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Monthly Archives: December 2008

  • Asia's Most Exotic Beverages...Curry Ramune, Eel Drink, and Pig Placenta

    Those of us who enjoy sampling just about every sort of Asian food that we happen across know that at times a fearless attitude can be a little dangerous. We're not just talking about danger in the improperly-prepared-fugu sense. The fact is that a lot of foods from the far east are a bit too daring for us meek westerners and if you're not careful it's easy to get in over your head. One of the places you might not expect to get in over your head would be beverages, but even in this seemingly safe harbor it can get a little dicey.

    Take for example Curry and Wasabi Ramune Soda. An alternative to drinks that cool and refresh you, these drinks are designed to burn
    your head clean off. Here at AFG we can't count how many times we've thought to ourselves "ramune
    is great, but it just isn't spicy enough." Wait, yes we can. None. None times.


    On the less-appalling-but-still-wildly-inappropriate front is Kid's Beer, a frothy non alcoholic drink marketed to small children. As a generation whose parents wouldn't let them have candy cigarettes and who balked at Big League Chew (it just seemed a little too close to chewing tobacco), one can imagine the cable news freak-out that would occur if this made its way across the Pacific. It isn't surprising, then, that this is still only available in Japan

    "Yes yes," you're saying, "this is all well and good but what do you have in the way of fish-extract based drinks?" Well we're glad you asked. Unagi
    is a carbonated health drink infused with the theoretically
    delicious extract of eel. As much as we love a slice of eel on a sushi tray, this fizzy fish drink is a bit too far.


    The final drink in our cavalcade of calamitous cocktails is not for the faint of heart. InventorSpot
    (warning: this link is not for the squeamish) lays out the details of Placenta 10000, the drink made with real pig placenta. The manufacturers guarantee that you won't be able to taste it a bit, and they'd better be right if they expect anybody to pony up the yen for a drink
    made from... do we have to say it again?

    Things like this might seem like more than enough reason to keep you from experimenting with Japanese drinks but remember that adventure is part of the true gourmet experience. Who knows, you just might find that curry soda goes really well with your favorite burger, or that eel soda is the perfect compliment to fantastic sushi. Who knows you might even find out that placen- On second thought, maybe not.

    Images Courtesy TokyoMango, Japan Marketing News, and Wired

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  • Hello Kitty's Ever-Sweetening Empire: From Collectables to Candy

    Do you remember the first time you saw a Keroppi Pencil? If you grew up in the 80s or 90s, you probably do. But... Continue Reading
  • These Holiday Pocky Creations Will Knock Your Stockings Off

    Need a flag pole for your gingerbread house? Or fuzzy antlers for your reindeer? Or drum sticks for your little drummer boy? Asian Food Grocer presents...drum roll please...the most inventive holiday Pocky creations ever! Continue Reading
  • Weekly Recipe: Miso and Maple Marinated Pork

    When the weather outside is frightful...stay inside and cook something delightful! Every week, we'll feature a new recipe from our Asian Food Recipes section. Since it's winter and the holidays are coming up, we picked Miso and Maple marinated pork. Infused with a fantastic  fantastic blend of flavors, this marinade features: tart apples, carmelized onions, the sweetness of maple syrup and subtle saltiness of Aaka (red) miso.

    Try it out and then tell us what you think. And if the miserable weather makes you crave Miso (like we do), explore our wide section of Miso Paste and Miso Soup.


    1  lb Pork tenderloin or center-cut loin, boned and

    1/3 c Aaka miso
    1/3 c Maple syrup
    1/4 c Rice wine ( Sake ), or Dry white wine, or Water
    2 tb Minced Ginger
    2 Apples, medium-sized
    Lemon juice
    1 Onion, large - cut into wedges and separated
    into layers


    1. Cut meat into 1/8" thick slices 6-7"
    long. In a heavy plastic food bag (about 1 quart), combine miso, syrup, sake,
    ginger, and pork; mix well. Seal shut and chill for at least 1 hour or up until
    the next day.

    2. Core apples; cut into 1/2" wedges. Moisten
    with lemon juice to preserve color.

    3. Thread a thin skewer through the end of a pork
    slice, then a piece of onion and a piece of apple. Weave skewer through meat
    slice again and repeat process, dividing ingredients among 4-8 skewers. If made
    ahead, cover and shill up to 3 hours. 

    4. Lay skewers on grill 4-6" above a solid bed
    of medium-coals (you can hold you hand at grill level for only 4-5 seconds).
    Baste with marinade and turn often until meat is no longer pink in center (cut
    to test), about 10 minutes.

    You'll impress your holiday dinner guests with this delectable dish. Check back next week for another delicious recipe. If you can't wait, take a look at our Asian cookbooks. They're the perfect holiday gifts for novice chefs.

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