Zojirushi’s Colorful Flip-Open Mugs are the Perfect Back-to-School Companions

Stainless Mug SM-SR36E/48E/60E

As the summer wraps up, you know what that means – back to school! There are so many things to prepare, as the new school year begins, including keeping your student hydrated and refreshed throughout the day. With Zojirushi’s Stainless Flip-Open Mugs (SM-SR36E/48E/60E, SM-WR36E/48E/60E), your child will love taking a sip every chance they get, especially when they’re filled with tasty drinks. Today we share why our product of the month is an essential back-to-school item, as well as tips to maintain this mug to last for many school years to come. Let’s dive right in!

Meet Our Product of the Month

Stainless Mug SM-WR36E/48E/60E

  • Choose from 9 different colors: Yes, you heard that right! Start the school year off in style with any one of our attractive colors, including Mint, White, Silky Black, Matte Gold, and Pearl Pink for the SM-SR36E/48E/60E. If you’re looking for even more color options, the SM-WR36E/48E/60E comes in Mint, Cantaloup, Light Blue, and Dark Gray. The color choices help differentiate your child’s bottle from their siblings, your morning coffee, or even their classmates.

    Ultra-lightweight and compact design

  • Pick your size: The compact and ultra-lightweight mugs come in three different sizes, conveniently fitting in any backpack or schoolbag. Weighing between 6-9 oz. empty, these mugs are light as air. They come in  20, 16, and 12 oz. sizes so there is one that is just right for everyone. We find that the small bottles are great for younger children, while the larger bottles are perfect for on-the-go hydration on long school days or after-school sports.

Air vent on the mouthpiece allows beverages to flow out smoothly without gushing or overflowing

  • Designed for easy drinking: The 2-step lid releases at the click of a button and helps prevent excess condensation on the stopper from being flung as the lid opens. This protects other items in the child’s locker or backpack, as well as their desks as they move from class to class. Additionally, the air vent in the mouthpiece ensures that the flow of beverages will always be smooth, and the mouthpiece also completely disassembles for easy cleaning. It’s a win-win: no messes while drinking, no messes while cleaning!
  • Safety Lock: Flip-open lids are convenient, but not when they accidentally open in your bag and spill your drink all over. Zojirushi’s flip-open lids have a safety lock, so even if something pushes against the open button, it will keep it from opening. The tight fitted lid also prevents spills and helps keep your drink hotter or colder.
  • Superior vacuum insulation technology: Our mugs are made with high-quality 18/8 stainless steel and will keep your drinks hot or cold for hours. This is especially important if your child has afterschool activities and are craving a cold drink to quench their thirst. If they enjoy warmer beverages, for example before their choir debut, this mug will also support those temperature needs.

Pro Tips on Using and Maintaining Your Stainless Mug with a Flip-Open Lid

  • Wide mouth opening: The large opening makes pouring drinks into the mug super easy and fits full-size ice cubes. This is great for busy parents who value every second when getting the kids ready in the morning.
  • Nonstick interior: Makes cleaning and maintenance a breeze, while also keeping out stains and odors. And what’s more, all areas of our mugs that come into contact with your beverage are BPA-free.

    Stopper disassembles for thorough cleaning

  • Keep Clean: Zojirushi lids are designed to disassemble for easy and thorough cleaning. The parts should be cleaned after every use with a soft sponge and a mild dish detergent. Then, they should be allowed to air dry fully before reassembling. This will keep the lid as hygienic as possible and ready for use!
  • Open the Lid All the Way: The flip-open lid has a spring at the hinge, allowing the lid to open completely, and then stay in-place, so it doesn’t close on your nose when drinking. If you’re holding your bottle towards the top when opening the lid, your hand can be obstructing the lid from opening completely, so stay clear of the opening lid.

Green Tea White Virgin Sangria

Delicious Drinks to Add Flavor to the School Year

One of the best ways to prep your child for the school day is by making sure they’re hydrated, whether they’re studying diligently in the classroom or participating in their extracurricular activities. Of course, water is our number one recommendation, but if your child needs more creative ways to stay hydrated, these easy and nutritious recipes will have them reaching for their Zojirushi stainless mug to refresh themselves throughout the day.

