Why does food look so good in anime? The glossy fish, the steamy rice, the bouncy yellow rolled egg omelette, who wouldn’t dream of eating like an anime character? Haven’t you ever looked on an anime character with envy as they chow down on some warm rice porridge made with love by their mom? Well anime characters aren’t the only ones who can enjoy all that oishii food, now you can too, and it’s easier than you think! Put some rice balls in your bento for lunch, share a rolled egg omelette with your friends, or make a heartwarming bowl of rice porridge for yourself or for a loved one! Let’s get cooking!
Onigiri (rice balls) are so common in anime that it’s hard to find a series that doesn’t have at least one episode that mentions them. In fact, in shojo anime it’s common to have episodes with it’s main focus being making onigiri for the main character’s crush. In the anime SA the main character Hikari Hanazono is a terrible cook but she tries over and over again with all her strength to make the best onigiri for Kei Takishima, unfortunately her epically terrible rice balls end up getting knocked onto the ground. But, showing true affection Takishima picks them off of the ground and eats them anyway! Aww!
You will need:
- 3/4 cups Dried rice (sushi rice is the best)
- 1 1/3 cups water
- Nori dried seaweed strips 3+ inches wide (you can also cut sheets into strips)
- plastic wrap
- fillings (optional)
1. Rinse the rice by putting it in a fine mesh strainer and running water over the rice until the water leaving the strainer is no longer cloudy. 2. Put the rice and measured water into a rice cooker and let the rice rest for about 20 minutes so it can re-hydrate a little. 3. Set your rice cooker to cook! 4. Once your rice cooker is done, add salt to taste and stir your rice to fluff it up and cool it down a bit. 5. Tear off a square of plastic wrap and drape it over one hand. 6. While the rice is still pretty hot (but cool enough to NOT get burned!) place a scoop of rice (about a 1/4 cup) on the plastic wrap on your hand. If you’re sensitive to temperature wear a oven mit. Using your spoon/rice scoop, flatten the rice out so it makes a loose patty shape. 7. If you want to, add a little bit of filling to the center of your rice patty. 8. Put another scoop of rice on top of your rice patty shape and close your hand holding the rice. Close the plastic wrap up twisting the sides together to form a ball. Pat the rice as if you are making a snowball. 9. Now you can shape the rice ball into any shape you want, you can leave it in a ball shape or use your thumbs and forefingers to make it into a triangle, or even form it into a log. 10. You can leave the onigiri in the plastic wrap wrapper or carefully take it out of the plastic wrap and wrap it with a strip of nori. Done! For fillings I like using shredded barbecue chicken, cubes of cheese, or sauerkraut.
Tamagoyaki/Rolled egg omelettes
Tamagoyaki (rolled egg omelettes) are often debated in anime whether they should be sweet or salty. It particularly becomes an issue in shojo anime when the shy main character makes sweet tamagoyaki, but the boy she likes only likes the salty version. She always seems to find out too late, but the guy ends up toughing it out and eating the sweet rolled egg omelette anyway, to show his affection. Or, in a hilarious reverse of this trope, in the anime Skip Beat, the stuck up Sho Fuwa refuses to eat the sweet tamagoyaki that he doesn’t prefer, and then gets bullied by Kiyoko Mogami (his former superfan/maid) to eat them anyway.
You will need:
- 3 Eggs
- A little bit of dashi, broth, or water
- Salt or Sugar to taste
- Cooking spray
Though in Japan there are special square pans for making tamagoyaki, it’s okay if you don’t have one. 1. Whisk the eggs with about 3 tablespoons of broth/water. Use more if your eggs are larger, less if your eggs are smaller. You just want to thin your eggs out a little tiny bit so they spread across the frying pan evenly. 2. Add a little sugar if you like sweet eggs (like French toast)
or add a little salt if you like savory eggs (like eggs and bacon).
3. Heat your frying pan on medium, spray heavily with cooking spray, and pour about 1/3 of your egg mixture into the pan. 4. Patiently wait for the eggs to start firming up on the top and carefully flip one end up on itself. Fold the eggs into thirds, rolling the eggs in one direction. 5. At this point all the eggs should be folded to one side of the pan. Now pour in another third of the egg mixture. Lift the folded eggs up and let the new egg mixture flood the pan under where the cooked eggs are. 6. Just keep folding the cooked eggs and adding more egg mixture until the raw egg mixture is used up. 7. Carefully slide the rolled eggs onto a plate and wait until cooled before slicing. Done!
Okayu (Rice porridge) is an adorable anime trope that every anime mom knows how to make by heart! Though it’s not always the mom of the anime that whips up this wholesome meal. In Card Captor Sakura (Dizzy Fever Day) Sakura’s brother Touya brings her a bowl of okayu to help her recover. And best of all it’s probably the easiest recipe in this post. It can have as little as 2 ingredients and can be prepped in as little as a few minutes.
You will need:
- 1 cup Cooked rice (left over rice from yesterday is fine)
- 2 cups Broth/dashi
- Toppings (optional)
1. Place cooked rice and broth in small sauce pan. 2. Simmer on low with the lid on for a while until the rice breaks down a bit and becomes porridge like (Hmm, it’s kind of in the name). 3. Pour into a large soup bowl and top with stuff if you like. Done! Traditional toppings include thinly sliced spring onions, shredded daikon radish, or ginger. I like shredded meats or cheeses.
Do you have a anime food you love? Leave a comment below!
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The anime exclamation of the week is: Oishii! meaning Delicious!
I’m currently watching:
- My Hero Academia
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- Fena: Pirate Princess
- My Next Life as a Villainess
- Tokyo Revengers
- The Great Jahy will Not Be Defeated!
- Bungo Stray Dogs
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