Meet the Newest Members of the Zojirushi Family and July’s Product of the Month: Hello Kitty Rice Cooker and Stainless Mug

We are so excited to announce our collaboration with Sanrio to launch our two new Hello Kitty housewares, the Hello Kitty Rice Cooker and the Hello Kitty Stainless Mug.

This partnership marks Zojirushi’s first-ever licensed collection and coincides with Sanrio’s 60th anniversary, celebrating the heritage of two iconic Japanese brands and their milestones through these fun limited-edition products.

Let’s take a closer look at the two products and their features:

The Hello Kitty Rice Cooker (NS-RPC10KT)

The Hello Kitty Rice Cooker is a gorgeous white exterior with one-of-a-kind Hello Kitty illustrations in 360 gold print. It’s a necessity for all Hello Kitty fans – so kawaii!

Along with the ability to cook up to 5.5 cups of rice, this rice cooker will feature many Zojirushi standards, such as:

Easy one-touch operation with an automatic system that keeps the rice warm once it’s done cooking,

A patented triple heater system that works intuitively to always generate the ideal temperature for the best tasting rice,

 

A detachable and washable inner lid,

Easy-to-clean nonstick coated inner pan,

A hinged lid with easy-to-open handle, as well as a lock tight lid with push button release and a removable dew collector.  The rice cooker also comes with a measuring cup, spatula, and a spatula holder as accessories, which are BPA-free

The rice cooker is adorable and also thoughtfully constructed to not only make the cooking part easy, but also the clean-up. For example, during the boiling process, starchy foam may adhere to the inner lid and become dirty. The inner lid is designed so it can be removed and washed thoroughly. Especially if you add any ingredients other than rice (such as condiments) when cooking, wash thoroughly to prevent odors. The inner pan is nonstick coated for easy cleaning, because we all know how time consuming it is to clean off sticky rice!  When cleaning or washing, we advise not putting forks, knives or other cooking utensils in the inner pan to avoid scratches. Please only use the rice spatula that came with your rice cooker to keep the pan from scratching and deteriorating.

The Hello Kitty Stainless Mug (SM-TA48KT)

While the Hello Kitty rice cooker will only be sold in white, the Hello Kitty Stainless Mug will be offered in two colors – black and white – both featuring the same unique-to-Zojirushi gold print.

If you own, used, or have encountered any of our vacuum insulated stainless products, you know how they EXCEL at keeping beverages hot or cold…we’re not exaggerating. Enjoy the temperature retention for up to 6 hours for all of your liquids!

In addition to powerful temperature retention and a lovely design, they also offer everything you love about Zojirushi’s vacuum insulated stainless products, such as 6 oz capacity made of high-quality 18/8 stainless steel , a 2-step lid release process , which prevents excess condensation, a stopper that completely disassembles for thorough cleaning , Easy-to-clean double layer nonstick coated interior , nonstick coated

interior for enhanced durability, An air vent so drinks flow smoothly ,

and a safety lock to prevent the lid from opening accidentally.

Look at that beautiful 360 gold Hello Kitty design!

Zojirushi has other products that also have floral or other designs on our products. We take care in using materials and application methods that prevent the designs from coming off, but don’t rub or scrub hard when washing. Please be gentle. This tip works to keep both the rice cooker and stainless mug’s exterior design in pristine condition.

Are you as excited as we are?

The Hello Kitty Limited Edition Collection is exclusive to the U.S. and Canada, and features a never-before-seen Hello Kitty pattern. This pattern was designed specifically for Zojirushi, and the items will only be available through select retailers in North America, beginning in early July 2020 with plans on restocking the collection in early September.

Missed out on the release?  Make sure to sign up for our Zojirushi 101 newsletter for the month of July, and take our survey for a chance to win a product from the collection!

Don’t forget to also try out these delicious Hello Kitty recipes from this month’s Zojirushi 101.  The perfect meals to make with your new Hello Kitty rice cooker!  We feature 2 delicious Japanese dish-inspired meals with the iconic mascot, such as Hayashi Rice.