  • Green Tea White Virgin Sangria: A fruity and delicious drink that can be enjoyed by the whole family and a great way to keep your child cool on a warm day.
  • Cold Buster Soothie: Go back to the basics with a little warm water, lemon juice and honey to add a soothing touch to any day as we ease into autumn.
  • Fresh Fruit Tea: Use your child’s favorite fruits, whatever you have on hand that’s in season, or any of our recommendations. This versatile tea has a sweet and delicious aroma, that’s a fun and festive way to work on your child’s hydration.

Did you try any of these recipes for back to school? Which mug is your favorite color? Be sure to share your experience with us on social by tagging your photos on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram! #Zojirushi #ZoFan #ZoRice

 

September is National Rice Month


Pepper Rice

In celebration of National Rice Month, we should all learn something about our favorite carb! Did you know that out of the 4 main types of Asian rice, the Japonica short grain, commonly known as the sticky rice that we use for sushi, is responsible for only 5 to 6 percent* of the global rice trade? Since I mainly eat this kind, I sometimes forget that there are tens of thousands of other varieties that come from other southeast Asian countries, like Indica, Aromatic and Glutinous rice; not to mention all the African types. It’s the primary staple for more than half of the world’s population, and it’s grown on every continent except Antarctica. Wow.
*source: USDA 2018

This is my version of Pepper Rice at home using my Zojirushi Electric Skillet. Have you ever tried this? There is a Japanese chain called Pepper Lunch® that does this on cast iron skillets and it comes sizzling to your table. I followed a copycat recipe that I found online and replicated it pretty good. The real star here is the electric skillet, that did a really good job of searing the meat and browning the rice to give it that crispy skin. FYI, the temp was set at 400°F, which was perfect.

After you stir it up, it’s done without much trouble at all. If I do this again, I’m adding more corn and more ground pepper. A lot more. 

Some people make a big deal out of the herb butter that you’re supposed to use, but I just made do with high quality regular butter. I feel what’s most important is using a good grade of thin sliced sukiyaki meat.

Doesn’t this look good? I added some cheese to this so there’s an additional layer of texture. Eh, I can take that or leave it. But the seared bits of meat and rice is what made my Pepper Rice extra-extra!

Another rice dish that you can make right in your rice cooker is takikomi gohan (mixed rice). If you have a “mixed rice” setting on your rice cooker that’s even better. I mean, they literally sell mixed rice kits at the Asian supermarkets if you’re lucky enough to live near one, so all you do is wash rice, add the broth and ingredients from the kit into the pot, and push the button! This one was made using Japanese salmon fillets, fresh mushrooms and a broth recipe from a soy sauce company.

I love salmon so I can appreciate it when I’ve got big chunks of it in my rice and not just little bits. I could have added hot green tea to this bowl and eaten it that way!

If you want to try this, Zojirushi has their own recipe on their page here. It’s a pretty foolproof dish as long as you’re using a good rice cooker.

Hopefully this got you in the mood for rice. TBH, if it’s between National Bread Month and National Rice Month, I’m choosing rice every time. Ha!

 

 

 

Products used in this post: Gourmet d’Expert® Electric Skillet EP-RAC50, Rice Cooker & Warmer NP-HCC10

Please note that these recipes were not tested by Zojirushi America.

All images by Bert Tanimoto ©2021

 

 

 

The Perfect Way to Keep Drinks Ice Cold for Your Summer Party

Summer is our favorite time to catch up with our family and friends while sitting and enjoying the weather outdoors. For the importance of both hospitality and hydration, serving ice cold beverages is essential for these get togethers.

Our product of the month, the Stainless Steel Vacuum Carafe SH-RA15/19, is a durable carafe that will work overtime to keep your drinks cold for up to 10 hours. This will allow you to focus on entertaining and spending quality time with your loved ones, and not refilling the ice bucket. Nothing beats cooling down and relaxing from the August heat with an ice-cold drink in hand.

This carafe is able to retain the beverage’s temperatures for so long because it features Zojirushi’s iconic vacuum insulation technology. What does vacuum insulation mean? It means that air between 2 walls is removed, to create a vacuum. When there is a vacuum, heat can’t escape through conduction, keeping hot contents hot and cold contents cold.

Did you know that our company name in Japanese is Zojirushi Mahobin? Mahobin means “magic bottle” or “vacuum insulated bottle”!

