Soy Shape saucers add a third dimension to your sushi experience

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RocketNews 24 (by Michelle Hughes):

These dishes make playing with your food look classy and intelligent.

There’s always something cool and unusual to be found on Kickstarter, like ramen charts, samurai armor hoodies, or, in this case, ceramic saucers that play tricks with your eyes when filled with soy sauce.

▼ Soy Shape models “Cubes” and “Impossible Triangle”

soy shapes dishes

As for exactly how this optical illusion works,Tokyo-based creator and designer Duncan Shotton says that the slightly varying levels of the inner surface of the saucers take advantage of natural color gradations that occur in soy sauce at different depths. Thus, when the saucers are filled, the soy sauce takes on a 3-D quality.

The dishes are made from Hakuji porcelain in Gifu. Hakuji ceramics have a legacy stretching back to the 1600s, so the Soy Shape saucers are definitely going to be high-class.

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You already know the drill when it comes to Kickstarter: the more you pledge, the more awesome the perks become.  Although the campaign has already raised nearly four times the amount of its initial goal, you can still get in on the action and score a Soy Shape at prices starting at US$19.50.

There’s only a few days left in the Soy Shape campaign, so head on over to theKickstarter page ASAP if you’re looking to pick one up.

Molecule in soy sauce may help HIV patients

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Japanese Culture:

You may know the soy sauce is very good for our health, but do you know that it is a potential effect on HIV for soy sauce?

An amazing research result was revealed by the study of the University of Missouri in their paper. According to their paper, the soy sauce used in Japanese food is likely to contain a strong molecule “EFdA” which can be 70 times more potent than Tenofovir (the major anti-HIV viral drug).

Stefan Sarafianos, one of the researchers at University of Missouri School of Medicine, said “EFdA, the molecule we are studying, is less likely to cause resistance in HIV patients because it is more readily activated and is less quickly broken down by the body as similar existing drugs.” Sarafianos and his team of researchers recreated the exact structure and configuration of the molecule, which is now being tested by the pharmaceutical company Merck.

I’m looking forward to further research reports as one of the drug developers and also that of Japanese who love soy sauce.

From lotus root to alcohol: Are powdered foods the next big boom in Japan?

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RocketNews24:

What’s that crumbly brown stuff on the rice pictured above?

If you guessed that it was some combination of spices, you’re (mostly) wrong. It’s actually the powdered form of a common cooking ingredient that you can find in any Japanese home. In fact, powdered foods in general have recently been drawing a lot of attention in Japan, so we wanted to share some interesting tidbits about them with you. And like the powder in the picture above, you might be surprised by what you find!

Why buy powdered foods instead of the real thing?

When cooking with powdered ingredients, you don’t need to worry about the hassle of washing or peeling vegetables. The fine particles also create an interesting sensation while you’re eating, as if the very foods themselves were melting in your mouth. In addition, powdered and other dehydrated foods have prolonged shelf lives compared with those of fresh ingredients.

Powdered renkon (lotus root)

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Powdered renkon is said to be effective at boosting your immune system and at reducing the symptoms of allergies such as hay fever. Japanese opera singer Keiko Nakajima reportedly consumed renkon powder for a period of five years, after which the allergy symptoms which she had experienced ever since she was a child effectively disappeared. You don’t have to stress about how to eat it, either–one easy solution is to mix the powder into the filling of meatballs or hamburgers. Twitter user @k_parepu offers another idea:

Powdered onion

Onions: red, brown, whole, peeled, sliced, rings.

Quercetin is a substance found in many fruits, vegetables, and grains, with large quantities found in the flesh of onions in particular. It acts as an antioxidant, as well as helping to remove toxins and maintain blood flow throughout your body. Quercetin is also resistant to high temperatures and is easily soluble.

Powdered soy sauce

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Yup, that brown powder topping the bowl of rice in the picture above was nothing other than soy sauce! It may be strange to think about the common kitchen ingredient in a non-liquid form, but it actually makes a great addition to salads, meat, fish, sautéed vegetables, stir-fry, and pasta, and goes especially well with the crunchiness of deep-fried foods such as tempura.

As featured on our Japanese sister site Pouch, you can enjoy powdered soy sauce on:

▼Rice

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▼Deep-fried things

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▼…or even tomatoes!

