*Mini Post* Rilakkuma Spaghetti Noodles: Good for girls?


Sorry if the title of this post made you confused. These spaghetti noodles do not look like Rilakkuma (or are not made of Rilakkuma (?)). Just the package design is Rilakkuma-themed! 🙂
If you do not know who Rilakkuma is, visit this post! -> Rilakkuma Store in First Avenue Tokyo Station

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This is what I found in a local grocery store in Tokyo. It is called Rilakkuma Poporosupa 7 minutes (リラックマポポロスパ7分). I do not know what ‘Poporo’ means (I just assume that ‘supa’ means spaghetti.), but it is a cute name. The package clearly says that it takes only 7 minutes boiling time for cooking these noodles. This product is interesting to me because not only the package design is Rilakkuma-themed, but also the package contains 1 serving noodle bundles which makes it easier for people to cook spaghetti (I used to battle amount of spaghetti noodles whenever I cooked spaghetti in U.S.). The package says that this product is good for girls (when it comes to dieting) as the amount of 1 serving noodle bundle(80g) is less than those of other products in Japan(commonly 100g). Though I don’t think it works for me as I am a big eater; I will probably put 2 bundles of them in the boiling water instead of 1…Actually I ended up buying a different package of spaghetti noodles which has more amount of noodles in 1 serving noodle bundles. lol

Thank you for reading my post! -Dr.Mouse-

‘Devil’s Chocolate Cake’: the Temptation of the Cute Devil!


One night I went to a convenient store near a subway station to buy a yummy pudding. I looked at a stand of various puddings and one very dark dessert caught my eyes. The dessert was in a cute paper cup like a pudding, and there were cute devil characters on the lid and side of the dessert. The lid of the dessert said “Devil’s Chocolate Cake(デビルズチョコケーキ).”

I really love chocolate. For any chocolate product, the darker is the better. The dessert was so tempting as it was so dark, and the part of name, ‘devil’ sounded like that cake is so yummy that it is like unrejectable temptation of the devil. So I bought one.

I opened the lid, there were some pieces of crushed chocolate on the top of the cake.

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Devil’s chocolate cake

I scooped up a little bit of the cake, and milky chocolate cream showed up beneath the dark chocolate cover. The cream was so soft like a chocolate ice cream.

With one scoop, I became so happy~ *^_^*

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Milky chocolate cream beneath a dark chocolate cover

And I scooped up more, and there was an another layer of chocolate under the layer of chocolate cream. That was a layer of chocolate cake. I think I could call it a brawny, too.

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the cross section of chocolate layers

I found a good photo below showing the layers of the cake very well.

chocolate layers of devil's chocolate cake (image from want-some-xx.c.blog.so-net.ne.jp)
chocolate layers of Devil’s Chocolate Cake (image from want-some-xx.c.blog.so-net.ne.jp)

(The layers of the chocolate cake reminded me of my soil science class in my college as it looked like a cross section of soil layers. it was funny as I always thought about chocolate when I was taking the course, too)

This dessert made me very happy at that night. I will go on a diet tomorrow~ (like always lol)

I wish I could share this with you guys. When you stop by a convenient store in Japan, look for this dessert!

Thank you for reading my post!♥

-Dr.Mouse-

Pretty and Unique Dried Strawberries of Sei-ryu-an, a Store in Nara


Who doesn’t like strawberries? >_<

Strawberries are my favorite fruits. I also think strawberries are the prettiest fruits in the world!  For whom loves strawberries like me, dried or hydrated strawberries can be awesome food as they can be stored long time so we can enjoy them whenever we want!

Most of commercial or home-made dried strawberries have shape of shrunken strawberries like pictures below.

To me, dried strawberries like them are not pretty enough and satisfying (even though they are tasty)
by comparison to this!

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a piece of pretty dried strawberry

This is what I found in Tekashimaya, a department store in east Shinjuku area of Tokyo. On the day I visited the department store, there was a fair where many stores from different prefectures in Japan were presenting their featured products.

I was looking around the fair and the dried strawberries caught my eyes. It was very interesting that the dried strawberries almost looked like pieces of paper printed with strawberries and cut into the shape of strawberries. They well kept the shape of sliced strawberries even though they were dried. A stand of a store named ‘Sei-ryu-an (清流庵)’ was selling these pretty dried strawberries with its other products.

