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Multi hued, multi flavored handmade caramels. (These aren't too healthy either...

Facebook JustBento-JustHungry - Thu, 2015-06-04 21:39
Multi hued, multi flavored handmade caramels.

(These aren't too healthy either but WHO CARES ^__^)


I got yet another angry email today regarding this old post. It's amazing how it...

Facebook JustBento-JustHungry - Thu, 2015-06-04 11:31
I got yet another angry email today regarding this old post. It's amazing how it stirs people up. I guess I should wish I could do that all the time with my articles. ^_^;

ETA: Actually this time the email writer was angry at me for 'stating the obvious', and saying 'MSG was evil' (which I actually didn't - I said 'if you are sensitive to it, as a few people are, it's not good....) But in any case, the article is now 8 years old, and it's still the one on Just Hungry that draws the most ire from several angles.


Instant ramen and cup noodles are very, very bad for you | Just Hungry
justhungry.com
Just Hungry is a food site dedicated to Japanese home cooking recipes for people living outside of Japan and healthy and delicious eating.

The new site design of Just Hungry is now live! A few things are not quite worki...

Facebook JustBento-JustHungry - Sat, 2015-05-30 11:40
The new site design of Just Hungry is now live! A few things are not quite working as they should but everything else should be OK. If you see any major issues please let me know ^_^

http://justhungry.com/

BTW, some parts of Just Hungry are kind of broken at the moment (although indivi...

Facebook JustBento-JustHungry - Wed, 2015-05-27 11:06
BTW, some parts of Just Hungry are kind of broken at the moment (although individual articles should be accessible)....they will be fixed soon...thanks for your patience ^_^;

This picture was posted by NHK. It's a koya dofu (freeze-dried tofu), with a fac...

Facebook JustBento-JustHungry - Wed, 2015-05-27 06:24
This picture was posted by NHK. It's a koya dofu (freeze-dried tofu), with a face, and a little pink apron. (It's to promote a program this evening about how to prepare koya dofu.)

Keep in mind that NHK is the equivalent of the BBC in Japan. ^_^

What is koya dofu? I wrote about it here:
http://www.justhungry.com/handbook/just-hungry-reference-handbooks/kouya-dofu-or-kohya-dofu-freeze-dried-tofu


Timeline Photos

Cherries!

Facebook JustBento-JustHungry - Fri, 2015-05-22 12:23
Cherries!


Apparently, onigiri/omusubi/nigirimeshi (rice balls) have been eaten in Japan f...

Facebook JustBento-JustHungry - Thu, 2015-05-21 12:59
Apparently, onigiri/omusubi/nigirimeshi (rice balls) have been eaten in Japan for at least 2000 years. This is a photo of an onigiri fossil from the Yayoi period (300 BC - 300 AD) ^_^

More about onigiri here...

http://justbento.com/handbook/bento-basics/onigiri-omusubi-faq


Note: Just because a food from another culture (not limited to Japanese food, al...

Facebook JustBento-JustHungry - Thu, 2015-05-21 03:27
Note: Just because a food from another culture (not limited to Japanese food, although that's what's mainly discussed here) does not appeal to you personally does not make it a non-food or "disgusting" to everyone. YOU can dislike it personally, but respect the fact that somewhere in the world there are plenty of people who enjoy it, and have done for generations. Please take your cultural snobbery elsewhere.

This is a TV commercial by Mizkan about the health benefits of vinegar. It says...

Facebook JustBento-JustHungry - Wed, 2015-05-20 00:23
This is a TV commercial by Mizkan about the health benefits of vinegar. It says that a tablespoon a day helps you lose weight. But the reason I'm sharing it is...the enimated guy looks EXACTLY like The Guy. O.O


CM ミツカン 「酢の力 B」

TVCM↓↓ http://tvcmjapan.onefk.com/wp/

Konnyaku and shirataki (which is also called ito-konnyaku, or konnyaku threads)...

Facebook JustBento-JustHungry - Tue, 2015-05-19 22:14
Konnyaku and shirataki (which is also called ito-konnyaku, or konnyaku threads) are made from the same thing, konjac root (the main substance is glucomannan). In Japan, konnyaku is used more as a weight-loss aid than shirataki - it's used to bulk up stir fries and such, or panfried as a 'steak', even deep fried. There's also a rice grain-shaped konnyaku (which came out maybe 10-15 years ago) which is added to regular rice; it blends in so that you barely notice it while reducing the overall calorie and carb content of a bowl of rice.

By the way, very fresh konnyaku or shirataki don't have that weird smell at all. Freshly made konnyaku can even be sliced and eaten as sashimi. People enjoy the texture.

