sushi

We try Wazen, Suntory’s new beer specially designed to drink with Japanese food

We try Wazen, Suntory’s new beer specially designed to drink with Japanese food

Eating and drinking are two of our favorite necessary life functions, since they’re both so much more fun than sleeping and breathing. So when we heard, back in January, about a new beer from Suntory that’s specially designed to go well with Japanese food, our three months of anxious waiting until it was scheduled to go on sale started right away.

Well, spring is finally here, and we’ve just recently experienced the joys of stepping outside without an overcoat and admiring the cherry blossoms, so now it’s time for the last item on our checklist of vernal pleasures, as we sample a can of Suntory’s new Japan-centric brew, the all-malt Wazen.

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We try pork nigiri sushi at a ramen shop in Tokyo

We try pork nigiri sushi at a ramen shop in Tokyo

Tokyo Ramen Marion, a small ramen shop in the Kita Ward of Tokyo, has a menu item that outshines its namesake dish. That item is the chashu pork nigiri sushi, made to resemble the sushi that is almost always made with fish. Our reporter took a trip out to see what this unusual food was all about and came back with a full belly and a completely new view of Japan’s most famous dish.

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Restaurant in Asakusa offers up itty-bitty sushi made with just a single grain of rice!

Restaurant in Asakusa offers up itty-bitty sushi made with just a single grain of rice!

Restaurant “Sushiya no Hachi” (すし屋の野八) in Asakusa, Tokyo is serving up some really tiny sushi. So tiny, in fact, that you might not even be able to find it on your plate!

Sushi chef Hironori Ikeno is the man behind these minuscule works of art. He has perfected his craft to the point that he can make each piece using only one grain of rice. Don’t believe your eyes? Don’t worry- you’re not the only one who needs a magnifying glass!

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Stingy people rejoice as Japanese restaurants in New York introduce a ban on tipping

Stingy people rejoice as Japanese restaurants in New York introduce a ban on tipping

Please can I give you a tip? In America, we have this custom, you know. I have to tip the pizza guy. And you came all the way out here in this weather…”

The rain-drenched delivery man on the doorstep of the Japanese apartment looked mildly embarrassed as he waved away my friend’s money. It was a typhoon day – classes cancelled, school closed, and the English teachers from my school had piled into one apartment for a party. Not wanting to brave the lashing wind and rain to go out and get food, we had ordered pizza, but hadn’t counted on the guilt we would feel when the delivery guy turned up on a moped looking like he’d just jumped into a swimming pool fully clothed.

In Japan, there’s no custom of tipping. In fact, leaving a tip could potentially be considered rude, as the cost of the service is already supposed to be included in the price you pay. My American buddy’s attempt to follow his home custom in Japan ended in the delivery driver apologising profusely for not accepting the tip! In New York City, meanwhile, Japanese restaurants are bringing the no-tipping custom Stateside, as Restaurant Riki becomes the latest Manhattan establishment to ban their customers from tipping.

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Home sushi train kit commercial is cheesy/awesome

Home sushi train kit commercial is cheesy/awesome

A couple of weeks ago, we brought you news that Japanese toy maker Takara Tomy Arts had just released a revolving sushi kit for home use, which comes complete with miniature sushi train and sushi making tools. Aimed primarily at kids it looked like tremendous fun, but having seen the promotional video for the product we’d like to take this opportunity to upgrade the product’s status in our estimations from “tremendous fun” to the more scientifically accurate “OMFGWANT!”.

Full video after the jump.

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21 photos of Sukiyabashi Jiro sushi, probably the best in all the world

21 photos of Sukiyabashi Jiro sushi, probably the best in all the world

Cooking, like any art, requires an incredible amount of skill, dedication, creativity, and perhaps most important of all, technique. So, you would think that when it comes to a niche style like sushi, the competition for “best in the world” would be the very definition of intense. But it turns out that for most sushi connoisseurs, the answer is simple: Jiro Ono, owner and sushi master of Sukiyabashi Jiro.

With an entire documentary dedicated to the now 89-year-old sushi master, he’s become well-known throughout the world for his legendary cuisine–but not many of us will ever have the chance to try his perfectly prepared delicacies ourselves. While it’s not quite the same, we’ve found the next best thing: Close up photos of his creations waiting to be devoured! Just try not to lick your screen, okay?

