The defrosted reality of 24 frozen meals at Thai 7-Elevens

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RocketNews 24:

The frozen food section at the local convenience store may not hold any lofty culinary treasures, but it does hold the key to saving time and energy after a long day. All around the world, people value frozen foods for their convenience and, sometimes, their deliciousness.

But can you really trust the picture on the front of the package to be what comes out of the microwave? One Thai netizen went on a quest to demystify the frozen food section of Thailand’s 7-Elevens and posted photos of 24 heated up meals to see how they compared to people’s expectations.

Lonelynite, a user of the Thai webforum Pantip, posted the photos to share what a diet of only frozen meals from 7-Eleven would look like. The meals all cost between 30 to 45 baht (US$0.92 to US$1.38) and were a variety of Southeast Asian, Chinese, and Western cuisine. There were even a few Japanese foods including karaage fried chicken or Japanese-style curry. While some of the food looked pretty good, some did not look appetizing at all. Check out all 24 meals below!

 

1. Fish in red curry fried with rice

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2. Pork fried rice

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3. Japanese curry and tonkatsu (pork cutlet) with Japanese rice

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4. Stir fried mixed vegetables and omelette with rice

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5. Shrimp fried rice

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6. Korean-style chicken with rice

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7. Spaghetti carbonara with ham

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8. Spaghetti with chili pork basil leaf

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9. Stir-fried Japanese rice with salmon

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10. Chicken sausage fried rice

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11. American fried rice

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12. Stir-fried basil shrimp with rice

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13. Stir-fried chicken with chili paste and bamboo shoots

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14. Fried mackerel and shrimp paste sauce with rice

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15. Hainanese chicken rice with soup

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16. Pork panang curry with rice

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17. Karaage chicken with Japanese rice

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18. Spaghetti tomato sauce with chicken

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19. Stir-fried basil vegetarian protein with rice

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20. Stir-fried pork and basil with rice

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21. Noodles

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22. Stir-fried pork with basil leaf and rice

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23. Grilled pork steak with Japanese rice

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24. Crab fried rice

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How did the frozen meals of Thailand’s 7-Eleven match up to the photos on the package?

Make juicy roast beef in your rice cooker with vacuum cooking!

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RocketNews 24:

Japanese website Pouch would like to let our English-speaking readers in on a simple, time and effort-conserving way to cook a flavorful roast beef. This method also allows the meat to retain all of its natural juices, so you can impress your friends with an incredibly tender home-cooked meal.

But get ready for the best part of all–you get to let your rice cooker do all the hard work!

In this vacuum method of cooking (also known as sous-vide in French), the meat comes into contact with neither air nor water, but instead cooks slowly through controlled heating. Consequently, the meat preserves its juices and it results in an incredibly moist cut of meat. And of course, the best part about using a rice cooker is that you don’t have to worry about regulating the cooking temperature at all!

For this recipe you will need:

  • Beef round, 500 grams/1.1 lbs. Our Japanese writer comments that while 100 grams of roast beef usually costs her about 500 yen (US$4.20), she can buy Australian beef for roughly 100 yen ($0.84) per 1oo grams, and it still comes out very tender.
  • Salt and black pepper, as needed
  • Olive oil (vegetable oil is OK too), as needed
  • A rice cooker
  • An airtight, heat-resistant plastic ziplock bag

Directions:

1. Coat the meat thoroughly with salt and black pepper.

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2. Wrap it in a paper towel and let it sit for about 30 minutes, until the towel absorbs all the excess water.

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3. Uncover the meat after 30 minutes. Heat the oil in a pan over medium-high heat, then saute the meat until the entire surface is lightly browned.

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4. In a different pot, begin to boil some water.

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5. Place the meat in an airtight, heat-resistant ziplock bag, making sure to let out all the air before sealing.

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6. Turn the rice cooker on to its lower, “heat retaining” function (look for the 保温状態 button on Japanese rice cookers), then place the bag with meat inside. Pour the hot water in once it reaches approximately 70°C (158°F). Wait 30 more minutes.

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※Note: Cooking times will vary depending on how thick your slice of meat is. Twenty minutes is a good rule of thumb for most steaks.

7. Take it out after 30 minutes and let it cool.

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※Note: If you try to cut it while it’s still hot, the juices won’t have settled yet and you’ll lose most of them.

8. Cut the meat into slices once it’s cool. Enjoy your roast beef with fresh ginger or wasabi and soy sauce on the side for additional flavoring.

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Well, what do you think? Why not give it a try the next time you’re in the mood for a flavorful meal with minimal effort?

We’ll leave you with a few more mouth-tantalizing photos. Good luck!

▼Vacuum cooking…

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▼…is so easy…

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▼…that anyone can do it!

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Original article by Heiko Edajima

Kobe beef burgers coming to Japanese fast food chain Lotteria

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It’s kind of ironic that the hamburger gets saddled with a stigma as the lowest rung of entrées. Sure, it’s a staple of cheap, low-quality fast food chains, but it’s also beef, the highest form of our three most commonly eaten meats, and as such deserves a certain measure of respect.