If you’re curious to learn more about this feature, then learn more here: Design Explained – Our Superior Vacuum Insulation

More About our Famous Carafe

Our product of the month also features a one-touch pour design that makes serving easy, a convenient screw-off lid for zero-hassle pouring, and a 2.5” wide opening that makes cleaning it a breeze and attaching brewing attachments super simple.

The model SH-RA15 holds up to 1.5L (6 cups), and model SH-RA19 holds up to 1.9L (8 cups). Both come in two colors: Stainless (-XA) and Brown (-TA).

One-touch pour for easy serving

Convenient screw-off lid

2-1/2” extra wide opening

Summer Sips

Here are some of our favorite summer coolers that you can make and store in your new carafe, for your next get together:

Iced Black Tea

  • Iced Black Tea: A simple classic that will wake you up on a sunny afternoon and keep you energized for your daytime activities. Customize it by adding sugar or milk and remember to clean out the carafe after each use.
  • Strawberry Limeade: A refreshing, fruity mocktail that features strawberry, mint, and lime. So delicious and light!

    Shaka Plantation Tea

  • Salted Watermelon Juice: Nothing says summer like a glass of hydrating watermelon juice! Salt adds a savory component and brings out the flavor of watermelon.
  • Shaka Plantation Tea: This Hawaiian pineapple juice and tea drink will quench your thirst on any day, and the added pineapple slices act as an extra tasty snack!

Snacks on the Go:

If you’re looking to make and store snacks for your guests in advance, consider looking into our food jars.

These containers feature the same vacuum insulation as our carafe, to keep hot foods hot, and cold foods cold for many hours.

Zo tip: Preheating or pre-chilling your carafe or food jar before filling it with your beverage or food will ensure the temperature won’t drop (or rise) when you fill them. In turn, keeping it hotter or colder for longer. Is the vacuum insulation too good that your food or beverage is too hot to eat or drink? In that case, allow it to cool a bit before putting it in the food jar or carafe.

Browse our top food jar recipes here and shop our full line-up at the Zojirushi Shop.

Do you have a favorite summer recipe from the above or a signature recipe of your own? Be sure to share with us on social by tagging your photos on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram! #Zojirushi #ZoFan #StainlessSteel #VacuumInsulation

Mother’s Home Cooking: 炊き込みご飯 (Takikomi-gohan)

Today we’re taking a trip to mom’s kitchen to learn about Takikomi-Gohan, or seasoned Japanese mixed rice. This savory, gluten-free recipe is very popular in Japan and uses seasonal ingredients to celebrate the country’s many micro-seasons and local vegetables. Not only is it savory and comforting, but it’s very healthy and so simple to make! After getting all your ingredients together, you add everything to your rice cooker and press “start.” For busy mothers, this dish is a beloved secret for a quick and delicious dinner for any night of the week, and a fan-favorite for children and adults alike.

Where does it come from?

At its core, Takikomi-gohan comes from humble beginnings and has been a vital part of Japanese culture for many centuries. Takikomi-gohan was created during the Nara period, around 710-784 AD. During this time, Japanese people had a lot of difficulty growing and harvesting rice to feed everybody, so they mixed rice with millet. Then, people started mixing this rice and millet combination with a variety of vegetables, such as weeds and yams. This early version of Takikomi-gohan is called Katemeshi.

Later on, during the Muromachi period, Japanese people made a similar dish to Katemeshi called Kawarimeshi. Kawarimeshi is similar to Katemeshi, but uses quality ingredients such as barley, beans, and vegetables, as well as more seasonal ingredients to maximize flavor.

Today, there are several varieties of Takikomi-gohan depending on where you go in Japan. In the Kansai region, it is called Kayaku-gohan, and in Okinawa it is called Jushi. It can also be called Gomoku Gohan. Another relative to this dish, Maze Gohan which mixes ingredients such as vegetables and protein with rice after the rice is cooked, rather than with the rice as it’s cooking.                                                                                         

Star Ingredients

  • Because this dish relies on seasonal ingredients, the star ingredients will depend on when you’re making this dish! Generally, the ideal makeup of this dish consists of vegetables, proteins, dashi, soy sauce, mirin, sugar, and short-grain rice.
  • This dish is especially popular during the fall, a very popular ingredient to include is shiitake mushrooms.
  • Other ingredients to consider include bamboo shoots, chestnuts, hijiki seaweed, peas, and sweet potatoes.

