food

Japanese YouTubers Giving Away Cute Sandwich Cutters Worldwide in Creative Collaboration

One of the the things people find most charming about food in Japan is how creative the presentation can be. From adorable panda rice balls to over the top bento lunchboxes, the Japanese have perfected the art of making food something that you can enjoy with both your eyes and your mouth.

If you’ve ever wanted to try your hand at food presentation à la Japan, six Japanese YouTube channels are holding a giveaway for a set of cute sandwich cutters, as well as introducing six creative ways to use them.

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Unusual Cuisine: Deep-Fried Caterpillars “Make a Wonderful Beer Snack”

Those of you who abhor the very idea of eating food that’s been anywhere near a creepy-crawly may wish to look away now.

Here at RocketNews24 we like to pride ourselves on our willingness to take up unusual food challenges. If we’re not baking Big Mac bread or gorging on bacon, we’re fighting our way through a kilo of curry and rice for your enjoyment. So as soon as word reached Rocket Towers that a nearby restaurant was serving up genuine insect cuisine, our reporter Mr Sato immediately sprang into action and boarded a train to Takadanobaba.

Who’d have thought that deep-fried imomushi (hairless caterpillars or hornworms) could be so delicious that they could bring smiles to our reporter’s face?

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Man Burns Hole in Stomach After Consuming Chinese Death Soup

Some foods are so spicy that consuming them can leave the more intolerant of us with an upset stomach. It was once believed that eating lots of spicy food could even cause gastric ulcers—a break in the tissue lining of the stomach—but this has since been proven false, the credit stolen by a bacterium known as Helicobacter pylori. If you find yourself retching with pain after lunch at an Indian food buffet, you’ve likely aggravated an existing condition and should probably have it checked out.

So as colorful as the expression is, eating spicy food can’t actually “burn a hole in your stomach”. At least, it shouldn’t be able to, which is why doctors at a hospital in Wuhan, China, were scratching their heads when a 26-year-old man with no history of gastrointestinal disorders was brought in after eating soup so spicy that it opened a hole in the wall of his stomach.

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Food Becomes Art: These Metal Gear and Final Fantasy Bentō Lunchboxes Will Blow Your Mind

“Hideo-kun! What do you want in your lunchbox for school tomorrow? Ham and cheese? Peanut butter and jelly? Or how about Solid Snaaaaaaaake!”

The image you see before you, ladies and gentlemen, is genuine, 100% completely edible food. We’ve seen colourful character bentō lunchboxes before, but this is something else.

As part of its 25 years of Metal Gear and Final Fantasy celebrations, Japanese game developer Konami has had a set of truly amazing lunchboxes made for a photo event. Featuring characters from both of the long-running series, the lunchboxes are so detailed that they almost look like waxworks. No matter how many times we look at these things, we can’t quite get over the fact that it’s actually food.

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Finally, an Udon Museum Where You Can Taste the Difference Between Over 45 Kinds of Udon Noodle Dishes From all Over Japan!

This Udon Museum will open on December 22nd from 11:00 in the Gion area of Kyoto. Udon is a thick noodle made from wheat flour.  With all the variations out there – over 45, including noodle shape, thickness, soup varieties, ways to be eaten, included ingredients and cooking procedures – it makes perfect sense to have a ‘Udon museum’!

One of the best things about Japan is its vast and comprehensive food culture where a wide variety of culinary dishes can be enjoyed. Japanese people take great pride in their ‘washoku‘ (Japanese food), with multiple varieties of the same dish according to geographical location. Different areas have their own version of country cooking, sweet or savory, which becomes that area’s ‘meibutsu or speciality, often times giving that area a name which they become famous for. So it is with Udon. Read More

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Japan Inadvertently Summons Tentacle Monster Into This Realm with Holiday Potato Salad Recipe

This Christmas, Japanese retail conglomerate Aeon is conjuring an ancient evil from a centuries-long slumber— and bringing it to the dinner table for your family to enjoy!

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Our Reporter Picks up 1kg Curry Rice for Half Price, Wades His Way Through It

Just over a month ago, the poor relation of the convenience store chain family that is Save On unveiled a dish that it hoped would appeal to the hungry man on a budget and entice customers through its novelty value: an enormous 1 kg (2.2 lbs) tub of curry and rice. Even by western standards, the dish looks intimidating, sitting there taking up nearly twice the shelf space as its brethren and with a deep dish brimming with thick, dark-brown liquid and gut-filling fluffy white rice.

Since the dish is not yet available in all Save On stores, the gluttonous RocketNews24 team — famous for its food challenges like the 1,000 cheese slice Whopper and the 30 patty cheeseburger eatathon — was itching to try it but hadn’t been able to track one down until recently.

Luckily, late last week our reporter Yoshio was able to pay a trip to Saitama prefecture to pick up one of Save On’s monster curry tubs. And, even better, they were on sale for half price! Without stopping to wonder why such a gargantuan amount of food could possibly be on offer for such a meagre sum, our hungry writer bent at the knees, grabbed one with both hands and headed to the register.

