The lazy drinker’s guide to a good night in.

For our reporter Seiji Nakazawa, summer is synonymous with beer. And when he drinks beer, he likes to eat potato chips, saying nothing beats this duo on a hot and humid night.

In addition to liking beer and potato chips, Seiji likes cooking up weird concoctions in his rice cooker, so with the weather warming up, it seemed like the perfect opportunity for a new experiment.

▼ So he went out and grabbed himself some limited-edition Summer Happiness Thick Cut Butter chips, priced at 193 yen (US$1.34)…

▼ …and a can of Nodogoshi Nama, a happoshu-style beer, for 172 yen.

With no recipe to work with, Seiji emptied the bag of chips into the rice cooker, but when he looked at it he feared it wouldn’t be enough so he added another packet, which amounted to around 132 grams (4.6 ounces) of chips in total.

Figuring he couldn’t go wrong with a 1:1 ratio between chips and liquid, he poured in around 130 millilitres of the beer. However, that didn’t look like enough either, so he added in an extra 70 millilitres for 200 millilitres in total.

Pressing the start button, Seiji left the cooking time up to the machine, which worked out to be 45 minutes, the same as white rice.

He watched it for a while, just to make sure bubbles didn’t come foaming out the top or anything, before leaving it do its thing.

At the 20-minute mark, the delicious aroma of potatoes filled the room, reminding him of a Japanese festival, where the smell of baked potatoes and butter is known to waft through the air.

When the melody on the rice cooker rang out to let Seiji know the cooking had finished, he lifted the lid to find that the potato chips had softened.

The beer appeared to have soaked into the potato chips, so he grabbed a cooking utensil to stir the mix around a bit.

As he stirred, the mixture began to clump together, forming something that resembled…

▼ …mashed potato!

Piling the mixture onto a plate, Seiji’s potato chips now resembled mashed potato, although the beer had given it a curious brown hue.

▼ Taking out a spoon, Seiji lifted a morsel to his mouth and hoped for the best.

Chewing through his first mouthful, Seiji found that it wasn’t bad at all! Every chip had been coated in the butter seasoning so that seasoning really came through when the mixture was all mashed up together. The chips also contained honey, which worked well to add some sweetness to the richness of the buttery potato.

While the sweet and buttery potato flavour was at the front of the flavours, the slight bitterness of beer followed right behind it. However, it didn’t really taste like beer, as it simply worked to add a much-needed depth to the potatoes.

It was like mashed potatoes, but from a different realm, and though Seiji thought it was delicious, he decided to check with his colleagues to get their verdict on his new concoction.

Yoshio (top left, below) was kind with his comments, saying: “It’s fine. It looks like a candy. I feel like it’s something I shouldn’t eat, but it’s not like I wouldn’t eat it.”
Mariko Ohanabatake (top, middle) said: “What is this? I’d like it without the bitterness.”
Masanuki Sunakoma (top right) said: “I don’t think it looks that bad. Maybe it’s delicious?”
Yuuichiro Wazai (bottom left): “Wow… it tastes like the mashed potatoes that accompany a steak when they’re soaked in gravy.”
Ansuzu (bottom middle): “It’s disgusting. There’s no smoothness.”
P.K. Sanjun (bottom right): “It tastes like potato chips. But they’re soggy so it feels strange. Maybe people would eat this during wartime?”

“Harumph”, thought Seiji, “These guys are useless.” What would they know about fine food, anyway? Half of them can’t even tell an expensive watermelon from a cheap one.

That’s when he realised there was one person in the office who might actually appreciate this fine delicacy…

▼ …Mr Sato!

▼ Mr Sato gave a solemn nod, looked at Seiji and said, “It tastes like Germany!”

Well, it wasn’t exactly a statement he was expecting, but hey, Seiji had to agree he had a point. Beer and potatoes are two of the most delicious things you can eat at the annual Oktoberfest in Tokyo, which is the closest thing to Germany Seiji and Mr Sato have had in recent years, so Seiji took it as a compliment.

Either way, tastes are subjective, so if you’d like to try your luck with this concoction, feel free to give it a try. It can’t be any worse than Mr Sato’s attempt at making rice in a rice cooker with only eggs.

Photos ©SoraNews24
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