Ever wanted to try some delicious looking food you saw in an anime, but didn't know where to start?
Recipes and guides for foods shown and made in anime, as well as characters' favorite dishes.
Ramen - Naruto
Guess who’s back! I finally have enough time and energy to make up some more recipes, and what better recipe to celebrate than some ramen? I got a lot of suggestions for this one, and I understand why. When I was big into Naruto, those hot steaming bowls of ramen seemed like the absolute perfect meal. However, back then, I didn’t understand the difference between those, and what came out of Top Ramen packets. Now, I’m still using the Top Ramen noodles, but I’ve added a lot more traditional ramen elements. And even if the noodles and stock aren’t 110% authentic, it’s still delicious. Believe it!
(If you’re really looking for a from-scratch-as-traditional-as-you-can-get, I’m planning on making up that recipe a bit later. Be forewarned, it’s a bit time consuming)
- 2 Packages of Top Ramen
- About 5 cups of pork or beef broth (You can use the stuff in a box, the stuff in a can, or the cubes or the paste)
- Pork tenderloin
- 2 Eggs
- 1 Baby bok choy
- 1 Green onion
- Soy sauce
- Aburage - that’s those brown sticks on the right side of the bowl, it’s a type of soy product that’s used when you make inari-zushi. It’s some of my favorite stuff, and you should be able to find it at an Asian food store.
- Nori - I forgot to put this is mine, but it’s those black/green sheets sticking out of the back. You’d probably be able to find this at any grocery store with an Asian foods section
- Kamaboko - This is that white thing with the pink swirl. Its made of a sort of fish paste that is steamed into like a cake. I know it’s kind of distintive in the Naruto ramen, but I didn’t have time to go and grab some from an Asian food store (which is where you’d have to get it).
- Marinate the tenderloin for at least 3 hours. You can use just soy sauce, or a mixure of whatever other Asian sauces you want. Teriyaki would be good, as would some mirin.
- Preheat your oven to 450, then cook the tenderloin for 12-15 minutes, or until cooked all the way through.
- Put your eggs in a pot with enough water to cover them. Bring to a boil and cover with a lid. It should take about 10 minutes to hard boil the eggs. Then pull them out and put them into a bowl of cold water to cool.
- While this is happening, pour or mix the stock/broth in a pot and bring it to a simmer. You can add soy sauce or mirin to taste.
- Once simmering, add the Top Ramen noodles. Do NOT add in the flavor packets. Let that cook.
- Now, we cut up all the toppings! Peel the eggs and slice them in half, cut the pork, kamaboko, bok choy, aburage, and green onion into thin slices.
- Serve up the noodles and broth in a nice deep bowl, then place all the ingredients in groups on top, and add in a few small rectangles of nori. Itadakimasu!
Onigiri - Pokémon
So, for all of you who thought yesterday’s recipe was serious, joke’s on you (Happy 1st of April!). And for those of you who aren’t quite in on the joke, when 4Kids was dubbing Pokémon, they though little children wouldn’t understand what some of the foreign strange foods were, so they changed it in the script. Thus onigiri (a common food in the show) because everything from sandwiches to popcorn balls to, most commonly, jelly filled donuts. And, honestly, as a child, I knew something was up. Those weren’t no jelly filled donuts everyone was munching down on. Anyway, onigiri itself is a staple food in Japan, simple, portable, and filling, making it perfect to take on long adventures to duel gym leaders and Team Rocket. I hope you enjoy them almost as much a as a box full of donuts!
- Rice (However much you want to make. I used 1 cup of uncooked rice for the onigiri in the picture above. As always, follow this recipe to cook the rice.)
- Nori - The thin, paper like seaweed used to wrap up sushi
- Furikake - Also known as rice seasoning, it’s normally just bonito flakes, some nori, maybe some sesame seeds, and flavoring)
- Soy sauce
- Fillings - The most common filling for onigiri would probably be umeboshi, or sour pickled plums, however it is quite and acquired taste (my host mother laughed at the puckered face I made after eating my first one), so watch out. Other common fillings are canned tuna (mixed with mayo and sometimes wasabi), cooked tuna or other fish, fried chicken, a little cooked spam, or just about any kind of pickled vegetable.
- Once the rice is cooked and cooled down, all you have to do is shape them. I have a difficult time with this, so what I’ve learned to do is use some plastic wrap. Put a scoop of rice in the middle of the plastic wrap and wrap it up. Onigiri Variation #1: If you want to make pea onigiri, like in the picture above, or you want to mix in some furikake, you need to do this before you put the rice in the plastic wrap. Just take your scoop of rice, put it in a bowl, and mix in your ingredients with a utensil.
- Now, the shaping. Hold the wrapped up rice in your hand. Cup your hand so it looks like a “U”, and then cup your other hand, perpendicularly, on top of it tightly. Gently squeeze the rice. If you’re doing it correctly, it should start to look kind of like a triangle. Then, rotate the rice ball in your hands, so a different point is pointing downward and repeat. Onigiri Variation #2: If you want to add a filling, sometime near the end of forming the onigiri, press a dent in the middle of rice with your thumb. Add your filling, and cover the hole with more rice, and continue forming.
