Posts tagged ‘sushi’

Delicious Toys

At some point or another, most young girls yearn to be a great chef. Though when you’re a 7-year-old, you’ll be lucky to have access to a knife much less a hot flame. That’s why cooking toys are so popular; They let you make cool things without getting maimed. Here’s some of my favorites:

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This is a fun way to make gyoza. Just lay the dough wrapping in the machine along with a plop of meat, crank the lever and out comes a raw dumpling. You’ll still need help from mom to either boil or fry the dumplings, but it’s still cool to feel like you did most of the slave labor. ($30)

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Everyone loves Pocky because it comes in all kinds of flavors. Here’s a toy that takes a similar idea, only instead of cookie sticks you use soft-white bread. Just cut the bread into thin slices using the included tool, microwave until warm and then dip into an assortment of chocolate flavors and sprinkles! ($30)

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This one is more of a dining toy than a cooking tool. Think of it as a Slip ‘n Slide for cold noodles. It’s a windy, plastic trough with water streaming to the bottom. Everyone sitting around the dining table readies their chopsticks and a bowl of dipping sauce while the head chef plops heaps of somen noodles into the stream. The goal is to pick up the noodles before it drops to the bottom. I played this ‘game’ one time in Japan, using a freshly-cut bamboo trough and a water hose. The real thing is much more fun, but this can be just as entertaining if you have a room full of very hungry people. ($84)

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Sushi-making is great because there’s no need for a hot stove, so anyone can play chef. This is a toy that’ll help you make some amazing designs using a little food coloring and imagination. Sushi like this, called futomaki, is especially great for parties and bento boxes because you generally use vegetable ingredients, not raw fish. And with a little bit of thought into it, you can make animal faces, flowers, or even your family crest. It’s fun for everyone! ($44)

Himawari

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japanizmo, a Los Angeles based company, provides practical solutions for U.S. ? Japan business projects. Our experienced Japanese staff will support all phases of your business project to seize business opportunities and turn your vision into a reality. >> Learn more

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August 18, 2009 at 12:21 pm 2 comments

Good Things Come in Brown Packages

Despite the rising cost of fruits these days, I’m grateful for anything I can get at my local supermarket. Back in Japan, I’d scour the aisle for a single mango, even a squished blueberry. They’re a dime a dozen in neighboring countries, but thanks to strict import regulations they’re black market-worthy commodity. Imagine being the only kid who’s never seen a kiwi.

Luckily, there’s now a number of shipping companies (here, here and here) that double as fruit bearers to loved ones back in Japan. Freshness is guaranteed; all you have to do is choose from the catalog.

They offer rare items like papaya, avocado, green mangoes, and seasonal treats like Raineer cherries (June-July). The bill amounts to a little more than what you’d pay to ship it yourself, but considering the hassle by agricultural inspectors, I’d say it’s worth it.

And it doesn’t stop at all things round and sweet. The treasure trove includes Pepperidge Farm cookies, Godiva chocolates, booze, foie gras, fresh seafood and raw steaks. And for $60 they’ll even ship a birthday cake to your favorite pen pal in Tokyo. It’s fully decorated, though she’ll have to light her own candles. (Hopefully someone could sing to her.) Japanese birthday cakes all come the same: cute, light and spongy. So it’d serve a great cultural lesson to give an American cake to a Japanese person. “This is why you Americans are so fat!” you’ll have them saying.

Of course, with all the great food you can get in Japan — sushi, tempura, Pocky — why ask for more, right? Well, with anything in excess, even good things, the palate grows tired. That’s when you start calling your friends back home, begging them to send you a big, fat care package. Blueberries, check. avocados, check. Fillet mignon with all the trimmings, check.

Himawari

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Thinking of doing business in Japan? We can make it easy for you!
JPBizDirect, a Los Angeles based company, provides practical solutions for U.S. ? Japan business projects. Our experienced Japanese staff will support all phases of your business project to seize business opportunities and turn your vision into a reality. >> Learn more
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August 12, 2008 at 9:19 am Leave a comment


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