An old guy staff(or owner) of the store, who looked like he was in his 60-year-old, kindly greeted me and said that his store is from Nara prefecture, and he came to Tokyo for joining the fair. He said that he joins this fair only for some period in every January. The dried strawberries were so pretty, and it sounded like I can not buy them in Tokyo easily, so I bought one packet of the dried strawberries from the stand. I remembered that it costed about 5 dollars for each packet.

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a wrapping of dried strawberries

Even the wrapping for the strawberries was so gorgeous!

I have no idea how he or she (whoever it was) made it. It’s an art!

The strawberries were not only pretty but also tasty! When I opened the packet of the strawberries, the sweet strawberry scent came out from it (I was surprised when I smelled it as I had thought dried fruits did not contain that strong scent). They were sweet and sour like strawberry jam and chewy.

 

As the staff of the store said that the dried strawberries are good for salads, I made a salad for this Valentine’s Day dinner.

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Dried strawberries salad

Below is a photo of my Valentine’s Day dinner table 🙂 I and my boyfriend also had ‘Kobe beef’ steaks on that day! >_< They were so good but amazingly expensive lol

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Valentine’s Day dinner table with dried strawberry salad and Kobe beef steak

I was glad that I bought these dried strawberries and cannot forget the kind staff of the store. I hope his store become more successful! ^_^ If you are interesting the strawberries and the store here is a link to website: http://www.kakiekubo.com/?p=652 (you might want to run the Google translating tool on the website as it is written in Japanese), phone number: +81-743-65-3906, and address: 3042 Ichinomotochō
Tenri-shi, Nara-ken 632-0004.


location of store, Sei-ryu-an (清流庵)

But I am not sure the store is still selling the dried strawberries now as I could not find information about them in the store’s website. But you can contact and ask them! (also not sure if they can speak English…if you want me to call and ask them about it, let me know :D)

Thank you for reading my post! ♥

-Dr.Mouse-

Have a Kawaii Valentine’s Day!: Cute Mochi (Japanese Rice Cake), Daifuku


Coming Valentine’s Day is going to be my first Valentine’s Day in Japan! I have been working hard on searching for special Valentine’s sweets for my boyfriend who does not like chocolates so much (how can he!!). As I am living in Japan now, the easiest thing I could think of was the ‘mochi’ (Japanese rice cake), particularly, ‘daifuku’.

Daifuku is a small round-shaped mochi stuffed with sweet filling. The most common is white-, pale green-, or pale pink-colored mochi filled with ‘anko’, sweetened red bean paste. In Japan, there are many kinds of daifuku with various colors and fillings, and they are popular gifts or souvenirs among the Japanese.

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Picture of common daifuku (“Daifuku 1”. Licensed under CC BY 2.5 via Wikimedia Commons)

For people who want to give their valentines special sweets other than chocolate or other common candies on Valentine’s Day, daifuku can also make a good sweet.

Below are pictures of daifuku I found in some Japanese sweet stores on first floor of Daimaru department store which is directly connected to Tokyo Station. Here is the location of the building.

A pale pink-colored daifuku in the picture below is one of ‘ichigo daifuku’, which is stuffed with strawberry and sweet filing. This daifuku’s name is ‘Ichigo-anju’ which means strawberry (ichigo) red bean (an) pearl (ju).

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an ‘Ichigo-anju’ with straberry and red bean filling

For your information, most ichigo daifuku contain whole pieces of strawberry like the one in the below picture.

A ichigo daifuku with a whole piece of strawberry (cut in half)
An ichigo daifuku(cut in half) with a whole piece of strawberry in it (image from WordPress)

Below are ‘Suikanshuku’ filled with persimmon filling. The name, Suikanshuku means elegant(sui) sweet(kan) soft(shuku).

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‘Suikanshuku,’ mochi filled with persimmon filling

Below are daifuku stuffed with anko and covered with tiny colored rice crackers. The name of daifuku is ‘Shunsaika’ which means spring(shun) plant(sai) flower(ka).