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【Rocket Food】 One Piece Chicken! Cook for Monkey D. Luffy at Home Tonight with this Simple Recipe

One Piece fans the world over will have no doubt lost count of the number of times they’ve seen Monkey D. Luffy chomping on a big hunk of meat.

Keen food fans that the RocketNews24 writers are, we can’t help but feel a little peckish every time we see the wide-grinning captain tucking into his meals, and we always find the food he eats, dished up by chain-smoking pirate chef Sanji, absolutely tantalising.

But now, thanks to the equally food-loving team at sister site Pouch, we have just the thing to placate our growling stomachs while we watch our One Piece DVDs or flick through our ever-growing stack of comic books: from Chef Sanji’s very own cookbook, egg-stuffed chicken!

It’s simple, nutritious and boy is it tasty. Full ingredients and recipe all after the jump >

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Doraemon (No, it’s Not Hello Kitty This Time) Cosplays to Bring You Luck in the New Year!

At RocketNews24, we love seeing well-known characters indulging in a bit of fun cosplaying. Last month, we showed you Hello Kitty turning herself into a Thanksgiving main dish, and it appears she’s not the only one transforming into food form. This time, Doraemon has made himself available in a mochi (rice cake) costume for the Japanese New Year, and darn it, he actually looks cute doing it! Read More

Which is Considered Worse, Holding Your Chopsticks the Wrong Way, or Eating Noisily?

In Japanese eating culture, holding chopsticks improperly might be frowned upon (see: Proper Way to Hold Chopsticks), but how does it compare to that other notorious dinner table offense, chomping down on your food with your mouth open?

According to denizens of Japanese message board site 2channel, who recently discussed the matter in depth, noisily eating your food is a far graver crime than poor chopstick handling.  Let’s take a close look at their discussion below. Read More

Say “I Love You” this Christmas with these Romantic Potato Chips

It’s nearly Christmas! And that can mean only one thing: romantic dates on December 24th!

What? Did you think we were talking about the pagan festival-cum-Christian holiday on December 25th? No, no, no; the 25th is just a normal working day here in Japan, and everyone’s already forgotten about Christmas. People without plans for December 24th, however, might as well join the ranks of those who use trains on dates and pay money to sleep next to strangers.

With the romantic dates of December 24th, Valentine’s Day and March 14th’s White Day in its sights, snack maker Koikeya is about to launch a new range of potato chips — or crisps to backwards Brits like me — made especially for couples. And thanks to some clever packaging, Koikeya guarantee that these new chips will be the most romantic salty snack you’ve ever enjoyed…

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Our Reporter Heads to Barcelona, Eats Delicious Dragon Quest Bubble Slime

During her recent trip to the beautiful city of Barcelona, Spain, RocketNews24 Japan writer Megumi stumbled upon something that, to her videogame-tuned eyes, could look like only one thing.

The above image is one taken by Megumi when she visited the fantastic Brunells patisserie, or Pastisseria i salode te Brunells to be more exact, showing what is known as a “melonmelon” sweet. Although you and I see little more than a piece of rich, sugary confection, when Megumi first laid eyes on this delightful little green tongue pleaser, she could only think of one thing: a Bubble Slime from the hugely popular Dragon Quest role-playing games.

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【Cheapskate News】Yoshinoya Beef Bowls for Just 250 Yen! Same Taste, Super Low Price!

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls! Hungry students and budgeting businespeople! Have we got a great deal for you! Yoshinoya’s gyūdon beef bowls – made with the same USA beef, rice, onion and delicious marinade as ever – is available for just 250 yen!

This isn’t a special offer. This isn’t for a limited time only. This is 24 hours a day, seven-days-a-week wallet-friendly value. Available at a number of special Tsukiji Yoshinoya restaurants, for just US$3, you can have a big, hearty warming dish of rice and beef, guaranteed to warm your soul and fill you up until your next meal.

Our top dog Kuzo headed out to try the beef bowl for himself, and he can confirm that this is the same Yoshinoya grub that we know and love, for 130 yen ($1.60) less than normal!

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[Hobby News] Choco Egg Collectable Figurines Return to Steal all of Japan’s Loose Change

If there’s one thing Japanese people like to do it’s collect things. And when those things are small, cute or quirky characters, you can bet your bottom dollar that they’ll fight to get the entire set!

In the land of gachapon (onomatopoeia for the sound of a turning mechanism followed by the drop of a ball or capsule) capsule toys and free collectable figures, mobile phone charms and stickers, confectioners Furuta are well known for their Choko Eggu (choco egg) series that include a collectable toy inside the chocolate shell, not unlike Kinder Surprise eggs sold in Europe and Canada.

Since 1999, the company has produced collectible figures including Disney, Marvel and Nintendo characters as well as scale models of automobiles and cars. The figures are always of incredibly high quality and, with the chocolate eggs being sold for just a few hundred yen each, they’re a big hit with children as well as adults. In 2006, however, the company’s animal figure series, which features everything from cute rabbits to ferocious-looking dinosaurs disappeared from shops, much to the disappointment of collectors.

But now, to delight model fans and kleptomaniacs alike, Furuta’s figures are being brought back to the market as stand-alone models, and Japanese collectors are already going nuts.

