food

We try KFC Japan’s deep-fried soup

Since September 5, Kentucky Fried Chicken Japan has started selling what they call a “corn potage fritter.” It sounds fancy, but when you really get down to it, it’s just deep-fried soup. To our Japanese reporter who hasn’t been versed in the wide variety of bizarre things Americans manage to fry up at county fairs across the United States, the very idea of fried soup was quite surprising. Half-convinced that such a snack even existed, he went down to his nearest KFC and gave it a try.

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Would you eat this sushi, head to tail?

Ekiben, or “station bento,” can be found on train station platforms across Japan, conveniently packed for travelers too busy to prepare their own meal. They usually come in plastic or styrofoam containers wrapped with a decorative paper cover. But this ekiben is a little different. Found in Kochi Prefecture, this on-the-go bento is packaged in clear plastic wrap to display the goods inside, and what seems like merely a fish sitting in a white supermarket tray is actually sushi. Let’s take a closer look at this bizarre whole fish sushi ekiben.

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Kumamoto Prefecture shows us that less is more with simple yet mouth-watering rice balls

One of our reporters recently drew the enviable assignment of visiting this year’s Nippon no Umai, an annual event sponsored by Kirin that brings the best of Japan’s regional delicacies together under one roof. With so many tasty options on display, those of us not lucky enough to attend the tasting session, held at the super swanky Imperial Hotel in Tokyo, would have to settle for living vicariously through our correspondent’s report after he returned.

We were a little underwhelmed when we asked what he’d eaten, and his answer was “white rice with salt!” but we soon came to understand why he was looking quite so content.

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Freaky gourmet: Mango yogurt noodles, anyone!?

During the height of summer, we’ve been known to plonk ourselves down in front our home-made air conditioner with a pile of sliced watermelon or even chilled soba noodles and mentsuyu dipping sauce as a way of keeping cool while engaging in our favourite pastime of filling our faces. But we never imagined for a second that someone would put noodles, yoghurt and fruit together in one dish.

Tokyo and Osaka-based noodle chain Tsurutontan, specialists in udon wheat-flour noodle dishes, is currently offering patrons something rather tropical with its Mango Yogurt Udon. The very thought of eating a cold, sweet version of one of our favourite kinds of noodle at once excited us and made us feel a little bit queasy, so we sent one of our bravest reporters over to try it out. Find out what they thought after the jump.

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Earlier this month, the Katamachi branch of the Chinese food restaurant Gyoza no Osho (King of Gyoza) in Kanazawa City, Japan, shut down after a group of men decided to drop in on the royal dumpling restaurant dressed in nothing but their birthday suits.

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Would you drink hot ginger ale from a can? Coca Cola thinks you will

Fall is right around the corner, and winter is around the corner after that, and after that… wait, back up, you’re just going to end up in the same place you started. Let’s focus on fall.

Fall in Japan, like every season in Japan, is a chance for companies to come up with new seasonal convenience store items with fancy color-coded packages. And in summer’s case, tons and tons of salt. In the fall, especially, manufacturers gear up with all kinds of crazy concoctions because it’s (probably) a verifiable fact that everybody eats like a damn starved pig in the fall and they know you’ll eat or drink just about anything if they put some pretty fall leaves on the package.

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KFS? Kentucky Fried Chicken Japan offering deep-fried soup

It’s no secret that the RocketNews24 team is pretty enamored of life here in Japan. It’s hard not to have a good time in a country with such deep traditions and cultural events throughout the year.

That said, I always get just a little homesick when autumn rolls around. As great as Japanese festivals are, they simply can’t match American county fairs in terms of fried food offerings.

Thankfully, KFC Japan is ready to take a little of the sting out of fall this year with a new menu item: fried soup.

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Tokyo restaurant challenges us with a foot of tempura, we gladly accept

Tokyo is a massive, sprawling metropolis. There are so many twisting back alleys that by the time you’ve convinced yourself you’ve seen it all, something new has popped up back at the start of your route

Presented with this limitless variety, you could easily eat at a new restaurant every single day and never go hungry. So why did we go back to Fukugawa Tsuribune just two months after our last meal there? Because like handguns in the US, one of their tempura bowls is so serious there’s a waiting period to get your hands on it.

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Monster Hunter Rathalos cake available for pre-order, comes with Epitaph Knife and 49 res points

So you’ve slain the mighty King of the Sky Rathalos in one or all of the Monster Hunter series of games, and you probably felt pretty satisfied the first time you did it. But something was missing, wasn’t it? Being simply a mere video game you couldn’t feast on the dragon’s meat like a true hunter should.

Now website Premium Bandai and cake maker Chara Shoku Net are offering monster hunters a chance to live that dream with the King of the Sky Rathalos Cake which comes with a knife in the likeness of the Epitaph Blade.

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These Chinese students’ table manners leave a lot to be desired

If your mother or father ever scolded you for burping, not holding your knife and fork correctly or chewing with your mouth open when you were a kid, now might be a good time to call them into the room and tell them that however poor they thought your table manners were, things could have been much, much worse.

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Cook rice inside your car with the new Takeru-kun

In the never-ending debate about which country makes the best cars, it’s common to derogatorily refer to a Japanese automobile as a “rice rocket,” “rice burner,” or “rice runner.” Really anything with rice.

But with a new product from Saitama-based company JPN, you can own that insult, and turn it into a positive.

