious food, on our Japanese-language correspondent Nakano’s visit to Tsukiji, he decided to dine at what travelers have voted the best sushi restaurant in Japan, Sushi Dai.

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Insanely cute sushi gifts now available for Japanese travelers to buy for their foreign friends

You know the feeling: you’re a busy Japanese salaryman going on a business trip overseas, waiting for your international flight at Narita Airport, when suddenly you realize that you forgot to buy a present to take to the foreigners you’re going to visit.

Thankfully, now there’s a solution to that problem: sushi t-shirts.

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Want more fish in your sushi roll? Japanese restaurant will give you a Whole Sardine Roll

Even if you don’t speak Japanese, if you’re a sushi lover, you’ve probably heard some of the language’s fish-based vocabulary. Maguro is pretty readily understood as “tuna” among foodies with a palate for Japanese cuisine, and many people who can’t put together a complete sentence in Japanese still know that uni is sea urchin, for example.

Not as many non-Japanese speaking diners are as familiar with the word iwashi, or sardine, though. Although sardine sushi isn’t unheard of, it definitely trails in popularity behind less fishy-tasting fare, and its relatively low price and humble image mean it doesn’t have the same level of pizazz as a seaweed-wrapped pile of ikura (salmon roe) or a glistening cut of otoro (extra fatty tuna belly).

Visual impact isn’t a problem, though, for one Japanese restaurant chain’s latest creation: the Whole Sardine Sushi Roll.

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Cosplay as wacky Japanese comedy duo, get free sushi and yakiniku for all your friends!

Do you like a good laugh, free stuff, and also stuffing your face with sushi and yakiniku? Then you might be interested in this new promotional campaign that’s going on in Japan right now!

Stamina Taro, an all-you-can-eat sushi and yakiniku chain in Japan, has enlisted the help of female comedy duo Nippon Elekitel Rengo to help drum up extra business over the New Year period. All you have to do to score majorly discounted or even FREE sushi and grilled meat is dress up like one, or both, of these super-funny ladies.

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“Sushi Chic” is the new style trend we could really sink our teeth into

When your average Westerner thinks of Japan, what’s most likely to spring to the forefront of their minds? We’re betting that sushi, samurai, anime and geisha are up there in the top ten, with sushi being the best-known incarnation of Japanese food abroad. But it seems that stylish overseas consumers aren’t satisfied with simply eating their sushi – they want to wear it on their bodies, too, so everyone can see how cool and cutting-edge they really are. Join us as we take a look at some of the weird and wonderful sushi fashion items available for purchase right now.

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5 common misconceptions most westerners have about Japanese food

These days, Japanese food is pretty widely consumed in the west, even if sometimes the original taste gets slightly lost in translation. In general, though, even non-Japanophiles can be found enjoying a range of Japanese food, whether at home or out for dinner with friends. Sushi is no longer shocking, and  “comfort foods” such as okonomiyaki, ramen, and yakiniku can all be enjoyed overseas. But did you know that apparently we’re still making five major mistakes when it comes to Japanese cuisine? Read on to find out if you’re a major offender who doesn’t know their ikura from their elbow!

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Funky food-themed swaddling cloths let you wrap your baby up like sushi, egg rolls, or tortillas

It always seems a little strange when someone looks at a really cute baby and squeals, “He’s so cute I could just eat him up!” I agree, most babies are pretty adorable, and if you said, “He’s so cute I could take on the social responsibility of providing food, clothing, and shelter for him,” or maybe “He’s so cute I could put up with his moody teen years,” I’d probably be right with you.

But eating him? Why would your mind go there? Unless, of course, the baby is wrapped in a sushi roll-style swaddling cloth.

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Our Japanese reporter visits an American sushi restaurant in Japan

In this era of increasing globalization we see more and more cases of foods jumping across cultural boundaries and changing in the process. Japan is no different with foods like pizza topped with scallops, curry which tastes sweet as pudding, and ramen burgers.

And of course this culinary door swings both ways such as the United States’ take on sushi in creations like the California roll. However, now we are seeing an interesting twist in the migration of sushi with New Port Sushi located in Okinawa. Here American style sushi can be enjoyed in Japan. After our reporter Nakano was finished vomiting up his glass of root beer, we sent him in to check it out.

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Spritz soy on your sushi with handy and delicious Sushi Spray

When eating sushi, it’s customary to dip each morsel into a small dish of soy sauce before popping it into your mouth. True connoisseurs hold that the proper way to do this is to first turn each piece over so that just the fish, and not the rice, comes into contact with the soy.

However, gripping the piece firmly enough to pick it up, yet gently as to not crush the rice, rotating it 180 degrees for the dip, then spinning it back again to eat can be tricky, especially if you’re not used to chopsticks (or if you’re not used to the sake you’ve paired with your sushi). So if you’ve got a cultured palate but lack manual dexterity, this special sushi soy sauce spray is seemingly the solution.

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An American in Paradise: Shabu-shabu and sushi buffet in Yokohama

As the weather gets chillier, shabu-shabu becomes an ideal dinner. Think delicately thin slices of meat cooked to your liking in a bubbling broth, then dipped in your favorite sauce and delivered direct to your tummy. What could possibly be better than a satisfying meal of all-you-can-eat shabu-shabu, you might wonder? Well, we hit jackpot when we found this restaurant in Yokohama which serves all-you-can-eat shabu-shabu and sushi, all for a low, low price of 1,799 yen (US$16).

In the spirit of gourmet discovery, we wasted no time in bringing along our Japanese-food-loving American friend Ike for some face-stuffing.

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