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Tokyo restaurant says its lunch set has too much sashimi, as if such a thing were possible

Tokyo restaurant says its lunch set has too much sashimi, as if such a thing were possible

One of the biggest restaurant trends in Japan over the last two decades has been a steady erosion of the image that delicious food equals high prices, and vice-versa. These days, there are some real bargains to be found for those willing to do a little searching, particularly at lunch.

The afternoon dining market has gotten so competitive that often you can get an amazing meal plus change for the 1,000-yen bill you use to pay for it, which is exactly what you get with this gigantic tuna sashimi bowl.

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Bizarre deep-sea shrimp or delicious sushi? Japanese netizens weigh in

Bizarre deep-sea shrimp or delicious sushi? Japanese netizens weigh in

Strange, almost otherwordly creatures have been discovered in the depths of the world’s oceans. But none have ever made someone immediately scream, “I wanna eat it!” That is until now.

Currently the topic of discussion on forums across Japan, this deep-sea shrimp-like crustacean seems to remind many netizens of nigiri sushi.

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Revolving sushi comes to, and around and around, your house with this home-use set

Revolving sushi comes to, and around and around, your house with this home-use set

For me, one of the darkest days of 2013 was when the revolving sushi restaurant near my apartment closed down. Sure, I could always hop on the train and ride to another neighborhood for my fix, but that’s small comfort for those times when I want a selection of delicious raw fish and vinegared rice parading past me right now.

On that day, building a revolving sushi experience of my own replaced “supermodel grotto” and “garage filled with classic Mazda sports cars” as my eccentric millionaire daydream. But it turns out I actually don’t need such a hefty bank balance to fulfill this ambition, thanks to this sweet home-use revolving sushi set.

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Hong Kong sushi parlor’s creations so wrong they might be brilliant

Hong Kong sushi parlor’s creations so wrong they might be brilliant

At serious sushi chains in Japan, you can usually order sushi pieces one by one off of a menu at your seat, or put your fate in the hands of the chef by asking for the omakase course. Sushi purists know that omakase basically translates as “leave it to you” and that’s exactly what you’re doing when you order omakase; you’re giving the chef free license to make whatever creations he’d like.

It appears there’s one sushi shop in Hong Kong, though, where omakase might not be such a good idea: Akimasa Sushi features a variety of sushi options so bizarre, strange and downright disturbing that ordering omakase is like looking into the eyes of the cosmic entity Cthulhu him/her/itself.

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Struggling to prep the perfect rice for sushi? We have the answer!

Struggling to prep the perfect rice for sushi? We have the answer!

When it comes to making sushi, you obviously need some good fish, unless you’re happy with kappamaki and cucumber, we suppose. But there’s one other ingredient that you’re not going to want to forget: Rice!

If you prefer to stick with rolls, getting the rice just right isn’t quite so important, but when it comes to nigiri-zushi, or hand-pressed sushi, it’s essential. Since there’s no seaweed there to hold everything together, it’s easy for your tasty dish to literally fall apart on your plate. If you’re looking for some good chopstick practice, you could try picking up the individual rice one by one, but for the rest of us, there’s a new tool on the market to help perfect your rice shaping: The “Hayawaza! Nigirizushi Tongu”!

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Seven reasons to eat sushi (other than because it tastes great)

Seven reasons to eat sushi (other than because it tastes great)

Sushi already has a lot going for it. It’s tasty, one of the quickest, most easily accessible contact points for Japanese culture, and with its extensive use of raw fish, a boon for those who can’t cook anything without burning it.

Even better, almost every ingredient that goes into or is traditionally eaten alongside sushi is bursting with health benefits, right down to the cup of green tea of green tea that generally caps off the meal.

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How to eat sushi like a sensei 【Video】

How to eat sushi like a sensei 【Video】

Our hungry friends over at Foodbeast have just unleashed a great new how-to video that outlines a number of errors both Japanese and non-Japanese alike often make when eating sushi. Not only that, but it teaches us the correct way to eat the stuff, introducing one piece of dining etiquette in particular that even regular sushi eaters often forget. Be sure to check this one out!

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【Thursday Throwback】When Two Amazing Worlds Collide: Welcome to the World of Cat Sushi!

【Thursday Throwback】When Two Amazing Worlds Collide: Welcome to the World of Cat Sushi!

