Product Inspirations – Stainless Mug (SM-TA36/48/60)

It’s all about customization with our new Stainless Mug (SM-TA36/48/60), the latest in our lineup of vacuum insulated stainless steel mugs and bottles.

We created this mug to be stylish and lightweight, weighing in at 7 ounces for the 12 oz. capacity, 8 ounces for the 16 oz. capacity and 9 ounces for the 20 oz. capacity. The mugs come in Black, White, Pink, Honey Gold, and Stainless, with gorgeous finishing and luster.

The mug comes in an ergonomic, slender shape with an easy-to-clean, double layer nonstick coated interior that enhances the mug’s durability and provides greater protection of the stainless steel against salt-containing beverages like sports drinks. It also features a 1 5/8 inch wide opening that makes it easy to fill and clean, and the rounded lip, made using a special manufacturing process, makes it comfortable to drink directly from the mug.

But the fun is in the lids!

Out of the box, the mug comes with a flip-open lid, and can be supplemented with a low-profile, screw-off lid (SM-S10N), sold separately, depending on your sipping preferences. The screw-off lid covers the rounded lip…simply remove it when you feel like drinking directly from the mug. When you don’t want the screw-off lid, use the flip-open one. You can even mix and match to create your favorite color combination!

The flip-open lid which comes standard with the mug uses a two-step release process. This process helps prevent excess condensation on the stopper from being flung off when the lid opens, and an air vent in the spout allows beverages to flow out smoothly, without gushing or overflowing. It’s great for using when you’re in a car or want to control the flow of liquid from the mug.

The flip-open lid also features an oblong-shaped safety lock, which prevents the lid from accidentally opening. It’s easy to know when the lock is engaged…just listen for the click. The lock makes it safe to carry in a purse, backpack or bag…no worries about the lid opening on its own and spilling your drink!

Both flip-open and screw-off lids are BPA free, cover the sipping area to maintain cleanliness, and can be easily disassembled for convenience and thorough cleaning.

As with other Zojirushi bottles and mugs, this mug is constructed with durable and high-quality 18/8 stainless steel, and uses Zojirushi’s superior vacuum insulation technology. By removing the air between the outer and inner layers of the stainless steel, heat is blocked from transferring through it, greatly minimizing the temperature change of your beverage. Your drink stays hot or cold for hours.

The Stainless Mug (SM-TA36/48/60) is so versatile that you can carry everything from water to Iced Black Tea to a lovely and warm Spiced Rooibos Tea. No matter what you drink from this bottle, it’s sure to be a great addition to your own lineup at home!

The Stainless Mug (SM-TA36/48/60) is so versatile that you can carry everything from water to Iced Black Tea to a lovely and warm Spiced Rooibos Tea. No matter what you drink from this bottle, it’s sure to be a great addition to your own lineup at home!

Find out more about this mug on our website and definitely check out our beautiful product video!

Design Explained – Our SlickSteel® Interiors and Nonstick Coatings

Which is better? Nonstick coated or not coated?

At Zojirushi, we know they’re both great!

This month we’re excited to share the design and engineering behind our nonstick and SlickSteel® bottle, mug, and food jar interiors. Both interiors are easy to clean. Both interiors have been proven durable. And both interiors are hygienic and repel stains. So why have two types of interior finishes?

Well, as usual, we believe in customer-centric design, and offer our products in both nonstick and SlickSteel® finishes to satisfy your requests.

As cleanability is important to our customers, many Zojirushi products are nonstick coated. Our nonstick coating is made using PTFE, or polytetrafluoroethylene, a polymer that is applied in a two-step process with a primer and a topcoat. It is nonreactive, inert, ultra-smooth, hydrophobic, and resistant to abrasions, corrosion, and heat. It’s ideal for use in containers that hold food or beverages, since it doesn’t stain or absorb odors. In Japan, our nonstick interior mugs are highly prized for their durability and cleanability, since they are primarily used for holding coffee and tea, which tend to leave odors and stains. Some of our newer bottles, such as the Stainless Mug SM-TA and Stainless Bottle SJ-JS, even utilize double-layer nonstick coating, to provide additional protection against salt-containing beverages such as sports drinks, as materials like salt will corrode stainless steel.

The SlickSteel® interior finish was introduced for our customers who prefer to avoid PTFE nonstick. We’ve electro-polished the interior, resulting in a surface that resists corrosion and repels stains without the use of nonstick coating. Electropolishing works using the principal of electrolysis, whereby the stainless steel is immersed in an ionized, electrolytic solution which is subjected to an electrical current. The reaction that results from the charged solution removes the microscopic peaks and fills the microscopic valleys in the stainless steel, creating an ultra-smooth surface made without any mechanical smoothing, grinding, or buffing.

