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A man in Tokyo died after eating what has been called the “most dangerous” food traditionally served in Japan on New Year’s Day.
The man, believed to be in his 80s, was among 11 people hospitalized in the capital after choking on mochi, or glutinous rice cakes.
Seven of those hospitalized on Tuesday were older than 60, Japan Today reported. As of Wednesday, five were in serious condition, according to the Tokyo Reporter.
Mochi, which has an extremely sticky texture, has long been deemed risky especially for children and the elderly, who may lack strong teeth and jaw muscles to chew it thoroughly.
The rice cakes, particularly the stretchy ozoni kind, is traditionally served in Japan on New Year’s Day as a metaphor for long life, according to SoraNews24.
While delicious and relatively healthy, ozoni — which is served in hot broth — becomes dangerous when people swallow it in large pieces, potentially blocking the windpipe and causing suffocation.
Image via Wikimedia Commons / atmo (CC BY 2.0)
As such, the Tokyo Fire Department advises the public every year ahead of New Year celebrations to cut mochi into bite-size pieces and slowly chew it before swallowing.
Prior to his death, the man from Akishima City started choking on his mochi breakfast after 10 a.m. on Tuesday. He was rushed to the hospital in a state of cardiac arrest.
Last year, two people in Tokyo also died after choking on mochi.
However, some have managed to save their loved ones from the same fate, as in the case of a woman who vacuumed the treat from her father’s throat in 2001.
Despite its deadly track record, mochi remains at the heart of Japanese culture.
Yoichiro Sakai, whose family has been in the mochi business for decades, is fond of making them through the traditional mochitsuki method, which pounds steamed rice in a wooden mortar with large wooden mallet.
The Tokyo Fire Department estimates that 90% of mochi victims in recent years were over the age of 65. To help prevent more incidents, it has printed a handy survival guide for the public.
72024601 week ago
If you bring a bucket of KFC fried chicken to a Christmas dinner, it may likely raise some eyebrows for being unconventional — unless you’re from Japan.
In 1970, KFC launched a fast food marketing campaign called “Kurisumasu ni wa Kentakkii” which means “Kentucky for Christmas.” This was the brainchild of Takeshi Okawara, the first manager of the first KFC restaurant in Japan.
According to the BBC, Harvard-educated Okawara said that the idea came to him in a dream. Eventually, after hearing foreigners talk about how they miss having the traditional turkey for Christmas back home, Okawara hoped that the concept of a fried chicken “party barrel” would be a great substitute. He then began marketing the “Party Barrel for Christmas” which immediately became a national phenomenon. “It filled a void. There was no tradition of Christmas in Japan, and so KFC came in and said, this is what you should do on Christmas,” said Joonas Rokka, associate professor of marketing at Emlyon Business School in France.
After the concept took off, so did Okawara’s career. He rose through company ranks and worked as president and CEO of KFC Japan from 1984 to 2002.
But if you’re thinking of fried chicken breasts and thighs packed in a bucket, you’re wrong. The company morphed their meals to special family dinner packages complete with chicken, cakes, and wine.
For this year, “Kentucky Christmas” meal packages range from a box of fried chicken priced at $32 to a whole roasted chicken with sides for $49. According to the company, these Christmas packages account to about a third of their yearly sales in Japan.
Every Christmas season, an estimated 3.6 million Japanese line up to get fried chicken from the all-American fast food chain. December is known to be a busy year for KFC in Japan and sales for the month could mean 10 times their average take.
For those who are planning to get this special dinner package, KFC’s special dinner would often require ordering weeks in advance. Otherwise, you will have to fall in line at the store that may take hours of waiting.
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72861193 weeks ago
It’s the holiday season! Exciting!
And while all our friends are making gingerbread cookies and drinking egg nog, we’re over here enjoying the real holiday beverage — soda sua hot ga.
Wait, you don’t know what soda sua hot ga is?
Have a seat and learn about the greatness that is soda sua hot ga, also known as egg soda.
Don’t get us wrong, we love egg nog as much as the next guy, but taking one look at its calorie count is enough to give you a heart attack — if the heavy cream doesn’t do that first, that is. It’s sickeningly sweet, it’s not healthy, and it’s t h i c c af … just not in the good way.
And then there’s egg soda.
It’s creamy. It’s frothy. It’s festive.
And it’s downright delicious.
So what’s the difference?