That goes double for the newest hamburger from Japanese hamburger chain Lotteria, since it’s made with the most respected beef of all: Kobe beef.

Recently, Lotteria’s been backing off a bit on maintaining its image as the king of fast food zaniness. In recent months, the same restaurant that brought us the 10-patty Attack on Titan sandwich and milkshakes based on Japanese horror classic The Ring has rolled out a couple of limited-time items that don’t sound so much crazy as crazy-tasty, such as the Tochigi wagyu burger with strawberry sauce that we tried back in October (and crave another of right now).

On January 29, Lotteria is set to release its newest high-grade beef temptation, and this time it’s sourcing its ingredients straight from the top by using Kobe beef.

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RocketNews 24:

The Kobe beef hamburger steak burger features a coarse-ground patty made from select livestock raised with premium feed and pure water. Hardcore burger aficionados in Japan often shun ketchup in favor of specially crafted sauces, and Lotteria’s Kobe beef burger delivers on this front with a decadent double punch.

To start with, even more Kobe beef is combined with sautéed onions grown in Awaji (which, like Kobe, is in Hyogo prefecture) and tomatoes to create what Lotteria dubs Kobe beef meat sauce. This is mixed with a rich demi-glace sauce seasoned with bullion and apples, and the resulting hybrid is dolloped onto the patty before the whole thing is crowned with a soft rice flour bun sprinkled with sesame seeds.

The limited-quantity burger is sold in a set with a medium soft drink for 1,500 yen (US$12.50). You could argue that’s a lot for fast food, but hey, it’s still a bargain for a meal with Kobe beef.

Lifehack: How to Defrost a Steak in 5 Minutes Without Electricity

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FoodBeast/RocketNews 24:

 

This trick is just too cool to pass up. At some point or another, we’ve all bought meat in bulk. You can’t possibly finish it all so you freeze it, but then when it comes time to eat it, you have a choice. Leave it out for a few hours on the countertop to defrost or heat it up in the microwave carefully hoping you don’t overcook and ruin it. What if there was a way where you don’t have to wait more than ten minutes or even use electricity to defrost that steak?

According to RocketNews24, this neat trick comes from CTi, a Taiwanese cable TV network, where they show us how to defrost a 1 cm-thick steak in just 5 minutes. All you need are two metal pots and water.

First, turn one pot upside down and place the steak on top.

 

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Next, fill the other pot with water just to give it some weight and place it on top of the steak, sandwiching the steak between them.

 

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After 5 minutes, your steak will be defrosted.

 

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A little hard to believe? Here’s the science behind how it works.

As we all know, metal is a great conductor for many things including heat. Metals like aluminum conduct ambient heat which is surprisingly sufficient to defrost a steak. Sandwiching it between two large metal surfaces, weighted by water, increases the surface area contacting the steak and the room temperature air, making the conduction more efficient.

CTi demonstrated this trick with a steak about a centimeter thick, defrosting it in 5 minutes, and according to the show, a 5 cm-thick steak would only take 10 minutes.

Check out the video below —  it’s all in Chinese with no subtitles, but you get the main point.

 

 

 

Link

Tokyo-based steak chain set to debut in New York

 

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RocketNews 24:

 

When one thinks of exported Japanese food, one tends to imagine sushi, miso, and other dishes that have become so ingrained in the English lexicon that they no longer warrant italics.

One thing you almost definitely don’t consider when thinking about Japanese food is steak. Why would you? Steak is the territory of Western food, often associated specifically with American diners; Which is what makes the New York debut of Ikinari Steak – a Ginza-area chain – so much more surprising.

The chain’s original location in Ginza, which stands at just 65 meters squared – barely large enough to raise a fork to your mouth without hitting someone in the jaw – apparently sees about 500 customers per day. That’s a huge number considering the insane competition in Tokyo at large and, more specifically, in Ginza, which is well known for quality diners, cafes and restaurants.

 

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Because Ikinari Steak (the name meaning, appropriately, “Sudden Steak”) has no tables and is standing room only, it boasts an extremely quick customer turnaround, with the average visit lasting 30 minutes or less, so the line outside – and there is always a line – tends to evaporate more quickly than expected.

Japanese media speculates that part of the restaurant’s viability can be attributed to the commercial success of the Ore No series of Italian, French and Japanese food parlors run by famous chefs in cramped quarters. That chain of restaurants has passed savings on to customers by maintaining super high quality food offerings while cutting out traditional restaurant expenses like tables and chairs, forcing hungry-yet-willing customers to stand while they eat.

Ikinari Steak follows suit, giving customers a hell of a deal with huge steak portions that amount to around 5 yen (US$.05) per gram. Time will tell, of course, if Ikinari Steak’s New York outing is fortune or folly; Because, obesity numbers prove, Americans (this writer among them) will eat just about anything once, but we are surprisingly picky about red meat.

Source: Yahoo! Japan

 

Check out this link:

 

Tokyo-based steak chain set to debut in New York