Mecha Cute Rilakkuma Tea Cover!

20130808-午前112947.jpg

For anyone living in Japan Rilakkuma リラックマ is very abundant and excessively popular. His name derives from the English work ‘relax’ and the Japanese word for bear (kuma), so ‘relax bear’.

He is one of my favorites since there is a rumor that he is in fact an ojiisan (middle aged man) in a bear suit. Based upon the fact that slightly below the back if his neck is a zipper that runs down his back. He kinda has the personality of an old guy too and enjoys lying around, eating sleeping and watching TV. Because of all this he is surprisingly popular with older men!

20130808-午前112313.jpg

Anyhow a couple days I walked into a conbini (convenience store) to buy my regular green tea and noticed it had a little package on top!

The current promotion includes this cute little sock with the tea that you can use to cover your bottle so that in the summer. The condensation that typically forms outside of the bottle is absorbed so it doesn’t not wet things in your bag!

There a 5 types to collect, drinkymashou!

20130808-午前112317.jpg

Advertisements

Mintia ミンティア Reviews Part 2

20121016-午前084615.jpg

So there shall be a part 2 (and probably a part 3) to my Mintia ミンティア reviews, mostly as I’m completely addicted and there just seems to be a plethora of obscure flavours available if you keep an eye out for them!

20121016-午前084915.jpg
Mintia – Relax Shower

Honestly I’m really unsure as to what this flavour is supposed to be, they are certainly one of the mint based varieties of Mintia however the flavour is weak up forgettable.
Lets just say if Relax Shower was a going to a Mintia Hollywood party it would be the one to arrive after all the coke had been finished and their was already a dead stripper floating in the pool. Oddly enough it’s vaguely spicy at times but not in a good way.
To its credit the name Relax Shower did amuse the Daniel. Still Fail.
2/5

20121016-午前084823.jpg
Mintia – Miracle Cherry
ミラクルチェリ

Now these I had high hopes for based on the fact it has miracle in the title and the shininess of the packaging, donning holographic stickers, sparkles and the promise of rekindling the joyful memories of ones childhood.
Unfortunately the mints themselves tasted like something more akin to the cherry candies that kids tend not to like as they taste like something akin to cough syrup.
Also as a side note some of them have little Sakura shapes imprinted into them but for some reason oddly not all….
That said their not horrible, just kind of a meh and deflated weak artificial cherry taste. Whats worse their kinda gritty to the point it feels like your eating flour at times, needless to say they certainly don’t live up to their implied promises of unicorns and rainbows, leaving my childhood vigor unkindled.
3/5

20121016-午前084731.jpg
Mintia – Honey Ginger

I love EVERYTHING about the Honey Ginger Mintia! I truly believe these could possibly be my favourite, which makes me a little sad seeing as they are quite hard to come by!!
Anyhow to begin with the packing itself is a pleasant opaque mustard colour matching the feel of the flavour.
This is one Mintia that dominates in an area where most others fell short, it has the perfect balance of a subtle sweet honey flavour whilst occasionally a secondary ginger note finds its way through. Hardly seeming like a mint at all the experience is more akin to eating candy, and so I find myself vacuuming these delicious honey treats up!!!
If you come across these bad boys BUY BUY BUY!!!!
(Daniel hopes a Mintia marketing manager will come across this post and send him a crate of these)
4.75/5

20121016-午前084703.jpg
Mintia – Dry Hard

Now these fiery little balls of pain have got to be if not the strongest mints I’v ever tried then at least strongest Mintia flavour.
They also have this written on the front of the pack
カフェイン・カフセル配合
which translates to caffeine formulation, so the kick they give you is not just the insane amount if mint but also a Caffeine one also, just how many mg each brings to the table I can not tell you as it is not written on either the pack or the website. I often put a couple different flavored Mintia in my desk at work and chuck one of these in as a minty Russian roulette of sorts……. Yeah I get bored.
3.5/5

20121016-午前085035.jpg
Mintia – Cassis Orange
カシスオレンジ

Cassis Orange is one of the more pleasing Minta flavours, very sweet and addictive not entirely unlike the Aqua Sparkle ones and so often find myself devouring one after another!
Underneath the name on the front it reads オレンジ果汁+オレンジアロアビース配合
apparently this means blended orange juice and orange aroma beads were used in the ingredients.