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Our writer commented that the flavor and aroma of the soy sauce powder intensified when it was sprinkled on hot foods, where the soy sauce flavor combined with yuzu and hints of cayenne pepper was delightfully satisfying.

 

And last but not least, powdered alcohol! 

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Alcohol in a powdered form!? Your nose isn’t lying because that powdery stuff (conceivably) in front of you is alcohol–only with the water removed. Apparently, 17 countries in the world have special licenses to manufacture alcohol in a powdered form, which is subject to the same liquor taxes as regular alcoholic drinks. Got travel plans but no room in the suitcase to bring drinks? Just mix some alcohol powder with water and you’ve got an instant drink!

Spritz soy on your sushi with handy and delicious Sushi Spray

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RocketNews 24:

When eating sushi, it’s customary to dip each morsel into a small dish of soy sauce before popping it into your mouth. True connoisseurs hold that the proper way to do this is to first turn each piece over so that just the fish, and not the rice, comes into contact with the soy.

However, gripping the piece firmly enough to pick it up, yet gently as to not crush the rice, rotating it 180 degrees for the dip, then spinning it back again to eat can be tricky, especially if you’re not used to chopsticks (or if you’re not used to the sake you’ve paired with your sushi). So if you’ve got a cultured palate but lack manual dexterity, this special sushi soy sauce spray is seemingly the solution.

Although soy sauce is one of the most traditional components of Japanese cuisineFukuma Soy Sauce isn’t afraid to branch out and innovate. In the past the company has sold soy sauce specially designed to be mixed into yogurt or drizzled on bread, as well as soy for cats and dogs to eat. This time, though, it’s not the soy sauce itself that’s so unusual, but the delivery method.

 

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In contrast to ordinary soy sauce, Sushi Spray has the darker color of varieties typically served at sushi restaurants. As novel as the product is, Fukuma wasn’t trying to be clever with the name, and Sushi Spray is exactly what it sounds like: a spray bottle that lets you target the exact piece of sushi you’re planning to eat next.

 

▼ Let’s start with egg, the tasty, bargain basement of sushi items.

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▼ Take a deep breath, become one with the target, and…

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▼ Bull’s-eye!

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Not only did we get a perfectly placed spritz of soy, we were treated to an amazingly rich aroma that left our nose pleased and our stomach growling.

 

▼ You’re next, squid!

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As a matter of fact, it smelled so good that it almost made our supermarket-procured meal seem like the fare of a high-class Tsukiji sushi establishment. Granted, our coworkers just gave us puzzled looks when we started trying to order drinks from them, but we still got to bask in culinary luxury for a few moments, thanks to our bottle of Sushi Spray.

 

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Chef Naomichi Yasuda shows the Dos and Don’ts of eating sushi

 

Japanese chef Naomichi Yasuda shows the dos and don’ts of eating sushi in a recent video by Munchies, a relatively new food-related section of Vice.

Just remember:

1. It’s okay to use your fingers to eat cut sushi rolls.
2. Don’t combine ginger and sushi or soy sauce. Ginger is a palate cleanser in between bites.
3. When dipping sushi into soy sauce, dip fish-side down.
4. Never shake soy sauce off of sushi. That’s like shaking your wanker in public.

Link

Japanese Twitter user stumbles across legendary deep-sea fish, cooks and eats it four different ways

RocketNews 24:

 

Every once in a while the Japanese media picks up on the story of an extremely long deep sea fish that washes up on its shores. Called an “oarfish,” it is long believed to be a harbinger of earthquakes.

But for one Twitter user it was a harbinger of an impressive four course meal. While out before sunrise, he stumbled along one of these allegedly supernatural fish washed up on shore. After contacting several marine institutes and finding none to claim the large fish, he tossed superstitions aside and acted on the belief that when life hands you an oarfish, you make oarfish fillets.

According to a series of tweets chronicling the find and subsequent gourmet experiment, Twitter user Yamasemi measured the fish at 4.2m (13’7″) and still fresh when found. He got to work and removed the tail sections which revealed a jelly-like cartilage that was remarkably clean and white.