Rice Cooker Tips & Tricks

  • If you have it on your rice cooker, use the “mixed’ setting since it will adjust the menu setting for the added ingredients and condiments.
  • Add condiments BEFORE measuring the water, then add water to the corresponding water line. Then mix well from the bottom of the pan.
  • Add additional ingredients like veggies and proteins on top of the rice, and don’t mix in with rice.
  • After cooking has completed, open the lid and turn the rice and ingredients to mix so that they will spread evenly. It also allows any excess moisture to evaporate to prevent making the rice soggy.
  • ​The recommended amount of ingredients should be about 30-50% of the volume of rice.

  • Here’s a vegan version by Okonomi Kitchen that has us drooling. It features lots of veggies, mushrooms, and tofu for protein.
  • We have a classic Zojirushi recipe that you can make 100% in your rice cooker, and is a traditional take on this beloved dish.

Have you tried Takikomi-gohan before? What are your favorite ingredients to add to this dish? Let us know if you try (or make) Takikomi-gohan by tagging Zojirushi on your photos with #zojirushi on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram!

Food Jar Fun

Being that August is National Picnic Month, this is the perfect time to break out your food jars and actually go on that hike you’ve been talking about—let’s all lose that extra poundage from sitting around the house! Well, I’m speaking for myself, anyway.

So here’s my thought on food jars and what they’re good for—to be honest, I’m not likely to cook something on my stove just to bring in my jar. Eh…not enough benefits for me, and I can’t see the point. BUT using raw ingredients and having my jar do the cooking? That to me is brilliant. I thought I’d try experimenting one weekend and was surprised to see how much fun I had.

I got these two recipes from the Zojirushi site; the ones for oatmeal:

And the one for rice porridge (called okayu in Japanese):

These are both made just by filling the jar with the raw, uncooked rice and oats, then filling with boiling water and letting it sit for a couple of hours. Both of these were impressive. If you haven’t yet tried this you’ll be amazed. The oatmeal was plenty warm enough to eat after a couple of hours—I could totally see myself bringing it to work and having it for breakfast. Especially since my commute used to be an hour-and-a-half!

The rice porridge blew me away. Even after what was probably over 4 hours, it was so hot you had to blow on it! It was amazing to me how you could get fully cooked rice from hard, raw grains without doing anything except to let it sit. Make your own adjustments—if you like it more soupy, use less rice and more hot water. And be sure to wash the rice good before you put it in the jar; it’ll keep it from getting too gluey at the bottom.

This led me to trying other things with these jars and here’s what I found out. It might seem obvious, but if you have a vacuum drink bottle to hold the hot water, you can make an Instant Ramen Kit to take anywhere. I have a 17oz. size food jar which was big enough to hold a full pack of ramen, the soup packet, some leftover chicken, corn, green onions and a pat of butter.

Bring your Ramen Kit on a picnic and pour the hot water from your bottle into the food jar. Let it sit for the normal amount of cooking time (around 5 min).

Done and delicious! You might need to make adjustments to the broth. Mine was a little salty so I simply thinned it some more with the extra hot water from my bottle. (Next time I’ll use less soup powder.)

Here’s my Korean style instant ramyeon, with shredded cheese added. My tip for this one: although delicious, don’t use cheese unless you’re OK with cleaning it out of your food jar afterward. Don’t get me wrong, the non-stick surface works great, but you will need to be able to scrub a little.

Here’s one I made up myself. Since the rice porridge was so successful, I decided to make my own version of a Lemon Rice Soup, based on the Greek avgolemono. It’s a lighter version because I didn’t want to put eggs or cream in it, but good idea, right?

I have to declare this a success as well! Very refreshing, ha-ha! The big difference between this soup and the rice porridge is that it uses hot broth stock instead of water to cook in the jar. But it made no difference—after a couple hours, it was ready to eat!

So that’s my report from my food jar lab. I think with more experimentation I could do even more with them. You should try too; thermal cooking is like science!

Products used in this post: Stainless Steel Food Jar SW-EAE35/50

Please note that these recipes were not tested by Zojirushi America.

All images by Bert Tanimoto ©2021