The pills themselves have a nice pink colour fitting to the flavour, however although I enjoy them thoroughly and will certainly buy them again they are still nothing to write home about.
Just as a side note Cassis is the French word for black-current which the Japanese adopted, I only mention this as it was months before I worked what the hell cassis berry were myself XD
4/5

20121016-午前103948.jpg
Mintia – Lemon Ginger
レモンジンジャー

Unfortunately unlike its other Ginger cousin Honey Ginger these do not pack anywhere near the same punch.
I found the ginger to be all but a frail aftertaste and the body to be nothing more than a weak lemony taste.
Although not entirely unpleasant these wouldn’t even make it into my Top 10 Mintia flavours.
2.5/5

Japanese Pastries 日本のパン

20121211-午後090457.jpg
Now there is a little bakery near one of my schools whos amazing looking pastries I always end up drooling at as I pass by each morning.
This morning I finally admitted defeat and headed in to purchase a couple if the more interesting looking Danish pastries on offer.

20121211-午後091127.jpg

20121211-午後091142.jpg

The first goes by the name of Kinako Denisshu きな粉デニッシュ (Soy Bean Flour Danish). This is a very ‘Japanese’ inspired baked good, including a fusion of Danish and Japanese ingredients, essentially the ingredients are those one might expect to find in mochi! Topped with kinako きな粉 (roasted soy bean flour) granting it its name, the centre is filled with anko あんこ (sweet red bean paste) and cream with 2 small mochi on top. All in all certainly on the delicious side of things ^_^

20121211-午後091212.jpg

20121211-午後091217.jpg

The other was a Purin Denisshu プリンデニッシュ (Pudding Danish), Purrin プリン a Japanese word referring being a katakana bastardization of pudding are immensely popular dairy treats in Japan, smooth and creamy they are actually more akin to what most would consider custard. Anyhow basically they have wrapped one of these delicious creamy puddings in a Danish pastry, resulting in a subtly sweet, smooth buttery texture. Another WIN in my books!

The Mochi Diaries: Chapter 9 – Mochitsuki Special Edition 餅搗き増刊

20121030-午前084334.jpg

In this special mochitsuki 餅搗き edition of The Mochi Diaries im going to go down a path a little different from the norm, welcome to Chapter 9 of The Mochi Diaries- Mochitsuki Special Edition 餅搗き増刊.

20121206-午前112157.jpg

Last weekend my base chuugakkou 中学校 (Junior Highschool) had their annual mochitsukui no hi 持ち搗きの日 (Mochi making day), obviously due to my grand affinity for mochi such an event had me excited from the moment I heard about its existence!

https://i0.wp.com/pds2.exblog.jp/pds/1/200901/07/65/f0140365_18534380.jpg

An annual tradition across Japan, making mochi is a traditional part of the shogatsu 正月 (New years) celebration. Mochi is an essential food around the end of the year with it being included in several Osechi-ryōri 御節料理 (Traditional Japanese New Year foods) including zōni お雑煮 (Clear savoury Japanese soup containing mochi), Kagami mochi 鏡餅 (literally mirror rice cake, a new years decoration) and shiruko 汁粉 (Sweet red bean soup with mochi).

037

Rice being boiled before the pounding

20121206-午前111250.jpg

Boiled sticky rice 餅米 (mochigome) is placed into a stone concave container and patted with water whilst being flipped by one person while another beats the dough with a large wooden mallet.

20121206-午前110400.jpg
The rice is slowly mashed until it forms a sticky white ball of dough which can be divided up and shaped.