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‘Shunsaika’ filled with red bean paste and covered with tiny rice crackers

Below is a picture of Oniyarai Mochi (left) and sushi shaped mochi (right). Oniyarai Mochi, which name means ‘out with the demons’, is filled with red bean paste and covered with powdered sponge cake. These mochi are inspired by Setsubun (the day before the beginning of Spring in Japan). On that day, the Japanese eat soybeans and roll sushi to avoid evils bring bed luck. You can see masks of Japanese demon in this picture, too.

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Oniyarai Mochi (left) and sushi shaped mochi (right)

Below might look like chocolates, but actually they are daifuku covered with red bean paste and stuffed with a whole piece of chestnut. This is interesting daifuku because red bean paste was not used for anko but for cover. The daifuku’s name is ‘Ikoten’ which means ‘to become generous.’ Maybe you can present this daifuku to person you want to be more generous? :p

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‘Ikoten’ covered with red bean paste and stuffed with a whole piece of chestnut

So far, I have shown you some kinds of daifuku (actually there are way more kinds of daifuku in Japan…I will talk more about them later!). What do you think? I hope this post is helpful for you to get an idea for special Valentine’s Day gifts (I am still working on it! >_<).

How about making sweets with red bean paste instead of chocolate for this Valentine’s Day? 🙂

Thank you for reading my post!
-Dr.Mouse-
References

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Japanese Fruits Daifuku (Rice Cake) – strawberry


Mixed Mochi (Red Bean, Peanut, and Sesame)

Japanese Fruits Daifuku Mochi (Rice Cake)- Melon

Mini ‘Taiyaki'(Japanese Fish-Shaped Cake)!


For whom did not know what taiyaki is, taiyaki is a Japanese fish-shaped cake. The name taiyaki literally means, Baked(yaki) Sea Bream(Tai). The fish-shaped cake is made of pancake or waffle batter and normally filled with sweetened red bean paste.

“Taiyaki” Photo by Toto-tarou (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taiyaki)

Taiyakis I bought in a station in Tokyo are interesting even for Japanese people because they are much smaller than regular taiyakis.

Ochobo taiyaki stand

 

The taiyaki restaurant’s name was ‘Ochobo Taiyaki’

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finger size taiyaki

As you can see, the taiyaki was so small and cute!

A mini taiyaki

Below is a picture that was taken when I made taiyaki in my friend’s home in America. Compare sizes of the mini taiyaki and a regular taiyaki in the picture 🙂

Original taiyaki

In addition to mini taiyakis which were filled with red bean paste, there were taiyakis with other fillings such as caramel, chocolate, cheese, custard, and sausage. So, people who do not like red bean paste can also enjoy the mini taiyaki! 🙂 One more special thing about the taiyaki was the bread was made of croissant dough unlike other taiyakis made of pancake or waffle batter.

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A picture of different types of mini taiyaki

Here are the prices of the taiyaki sets (without tax). You can buy 10 taiyakis (about $5), 14 taiyakis (about $6), and 20 taiyakis (about $9) sets and choose any filling for each taiyaki. I bought a 14 taiyaki set with taikakis of every kinds of fillings.

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Prices of mini taiyaki sets

A staff at the stand put my taiyaikis in this cute paper back below.

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A paper back with taiyakis in it

Because the taiyakis were made of croissant dough, it was crispy outside and soft inside of the taiyaki like a croissant bread.

Pictures below show the inside of the taiyakis with different fillings.

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A mini taiyaki with chocolate filling
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A mini taiyaki with melt cheese in it
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A mini taiyaki with sausage in it

They all were so tasty! I personally liked the taiyaki with cheese filling the most which was so creamy 🙂

You can buy the taiyaki near Ikebukuro station in the Ikebukuro District of Tokyo. As this store is very known to people, you can not find the store on the Google map by typing the store’s name. I found the location of the store on the Google map by pasting its address. Below is the location of the store. Just in case you cannot see Google map here, this is the address: 5 Chome-2-3 Nishiikebukuro
Toshima-ku, Tōkyō-to 171-0021

Or

You can make your own taiyaki in your home 🙂 I bought a taiyaki pan on Amazon to do so when I was in America (but you can only make original taiyaki, not mini sized one with this…). You just need pancake mix, sweetened red bean paste (available at a local Asian market), and cooking oil. Below is the link of the taiyaki pan.

Taiyaki Fish-Shaped Cake Maker