Konnyaku is also the coagulant used for konnyaku jellies, which have been banned in several countries because they are deemed a choking hazard. You can still get the little dome-shaped jellies in Japan, but various crushed jelly products that come in little pouches added fruit juice and so on are more popular these days. They are sold as low-calorie snacks at convenience stores and such, for people trying to watch their intake.

Here is what I wrote about konnyaku and shirataki some time ago...


Konnyaku and shirataki FAQ: The almost zero-calorie, weird wobbly food from Japan | Just Hungry
justhungry.com
Just Hungry is a food site dedicated to Japanese home cooking recipes for people living outside of Japan and healthy and delicious eating.

Do Italians really love "zen pasta"?? It was reported as such on a Japanese TV p...

Facebook JustBento-JustHungry - Mon, 2015-05-18 23:57
Do Italians really love "zen pasta"?? It was reported as such on a Japanese TV program.

(Zen pasta = shirataki in Italy, they said. I'm laughing with my teeth clenched. The reason for the teeth-clenching - the 'zen' part.)

Edit: "Zen Pasta" is a brand name which has become synonymous with shirataki noodles in Italy, so they said.

My latest article in the Japan Times - about nanban marinade for fish (any shiny...

Facebook JustBento-JustHungry - Sun, 2015-05-17 00:01
My latest article in the Japan Times - about nanban marinade for fish (any shiny oily fish works - here we make it with sardines), and the history of nanban cuisine.


Nanban dishes are fit for a barbarian | The Japan Times
www.japantimes.co.jp
The first Europeans on Japanese soil were the Portuguese — a handful of passengers on a Chinese ship that got blown off course and washed ashore on Tanegas

Another thing spotted on Japanese TV - "potechipan". It's a sandwich made by mi...

Facebook JustBento-JustHungry - Sat, 2015-05-16 22:02
Another thing spotted on Japanese TV - "potechipan". It's a sandwich made by mixing roughly chopped cabbage, salt and pepper, roughly crushed potato chips, and mayonnaise, stuffed into a soft roll (like a hotdog bun). It sells for 124 yen at a local bakery in Kurihama, Yokosuka. I admit I'm intrigued...may have to try making it. ^_^;


One of my FB friends was having a conversation about the British breakfast class...

Facebook JustBento-JustHungry - Fri, 2015-05-15 22:07
One of my FB friends was having a conversation about the British breakfast classic, baked beans on toast. It reminded me of this passage from a classic Victorian-period book called Tom Brown's Schooldays. It's one of the most amazing descriptions of a breakfast I've ever seen.

(Tom in this scene is about 11 years old.)

"Have we not endured nobly this morning? and is not this a worthy reward for much endurance? There is the low, dark wainscoted room hung with sporting prints; the hat-stand (with a whip or two standing up in it belonging to bagmen who are still snug in bed) by the door; the blazing fire, with the quaint old glass over the mantelpiece, in which is stuck a large card with the list of the meets for the week of the county hounds; the table covered with the whitest of cloths and of china, and bearing a pigeon-pie, ham, round of cold boiled beef cut from a mammoth ox, and the great loaf of household bread on a wooden trencher. And here comes in the stout head waiter, puffing under a tray of hot viands—kidneys and a steak, transparent rashers and poached eggs, buttered toast and muffins, coffee and tea, all smoking hot. The table can never hold it all. The cold meats are removed to the sideboard—they were only put on for show and to give us an appetite. And now fall on, gentlemen all. It is a well-known sporting-house, and the breakfasts are famous. Two or three men in pink, on their way to the meet, drop in, and are very jovial and sharp-set, as indeed we all are.

"Tea or coffee, sir?" says head waiter, coming round to Tom.

"Coffee, please," says Tom, with his mouth full of muffin and kidney. Coffee is a treat to him, tea is not.

Our coachman, I perceive, who breakfasts with us, is a cold beef man. He also eschews hot potations, and addicts himself to a tankard of ale, which is brought him by the barmaid. Sportsman looks on approvingly, and orders a ditto for himself. "

(The book is in the public domain - http://www.gutenberg.org/files/1480/1480-h/1480-h.htm)


Tom Brown's Schooldays, by Thomas Hughes
www.gutenberg.org
The Browns have become illustrious by the pen of Thackeray and the pencil of Doyle, within the memory of the young gentlemen who are now matriculating at the universities. Notwithstanding the well-merited but late fame which has now fallen upon them, any one at all acquainted with the family must fe…

Yoshinoya, best known for their cheap-and-cheerful beef bowls (gyudon), introdu...