20121206-午前112724.jpg

At my school, each class and year level had a turn throughout the day at pounding their own mochi with members I the local community.

20121206-午前113333.jpg

20121206-午前113501.jpg

Once the pounding was complete the dough is moved to a rice flour covered table where the students shape and package their mochi to take home.

20121206-午前112947.jpg
A row of the finished products.

20121206-午前114156.jpg

I received my own box to take home and rather than just eating them as is I though I might show you just how versatile a food these sticky balls of joy in fact are!!

20121206-午前114209.jpg
Along side the mochi, also included in the pack was a small ball of anko 餡こ (sweet red bean paste) a popular mochi filling and a packet of kinako 黄粉 (toasted soybean flour) a popular mochi coating.

20121206-午前114629.jpg

20121206-午前114827.jpg

The first piece I put in zenzai 善哉 (sweet red bean soup) which I made using by adding a little milk to some anko and heating it up.

20121206-午前114823.jpg
As you can see the mochi begins to dissolve once placed in the soup, gaining a delicious squishy, sticky texture!

20121206-午後025548.jpg
The other piece I placed on some foil and baked at 170degrees for about 20minutes. When subjected to heat the mochi grows up like a crispy mushroom whilst the bottom half retains the sticky mochi texture anchoring it.
I filled the bottom with the anko paste and used the kinako powder to dust the outside, really my own creation of my imagination, I shall call ‘yaita kinako kinoko mochi’ 焼いた黄粉茸餅 (baked soybean mushroom mochi)!
めっちゃ美味しいですよ!!!!

20121206-午前113828.jpg
I leave you with a photo of yours truly looking positively strapping on the day

☆〜(ゝ。∂)

Want to read more Mochi Diaries Posts?

The Mochi Diaries: Chapter 8 – Kuri Yatsuhashi 栗八つ橋

<———– Last

The Mochi Diaries: Chapter 10 – Kaki Mochi 柿餅

Next ———>

Homemade Sashimi Teishoku 自家製の刺身定食

Many who know me will be aware of my grand love of teishoku 定食 (Japanese Set Meal) which are always ever so special when you make them yourself.

20121126-午前085334.jpg

Last night I came across some sashimi at a local produce store that I though looked fair delicious, so I though I would try my hand at slicing up sashimi.

The pack I purchased included Saba 鯖 (mackerel), ika いか (squid), maguro 鮪 (tuna) and hamachi 魬 (yellowtail).

20121126-午前085524.jpg
Although I am a decade off becoming a master sushi chef I’m down with the fundamentals of slicing raw fish, basically the most important part is you cut fish across the grain not along it otherwise its going to end up tough and chewy instead of melt in your mouthy.

20121126-午前090116.jpg

There are different techniques used for cutting different varieties of fish, for sashimi mostly the hira zukiri 平ずきり (thick sliced sashimi) technique is used which is good if the fish is to become sashimi.
However with squid it is first scored then cut using the ito zukiri 糸ずきり(thread sliced sashimi) technique.

20121126-午前092418.jpg

20121126-午前092428.jpg
In terms of wasabi わさび (Japanese horseradish), I always use the much higher quality konawasabi 粉わさび which must be reconstituted using a little water.

20121126-午前092856.jpg
And here we have the finished product, all sliced and ready to eat!

20121126-午前092908.jpg
Alongside this I simply prepared some steamed garlic shoots, miso soup and various tsukemono 漬物 (Japanese pickles). Normally this would also be accompanied by a bowl of rice but I’m on a diet so I skipped it to save the empty carbs ☆〜(ゝ。∂)

いただきます‼

The Mochi Diaries: Chapter 8 – Kuri Yatsuhashi 栗八つ橋

20121030-午前084334.jpg

Yes today I bring to you yet another yatsuhashi instalment of The Mochi Diaries, and so this is Chapter 8 – Kuri Yatsuhashi 栗八つ橋.