Soda sua hot ga, which literally translates to “soda, milk, egg yolk”, is lighter and tastes more like a dessert with a twist — fizz. The added soda, when combined with the sweetness of milk and egg, basically creates a bubbly egg custard beverage that goes down easy, unlike egg nog which can feel like drinking melted ice cream.
Egg soda takes less than a minute to make; by mixing egg yolks, condensed milk, and club soda together over ice and stirring vigorously, egg soda can easily become a holiday party favorite and is sure to please even the pickiest of guests.
For those concerned about the raw egg factor, Rosie Tran of Pho Saigon says not to worry — so long as you stick to the proper ingredients. “The club soda cooks the egg yolk so that you don’t have problems with salmonella,” Tran advised.
Unconvinced? Try it yourself! Mai Pham at Extra Crispy offers this tasty recipe:
large or 2 small egg yolks
2 heaping tablespoons of condensed milk
1 can of club soda
Add 1 generous tablespoons of condensed milk into a tall, 12-ounce glass or larger. Add 1 large egg yolk or 2 small yolks. Pour club soda into glass, stirring quickly until yolk, condensed milk and soda water are evenly mixed and at least a 1/2 inch of froth appears at the top of the glass. Pour over ice and serve.
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46251683 weeks ago
660393 weeks ago
4121343 weeks ago
Singapore is set to be the site of the world’s first Pusheen-themed café.
Pusheen, created by American couple Claire Belton and Andrew Duff in 2010, has become a widely recognized feline character in Asia due to its adorable design.
In the span of eight years, the chubby gray cat has spawned an entire franchise of books, films and other merchandise.
Kumoya in Jalan Klapa, which was also the site for other pop-up cafés such as Cinnamoroll and My Little Pony, will be hosting the Pusheen café early next year.
Featuring a completely Pusheen-themed menu, the cafe will be designed by Belton herself Business Insider reports.
The dishes, which look too cute to eat, were designed by food artist and Instagram star Shirley Wong AKA @littlemissbento.
There are three themed mains on the menu, with dishes priced at around $7 and $17.
The Pusheen pop-up café is also offering themed desserts and themed drinks. Exclusive merchandise will also be made available for fans of the popular cat.
Kumoya’s Pusheen café will have a limited run from Jan. 6 until sometime in March.
For more food related news and memes follow @nsnomtime
153967713 weeks ago
A hot new wasabi-based product that mimics the “burst on your tongue” texture of caviar has sparked a massive craze in Japan.
Image via Instagram / tamaruyahonten_wasabi
Made from fresh wasabi, the latest innovation from Shizuoka-based company Tamaruya has been called “Wasa Beads” due to its tiny rounded form.
Image via Instagram / tamaruyahonten_wasabi
Tamaruya is known for its wasabi expertise as it has been supplying the country with some of the best wasabi since 1875.
Over the years, the company has created a number of wasabi-based products such as dressings and furikake rice seasonings.
Its innovative new product, which combines the fiery flavor of real wasabi with the looks of shiny green caviar, has captivated consumers with its unique take on the popular condiment.
While retaining the heat of the original plant, Wasa Beads come with a smooth texture, and sensation previously found only in caviar.
Retailing for 594 yen ($5.33) per jar, Wasa Beads flew off the shelves due to the positive word-of-mouth online.
Tamaruya responded to the growing demand accordingly by setting up a pre-order system on online shopping site Rakuten.
According to SoraNews24, the latest batch of Wasa Beads sold on the site have already sold out as of this writing.
The company has since committed to restocking the site with a fresh supply of their hot new product soon.
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69931633 weeks ago
Which ones your favorite?
73504433 weeks ago
While hot pot can be very versatile in the type of ingredients that people choose, a new hot pot combo from China is seemingly trying to test the very limits on what’s possible.
A video of a matcha and durian hot pot combo has emerged online and it’s already confusing a lot of people on how and why such a dish could exist.
The clip, shared by Shanghaiist, shows customers adding other odd hot pot ingredients such as Oreos, yam balls, and sweet potatoes to the “broth” made of matcha.
Beef, chicken, and other hot pot staples are added to the thick green mixture when it started to boil. Meanwhile, the durian broth is said to be a mixture of coconut milk, durian fruit, and even the durian husk.
The soup apparently complements the beef slices with a strong milky aroma which probably goes well with lao gan ma chilli sauce.