- Take the rice out of the plastic wrap and form it a few times with your bare hands. Then place it on a plate, and sprinkle some salt on them. Onigiri Variation #3: You can add nori to just about any type of onigiri. You’ll need to cut up the nori to fit, but you can cut it into any shape you want, be it a larger sheet to cover the entire onigiri, a small little rectangle for just on the bottom, or some cute shapes. Onigiri Varitation #4: In addition to the salt, you can sprinkle some sesame seeds or furikake on top, and press it into the rice. Onigiri Variation #5: Finally, one of my favorite types of onigiri, yaki onigiri, or grilled onigiri. Now, I don’t have the appropriate small grill to make these, so I make them in the oven. Just heat your oven up to a low heat, brush some soy sauce onto one side of the onigiri, place it on a cookie sheet, and put it in the oven. In 10-20 minutes, flip the onigiri over, and brush some more soy sauce onto the other side, and cook it again. Just keep an eye on it, and cook it until it’s slightly crispy on both sides.
Rice Porridge (Okayu) - SKET Dance
So, I have been terribly sick this last week. Coughing, runny nose, sneezing, an aversion to anything that involves getting up, the whole shebang. So, one day when I was particularly hungry, I found the energy to make up some rice porridge. In Japan, rice porridge is the equivalent of chicken noodle soup when you’re sick. As such, if a person has just fallen sick with a cold or a fever in an anime or manga (SKET Dance included), chances are a friend will rush over and make them a pot of hot rice porridge. So if you’re ever feeling like you might be getting sick, call up a friend and hand this recipe to them, or, if you’re feeling cooped up at home and hungry, make it for yourself!
- 1/2 cup white rice (preferably short grain, but medium is fine)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Optional ingredients: Eggs, chicken, onion, green onion, kimchee, umiboshi (sour plum), pork tenderloin, mushrooms, sesame seeds, soy sauce, sriracha, just about anything you want.
- Rinse the rice thoroughly in a pot, as per this recipe.
- Once the rice is clean, add in 3 cups of water and the salt and let the rice soak for at least 30 minutes.
- Bring the rice to a boil on medium-high heat, and then turn the down the heat to low and cook, covered by a lid, for 30 minutes. After that, turn off the heat, and let the rice sit for 10 more minutes.
- Pour/scoop into a bowl, and top with whatever you want!
For rice porridge a la SKET Dance: Once in the bowl, crack one egg and place on top of the rice porridge. Steam the whole bowl until the egg is as cooked as you like it (I like the yoke really runny). If you don’t have a bamboo steamer, but still want the egg on top cooked, you can pop it in the oven for a few minutes, but just be careful not to over cook it.
I like rice porridge with kimchee on it, but this time I added miso poached chicken with onions, sriracha, green onions and soy sauce. Classic Japanese rice porridge just has a simple sour pickled plum in the middle.
Hot Pot/Shabu-shabu - Ouran High School Host Club
Mmmmm, shabu-shabu. Named for the sound as you swish the meat in the broth with your chop sticks, shabu-shabu is probably the best friend-get-together-in-the-cold-winter-and-all-eat food I’ve ever encountered. And anime (especially shows like Ouran) really showcases how it is the friends who you’re eating with that are important. Either way, this is a dinner meant for a group of friends gathered around a table, laughing and goofing off, and enjoying fun, simple food. This recipe in particular is meant for 4 to 6 people, but you can easily adjust the proportions to accommodate more or fewer guests.
- A hot pot or hot plate, with a wide, deep pan (this is rather important, because without it, you can’t really prepare and eat the food at the table. I used an electric wok, because that’s what I had, and while it was a bit too deep in the center, it worked well)
- Thinly sliced beef, preferably well marbled (if there are any big Asian markets around where you live, just look for shabu-shabu beef. If not, then go to a butcher, or the meat department and see if they will slice some top sirloin to about 1/16 of an inch. If you can’t find anywhere that will do that, then just pick up some cheesesteak meat as a last resort)
- 3 packages of udon noodles
- 4 cups chopped napa cabbage
- 20 or so shiitaki mushrooms
- 1 14oz block of tofu
- 1 packet of dashi powder or 1 1/2 liters of dashi stock
- Soy sauce
- Optional/Recommended Ingredients:
- 2 packages of enoki mushrooms, or oyster mushrooms
- 1 leek
- 1/2 pound jumbo shrimp
- 2 cups chopped bok choy
Shunguki chrysanthemum leaves
- 1 daikon radish
- Ponzu sauce
- Prepare all of the ingredients. Cut the base off of the mushrooms (so that the enoki or oyster mushrooms are just barely connected together, and the shiitake are only the caps), and cut X’s on the top of the shiitake, chop the tofu and the radish, shell the shrimp, and slice the leek on the diagonal. Place all the ingredients onto a plate, and move everything to the table you are eating at.