Be sure to show off your Zojirushi x Hello Kitty housewares with us on social by tagging your photos on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram! #Zojirushi #ZojirushixHelloKitty #ZoFan

B-kyu gurume: Turkish Rice from Nagasaki!

For this month’s (virtual) Japan tour, we are bringing all of you along with us to Nagasaki and introducing you all to one of our favorite indulgences from the region: Turkish Rice.

This dish features three staple components: Neapolitan spaghetti, rice, and meat cutlets. Turkish Rice can typically be customized to satisfy and meet each individual customer’s ideal comfort food order. For example, instead of spaghetti, you can have meat sauce or cream; the rice might be curried pilaf, chicken rice, or even dry; and the cutlets can be pork, chicken, steak, or even hamburger patties (to name a few options).

With so many options available, no wonder it’s considered a “must-eat” when visiting Nagasaki!

At first introduction, it might seem like this recipe would have some roots associated with Turkey, but a closer look into this dish’s origin (and ingredients) confirms that the meal is a total Nagasaki original. In fact, where the name comes from is a mystery to this day, but here are some fun theories we found about its naming.  One theory that attributes the name to historical roots is during Japan’s sakoku period of isolation.  During this time period, the people of Nagasaki were only allowed to trade from Europe through the Dutch. This theory suggested that elements of the dish were brought over during this time period and misattributed to Turkey, which no one has corrected since.  Another theory suggests the three ingredients and their three colors brings the tri-color lunch together to resemble the flag of Turkey, giving the dish its name, as well.  The last theory suggests the root is in geography: with the pilaf origination in India and the Neapolitan in Italy, Turkey’s location in the middle bridges the ingredients together and creates the namesake dish beloved by the region.  How interesting, right?

Whatever the origin, it’s a dish that’s certainly one of our favorite b-kyu gurume recommendations, and one that we hope you definitely indulge in on your next trip to Japan.

If you’re in the middle of planning a trip to Nagasaki right now and want recommendations on where you can try some yourself, here are some places you might want to stop by to order some Turkish Rice for yourself:

The first is Kyushu’s oldest café, Tsuruchan.  Opened in 1925, bask in the historically rich ambience of Tsuruchan and enjoy a plate of Turkish Rice!

What’s your favorite way to eat Turkish Rice? Let us know by sharing your story on social by tagging #Zojirushi on your photos with #zojirushi on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram!

Product of the Month – Stainless Tumbler SX-FSE45

Happy June, Zo fans!

With summer right around the corner, the weather is definitely starting to heat up!  Here in California, one of our favorite things to do in this nice weather is to go outside for a stroll, go on a bike ride at the beach, or even just hang out with our family in the backyard!  Fittingly for June, the month of Father’s Day, our fathers will always be one of our favorite people to spend quality time like this with.

With the holiday right around the corner, we’re going to share one of our favorite products that Dad can enjoy both on his leisurely days off, and at work!

Our Product of the Month, the Zojirushi Stainless Tumblers (SX-FSE45) has become one of our favorite desk top accessories, for not only its convenience during our morning commute to work, but for its variety of cool features that we’re sure not only you will love, but Dad will love too for Father’s Day.

Need some more reasons on why our Stainless Tumbler is named Product of the Month:

First is for its variety of colors for the whole family!

These tumblers come in four vibrant and sophisticated colors with a beautiful matte finish. We have one for each member of our family, each with a different color. This makes it easy to remember whose drink is who’s without mixing up our treats in the morning shuffle.

Second is, of course for its amazing temperature retention.

In addition to different colors, each of our family members enjoys a different morning beverage to start their day: hot coffee, tea, cold green juice, ice water, and so much more. Whether you love hot or cold drinks, this tumbler has that magical Zojirushi vacuum insulated technology to keep your beverage at the perfect drinking temperature for hours after pouring.

Like many of our favorite Tumblers and Bottles, this Stainless Tumbler is perfect to hold on-the-go!