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We combine McDonald’s and MOS Burger for forbidden deliciousness

Whether the blooming of the cherry blossoms in spring or the chirping of cicadas in summer, in Japan there is always a herald to the changing of the seasons. As incorrigible carnivores, for us fall begins when McDonald’s tsukimi burger returns to the menu. Tsukimi literally means “moon viewing,” a popular autumn activity in Japan, but in this case refers to the lunar-looking fried egg the sandwich contains. The tsukimi burger also comes with bacon. It has no linguistic reason to be there, but if you really need an explanation as to why someone would add bacon to a burger, we’ll be happy to explain after you finish your quiche.

Of course, the full moon has been known to do strange things to people’s minds, and we wondered if we couldn’t scavenge components from McDonald’s tsukimi burger to make something even better.

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Luxury hotel cooks up adorable melon bread based on JR West’s platypus mascot

As part of our quest to get paid for eating as many desserts as possible, we recently shared our impressions of the Suica Penguin cake, modeled after the popular mascot for JR East’s prepaid IC card train pass system, Suica.

But sometimes loveable mass transit mascots are like hardcore gangster rappers, and it turns out the Suica Penguin has a cross-country rival, in the form of Ico-chan, the spokes-platypus for JR West’s ICOCA train pass system. Not wanting to be shown up by the Suica Penguin’s foray into the world of cake, the only thing for Ico-chan to do was to transform himself into a tasty treat, too.

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Clever naming has New York diners raving about Japanese-style cod roe and pigs’ feet

Among the many colorful expressions in Japanese you’ll find kuwazu girai, which is used to describe a knee-jerk dislike to something unfamiliar before you’ve given it a fair shot. Kuwazu girai literally translates to “hating it without having eaten it,” and it was exactly the problem restaurateur Himi Okajima was having at his eatery, called Hakata Tonton, in New York’s Manhattan.

Okajima is a native of Fukuoka in southern Japan, and orders weren’t exactly pouring in from American customers for two of his hometown’s favorite dishes that were on the menu: pigs’ feet and cod roe.

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Yes, Hello Kitty really does need a fedora, and the reason why is delicious

Has Hello Kitty finally buckled to hipster fashion trends? Has she been tapped to replace the aging Harrison Ford in an upcoming new Indiana Jones movie, under the logic that if the franchise can include aliens, why not anthropomorphic cats, too? Or has she simply decided to make a living as a hard-boiled private eye?

That third theory actually isn’t so far off the mark, but as with any good mystery, the real culprit behind Kitty-chan’s throwback headgear is someone, or in this case something, you’d never expect: custard pudding.

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Eggciting News! McDonald’s Japan’s fall Tsukimi Burger line expanded

Fall in Japan is a very special time of year. The leaves go from green to a plethora of gorgeous colors, the hellish summer heat and constant cacophony of cicadas finally relent, and the legendary McDonald’s Tsukimi Burger becomes available to stuff into your eager face by the sack full. This year, fall is even more special, as McDonald’s is expanding the Tsukimi Burger lineup to four different delicious sandwiches. Be still, my tightening arteries!

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Lotteria craziness continues with the new okonomiyaki burger

In the crowded Japanese fast food burger industry, a chain has to establish an identity to be successful. McDonald’s is the place to go to fill up as cheaply as possible. MOS Burger is for people willing to spend a little more time and money for a sandwich made from higher-quality ingredients. And Lotteria is the place to go for a side of craziness.

While Lotteria occasionally goes completely nuts and has iconic horror movie characters work its registers, the chain’s eccentricity is primarily confined to the menu, with items such as the side-by-side double-patty twin burger and colossal Evangelion cheese burger with roughly a week’s worth of meat. The chain’s newest offering reimagines the savory Japanese crepe okonomiyaki as a burger.

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Ninja life skills: Do you know the correct way to eat this traditional Japanese sweet?

Shingen mochi – a relatively common wagashi Japanese sweet similar to the more well-known warabi mocha – is a treat made from pounded rice lightly coated in roasted soybean flour (kinako) meant to be drizzled with syrup before consumption.

It comes in a plastic container which is then wrapped in a decorative plastic sheet and sealed with a small, flat spear-like utensil meant to skewer the mochi with while eating. That plastic sheet is also the key to the “proper” way of eating shingen mochi.

Unfortunately for anyone who has consumed shingen mochi until now, the manufacturer’s marketing department decided not to tell even one single person how to properly eat their product. Thankfully, a helpful YouTuber here in Japan has shared a video showing the correct way to eat this traditional sweet. Find out after the break.

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Imuraya brags about the stiffness of their sweet bean bars…“Watch your teeth!”

Imuraya Confectionary is a Japanese sweets company that specializes in the sale of adzuki (sweetened red bean) products. They pride themselves on sticking to traditional Japanese flavors and sticking to their strange marketing strategies just as hard.

Recently, Imuraya made a pair of official Twitter posts cautioning people against the stiffness of their top-selling Adzuki Bar! This frozen slab of bean paste is a summer favorite across Japan, but according to Imuraya’s own assertions, they can crack your teeth!

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We try some Taiwanese dishes to boost our vigor, includes snake venom and turtles

RocketNews24 reporter extraordinaire Kuzo was feeling a little at half-mast recently and was looking for some ways to put some lead in his pencil, and fast.

Luckily he heard about some Taiwanese dishes that promise to boost stamina and went out in search of them. What he found was some snake, softshell turtle, and Asian ginseng soups. Par for the course for our gourmet reporter but these soups were also served with the bodily fluids of the animals such as blood and poison. If that doesn’t get Kuzo up and going we don’t know what will.

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