The Kuri 栗 (chestnut) flavour is a popular mochi filling at this time of year as we are half way through Aki 秋(autumn).

20121030-午前085623.jpg

Of corse there is to be an autumn variation of yatsuhashi and I came across this box at my favourite omiyage shop in Osaka a few weeks ago.

20121030-午前085643.jpg

I’v tried many kuri flavored mochi in the past so I went in pretty much knowing exactly what to expect, however there is the addition of the awesome texture of the yatsuhashi wrappings that always brings the mochi noming experience up to the next level.

20121030-午前085957.jpg

This aside I think I can safely say that these are my least favourite of the yatsuhashi flavours I have tried thus far.
I find the the Japanese autumn flavours to be on the bland side of things, having a large emphasis on starchy vegetables such as Kabocha 南瓜 (Pumpkin), Kuri 栗 (Chestnuts) and Satsumaimo さつま芋 (Sweet Potato). This really shined through with these kuri yatsuhashi, filled with the vaguely sweet kuri paste which I feel doesn’t compliment the outer mochi all that amazingly.
Regardless I still ate them all hungrily however in the future I think I’d prefer to stick with the more traditional cinnamon variety.
3/5

Want to read more Mochi Diaries Posts?

The Mochi Diaries: Chapter 7 – Ninja (Kusa) Dango 草餅

<———– Last

 The Mochi Diaries: Chapter 9 – Mochitsuki Special Edition 餅搗き増刊

Next ———>

Popin’ Cookin’ – Curry Set (Meccha Oishii Japanese Candy Adventures: Part 2)

20121017-午後040830.jpg

I know it’s been a long while since I published the first installment of ‘Meccha Oishii Japanese Candy Adventures’ but every step of creating these posts is very time consuming so I have been subconsciously putting off creating Part 2, alas it is now complete so please enjoy. Popin’ Cookin’ – Curry Set (Meccha Oishii Japanese Candy Adventures: Part 2)

20121017-午後040901.jpg

In this kit we shall be making karē raisu カレーライス (curry rice) and accompanying Korokke コロッケ (croquettes) a popular dish in Japan. Keep in mind like the last entry where I made gyoza and ramen, similarly these tiny dishes are actually savoury.

First things first take your various bowls and cut them up accordingly, this will make things easier. If you like you can also trim around the round serving bowl to make it a tad more aesthetically pleasing.

First we will be making the rice so grab the blue packet ライス.

Pour the entire contents of the rice packet along with not one but TWO measures of water into the almost rectangular container and mix it until it becomes fluffy.

Once your done transfer your ‘rice’ to the serving bowl, covering 2/3rds of one side as I have done.

Next up were making the Korokke コロッケ so grab the orange pack labeled Poteto ポテト (Potato).

Once again pour the packet into the almost rectangular container along with ONE measure of water and mix until you can roll it into a doughy ball.

Spit the dough in half, transfer to a plate and mold them to whatever takes your fancy. I went with a star and heart, this can be a little tricky to do ebtirely with you fingers, so use the mixing spoon as it is flat.

Once your done, temporarily set them aside.

Take the bag of crispy balls and crush them to dust prior to opening them.

Once again pour the crushed balls into the almost rectangular container.

Then proceed to roll your potato shapes in the crispy coating until they are well covered.

Once again set them aside as they are all done!

For the final step grab the brown packet labeled カレー (curry) and pour it into the almost rectangle container.

Add ONE measure of water to the powder and mix thoroughly until it is a thick brown paste.

Transfer your finished curry to the serving bowl in the empty third alongside your rice and your done!

There you have it the finished dish カレーライス コロッケ セット(curry rice and croquette set meal) !

Score
Funness (楽しい) – 4/5
Tastiness (美味しい) – 3.5/5
Authenticness (正真正銘) – 4.5/5
Overall impression (全体の印象) – 4/5