Because eating out of Food Jars would require a utensil to be used, we use our SlickSteel® interior in all of them so that the nonstick coating is not scratched. Some of the other products with SlickSteel® interior are the Stainless Bottle SV-GWE50, our Stainless Mugs in models SM-JHE, SM-KHE, SM-SHE and our Travel Mug SM-YAE48 Both of our Stainless Tumblers in models SM-DA and SM-DD are SlickSteel® finished.

No matter what your preference is, both of our interior finishes showcase the same smart design and expert engineering you’ve come to expect from Zojirushi. Feel free to call our friendly customer service with any additional questions and of course, to help you select your next mug, bottle, or food jar!

@ironchefmom

This month I’m going to introduce y’all to my favorite Instagrammer. @ironchefmom cooks and plates the meals herself, takes her own shots and posts them just for fun. Her teenage kids made her open the IG account and stuck her with the name, back when the Japanese Iron Chef cooking show was so popular. I can honestly say all the food she’s posted, tastes as delicious as they look—mainly because @ironchefmom is my wife and I get to eat like this at home!

Our family eats all kinds of food at home; and our weekend activity is usually finding new places to eat around Los Angeles, so our menu is pretty varied. Of course, my favorite is Japanese, so there’s always a lot of rice involved. She is Korean-American, so there’s a lot of kimchee involved too. And our kids are pretty Americanized, like my daughter who’s very partial to pasta (like the tarako spaghetti above ).

Yes, we own a Zojirushi Rice Cooker (NP-HCC10); not their top of the line, but a very advanced one with a lot of menu settings. Since we often eat plain white rice with our dishes, it’s important to buy quality grain and have it cooked perfectly. Good quality rice does have a flavor—contrary to what most people might think. And what most people may not realize is how rice is so verstile, it complements almost any kind of food, beyond just Japanese. I’ll eat it with anything—steak, eggs for breakfast, chili, marinara meat sauce, Swedish meat balls, hot dogs. It really does substitute for pasta or bread, more than the other way around.

We had Mexican Chicken Chile Verde once, which we ate with white rice. @ironchefmom prepared it in our new pressure cooker—man, was that meat tender!

This Creole Gumbo was done in our slow cooker…as soon as I can get my hands on the new Zojirushi Multi-Cooker, I’ll ask her to make it again! So good with white rice…

Some nights we eat out of cans. I love this dish—Miso Marinated Sardines on steaming hot rice. Simple and nutritious even from canned foods.

This is Korean style oxtail stew called Kalbi Jjim. Sometimes it’s so spicy it makes my eyes water, but it’s a hearty dish that I can eat with the rice even after all the meat is gone, and all that’s left are vegetables.

Speaking of vegetables, last year we decided to go on a vegetarian diet to see if we could get healthier. I think we did pretty good. It lasted for 40 days without cheating! Not bad, huh? Even when we went out to restaurants we stuck with it, but boy was it hard (and a little boring IMO). It was actually tastier at home, where we had meals like Vegan Cantonese Lettuce Wraps with Japanese Kabocha Soup:

And Vegetable Curry…

And Vegetable Sukiyaki…

If you ever try to do this, my advice is to just get started and stay focused. You can do it too!

So have I made you hungry yet? @ironchefmom loves to cook and posts strictly for fun, and we obviously get the benefits; but of course there’s a downside. I don’t always get to eat the beautiful dishes you see here because I get home late. My daughter is the lucky one, and I usually have to assemble a look-a-like version. I’m not complaining though—it still tastes the same! And when we’re out at restaurants, we’ve grown accustomed to waiting until she gets all her IG shots done before we can dig in. She’s gotten faster at taking the pictures, and we’ve gotten more patient, LOL.

Today is @ironchefmom’s birthday. Happy Birthday! Help us celebrate by giving her page a LIKE, okay? And if you leave a comment, she’ll more than likely respond. I’m going to leave you guys with a couple more of my favorites. When it was my birthday, I got a week’s worth of personal requests! Best present ever, I gotta tell ya!

Hamburg Steak with Demi-glace sauce:

Buta no Kakuni (Braised Pork Belly):

photo credits: all by @ironchefmom

Foreign Foods in Japan – Hayashi Raisu (or Rice)

We love Japanese food. All kinds. Traditional home cooking. Haute cuisine. Festival food. Seasonal comfort food. Regional specialties. Sweet. Savory. Spicy. But even we can’t get over craving yoshoku food.

Yoshoku is one of the two main categories of Japanese cuisine – yoshoku and washoku – and refers to foreign foods that have been adapted to Japanese tastes, using ingredients typically found in Japanese cooking. Simply put, yoshoku food means “Western food” whereas washoku food means “Japanese food”.

Yoshoku food is so prevalent in Japan that many cooks believe it is now Japanese. But its origins are much more recent than traditional Japanese food culture. Yoshoku-style cooking became prevalent in Japan during the Meiji Period (1868-1912), and continued on through the post-World War II years. During the Meiji Period, emissaries from many nations, including China, England and France, visited Japan, bringing resources and sharing knowledge. Also, during that time, Japanese delegations traveled the world, learning about the cultures and habits of much of the West. This vibrant time resulted in an exchange of foods and this year, we’re going to delve into the deliciousness of popular yoshoku dishes.