Although that didn’t seem edible, there were still a few good meters of fish to be had. First, Yamasemi prepared some amazingly white fillets of oarfish meat with a mild soup on the side. He said that the meat had an egg-white texture to it, but also had a bit of a strong flavor that might be off-putting to some. However, he also remarked that it had a sweetness to it similar to cod and was highly delicious overall.

Next, Yamasemi tried to fry up some pieces of oarfish with butter. He said that due to the highly moist meat it toughened up very quickly when fried or boiled. This method of cooking gave it a firmer, more substantial texture than it had with the soup. He thought it was really good, but maybe it was just because he was the one doing the cooking.

However, all of this was just a harbinger of the earthshaking deliciousness of the oarfish’s heart. According to Yamasemi, this was easily the best part. He said that it had a limp texture but with some rinsing in hot water it firmed up nicely.

As you can see in the above image, the heart has three sections. Yamasemi says that each section has a unique texture to it for a delightful dining experience. The lightest-colored part was like cow intestines while the large part tasted like chicken heart.

Still basking in the glow of the oarfish heart, Yamasemi then prepared its liver by boiling it in a mixture of soy sauce, mirin, ginger, and sake for 15 minutes. Then it was served with some green onion and grated daikon doused in citrusy ponzu.

Many netizens who saw this expressed concern that little is still known about the oarfish and a potential for poison or parasites in the meat exists. However, as of this writing, Yamasemi still appears to be alive and tweeting.

Others harkened back to the superstitious past of the oarfish saying “that thing looks cursed.” While one comment thought of a more real menace writing, “I can hear the Sea Shepherd’s engines starting up right now.”

I’m going to go out on an old-school limb and say that by eating the heart of the oarfish, Yamasemi will have taken its legendary power of earthquake prediction. So beware people of the world: If you happen to find a dead Japanese Twitter user washed up on a beach near you, it’s time to get your disaster kits ready!

Source: Twitter via Itai News (Japanese)

Check out this link: 

Japanese Twitter user stumbles across legendary deep-sea fish, cooks and eats it four different ways

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New Ramen Burger Creations Include Pork Belly, Brisket, and Eggs

Foodbeast:

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Ramen Burger creator Keizo Shimamoto is looking to tantalize hipster taste buds all over again with the introduction of new creations inspired by several of his fellow Smorgasburg neighbors. Shimamoto debuted three mouthwatering photos on his blog earlier this week detailing each new Ramen Burger.

The Adobo Shack Ramen Burger draws from Filipino influence with the usual wagyu patty replaced with pork belly braised in soy sauce and vinegar. It also looks like there’s some cilantro tucked into the sammie along with some hot sauce and greens nestled between those signature ramen noodle buns.

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The Lonestar Empire Ramen Burger is an East meets West fusion with a thick cut of brisket over barbecue sauce and some fatty sliced pickles.

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Shimamoto’s original “what-if” idea was the Breakfast Ramen Burger made up of eggs, cheese and sausage. Drool. As crazy as it is genius it was this morning mashup that originally led him to collaborate with other Smorgaburg vendors. Not gonna lie, that Breakfast Ramen Burger looks like something out of my wildest food dreams. No word yet on when these new additions will make their Smorasburg debut but there’s no doubt they’ll be just as delicious as the O.G. Ramen Burger.

Check out this link:

New Ramen Burger Creations Include Pork Belly, Brisket, and Eggs

Link

KFC has its own potato chips in Japan!

RocketNews 24:

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For all of the attention Japan gets for its culinary contributions such as sushi and tempura, precious little credit is given to the way the country is always willing to push the envelope of salty snacks. Walk into any convenience store in the country, and you’ll find shelf after shelf stuffed with rice crackers, assorted nuts, and most of all, potato chips.

Recently, snack maker Calbee unleashed its newest flavor: KFC Colonel’s Crispy Potato Chips, and despite having never been to Kentucky, I knew it was my solemn duty to eat them.

Like many uniquely-flavored snacks in Japan, Calbee’s KFC potato chips are only available for a limited time. Thankfully, due to the combined clout of the two companies behind them, they’re easy to track down, and I found several bags waiting for me at the 7-Eleven down the street from my apartment.

▼ The Colonel’s Crispy chips in their natural environment

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Smiling at me from the front of the bag was Colonel Sanders himself (or Uncle Kentucky, as he’s more commonly known in Japan). Gold lettering announces “The secret ingredients are garlic and soy sauce,” and while the package designers may need to double check the meaning of the word “secret,” I think the last time I was saddened by the presence of garlic was well before I was an embryo.