We think it should be equally as important to keep your beverage at an ideal drinking temperature and be able to carry it without it being too hot or too cold.  These tumblers are made to be perfect to the touch as you carry it on the go! So, if you prepare to take some ice-cold water with you, this tumbler has you covered. It’s vacuum insulated, minimizing condensation. Even when filled with iced water, the outside doesn’t sweat. Dad won’t get in trouble with mom even if he forgets to use a coaster.  If warm beverages are more your thing, you’ll never have to worry about that too-hot-to-touch feeling ever again…even when filled with hot coffee, the outside stays cool, making it safe to carry!  Perfect temp on the inside, perfect temp for the touch. Totally a win-win situation in our books.

We can’t forget that this Stainless Tumbler also includes a removable stainless mesh strainer.

Especially for all our tea lovers out there, this tumbler also features a unique lid that comes with a removable stainless steel, mesh tea strainer for direct brewing and sipping straight from the tumbler—simply add tea leaves directly to the tumbler and pour water. After letting the tea steep, you drink from the tumbler and you can enjoy your beverage while the strainer holds back the tea leaves.  If you aren’t drinking tea, you can easily take the strainer out.  How versatile!

Beyond straining tea, the lid also serves a few other purposes: it’s spill-resistant and reinforces temperature retention.  But how, you might ask?

The lid helps block heat from escaping up, so the heat retention is much better compared to tumblers, mugs or cups without a lid. It’s also spill-proof so no need to worry about spilling and splashing while walking around.

So now that we’ve talked all about the Tumbler’s vacuum insulated technology and design, let’s get down to the nitty gritty.  Like all Zojirushi products, our Stainless Tumbler is no exception to being extremely easy to clean.

The exterior matte finish makes scratches and stains less visible, and minimizes odors and stains. The interior features a 7.5cm wide opening at the top of the container making it easy to use your hand to clean inside the tumbler. Additionally, the lid also fully disassembles so you can thoroughly wash the tumbler and reuse it with no issues.

And last, but definitely not least, our Stainless Tumbler is safe for the family, and the environment.

These tumblers allow us to enjoy our favorite drinks in a reusable manner with no waste – say goodbye to paper cups at work, so we can enjoy Mother Nature and not add to the pollution. And while being better for the environment, the stainless steel construction is paired with BPA-free plastic so it’s safe for the whole family.

Are you interested in learning more about our product of the month? Watch our full product demonstration video here:

And if you’re looking for inspiration on what to make in your tumbler, here are some of our favorite drink recipes for you to try next:

Cold Buster Smoothie

Oh So Soy Latte

Share more about adventures with your family, Father’s Day traditions, and your favorite beverages and traditions with us on social by tagging your photos with #Zojirushi on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram! And if you’re interested in learning more about our tumblers for your next Father’s Day gift, be sure to check out our online retailers.

B-kyu Gurume: Suttate Udon from Kawajima!

Are you still craving Utsunomiya gyoza  from our B-kyu gurume post last month? Well, don’t worry because we’ve got an amazing new dish this month – suttate udon – and after you read all about it, you’ll be craving this dish, too!

Suttate udon hails from Kawajima in Saitama Prefecture, an area just north of Tokyo.

Kawajima is a fertile plain banded by the Ichino, Arakawa, Iruma and Toki Rivers. It’s known for its beautiful landscape and rice, tea and sesame farms. In this area, each season is exaggerated – cold weather is icy, rains are torrential and hot weather is sweltering.

It’s during the hot weather months that Kawajima’s signature B-kyu gurume dish – suttate udon – is popular. The dish consists of fresh, bouncy udon noodles dipped into a suttate dipping sauce. The sauce is what makes it special! Suttate sauce is made with freshly ground ingredients, often prepared at the table. Sesame seeds are ground in a suribachi using a surikogi, or a Japanese-style mortar and pestle. Once the sesame seeds are finely ground and fragrant, miso , thinly sliced cucumbers, finely chopped onions, aromatics and herbs such as ginger and shiso leaves are added to the mix and pounded to form a paste. And to the paste… cold, cold water…perfectly ready to dip in udon noodles!

Hungry yet?

Suttate udon has a beloved history in the Kawajima region. The wheat for the udon noodles and sesame for the sauce were locally cultivated. The nutrients in the ingredients were replenishing. And the cold dish was eaten during the hot summer months by local farmers to beat heat exhaustion from their labor. Inexpensive and locally-produced, suttate udon was almost exclusively prepared at home, with the sauce originally made with just cold water, miso and ground sesame. Even the name is local term, a slurred form of suritate, which means “freshly mashed.”