Facebook JustBento-JustHungry - Thu, 2015-05-14 23:32
Yoshinoya, best known for their cheap-and-cheerful beef bowls (gyudon), introduced a line of vegetable bowls (beji-don) on Thursday. They will be available from May 21st. There's a veggie-only beji-don, a vegetable and beef beji-biifu-don, and a vegetable-with-curry beji-kareh-don. They say each bowl has 11 different veggies and 1/2 the amount of recommended daily vegetable intake for adults. The vegetable bowls are priced from 530 to 650 yen - which is quite a bit more than their basic beef bowl. (The vegetable bowls are only available at their Japan stores for now.) The stated aim is to attract health-conscious customers and female customers.

http://www.yoshinoya.com/index.html

(I couldn't figure out from the press release if the veggie-don is actually vegetarian. It says it has "warm cooked vegetables with a salt-based sauce" (when a sauce is "salt-based", or shio-dare, it just means it doesn't have soy sauce or miso etc. in it) which probably means it's a dashi-based sauce, and dashi is usually not vegetarian.)


www.yoshinoya.com
www.yoshinoya.com

A bento related post on my Funassyi Tumblr ^_^ For the bento crowd...notice how...

Facebook JustBento-JustHungry - Thu, 2015-05-14 14:18
A bento related post on my Funassyi Tumblr ^_^ For the bento crowd...notice how meat-centric a takeout bento can be (although the chicken looks really good...), which is why in most cases a homemade bento is much healthier. This is a fairly "fancy" bento too, costing around 900 yen, as opposed to a 400-500 yen bento from a convenience store or a cheap-bento store like Hotto Motto.

Also, see how the bentos (although they
are seen from opposite sides) look almost exactly the same. This is the impressive thing about a lot of food in Japan...what you get looks exactly like the photo or model or whatever in most cases. I showed an example of this in a post about ekiben (train station bentos) a while back too. http://justbento.com/handbook/bento-culture/all-about-ekiben-japanese-train-station-bentos


We Love Funassyi — Funassyi’s bento lunch one day A few days ago,...
welovefunassyi.com
Funassyi’s bento lunch one dayA few days ago, Funassyi tweeted the photo of the bento above, saying it looked so good and he was contemplating whether or not to eat it before that day’s shooting or...

Another screenshot from the TV program I posted about yesterday (see https://www...

Facebook JustBento-JustHungry - Wed, 2015-05-13 22:59
Another screenshot from the TV program I posted about yesterday (see https://www.facebook.com/justbento.justhungry/photos/a.10150311137782454.362839.44332902453/10153488769477454/?type=1 ) This is the same bento box; the left one is packed by Matsuko Deluxe, and the right one by the bento enthusiast/expert, a Mrs. Nogami. Hers is bit more balanced, with stuffed peppers as the main component (meat and veg in one!) and the stewed beans. I think she also has a piece of chicken karaage in there, plus parsley and cherry tomatoes as gap fillers. (She recommended using 5 colors in a bento - white, yellow, green, red and black or dark brown, and purple as an accent color - in this case the shibazuke pickles on the rice). Matsuko's bento has tamagoyaki, chicken karaage, spinach with sesame, fish marinated in Saikyo miso and grilled, and potato salad. Both bentos had simmered kabocha squash (which is circled in red).


Bento was the theme of the first half of this week's Matsuko no Shiranai Sekai (...

Facebook JustBento-JustHungry - Wed, 2015-05-13 00:25
Bento was the theme of the first half of this week's Matsuko no Shiranai Sekai (The Worlds Matsuko Doesn't Know), hosted by Matsuko Deluxe, one of my favorite shows on Japanese TV right now. The photo here is of a bento Matsuko-san packed on the spot from a choice of 60+ ingredients. Looks great!

Neither Matsuko or the guest liked charaben at all. Matsuko said something like "if kids grow up thinking that food that looks like that (charaben) is delicious food, it's a problem". An interesting point of view...

Also, Bento&co _almost_ got mentioned by the bento enthusiast guest...she started saying "there is a bento store in Kyoto with a French owner..." but Matsuko interrupted her (not on purpose...she wasn't really listening) to talk about the food inside the bento rather than the bento box. ^_^; Bento&co gets lots of media attention in Japan anyway, but this would have been a good one to get mentioned on since it's a really hot program right now.


XO!!!

Facebook JustBento-JustHungry - Tue, 2015-05-12 14:25
XO!!!


This is probably the hottest Sanrio character right now in Japan. Gudetama is a....

Facebook JustBento-JustHungry - Tue, 2015-05-12 01:29
This is probably the hottest Sanrio character right now in Japan. Gudetama is a...lazy egg. We'll see if it has the staying power of the Big 3, Hello Kitty, My Melody and Little Twinstars.


Characters Gudetama
www.sanrio.com
Eggs are yummy… boiled, baked or raw. There are many ways to make an egg, but eggs are so lazy (gude gude in Japanese). Look closely and you will see the eggs that you eat lack spunk.

some of my flickr photos