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New Show ‘Gochi Gang’ Is An Intimate Deep-Dive Into Japanese Cuisine and Culture

First We Feast’s new series ‘Gochi Gang’ premiered this Tuesday.  Hosted by YouTuber, anime producer, and food lover Reina Scully, the show highlights the cultural impact of Japanese cuisine in the U.S. beyond sushi and ramen. The name Gochi Gang was inspired by the Japanese phrase for gratitude, “gochisousama,” which is typically expressed after a meal. The gang represents the spirit of togetherness that sharing food with others brings. 

Japanese cuisine was gradually introduced to the United States decades ago. Initially, immigrants unaccustomed to American food would only eat imports. Since the end of the 19th century, Japanese immigrants were concentrated in neighborhoods called Nihonmachi, or it’s aptly named English counterpart, Japantown. While a macro view of these neighborhoods may correlate them negatively to a “ghetto,” Nihonmachis actually provided a space for Japanese culture to persist on foreign soil. It’s within these areas importation of homeland goods began slowly spreading to Americans in neighborhoods beyond.

Naturally, Japanese cuisine is vast. Sushi and ramen popularity within the US can be traced back to the post-World War II invention of instant noodles and endorsement of sushi by the McGovern Report. The McGovern Report (Dietary Goals for the United States, 1977) was published by the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Nutrition and Human Needs. Due to this, Japanese cuisine spread, yet has been mostly spearheaded by sushi and ramen. 

Gochi Gang aims to burst the floodgates to Japanese cuisine wide open. For Japanese people, preparing and eating food goes beyond mere sustenance. Reina Scully shared her thoughts on why it’s important to raise awareness about the culture and cuisine:

“Both Japanese culture and cuisine are multifaceted and interconnected with each other. Japanese food is generally typecast as ramen and sushi, but that’s just the very tip of the iceberg. There’s so much that’s worth exploring and the world deserves more insight into Japanese culture and food because it reveals how important of a role it plays in our history and tradition.“

Scully hopes that viewers not only learn about the wide range of tasty options, but also see how respectful Japan is regarding food. “We believe that food itself is spiritual and we treat it and those who prepare it with the utmost respect and gratitude,” Scully expressed. I personally believe that when food is connected to something deeper, it elevates the food itself. Equipped with experience and a little help from notable foodies, Scully is prepared to take you on a journey through the history of Japanese cuisine. Catch the first episode of Gochi Gang HERE and after you fill up on brain food, remember to say gochisousama!


Massive 50 Pound Ramen Bowl Is Topped With An Entire Ostrich Egg

A hearty bowl of ramen has the power to cure any hunger pangs, and warm even the coldest of moods. There will always be a place in my heart for the savory Japanese noodle dish, and for all the ramen lovers out there, you never forget your first 50-pound bowl.

Yes, you read that right: A 50-pound ramen bowl.

Photo by Peter Pham/Foodbeast

The Institute of Culinary Education in Pasadena, California, created a massive 50-pound bowl of ramen in celebration of Foodbeast hitting the 5 million follower milestone on Facebook.

Inside the generous helping was more than 30 to 40 pounds of authentic ramen noodles and an ocean of tonkotsu broth made from pig trotters, pork fatback, and chicken bones.

“In the actual broth, we char scallions, ginger, garlic, onions, and leeks,” explained chef Leicel Ros, an instructor at the Institute who constructed the dish. “For an extra layer of earthiness and umami, we did whole mushrooms. We used shiitake mushrooms and button mushrooms.”

Flavors of the broth were developed for 24 hours prior to serving through an intricate process.

Photo by Peter Pham/Foodbeast

To complete the colossal ramen bowl aesthetic, the dish was topped with an entire ostrich egg.

“If you think about it, you’re just cooking a giant egg that’s the size equivalent to at least 24 chicken eggs,” she laughed. “It’s a very thick shell, so we boiled it in a large pot in rapidly boiling water from 50 minutes to an hour.”

The extravagant dish touched upon Chef Ros’s passion of developing flavors meticulously with patience and care.

“Honestly, there’s a lot of love that goes into each component,” she shared. “I think the magic happens when everything combines into one plate.

Photo by Peter Pham/Foodbeast

With a project of this scale, Chef Ros had to be extra attentive to make sure every single step of the dish was done correctly and carefully.

“Time is the most important ingredient that we have as chefs, and we can’t buy time,” she stated. “If there was anything we were low on, we can buy it back, but there’s no replacement for time.”

The bowl held enough broth, noodles, and protein to serve nearly 100 hungry people.

While this unique experience was created specifically for Foodbeast, the Institute offers a plethora of experiences they can put together for you and your special occasions. If you’re looking to book a food adventure of your own, check out the Institute’s special event page and see what you can create with a love of food and some imagination.

Photo by Peter Pham/Foodbeast
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Watch And Learn How Traditional Japanese Bonito Flakes Are Made

Bonito flakes are one of the most popular ingredients in Japanese cuisine. From serving as a garnish to being the base for dashi (fish broth), these fish shavings are incredibly versatile. Making bonito flakes, or kazuri-bushi, is a tough job, but the process makes the flavor worth it.

The above video from Great Big Story shows how these fish shavings come to life. First, a piece of tuna goes through a long process of cooking, drying, and fermentation. Afterward, the final product, called katsuobushi, is as hard as a piece of wood. When katsuobushi is thinly shaved, kazuri-bushi is born.

