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.
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.
Omurice - Hanasaku Iroha
Omurice, believe it or not, is a simplistic, classic dish. Someone once wrote that it is the Japanese answer to a grilled cheese sandwich: nostalgic, easy, and perfect for brunches and kids’ breakfasts. So, for someone trying to be as professional with their cooking and impress their crush, it makes sense for Minko to shoot down the omurice idea for her menu. On the other hand, this filling meal is probably a perfect (and delicious) way to let a person know that you like them. Either way, omurice is a wonderful dish to start off your morning or afternoon.
- 1 1/2 cups of cooked white rice (following this recipe if you can)
- 1 small, boneless chicken breast
- 2 mushrooms
- 1/2 onion
- 1 garlic clove
- 2 tablespoons ketchup
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- Vegetable or olive oil
- Chop up the mushrooms, onions, garlic, and chicken. I recommend cooking the chicken in the oven a bit, first, with some seasonings (I just use salt, pepper, and some curry powder), so you won’t have to worry about raw chicken.
- Heat up some oil in the pan (USE A MEDIUM/SMALL PAN. A little smaller than the size of your plate is good. This is important for the egg) to medium low. Once the oil is hot, add the vegetables and the chicken with 2 teaspoons of the ketchup and 2 teaspoons of the soy sauce.
- Once the onion becomes clear, add in the rice, and the rest of the ketchup and soy sauce. Mix everything together. Once the rice is hot, and thoroughly mixed with the other ingredients, put it all in a bowl and set aside.
- Put a small amount of oil in the pan, and then pour the beaten eggs into the pan. Lift up the pan and tilt it around in a circle so that the egg covers all sides of the pan. Let the egg cook, occasionally lifting up the egg from the sides of the pan to make sure it doesn’t stick. If you can manage it, flip the egg sheet over to cook on the other side. If you can’t, then just turn the heat down to low and wait for the egg to cook all the way through. You can try to cook the rice into the omlette before it cooks through, but I find it difficult to transfer to the plate if I do it that way.
- Once the egg sheet is cooked, place it onto your plate. Move it so it is only on one half of the plate (it should be falling off the edge. Just fold it over or roll that part up for the time being). Place the rice in the middle of the plate, over a bit of the egg sheet. Then fold the egg sheet over the top of the rice, and tuck it under the other side of the rice. Put some ketchup on your finished omurice.
Voila! You’re done! The fun thing about omurice is drawing decorations or writing things with the ketchup. Just as a warning, it is a lot harder to do this than you would think. Some common things written on omurice in Japan (which you might want to consider):
すき - I like you!
大すき - I like you a lot / I love you
おいしいよ - This is delicious!
おはよう - Good morning!
オムライス - Omurice!
チユー! - Mwah!
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.
Stuffed Rolled Omelette - Mawaru Penguindrum
To be perfectly honest, I don’t really like eggs. I never have. However, Kanba’s and Shoma’s rolled omelettes in Mawaru Penguindrum just looked. So. Good. And I’ll eat anything once. I’ve tried making plain rolled omelettes before, and just as a warning, it’s tricky. You need to make sure the egg cooks through, but at the same time, is still raw enough to all stick together. Don’t forget Kanba’s super special technique of adding chili oil to the egg!
- 3 Eggs
- 1/2 Cup Spinach, Chopped
- 1/3 Cup Grated Mozzarella
- 2 Tablespoon Soy Sauce
- 1 Teaspoon Chili Oil
- 1 Teaspoon Maple Syrup
- 1 Tablespoon Sugar (Optional)
- 1/4 Teaspoon Dashi Powder (Optional)
- Vegetable or Olive Oil
- Heat up a small pan (preferably with high sides) on low-medium heat. Once the pan is hot, add about 2 tablespoons of vegetable or olive oil.
- Break the eggs into a small bowl, add the dashi powder, chili oil, sugar, and 1 tablespoon of the soy sauce, and beat the eggs with a fork.
- When the oil in the pan is hot, pour half of the egg mixture into the pan. Swirl/Spread the egg around the pan so that it fills the bottom, and then sprinkle half of the spinach and mozzarella over the egg.
- Let the under side of the egg slowly cook. Then, using a spatula (or even two spatulas), lift up a 1 inch portion of the egg and fold it over the top. Let the egg cook a little bit, and then repeat folding the egg, until it’s all rolled up.
- Push the rolled omelette back to the other side of the pan, and pour the rest of the egg in. Sprinkle the last of the spinach and cheese onto the egg, and repeat step 4 using the already rolled egg as the inside.
- Let the rolled omelette slowly cook in the pan until the wider sides are nice and browned.
- Take the omelette out, and slice it into half inch slices. Mix together the maple syrup and the last of the soy sauce, and pour on top of the rolled omelette.