- Mix the dashi powder with water as per the instructions to make dashi stock. If you can’t find any dashi, just use chicken stock. Pour the stock into the pan you are using, add some soy sauce to your taste, and let it just barely come to a boil.
- Once it reaches a boil, you can start adding things into the pot. Let everything cook, then take it out, dip it in some sauce, and eat. Allow everyone around the table add in whatever it is they want to eat.
- Party. (Entirely necessary).
Kotetsu’s Everything-But-The-Kitchen-Sink Fried Rice - Tiger & Bunny
What could be more perfect of a bachelor food than fried rice? It’s cheap, easy, filling, and good. So it always seemed rather fitting that Kotetsu’s favorite food would be fried rice. That said, I’d like to imagine that Kotetsu would show no restraint when it comes to deciding what to add to the rice. That’s where this recipe comes in. It’s got just about any vegetable you’d want to add to a basic fried rice and a handful of different meats. And best of all? You can make it on the cheap with canned, frozen, and prepackaged foods.
I made up this recipe before Hero Gossips published the official recipe, but they’re pretty similar, so I figured I might as well post mine. Also, as you probably remember from the second to last episode, Barnaby had been practicing making fried rice, too, so hopefully I can get a recipe up for his version of the dish.
- 1 1/2 cup uncooked white rice (or about 3 cups of precooked white rice)
- 1/2 cup carrot, chopped
- 1/4 cup mushrooms, chopped
- 1/2 small onion, chopped
- 1/4 cup celery, chopped
- 1/2 cup peas
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 egg
- 1 cup meat (I used 1/3 chicken, 1/3 canned shrimp, 1/3 sliced lunchmeat ham, but you can use whatever is handy)
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce (optional, replace with more soy sauce if you don’t have any)
- 1/4 teaspoon fresh ginger (optional)
- Vegetable oil
- Cook the rice in a medium sized pot, following this recipe, if you can. If you can cook this the day before, hours before, or use leftover rice, all the better. While using freshly cooked rice isn’t bad, a lot of people find using leftover rice to be preferable.
- Heat a wok or large frying pan up to medium-high. Once hot, add about 2 tablespoons of oil.
- Once the oil is hot, add any raw meat you might be using (i.e. raw chicken breast, fresh shrimp). Once it has cooked through, add all of the vegetables, garlic, ginger and the pre-cooked meat.
- Once the vegetables are cooked (the onion should be kind of clear looking), mix in the mayo. Once you finish mixing, take the veggies/meat/mayo out of the pan, and set it aside in a bowl.
- Quickly scramble the egg in the wok. Once the egg is cooked, mix in the rice, the veggies/meat/mayo mixture, and add the soy sauce and fish sauce.
- Stir everything together until all the ingredients are thoroughly mixed, and the rice is hot.
Rice Bowl - Every Anime. Ever.
I know, I know, a little lackluster after that last recipe, but it needed to be done. Rice is such a staple of Japanese culinary culture, it’s hard to see a meal without it. And as much as I tend to ignore it, there is a proper way to cook rice. If you have the time, you really should cook rice this way. There’s nothing wrong with just popping rice into a pot with some water, and turning the stove on, but the difference when you cook it this way is definitely noticeable (as my roommate will adamantly say). Because so many dishes you find in Japan and in anime use rice, this is a really good guide to refer back to for cooking it (as I intend to do in future recipes—the main reason why I’m putting this here).
- Short grain white rice (Sometimes, I’m out of short grain and just use medium grain white rice, but short grain is preferable. Don’t use long grain, unless the recipe specifically calls for it)
- Rinse the rice. You’ll need to do this several times. Just put the rice (for most dishes, I use 1 cup of rice) into a bowl, add some water, and stir it around with your hands. You’ll notice the water ends up kind of murky—that’s all just starch. Then, strain the rice, and rinse it again. Keep doing this until the water gets to be mostly clear.
- Strain the rice once last time, and place it in the pot you’ll be cooking it in (unless you are using a rice cooker, then just leave it in the bowl). Add two times the amount of water as there is rice—for example, 1 cup of rice means 2 cups of water, 1 1/2 cups of rice means 3 cups of water. Then just let the rice soak in there for at least a hour.
- Now we cook the rice! If you’re using a rice cooker, just put the rice and water into the rice cooker and set to cook. If not, were going to use the 5-5-5 rule to cook it:
- Turn the stove top up to high and let the water come to a boil. Once it does, turn the heat down to medium, and let it sit there for 5 minutes.
- Turn the heat down to very low, and let it sit there for 5 minutes.
- Then, turn the stove top off, and let it sit for another 5 minutes.
- If the rice is still a little too moist, stir the rice a bit, and then put the rice back on low heat without the lid for a few more minutes, until the rice is to your liking.