To see the entire process each fish goes through, check out the above video. Great Big Story’s tale focuses on a traditional katasuobushi producer that still fillets by hand. However, the dried fish often goes through a mechanical process these days, making the video a true trip into history.

Culture Video

Watch American Kids Try Japanese Food For The First Time

Japanese food is definitely one of our go-to dinner choices after a long day at work. While the thought of a Japanese dinner leaves our mouths salivating, there are a ton of people who haven’t tried the cuisine before.

WatchCut Video‘s latest video has a bunch of American kids trying Japanese food for the first time in their young lives.

The dishes featured included: miso soup, Natto Gohan (fermented soybeans), sashimi (raw fish), daikon (pickled radish), umeboshi (pickled plums), Udon noodles, shrimp tempura, and Oshiruko (red bean soup & mochi).

While a savory feast for those familiar, these dishes can often come off as strange and off-putting to children unfamiliar with the cuisine. Still, props to these kids for giving the food a fair shake. Plus, there’s a hilarious B Plot where no one can figure out how to use the chopsticks.

Check out the adorable video and see if you can pass up some Japanese food for dinner.


This Japanese Airport Boasts the Best Airport Food in the World

Having the “best airport food in the world” might not sound like a huge accomplishment, considering that airports aren’t really what your mind goes to when you’re imagining a hub of culinary genius. When it comes to airport food, only two things are certain: there will be plenty of greasy fast food and there will be a host of soggy sandwiches for you to sink your teeth into. But some of the best food in the world? Maybe not.

Not the case when it comes to Tokyo’s Narita International Airport. The airport has won multiple culinary awards for its divine food across the board, including the “Best Airport for Dining” award as part of Skytrax’s annual World Airport Awards.

In Terminal 2, Blue Sky Miso has been praised for its exquisite Japanese food, especially the restaurants’ miso soup combo platters.


Photo: Independent U.K.

Blue Sky also offers some mouthwatering skewers, if miso soup isn’t your thing. (For some reason.)


Photo: Independent U.K.

Or, if you’re looking for something a little more unexpected, try this Japanese-style spaghetti from Goemon in Terminal 1.


Photo: Business Insider

Restaurants throughout the whole length of the airport also offer varieties of ramen. This piping hot bowl looks good enough to justify an entire flight to Japan, don’t you think?


Photo: Business Insider

Understandably, the restaurants in Narita are incredibly busy; the airport has clearly gained a well-deserved reputation as a hub for amazing Japanese cuisine. Some restaurants have taken to setting up 3D menus outside their shops, to help customers decide their order more quickly and therefore move the line along.


Photo: Business Insider

But the most acclaimed restaurant in all of Narita International Airport is undoubtedly Sushi Kyotatsu. This low-key sushi joint has been praised as having some of the best sushi in the world, which coming out of an airport, is extremely impressive. All the rolls are handmade fresh, and the bluefin tuna has been praised by foreigners and locals alike.


Photo: Business Insider

Kudos to Narita International Airport for breaking our leary perceptions of what airport food is generally like. But, quick disclaimer, we don’t encourage you to necessarily try airport sushi every time you fly. Only when you fly in or out of Narita.


How To Make PBR Sushi Rolls That Are Battered In Booze And Love [WATCH]

Chef Devaux, better known as Make Sushi, has been known to create some gnarly rolls. You may remember him by his holiday-inspired Santa Claus sushi rolls, Panda rolls and Mosaic rolls. The YouTube Sushi chef has now found a way to create the world’s first-ever Pabst Blue Ribbon Sushi.

First he makes some blue rice from a special tea-dying process shown early in the video. Then the rice is transferred to some nori sheet and fish is added. Make sure you use sushi-grade sashimi.

Closely follow his instructions in the video to properly stack and wrap the sushi roll.

Once the roll is completed, Chef Devaux creates a tempura batter using the PBR. All you need is some tempura flour and a can of Pabst Blue Ribbon.

Dunk your roll in the batter until it’s evenly coated and deep fry until it’s golden brown. Let it cool and start slicing your roll. Finally, cut up some tiny bits of nori and decorate your sushi pieces.

Once your roll is completed, maybe crack open another can of PBR and enjoy.


This Soy Sauce Bottle Lets You Spray Your Sushi


There’s been much debate on the proper method to eating sushi. Getting your sushi into soy sauce can be difficult for the inexperienced, whether using chopsticks or even one’s bare hands. However, it looks like a third option just presented itself for sushi lovers.

Hukuman Soy Sauce has developed a Sushi Spray that does pretty much what you think it does. You can simply remove the cap and instantly spray soy sauce onto your sushi. No splash damage, no fuss.

The company has been known for getting creative with their soy sauce products, even going as far as mixing it with yogurt and developing a flavor for domesticated pets. However, this time they’re not touching the sauce recipe. Rather, they’re changing the bottle from a storage unit to a full-on delivery service.

We’re not sure how many people are willing to carry a bottle of soy sauce with them for such an occasion, but it’s a novel gift nonetheless. The bottle can be purchased through the Hukuman website.

Now get on that wasabi and ginger spray.


H/T Rocket News 24


California Roll Nachos


Recipe: I Am a Food Blog