According to Mothership, the strange-looking hot pot is likely from Spice World (Xiang Tian Xia) restaurant, a popular hot pot chain in China.
Spice World has been known for their unique takes on hot pot dishes, including the variety of sweet “soup” base flavors they offer.
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23313974 weeks ago
A new bubble tea concoction from a shop in San Gabriel, California is set to tap into its Asian customers’ nostalgia while also providing relief for sore throats, coughs, hoarseness and aphonia.
Blended with popular Chinese herbal syrup “Pei Pa Koa,” the new drink from Labobatory is bound to bring back childhood memories.
Known for its distinct minty taste, the cough syrup traces its origins from a formula created in the Qing Dynasty. The syrup has been manufactured since the 1940s and sold worldwide by Nin Jiom Medicine Manufactory.
It has been the go-to remedy for a variety of cough-related ailments for generations of Asians in many parts of the world.
Labobatory aims for their cough syrup-infused beverage to remind drinkers of that time when their Asian mothers took care of them when they were sick.
According to the bubble tea shop, the new drink will be available throughout the holiday season along with four other holiday-inspired flavors as part of their holiday menu.
The other beverages introduced for its holiday menu are Chocolate Peppermint Milk Tea, White Chocolate Strawberry Milk Tea and Spiced Chocolate. “We strive to create unique concoctions that blend premium traditional ingredients and modern twist on ingredients new and old,” the company’s Facebook page noted.
In its bid to “raise the boba bar,” the inventive folks behind Labobatory has been making unique boba tea creations since 2011, introducing offerings such as Alcoholic Boba, Yakult-infused yogurt boba, among others.
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109308044 weeks ago
I mean I guess
79771594 weeks ago
47831361 month ago
Wait I’m not the only one?
189962881 month ago
A small used car dealership in Tottori city, Tottori Prefecture, Japan has been recognized by Michelin for its incredibly affordably and delicious ramen.
The small restaurant, called Hot Air, was mentioned in the “Michelin Guide Kyoto Osaka + Tottori 2019” that was published last October.
It is described as “Bib Gourmand,” a categorization that “recognizes restaurants offering quality food at a maximum of 5,000 JPY.” A bowl of their famous ramen only costs 800 yen ($7), according to Grapee.
Katsumi Yoshida first opened the car dealership in 2002, but it wasn’t until 2012 when he decided to renovate a meeting space within the dealership by placing tables and chairs. The dealership then began serving ramen that, slowly but surely, became quite famous in the area by word-of-mouth.
Yoshida’s love for ramen began at 5 years of age when his grandmother would often expose him to delicious flavors of ramen. He carried this into his adult life where he built a routine to check out local ramen shops at the towns where he delivers used cars.
Thanks to his years of experience with different kinds of ramen, the business owner developed an interest in salt, sardines and chicken bones in his additive-free broth.
He was included in the Michelin guide after a man in a suit who introduced himself as an official from the brand came into Yoshida’s small ramen place earlier this year.
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89881831 month ago
I need me one of these
13461151 month ago
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24921 month ago
I can’t with this
1238251 month ago
South Korean distiller Lotte Liquor is now selling yogurt soju.
The drink, which comes under its Soonhari line, is the first non-fruit variant exclusively releasing overseas, according to Insight News. The first 120,000 bottles will be exported to supermarkets in Australia next month. “Soonhari is so popular abroad that local merchants often request new flavors themselves,” said one spokesperson, according to the Korea JoongAng Daily. “We plan to introduce Soonhari to many other countries as well.” Lotte Liquor appears to be banking on the growing trend of mixing yogurt with soju and lemon/lime-flavored soda. Videos of non-Koreans adding soju, Yakult and Sprite to the drink have become popular on YouTube.
The Soonhari line, known for its fruity flavors, contains only 12% to 14% alcohol, making it milder than traditional sojus.
The products have gained a steady following overseas and are especially popular in Oceania, where revenues tripled from 2016 to 2017.
December 28, 2017
Magical Japanese Fish Can Literally Be Made into a Sharp Kitchen Knife
Image via Instagram / tphobeerbar
Unlike its fruity siblings, the new product, Soonhari Yogurt, has a unique sweet and sour taste. It also comes with a refreshing aroma that supposedly makes the alcohol easier to consume.
It’s unclear why Soonhari Yogurt will not be available in its home country, but locals are not giving up. “Please sell it to the domestic market,” some reportedly pleaded.
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