In 2008, the Kawajima Chamber of Commerce wanted to enter suttate udon in the 4th Annual Saitama Local Street Food Championship. They asked a local chef and restauranteur, Koji Adachi, to come up a new recipe. And his recipe for using dashi in the sauce instead of cold water made all the difference. The dish won fourth place in the competition, becoming an established B-kyu gurume favorite!

After the competition, word of suttate udon spread around Saitama Prefecture and of course, to the rest of Japan.

We love udon noodles, and make the dough in our breadmakers. They’re so wonderful to eat and we hope you try them with homemade suttate sauce!

And as always, share your photos with us on Instagram!

Common Bread Baking Problems

We understand the frustration of your loaf not quite being picture perfect!  Don’t worry, we can help!  Let’s first make sure our ingredients are fresh, then explore some common bread baking problems, and we steps can be taken to correct them.

Collapsed or sunken loaf (rising and falling)

Cause: too much yeast, sugar or water, too little salt, or high altitude.

Here’s what you can try doing to improve your loaf: Reduce your yeast by 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon to start with, and using cold water.  If you see an improvement but it’s still not quite there, continue to reduce incrementally.  Alternatively, you could try increasing salt, or decreasing your sugar or water.

Short, dense, and/or dark loaf

Cause: typical of too much flour (or other dry ingredients) or not enough liquid; less often a result of too little yeast, too little sugar, too much salt, or old ingredients.

Here’s what you can try doing to improve your loaf: Reduce your flour* or increasing your liquids.  You can always check your dough during the KNEAD cycle to make sure the texture isn’t too dry.

Lopsided loaf

Cause: typical of too much flour (or other dry ingredients), not enough liquid, or recipe size is too small

Here’s what you can try doing to improve your loaf: Reducing your flour* or increasing your liquids.  If you’re using your own recipe, you may need to increase the recipe size.  The minimum loaf size for our 2 pound bread machines is 1 1/2 pounds (BB-CEC20 and BB-PAC20), and 1 pound for our 1 pound machine (BB-HAC10).

Lumpy Loaf

Cause: Typical of too much flour (or other dry ingredients) or not enough liquid

Here’s what you can try doing to improve your loaf: Reducing your flour* or increasing your liquids.  Check the dough during the KNEAD cycle—if it appears knotty or lumpy, you can add a tablespoon of water at a time until a nice, round ball of dough forms.

Unmixed Ingredients

 

Cause: The kneading blades were not installed properly, or kneading blades have worn out.

Here’s what you can try doing to improve your loaf:  Installing kneading blades before adding ingredients to the baking pan.  If you suspect they have worn out, take the baking pan out of the bread machine and place the kneading blades on the metal shafts.  Then, try turning the blades with your finger.  Do they catch the shafts and make them rotate?  If one or both doesn’t, it’s time to replace them.

Add Ingredients Didn’t Mix

Cause: Typical of too much flour (or other dry ingredients) or not enough liquid.

Here’s what you can try doing to improve your loaf:  Reducing your flour* or increasing your liquid.  When the dough is too dry, add ingredients like nuts and raisins cannot penetrate the dough ball.

*The weight of a cup of flour can fluctuate significantly depending upon how the flour is measured.  Using the measuring cup as a scooper, or pouring flour into the measuring cup will result in more of the ingredient being used than our recipes call for.  You can reduce your flour using one of two methods:

  1. Volumetrically: Fluff your flour with a fork or a whisk to loosen it; then, spoon it into your nested measuring cups, and level off without tapping or shaking.
  2. By weight: Weigh your flour with a digital kitchen scale (128g/4.51oz per cup for bread flour; 120g/4.23 oz for whole wheat flour, and 125g/4.41oz for all purpose).  This method yields the most consistent and optimal results, and conveniently cuts out the guesswork.

Still having trouble, or don’t see your baking problem listed here?  Please contact our customer service team for assistance or give us a message on our Facebook.