Archive for December, 2009

Clean-eatin’ Ramen

Here’s a new one for you: the ramen fork!

It’s great for people who can’t hold two sticks between their fingers. All you do is jab and twirl.

Of course you’re wondering, why would Japanese people need this if they already know how to use chopsticks? Well, the other advantage to using the $8 fork is that you can eat noodles in a gentle, lady-like way. In other words, no slurping!

We’ve all heard that inhaling your noodles shows you really like what you’re eating. But when you’re coming from the office wearing your favorite white button-up, you gotta worry what sort of nasty stains you’ll be taking back to work.

Fuji TV’s “Mezamashi Terebi” (a morning info-tainment show) conducted an experiment showing how fewer stains you get with the fork. First, they had a man slurp up a bowl of noodles with a pair of chopsticks. With a slow-cam to document the process, you can see the noodles flicking the oil-based soup all over the place. Then he switched to the fork. The ramen soup ended up splashing less than half the time!

The other benefit is that it could help Japan with its wooden chopstick crisis. With rapid deforestation going on in China, picking up metal instead of wooden will do the world a lot of good.

I’d imagine people would be happy using this tool on spaghetti, too. I think it’s safe to say most people have a hard time not slurping the last noodle or two. It’s a skill most people have yet to acquire. To them I say RAMEN FORK! \(^O^)/

Himawari

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December 29, 2009 at 1:25 pm Leave a comment

The Miracle Tool

Beautiful ladies of the world, all your dreams have come true with one product: the Twin Elenizer PRO!

The name is a mouthful, but the gadget gets to the source of your skin worries. Just press it against your face and – through the power of ions and ultra-sound waves – your skin will turn pearly smooth.

Priced at $250, the Twin Elenizer is one of Rakuten’s top-selling items. I found it while searching for Japanese skin creams. Lately, I’ve been a little worried because the sun spots I developed over the summer haven’t gone away. And I swear my cheeks are giving way to gravity. Age has something to do with it. So now I’m on a mission to restore my once blemish-free skin.

According to the site, ion-fused pulses help restore the skin’s elasticity and cleans out dirty pores. The ultra-sound waves make it easier (140 times more effective, to be exact) for skin to absorb all the expensive creams you put on your face. The gadget comes with bottles of collagen and vitamin C to get you started.

So does it really work? I don’t know. Japanese companies come out with extraordinary products like this all the time. Some end up thrown in the ‘fad’ bin, while others stand the test of time.

Maybe after my next paycheck I’ll place an order. If anyone beats me to it, email me your thoughts!

Himawari

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December 15, 2009 at 5:46 pm Leave a comment

Curry in a Hurry

Only in Japan can you look at a brown puddle and say, “Hey, that looks yummy!” Though in this case, the brown puddle is a bag of curry sauce. An adorably packaged bag of curry at that:

The concept is simple: Curry on-the-go. The packets are slim enough to fit in your pocket, and you don’t have to heat it in a microwave; i.e., it tastes good at room temperature. You can pour it onto rice, bread, hot dogs, and just about anything that needs a flavor kick.

Ranging from baby-lovin’ mild to manly-man spicy, each packet contains bits of vegetable and meat, so it’s like eating the real-deal only you don’t need a stove.

This product comes from the brains at Glico, the same company that brought the world Pocky. In fact, most of Glico’s products come in candy or snack form, so it’s interesting that they’d venture into savory dishes.

I suppose that’s a sign of innovation. \(^o^)/

Himawari

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December 9, 2009 at 1:47 pm Leave a comment

Self-Heating Bento at Your Service

You can find my favorite bento — a lunch in a box — at the train station.

Believe it or not, it’s the best place to get a tasty meal. With so many people snatching boxes before a trip out of town, the lunchbox competition gets pretty heavy here. Bentos featuring cooked seasonal vegetables are some of my favorites.

And now there’s a newfangled box that makes me want to fly out to Japan just to try it. It’s the self-heating lunch! Just pull a string and the box heats up like an oven. You’ll even see hot steam coming out!

Here’s how it works: Underneath the food is a container of tiny white coals (calcium oxide). Pulling the string releases water which mixes with the coal, causing a chemical reaction. Specifically, CaO+H2O→Ca(OH)2.

Youtube has a bunch of home videos of tourists trying out these hot bentos, most containing slices of beef or cow tongue (it’s a delicacy!) over a bed of rice. Yum!

Your usual bento box is strategically prepared to be eated in room temperature, and it actually tastes great at the end of the day. So to me, it’s more of a novelty that you can now get a hot bento. Next time I’m in Japan, I’d love to see a cold bento. Pull a string and your food turns to ice! haha~! \(^o^)/

Himawari

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December 2, 2009 at 5:21 pm 1 comment


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