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Curry Udon Topped With Whipped Cream!? It’s Better than You Think!

The dish in the photo above looks like a dessert, something sweet to eat after a meal. But wait!  It is the meal!  It’s udon noodles in curry sauce and topped with whipped cream, to be exact, and it is absolutely delicious!

According to our trusty reporter Mr. Sato (Food Queen Sato, as he calls himself on Twitter), that is, who went to the noodle shop Shodai in Ebisu, Tokyo to taste this revolutionary spin on curry udon.

Curry udon is a standard noodle dish that can be found at just about any udon shop in Japan. It mixes the flavor of udon and curried rice by ladling curry sauce over a bowl of udon noodles. Simple, yet effective.

Throwing whipped cream into the mix doesn’t sound like it would end well.  Usually these kind of things don’t. But what did Mr. Sato think about this unlikely combination?

Check his full report below! Read More

Tokyo Bug Eating Club to Hold Festival Tomorrow, Guess What’s on the Menu?

As icky as it sounds to many of us brought up in Western cultures, the human consumption of insects is common in many parts of the world.

Most Japanese people are on the same page as the rest of the developed world in thinking of bugs as unappetizing—not to mention creepy, gross, and/or scary— little creatures that have no place in the home, and especially not on the dinner plate.

However, there are some rural regions of Japan where insects are are a local delicacy, and have been so for centuries. In Nagano, the prefecture this writer calls home, you can walk into any supermarket and expect to find plastic packs of grasshopper (inago) or stonefly larva (suzumushi) boiled in soy sauce, and sometimes even read-to-eat packs of boiled wasp larva mixed in with rice (hachinoko-gohan).

In the cities, eating bugs is still taboo, and even in rural areas insect cuisine is now considered fringe cuisine, especially among the younger generations.  But in Tokyo, there is a group of people who believe that bugs just need to be given a chance, which is why they are hosting what is now the 4th annual Tokyo Insect Eating Festival (Tokyo Mushikui Festival) on November 23.

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From My Neighbor Totoro to Ninja Turtles: Anime Food in Real Life!

Few things could delight kids (and big kids!) more than mimicking their favourite TV shows, movies and videogames, and sitting down to the exact same meal that their heroes enjoy.

The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles always had the most mouth-watering pizza; Ponyo and Sousuke had home-made ramen noodles; Pop-eye had canned spinach… OK, so maybe not every cartoon meal is the greatest, but putting together food that looks exactly as it did in our favourite shows is sure to inspire even the most kitchen-shy of us to have a go, not to mention encourage fussy eaters to try something new.

If it’s anime-inspired food you’re looking for, cooking website Bistro Animeshi (a combination of “anime” and “meshi”, meaning rice or food) has everything from the fish pie delivered by Kiki herself in Kiki’s Delivery Service to Naruto’s favourite ramen noodles. As well as providing step-by-step recipes for each dish, the food blog makes every effort to match the original dishes as much as possible. We’re sure that you’ll be blown away by what they have to offer.

Plenty of tantalising food photos after the jump!

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We Visit Otaku Cooking School, Kitchen a la Mode, Find it Isn’t Just for Nerds

One of the most common stereotypes of nerds, or otaku as they’re known in Japan, is that they cannot cook and subsist on a diet of instant noodles and soft drinks.

Kitchen a la Mode is a new cooking school in Akihabara that hopes to get otaku off their chairs and into the kitchen by providing simple, hands-on cooking lessons with cute girls.

You may remember reading about Kitchen a la Mode on our site last month. Curious as to how the school has been doing since opening, RocketNews24 sent its handsomest American correspondent (me) to Kitchen a la Mode to experience moé cooking firsthand. Check out his (my) report below!

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Bright Blue Curry and “Intense Disgusting Juice” on the Menu at Niconico Cafe (Not For the Faint of Stomach!)

Would you believe us if we told you the image above is not a bowl full of blue paint, but actually a batch of curry prepared fresh at the second floor cafe of the Niconico Headquarters building in Shinjuku, Tokyo?

Known as the “Unappetizing Blue Curry”, this 700 yen (US $8.70) dish is true to its name in that it doesn’t make your mouth water, but your stomach churn with nausea!

But wait, that’s not that’s on the menu! There’s also a horrible liquid concoction roughly translated as “Intense Disgusting Juice: Extreme”, which costs a shocking 3000 yen, or about US$37.oo. 

Why would they have such items on the menu? This is the question that piqued the curiosity of our own brave correspondent, Mr. Sato, who, no stranger to blue himself, was kind enough to sacrifice his stomach and give us a taste report. See what he has to say below.

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Cold Stone Japan Creates Christmas Cake That Pops the Question

In Japan, Christmas means strawberry short-cake . Just about every Japanese family that celebrates the holiday will eat one on Christmas day, a tradition that has cake shops scurrying to meet orders.

I-primo, a bridal jewelry store selling engagement rings, decided to take advantage of this holiday season for lovers to drum up business by using cake, a Cold Stone ice cream Christmas cake to be more precise, as a means to pop the questionRead More

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