Hayashi raisu

Hayashi Raisu (or Rice) is one of the easiest and most familiar yoshoku dishes. It can be ordered at yoshoku-ya, restaurants that specialize in adapting Western dishes, and is often made at home for a savory, comforting meal. Hayashi Raisu loosely translates into “beef stew over steamed white rice” and is heavily influenced by the French demi-glace. The stew part of the dish is made from beef broth, a browned flour and butter roux, and a port wine-Worstershire sauce-tomato paste-ketchup-soy sauce demi-glace. Added to this amazingly aromatic sauce is thinly sliced bite-sized beef, mushrooms and onions, garnished with boiled green peas. Hayashi Raisu is so common that the Hayashi Raisu sauce mix are even found in konbini, or Japanese convenience stores. And the dish comes together very quickly when you use these sauce mixes.

No packaged sauce mix used here!

The blend of foreign ingredients such as ketchup, butter, wheat flour and Worstershire sauce, along with cooking methods such as a roux based gravy, were new to Japan. Many chefs encouraged the use of these foreign ingredients to supplement what was available to the Japanese people, but in the case of Hayashi Raisu, no one knows who that chef might have been! Legend has it that an unknown chef, whose last name was the commonly used Hayashi, made the dish for the employees at this restaurant. Legend also states that the name for this dish came from the mispronunciation of “hashed beef”. Regardless of how the dish came about, we modern eaters are indebted to the yoshoku chefs of the Meiji Period!

We’d love to hear about your favorite yoshoku dishes. Be sure to share in the comments below!

Product Inspirations – Multicooker (EL-CAC60)

New year, new product!

We’re so excited to introduce our Multicooker (EL-CAC60). This appliance is amazing for making foods from so many cuisines – American, Japanese, Mexican, Italian, Indian and many, many more!

Zojirushi Multicooker EL-CAC60

So…do we tempt you with the foods you can make in the Multicooker first or the awesome features of this appliance?

Food it is!

The Multicooker comes with nine menu settings which include Sauté/Sear, Simmer, Low/Slow Cook, Steam, White Rice, Brown Rice, Quinoa, Yogurt and Keep Warm. To sauté or sear, simmer, slow cook or steam, choose one of the settings, the temperature and the time. With the Sauté/Sear setting, we made Gumbo and Pot Roast. Then we used the Sauté/Sear setting to start dishes like Sukiyaki and Texas Chili, which we finished off with the Simmer setting. (Yum.) Using the Low/Slow Cook setting, we made Cioppino and Miso Soup, as well as fresh Tofu. (Hungry yet?) With the Steam menu setting, we made Steamed Dumplings and delicate Steamed Fish with Ginger and Scallions. And if you want to make white rice, brown rice, quinoa or yogurt, the Multicooker automatically selects the correct cooking time and temperature, adjusting for perfect results each and every time.

Cioppino! Need we say more?

And best of all, these menu settings can be customized, like the Low/Slow Cook setting. It can be adjusted to four different temperatures, ranging from 140°F, 160°F, 180°F to 200°F. The Sauté/Sear setting has two customizable options, one for browning meat (410°F) and one for sautéing aromatics like garlic and onions (350°F). Even our Simmer setting has a High or Low option!

Self-standing lid keeps your countertop tidy and clean!

So, how does the Multicooker do all of this? It comes in a 6-quart capacity, and features a tri-ply 18/8 stainless steel cooking pot that rests inside the main body, secured there using convenient resin handles, which stay cool during cooking. The inner cooking pot is 10” in diameter, ideal for larger cuts of meat and poultry, and holds and distributes heat evenly. The cooking pan rests on a large heating plate with 1,350 watt high-powered output allowing high temperature cooking like sauté and sear. Unlike a standard crock pot or slow cooker, this combination of cooking pot and heating plate lets you braise, sear or sauté foods prior to slow cooking. The cooking pot is topped with a lid made using clear, tempered glass so you can view foods as they cook.

An upward-facing control panel makes it easy to use.

The Multicooker features our smart technology, and uses a microcomputer to provide preprogrammed settings and an upward facing LCD control panel to control time, temperature and menu settings. And it features our commitment to safe design through the user of a concealed heating plate, a removable power cord that detaches when snagged to prevent the hot pot from falling off the kitchen counter, and a spill guard that directs hot overflow to avoid accidental scalding. Accessories include a full-color recipe booklet, a stainless steel steam basket and rice measuring cup.

We can’t wait to hear what you’re cooking up in your new Multicooker (EL-CAC60). All of our recipes are in the recipe booklet, and we’d love to know how they turned out for you. Let us know in the comments below or on our Facebook and Twitter pages! Simply tag #zojirushi!