The key ingredient in “girl’s hair-flavored fried chicken” returns in yet another surprising place.

In Japanese, the phrase “Gohan desu yo” usually translates as “It’s time to eat.” But while gohan is often used to mean “meal,” its original meaning is “rice,” the cultural cornerstone of the Japanese diet.

So, literally, “Gohan desu yo” means “It’s rice,” and that’s why our ace reporter Mr. Sato was startled when he saw a recipe for “It’s Rice! Toast.”

▼ And Mr. Sato doesn’t startle easily.

Mr. Sato came across the recipe while perusing the website of Momoya, the company that makes Gohan Desu Yo! The capital-letter Gohan Desu Yo! is a type of tsukudani, a class of traditional Japanese foods made by boiling the ingredients in soy sauce. In the case of Gohan Desu Yo!, Momoya uses seaweed, and the resulting soft-textured paste is a popular topping to spread on white rice, so the Gohan Desu Yo! name makes sense.

But on Momoya’s website, the company has a list of recipes with ideas of how to use Gohan Desu Yo! in other ways too, including Gohan Desu Yo! Toast.

Actually, Momoya has three Gohan Desu Yo! recipes: Gohan Desu Yo! Toast, Gohan Desu Yo! Butter Toast, and Avocado Gohan Desu Yo! Toast. Unintuitively, the Gohan Desu Yo Toast calls for cheese, making Gohan Desu Yo! Butter Toast the simplest recipe of the bunch, so that’s what Mr. Sato decided to make, since he was still pretty skeptical about the idea of “It’s Rice! Toast.”

The ingredient list is incredibly short.
● White bread (1 slice)
● Gohan Desu Yo
● Butter

Step 1: Cover the bread with Gohan Desu Yo and spread evenly.

Step 2: Place the bread in a toaster oven and toast. Because of the dark color of the Gohan Desu Yo, it can be a little hard to notice how much the bread has browned, so you’ll probably want to keep a pretty close eye on it. Mr. Sato left his in for four minutes, which was getting close to the upper limit without burning.

Step 3: Remove the bread from the toaster oven and add a pat of butter in the center as quickly as possible. Don’t try to spread the butter, since doing so could cause you to scrape off some of the Gohan Desu Yo by mistake. You want to let the heat of the just-toasted bread do the work for you, melting the butter so it can soak into the inner part of the bread.

And with that, all that’s left to do is to wait a few moments for the toast to cool enough that it won’t singe your tongue when you bite into it. So what does Mr. Sato think after trying “It’s Rice! Toast?”

It’s actually really tasty, and with a flavor that’s very different from what he’d been expecting. Since seaweed and soy sauce, the primary ingredients in Gohan Desu Yo!, are both pretty salty, he’d been bracing himself for a severely saline sensation. Instead, though, the Gohan Desu Yo! Butter Toast hit his taste buds with a sweet flavor, so much so that the next time he makes a slice, he might sprinkle on a little shichimi pepper powder or add a drop of soy sauce to balance it out a bit.

But the most mysterious thing, to Mr. Sato, was as how he was eating it started to feel like he was chowing down on mochi. In hindsight, maybe we should have expected something like that to happen. Grilled mochi has some similarities to toasted bread in its flavor profile, and with Gohan Desu Yo! being a traditional Japanese flavor that’s not commonly associated with bread, Mr. Sato’s brain telling him “Hey dude, I think maybe we’re eating mochi right now,” isn’t such a stretch.

So in the end, “It’s Rice! Toast” ended up reminding Mr. Sato of rice cakes. That’s not a bad connection at all, though, and since he’s still got plenty of Gohan Desu Yo! left in the jar, he might use it on the remaining slices in his loaf. And should the concept of “It’s Rice! Toast” be something you still can’t quite accept, you can always think of this as a recipe for girl’s hair-flavored toast instead.

Reference: Momoya
Top image: SoraNews 24
Insert images: SoraNews24, Momoya
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