There’s a new breed of sushi in town, and it’s called nekozushi (cat sushi). These unusual creatures live in an alternate reality, travelling between worlds on colourful sushi train plates, stopping to stare at passers-by for just long enough to get them thinking, “Did I really see that?” before zooming off again. Rare sightings have been reported over the years but no-one’s ever been able to really prove the existence of a sushi cat. Until now.

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Zuuushiiihokkiii is coming! And his copyrights are as loose as his retinae

Zuuushiiihokkiii is coming! And his copyrights are as loose as his retinae

Last November, residents of Hokuto City in Hokkaido elected Zuuushiiihokkiii, the somewhat malformed anthropomorphic piece of surf clam sushi. His limited motor skills and cries of “Hokihokihokihokiii!” seemed to have plucked a particular heart-string among the locals.

Even beyond the northern city, this ball of rice and clam is shaping up to be Japan’s breakout yurukyara (regional mascot) of 2014. While development on the official Zuuushiiihokkiii costume is still underway, some exciting news has emerged from the new mascot’s PR team.

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The top 10 Japanese restaurants outside of Japan

The top 10 Japanese restaurants outside of Japan

Last month, the outspoken Japanese blogger Madame Riri gave us all a lesson in how to tell whether or not a restaurant abroad serves authentic Japanese food. But let’s be honest, it takes more than tradition to make a dish delicious, and there’s something to be said for adjusting the menu to match local preferences. We’ve certainly experienced this phenomenon in the wide world of sushi!

And so, to celebrate the creation of successful Japanese eateries across the globe, here are the top 10 restaurants that serve Japanese food in foreign countries!

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Fresh sushi for night owls at Osaka fish market’s midnight restaurant

Fresh sushi for night owls at Osaka fish market’s midnight restaurant

While Tsukiji in Tokyo gets the majority of the international attention, the Sakai Fish Market in Osaka is no slouch either, supplying seafood to diners in and around Japan’s second-largest city.

Unfortunately, much like at its counterpart in Tokyo, most of the sushi restaurants in and around the Sakai market open at the crack of dawn, and close for the day shortly after noon. So if you decided to sleep in, or don’t happen to work close enough to make a sushi run during your lunch break, you’re out of luck.

Unless you do like we did, and visit Osaka’s famous late-night sushi restaurant.

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Enjoy revolving sushi at home (even if the catch of the day comes with a catch)

Enjoy revolving sushi at home (even if the catch of the day comes with a catch)

Revolving sushi restaurants, also known as conveyer belt sushi, are one of the most accessible and enjoyable ways to eat out in Japan. You simply grab a seat, then grab plates of sushi as they pass by on the automated belt. Since there’s no ordering necessary, you don’t even have to know the name of the fish in your native language, let alone Japanese.

Unlike full-service sushi restaurants where the exalted chef often chooses what to place on the customers’ plate, at revolving sushi restaurants your meal is make up of exactly what you want to eat, and nothing else. Add in the fact that revolving sushi restaurants are far cheaper than their more traditional cousins, and you have an almost perfect dining experience.

Now, one inventor is looking to let you to experience revolving sushi at home, albeit with a big twist.

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Restaurant combines delicious sushi with live performances by J-pop idols

Restaurant combines delicious sushi with live performances by J-pop idols

Up until a few years ago, Tokyo’s Akihabara district was strictly an enclave of computer, video game, and anime merchandise stores. All that changed when two pop culture movements both set up camp in the neighborhood.

The maid café scene exploded, offering patrons the chance to grab a bite to eat while being served and surrounded by cute girls dressed in frilly outfits. At the same time, the incredibly popular pop idol unit AKB48 built an intimately-sized theatre in Akihabara where they give regular concerts for their adoring fans, often accompanied by handshake sessions.

Not content to let Tokyo have all the glory from combining food with up-close musical performances, Nagoya is stepping up to the plate with an idol singer sushi restaurant.

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Hokuto City chooses developmentally challenged sushi as new mascot

Hokuto City chooses developmentally challenged sushi as new mascot

Every once in a while we report on the bustling mascot business in Japan, especially regarding the regional cute mascots known as yuru-kyara. Often these characters are chosen to represent a city, prefecture or even neighborhood by way of election.

This was also the case in Hokkaido’s Hokuto City as they took votes for their new representative character. Thousands of citizens cast their votes for whom they felt best represented Hokuto life and culture, ultimately choosing… that thing above.

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