You can dine like a king using ingredients you can find at any grocery store in Japan.

Fun little recipe hacks to jazz up your home cooking are all the rage right now, and especially in Japan. Whether it’s changing up your process, or using unusual ingredients, kitchens are bright with the spark of creativity and innovation.

One foodstuff that’s been enjoying extra time in the spotlight is Yukimi Daifuku. These frozen delights are a popular snack at any time of year, containing a ball of sweet vanilla ice cream enrobed in mochi and dusted with powdered sugar. Last year they rocked the world with the concept of putting a Yukimi Daifuku atop a piece of bread and toasting it, and home cooks are using that simple concept as a springboard to craft even wilder and more delectable dishes.

Shusaku Toba, a chef at Tokyo restaurant Sio, is decidedly not a home cook. His restaurant has received one prestigious Michelin star already, and his breakthroughs in the art of ice cream toast make it easy to see why. Let’s dig into the two recipes he’s shared with the masses: one sweet, and one savory!

▼ Toba’s first recipe: Yukimi Apple Pie.

The recipe calls for thick-cut pieces of bread (a six-piece shokupan bag for those searching in Japan) and to coat a slice with melted, unsalted butter. We didn’t exactly have unsalted butter to hand, not being fancy Michelin-rated chefs, so we just used regular butter. We did, at least, opt to use a block of butter rather than the typical squeezable spread we usually have lying around.

Once we had applied the butter to each side of the bread, we toasted it liberally on each side in a frying pan.

This was already quite a luxurious departure from the norm to us. Honestly, we were happy just to slather our favorite condiments and tasty things atop some toast, top it with the Yukimi Daifuku, and then just toast the whole thing in a grill. But here we were, gently toasting it in a frying pan like some kind of fancy pants! What’s next, are we gonna harvest the apples by hand and boil them down to a sugary syrup?

No, actually. The recipe said just regular apple jam from the grocery store would suffice. Top your toasted bread with a slice of cheese, then dollop jam atop of that.

▼ The cheese slice is a staple in Yukimi toast recipes.

And then it was time to crown our toast with the key ingredient: the Yukimi Daifuku itself.

After this, we slid the toast onto a grill and watched as the mochi sizzled, split, and ultimately gave way to a burst of molten ice cream.

We took it out to cool and then lightly dusted it with cinnamon sugar.

Licking our lips in anticipation, we readied a knife and fork. This was a fancy dessert, after all.

The magic was undeniable. These cheap grocery store items had been transmogrified into something much greater than the sum of their parts. It tasted like cinnamon-accented apple pie!

▼ The creamy vanilla ice cream complemented the soft, chewy bread wonderfully!

Still, it’s something of a given that toasted apple jam, cinnamon, cheese, and tasty ice cream would all pair well together…right? Next we have an even more ingenious use of Yukimi Daifuku…

▼ Chef Toba proudly presents… Bacon and Egg Yukimi.

Note that you will have to have the bacon and eggs prepared alongside this dish. Yet again we prepared our thickly sliced bread with a basting of butter and fried it lightly on either side. After resting a slice of cheese on it we added some scrumptious slices of bacon.

Next… You guessed it. A fried egg was set atop our toast, too. But then we added a globe of Yukimi Daifuku to nestle alongside the fried egg, to keep it company in the grill.

▼ In it all goes!

Once it had all been warmed through sufficiently, we removed it from the grill and lightly seasoned it with a dash of soy sauce. Bacon, eggs, and soy sauce are common fixtures at Japanese hotel breakfasts, but how much of an impact would adding mochi ice cream have?

It was time to cut into it and find out.

Aha! The saltiness from the bacon and the cheese created a stunning contrast with the sweetness from the vanilla ice cream, adding layers of depth and flavor to an already satisfying meal.

Luscious, pillowy ice cream blended with thick orange egg yolks and the sharp crunch of the salty bacon… The flavors mixed together to create a beautiful harmony. Between this and the delicious ice cream avocado toast, we can’t help but wonder if we should have been eating ice cream and savory toast together all along. Experiment for yourself and see what interesting mochi ice cream concoctions you can come up with!

Source: PR Times, YouTube/お口の恋人 ロッテ 【LOTTE】 公式チャンネル (1, 2)
Top image: PR Times
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