Behold the sweetest take on sushi yet (both literally and figuratively): candy sushi. Watch the video to learn how to fashion candy versions of nigiri and two styles of sushi rolls using a Rice Krispies treat base. Then, stock up on supplies like Swedish fish, gummy worms, fruit roll-ups, and sprinkles, and let your creative side shine while crafting this showstopping party treat.
It's time to clear up a common misconception: just because your bottle of sake is served hot doesn't necessarily mean that it's cheap shill. At least, it's not that simple. Until fairly recently, most sake in the US was served hot because of its questionable quality, and this tactic is still employed by many restaurants, as heat masks bitterness and enhances sweetness. Nowadays, higher-quality sakes are far more accessible stateside, but that doesn't mean that the practice of enjoying a glass of warm, cozy sake is obsolete. Keep these guidelines in mind instead.
Have you ever heard of a ramen broth with Pinot Noir in it? Well, now you have, courtesy of the wacky Food Network chef Justin Warner. He recently teamed up with Robert Mondavi Private Selection to develop funky and seemingly far-fetched recipes for the winery.
If adding Pinot Noir to a ramen broth sounds particularly eyeball-crossing, hear Justin out: "Most ramen has pork, and I think that Pinot Noir, especially central coast Pinot Noir, has bite, really great acidity, and some backbone to it. With a good ramen, you have a lot of lipids and fat in that broth, which is what makes it taste excellent. You need something that is going to be able to take it down [so you can] revisit [each bite] with a clean palate."
The ramen broth is the nectar of the gods . . . probably because it's doused with a hefty pour of Pinot Noir. As Justin mentions, the Pinot Noir adds acidity to the fatty broth, thus balancing out the richness. It may sound complex, but don't worry; this recipe isn't too complicated. "I made a classic shoyu-style ramen broth. I don't see this as being scaled back, I see it as being inventive and for some reason simple. I made a great tonkotsu pork-style broth where you have to saw bones in half using a skill saw. I've done it. But I mean really, is that something anyone wants to do? It's fun for reading like a fluffy magazine about people who do that professionally, but for a home cook, we'll make a shoyu broth," says Justin.
Poached egg, pork tenderloin, bacon, corn, and salty, fatty broth . . . the ramen certainly lives up to its tricked-out name. The recipe only calls for four ounces of wine, meaning there is plenty to sip on while slurping the ramen. I could tell you my wine tasting notes — that the cherry and smoky oak flavors complement the sweet corn and carrots, smoky bacon, and soy sauce. But I won't bore you with those details. This isn't SAT wine prep, after all. It's good food and excellent wine, thrown together in a beautifully disastrous way.
Genmai, shiro, shinshu: no, these aren't the names of the latest Japanese pets to take the Internet by storm, but rather three varieties of miso, another favorite Japanese export. We love the salty-savory-sweet spark miso gives to everything from kale chips to steak sauce, but keeping the different varieties straight can be a bit of a headache . . . until now. Keep reading for a breakdown of the seven types you're most likely to encounter stateside.
- White: Also known as shiro miso, white miso is pale beige in color, has a creamy texture, and is mild and sweet in flavor. Made from rice and soybeans, it's fermented for a relatively short time period (a matter of weeks). Extremely versatile, it can be used in miso soup, marinades and glazes for fish or meat, dips, salad dressings, and even dessert.
- Yellow: Also known as shinshu miso (and, confusingly, sometimes called shiro miso), yellow miso is usually a bit darker in color than white, and though mild, it is a hair more acidic and salty than white miso. Made from rice and soybeans, it's typically fermented longer than white miso, though rarely past the one-year mark. An all-purpose miso, it can be used in the same sorts of recipes as white.
- Red: Also known as aka miso, red miso is reddish-brown in color and is very savory and salty, slightly bitter, and less sweet than white and yellow misos. Made primarily from soybeans, with a smaller proportion of rice or barley, it's fermented for as long as three years. More assertive in flavor than white and yellow miso, it's usually dosed out with a lighter hand. Try it in sauces, dips, dressings, hearty soups, stews, and braised meat dishes.
Deeply savory, salty, and sweet, miso is one of our all-time favorite ingredients to cook with for the complex, earthy flavor it lends to anything it touches. It's an umami-rich fermented soybean paste that's a staple in Japanese cuisine, but that's only scratching the surface. Traditionally, miso is made by mashing together either steamed rice or barley with cooked soybeans, salt, water, and koji — rice that’s inoculated with a specific type of fungus that kickstarts the fermentation process. This mixture then ferments under controlled conditions for anywhere from a few days to three years, depending on the variety.
Miso can also be made with buckwheat, millet, rye, chickpeas (an excellent option for those with soy allergies), walnuts, corn, quinoa, azuki bean, or some combination of these ingredients with rice, barley, or soybeans. The common thread is koji, which is also a key ingredient in sake production.
When cooking with miso, keep in mind that it's a living food, so, it's best to use it in raw dishes or add it toward the end of the cooking process, as excess heat kills off the beneficial microorganisms and can also mellow out its flavor. Though it's a living food, miso has an impressive shelf life, thanks to its high salt content. Once opened, most varieties can last for a year (or more!) if stored refrigerated in an airtight container.
What's your favorite miso-enhanced dish?
We're combining two of our favorite things: sushi and cake! OK, it might sound a little odd, but not to worry; this treat is only sweet in its presentation. Your friends and family will be oh-so impressed when you show off this picture-perfect savory cake! Watch the video to learn how it's done — and to see how easy it is — then, print out the recipe.
Matcha green tea powder, the finely ground Japanese green tea has infinite uses, both savory and sweet. Start off traditionally by learning how to brew a tea latte. From there add the powder to various recipes like marshmallows, salad dressings, and even bundt cake.
The next time a craving for sushi, soba, tonkatsu, or other Japanese dishes strikes, try your hand at whipping up one of these delights at home instead of dining out. But before you begin, it's time to take to your local Asian supermarket (or shop online) to stock up on the basics; keep reading for a rundown of pantry staples.
Many of us wish we brought our lunch to work more often, and while leftovers and sandwiches are delicious options, sometimes we're looking for out-of-the-box ideas. Might I suggest you start searching in the box with a bento lunch? This Japanese boxed lunch has a long history, but these days it's a delicious, healthy, and convenient lunch option. Consider it perfect for munching at your desk or, even better, at a picnic. Ready to learn more about bentos? Just keep reading.
Once again New Yorkers are making us West Coasters extremely jealous. If you're not in line for a Cronut, the rest of New York is roaring for the latest trademarked hybrid: the Ramen Burger. Created by ramen fanatic Keizo Shimamoto, the Shoyu Ramen Burger made its debut less than two weeks ago, and people are flipping out (and making our homemade version). Take a look at all you need to know about the Ramen Burger, told through Instagram pictures.