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Fully ready to tear into the bag, my wife stopped me to point out the generosity contained on the back: a coupon for 30 yen (US$0.30) off a piece of Colonel’s Crispy chicken at KFC restaurants, valid until March 23. Not bad, KFC, not bad!

▼ Remember, the more chips you eat, the more you save!

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With no more economic gains to be found on the package, it was time to get this taste test started.

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The bag contained a generous amount of chips, especially considering its 148 yen price tag (or 118 yen, subtracting the value of the much-appreciated coupon). Opening the bag filled the room with a strong potato aroma, although not so much one that reminded us of fried chicken.

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The chips themselves are evenly cooked, on the crispy side but completely free of any burnt patches. I grabbed one and took a bite, looking forward to the always pleasing sensation of deep-fried bird.

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Unfortunately, the taste didn’t have the impact that I’d expected. The Colonel’s Crispy chips exhibit an unusual shifting flavor profile. Initially, they taste like regular potato chips. Next, there’s a sudden burst of flavor more evocative of fried chicken breading than the actual meat itself. Finally, there’s a mild garlic finish.

The chips don’t taste bad at all, but the all too quick transitions in flavor mean that none of them are on the palate long enough to make much of a lasting impression. The only way to do justice to the three-staged flavor of the Colonel’s Crispy chips was with a three-staged taste test, and so we moved into stage two of the project.

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These chips required the proper accompanying beverage, and clearly there was no better choice than the Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey Maker’s Mark.

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Compared to other potato chips, the KFC version is pretty low in oil, and could even be called a bit dry. Mixed with the lingering moisture from the bourbon though, the chips achieved a pleasing moisture in the mouth. The combination even helped bring out more of the garlic flavor while imparting a pleasant smokiness to it.

Emboldened by the improvement shown so far, we moved on to stage three of the plan: visual entertainment.

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If you’re not going anywhere for a while (and trust us, if you’ve been drinking bourbon and eating garlic potato chips, nobody wants to see or smell you in public), we recommend tossing in a Blu-ray of Kentucky-set crime drama Justified. Like a threat of violence delivered in a Southern drawl, the mix of lightly flavored potato chips and smooth yet strong bourbon is hard to beat.

Photos: RocketNews24

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KFC has its own potato chips in Japan!

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Bento Sushi lands at John F. Kennedy International Airport

Bento Sushi is rolling into yet another New York neighborhood! In addition to its four Manhattan street front locations, Bento is now serving fresh sushi before take off in JFK‘s Terminal 4. Available for pick up from 7 different locations throughout the terminal, Bento is offering freshly made sushi, ready for passengers to enjoy either before departure or during flight.

Bento’s offering includes everything from your traditional California Roll to a full salmon offering with its Salmon Roll Combo. All products come with wasabi, gingersoy sauce and chopsticks and are in an easy to transport package. Bento is excited to offer JFK passengers a healthy and delicious food option when traveling through New York.

We’re really excited to be making our way into another great North American Airport. This move just seemed natural for us given the strong presence we already have in Manhattan and our experience in Toronto Airport“, says Frank Hennessey, CEO of Bento Sushi.

Bento currently offers freshly made sushi in 9 locations across 2 different terminals in Toronto Pearson Airport and has 4 great restaurants in Manhattan serving fresh sushi, hot noodle soups and custom bento boxes.

Check out this link:

Bento Sushi lands at John F. Kennedy International Airport

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7 Asian Condiments That Make Everything Taste Delicious

PotStickers

7 staple Asian condiments in a Team-Yellow pantry?

The list is fairly simple: Fish sauce, oyster sauce, tamari, sambal, Hoisin sauce, rice vinegar, mirin… But you gotta check the link for not only the tidbits of info you may not have known about each one, but also the food pics.

My favorite memory? Growing up watching my mother mix soy sauce with mirin (and sugar, sesame seeds, and other ingredients), and thickening yakitori sauce over the stove, so that my father could brush it onto the skewers of chicken outside on the barbecue during the summer.

Yakitori

Check out this link:

7 Asian Condiments That Make Everything Taste Delicious