Do Not Eat Here: Fatburger in Tokyo!

America’s Fatburger is now available in Japan! They are famous for their patties that are roughly double the size of ordinary Japanese burgers.
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This news saddens me deeply.

No one I know in the US would describe Fatburger’s food as fresh. Authentic? I have no metric. Tasty is a personal thing, but for me this is not. Well, more accurately, it can be tasty while eating it. It’s about 15 minutes after that you probably will realize that you’ve made a huge mistake.

Japan, and Tokyo specifically, have so many better local hamburger options than gorging themselves on this supersized cholesterol bomb.

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Mastering the Art of Japanese Home Cooking on sale for $3 in Kindle edition / Boing Boing

Last year Carla and I took a day long Japanese cooking class in Tokyo. We learned how to make Japanese omelettes (tamagoyaki) and a basic soup stock (dashi). I can’t wait to go back and take another class. I love the book Mastering the Art of Japanese Home Cooking by Masaharu Morimoto, which has recipes for all the classic Japanese dishes. It’s available in the Kindle edition (with lots of color photos) right now for $3. I bought it because it is nice to use cookbooks on an iPad and be able to do word searches for things.
— Read on

I picked up a copy. You should, too!

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Instant Pot Turkey breast – Roger Stringer

Instant Pot Turkey breast – Roger Stringer
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I like the concept of this, and the recipe looks pretty good. This is the kind of Thanksgiving I could do in my tiny Tokyo kitchen with my imported Instant Pot. I would get rid of the coconut oil, replacing it with maybe sesame oil.

I’m not sure what a turkey gravy packet is. I think it’s one of those instant jobs in the supermarket spice isle. It would make things a bit more “instant pot” but I would probably do up a roux in my cast iron skillet, separate the drippings, and build the gravy in a more traditional way. My tiny Tokyo kitchen wouldn’t have the capacity for that and side dishes, so in the packets go!

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Flavored eel bones: a crunchy yummy snack

Flavored eel bones: a crunchy yummy snack:

I’m no stranger to eating bones. As a child I was like a cat hearing the lid being peeled off a can and flying into the kitchen to see what’s for dinner. Every time my mother opened some canned salmon, there I’d be, standing by her side waiting for her to drop some of those soft, greasy, salty fish bones into my hands. But I haven’t done that in years.

Fast forward to the other day, when I came across a bag of similar-looking bones in my local supermarket here in Japan. A quick look and I noticed they weren’t salmon bones, nor were they soft or greasy. They were eel bones.

Dry roasted eel bones, in fact. The package tells me they are chock full of calcium, vitamins A, B2, D, and E. Who needs potato chips when for 200 yen you can get 26 grams of eel bones to nosh on? Not only that, but Kyomaru makes several different flavors, too: spicy, salt, soy sauce, wasabi, and sweet sesame seed flavored.

(Via Boing Boing)

Ohhh. Something to look for this weekend!

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Chaos Soup: Japanese tomato smoothie with cream cheese / Boing Boing

Chaos Soup: Japanese tomato smoothie with cream cheese / Boing Boing:


Kirin Sekai no Kitchen has recently started selling a product they call Melting Chaos Soup. It’s sold beside the bottled water and teas. …

Yes. Melting Chaos Soup boasts a brand new genre in drinks. It says it’s like a smoothie soup that changes flavor from moment to moment. Shake well, open and give it a sniff, then bottoms up. It’s a mix of tomato (55%) and peach juice (12%), cream cheese, and mint.

Read on for the review. I kind of want to check this out, so stay tuned for my take.

UPDATE: This Just In: Enjoy a fresh taste of Spain as brand new Gazpacho arrives on Japanese shores

Apparently this is now a trend?

Made with only nine natural ingredients — tomato, red bell pepper, cucumber, garlic, extra virgin olive oil, vinegar, onion, salt and lemon extract — this preservatives- and additives-free soup is also the ultimate veggie smoothie. Its key ingredients are all packed with fiber and are high in water content, making it the perfect low-calorie snack. Add to this a rich taste and tons of other health benefits, stretching from boosting hydration to serving as an anti-aging supplement.

As with most soups, Gazpacho’s perfect partner is bread, and it can be enjoyed throughout the year even when the weather cools down. And if you ever get bored drinking it on its own (which is unlikely to happen), feel free to use it as a base for other dishes — including pizza and risotto — to add a fresh, Andalusian kick.

Setting aside the total advertising jag of the Japan Today story, it is funny how fast different companies will jump on a trend and how fast the trend will disappear. I wonder if either will be available in 12 months.

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Why Carbs Don’t Make You Fat | The Art of Manliness

Why Carbs Don’t Make You Fat | The Art of Manliness
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To;dr – it’s boring old calories across the food spectrum that make us fat, not carbs all on their own.

This is a very long yet information dense read. I recommend it if for no other reason than describing Brett’s original view (low carb FTW!) and how he advocated that stance only to allow himself to be persuaded away from it by science. It’s a sadly uncommon bit of bravery to be willing and able to change one’s own mind.

This does back up my anecdotal observations in Japan where they eat the diet ultimately recommended here: high (healthy, low processed) carbohydrates, low fat, and moderate protein all in modest caloric intake. They do other things, like eating family-style when eating out in a group, that help to keep the calories down.

My own eating further backs this up in my own mind: when I eat a largely Japanese diet my weight drops; when I eat a modern American diet my weight increases.

Ultimately, Michael Pollen summed it up best:

Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.

As always, YMMV.

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Culinary Appropriation

Culinary Appropriation:

How sushi culture is different between Japan and the USA
…so I can afford more bizarro ice cream flavors!

(Via Itchy Feet: the Travel and Language Comic)

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Oyakodon w/ added mushrooms & broccoli for dinner 🐔🍚🍄🥦🥚🍜
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Vegesushi: How Three Japanese Creatives are Stirring up the Sushi World

Vegesushi: How Three Japanese Creatives are Stirring up the Sushi World:

Sushi is a quintessential Japanese food, but making it the right way just isn’t easy. At most sushi restaurants in Japan, you can expect that the person behind the counter has probably been training as a sushi chef for years – if not decades. Put simply, it’s not something that you can pick up and do lightly. And for vegetarians or vegans who might want to eat sushi, the options are pretty limited – it’s cucumber rolls, natto rolls, and maybe a shiso maki roll if you’re lucky.

Finding a way, then, to make interesting and appealing sushi for vegetarians, and in a way that doesn’t take years of practice, is a pretty tricky problem to solve. But with a little ingenuity, and the help of a traditional Japanese kitchen tool, a creative trio came across a clever – and tasty – solution, and it’s been getting plenty of attention in Japan and overseas.

(Via Tokyo Weekender)

My daughter is #Pescetarian, so typical sushi is in her wheel house but she will appreciate vegetarian options. My friend @gabriannaccone is #vegan so I am throwing #vegetarian things at her with the thought that they’re editable.

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Japanese people try American style sushi. Not impressed.

Japanese people try American style sushi. Not impressed.:

Asian Boss asked Japanese people on the streets in Tokyo to try American style sushi.

“I can see that they try to hide the fish flavor by using mayonnaise and adding a bunch of avocado.”


(Via Boing Boing)

Sad and accurate.

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