On-the-Go Tea Time with Our Tea Tumbler

Happy National Hot Tea Month, Zo Fans! At Zojirushi we love enjoying a cup of tea in the morning, on-the-go, at work, and even at the end of our day. Our new Stainless Tea Tumbler with Handle (SE-KAE48) is leak-proof, vacuum insulated and designed to perfectly house your beverage whether you are at home or on the run, and that’s why it’s the first product of the month in the new year! Inspired by the traditional purple clay teapot, the fine texture of its porous finish creates the sense of familiar comfort with every sip. Keep reading to learn all about this tumbler, how to take care of it, and how to use tea to prepare delicious dishes to celebrate this month.

Tea Tumbler Special Features

Excellent Temperature Control: This tumbler is built with a stainless steel vacuum insulated wall to offer superior heat and cold retention for hours after pouring into the container. The stainless steel vacuum insulation also minimizes heat transfer to keep the exterior from getting hot and minimizes condensation if you’re carrying a cold drink.

Tea Strainer & Infuser: Included with this tumbler is a stainless steel direct brewing tea infuser & strainer combo, which has a handle for easy removal. Use just the tea strainer to brew large loose tealeaves like oolong, or the infuser for black and green tea. The tea strainer will keep tealeaves from flowing out, or if you prefer, the infuser/strainer combo can be removed and placed on the lid that conveniently turns into an infuser stand.

Leak Proof: The lid and handle are designed to be carried with you and provide peace of mind to be leak proof (when used according to the manual). Take it with you on your morning walk, in the car on the way to work, or as you move around the house to enjoy your Sunday.

Caring for Your Tea Tumbler

Zojirushi loves building products that last. Here are some tips on how to clean, maintain or update your tumbler to keep it as good as new:

How to remove coffee & tea stains: As the tumbler is used, tea or coffee stains may accumulate on the interior surface of the mug. These stains can be easily removed using a bleach/chlorine-free food and beverage stain remover.

When to replace gasket and plastic parts: The gaskets should be replaced if they are becoming less flexible or cracking. The cover and stopper should be replaced if they are damaged or cracked. We recommend that the parts are carefully inspected at least yearly in case a part is showing signs of wear.

Don’t use bleach: Bleach will cause the stainless steel to rust and the stopper and cover to experience premature wear. The tumbler and its parts should be hand washed with a soft sponge and a mild dishwashing liquid.

Our Go-To Tea Recipes

You’ve heard of cooking with wine, but did you know you can use tea as a signature ingredient in many other dishes? Take a look at our favorite recipes below that incorporate various teas and pro-tip: make more tea than the recipes ask for so you can have something to sip on while the dishes are being prepared.

  • Black Tea Panna Cotta: This creamy Italian dessert with a hint of Earl Grey tea makes an excellent afternoon dessert. Make some extra tea when you are preparing the dessert to enjoy in your tumbler while the dish is being prepared.
  • Green Tea Chicken Stew: If you’re looking for something savory, this green tea chicken stew is a delicious and comforting soup that features grated ginger, sake, mirin, and other umami-rich flavors.
  • Oolong Tea Chicken Bites: This dish features meatballs cooked in a delicious oolong tea soup, which adds a savory and unique flavor profile. Warm and comforting, perfect for National Hot Tea Month.

What are your favorite ways to enjoy tea? Are you planning on trying any of the recipes or tips we shared today? Be sure to share your experience with us on social by tagging your photos on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram! #Zojirushi #ZoFan

B-kyu Gurume: Tebasaki Karaage from Nagoya

Nagoya is famous for many types of street foods, including hitsumabushi (grilled eel on rice) and various udon and flat noodles, as well as a delicious fried chicken dish called Tebasaki Karaage.

If you’re familiar with Japanese dishes, you might be familiar with a version of karaage that is bite-sized pieces of marinated chicken. Tebasaki karaage however, uses the whole chicken wing, bone and all, and each piece is deep-fried before a sweet, sticky glaze finishes off the dish. Tebasaki translates to “wingtips”, which refers to the cut and the name of the dish. If you love chicken wings, this Japanese style of the famous dish satisfies that same meaty craving.

The dish is said to have originated in the 1960’s at the restaurant bar “Furaibo” when there was a shortage of the usual karaage meat, and wings were offered instead. Believe it or not, the wings were originally discarded as livestock feed, but this happy accident turned the dish into a fan-favorite at many eateries across Nagoya, as well as all over Japan.

Each wing is deep fried without batter and coated in a sweet and salty sauce. Even though the dish is not breaded and has no formal crust, the wings are usually double dipped into the fryer and the skin fries to a crisp. Once coated, it is finished with spices and sesame seeds resulting in a crispy and juicy dish.  Sounds delicious right?

The sauce is similar to a teriyaki sauce, but flavored with ginger and garlic. This mixture is simmered until it is rich and sticky to coat the deep-fried chicken. It is recommended to dip the chicken wings as soon as they are removed from the hot oil. This method allows the sauce to caramelize without making the wing soggy.

The wings retain their crisp for a half hour, and many people will fry the chicken once and wait for the second deep-fry until they are closer to eating the meal. Serve with a cold beer, cabbage leaves, veggies, cucumbers, or celery sticks.

If you’re looking to make this dish at home, check out this video from No Recipes:

Where You Can Find Tebasaki Karaage

  • Furaibo: considered to be the creators of this dish
  • Torikai Sohonke Meieki Minami Branch: This branch uses one of the top kinds of chicken in Japan and a unique red wine-based sauce.
  • Sekai no Yamachan: Known for being heavily seasoned and for their large portions

Let us know if you try any of these restaurants or make this dish at home by tagging Zojirushi on your photos with #zojirushi on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram!

Holiday Planning Made Simple

The holiday season is something we look forward to all year long. A time to catch up with old friends safely and to have some of our favorite meals with our favorite people. If you are hosting this year’s get together and are looking for delicious crowd-pleasing recipes that will allow you to spend less time in the kitchen and more time with your guests, look no further! Here are our top recipes and kitchen tool tips to give you a hand with your upcoming gathering.

A Warm Welcome

Welcome your guests with a warm beverage when they first arrive. Program your Micom Water Boiler & Warmer (CD-NAC40/50) in advance to one of 4 keep-warm temperature settings, ready for the welcome beverage you plan on serving. Your guests might enjoy:

  • Houjicha: A Japanese tea, unique from other green teas because it is roasted over charcoal, and therefore the leaf color tints reddish brown. This roasting creates a distinct and soothing aroma.
  • Oolong Coconut Milk Tea: A slightly sweet milk tea, offering a creamy afternoon treat that’s perfect for vegan and dairy-free guests. Boil and add in your favorite boba for a fun twist on this drink!
  • Matcha Made in Heaven: For the adults, consider this warm matcha cocktail. Subtly sweetened with honey to complement a delicate matcha flavor, paired with whiskey and garnished with lemon.

Dinner on Standby

Many Zojirushi products have a Keep Warm setting to help you prep for dinner beforehand and keep your foods hot until ready to serve. Utilize your appliances to free up time! Our Gourmet Sizzler® Electric Griddle (EA-BDC10), for example, helps prepare appetizers ahead of time and uses the keep warm feature so they stay at the perfect temperature until guests are ready for seconds.

Offering appetizers on skewers is a great option if you’re running out of serving spoons or want to offer guests a quick grab-and-go right from the skillet while they’re waiting for dinner to be formally served. Some of our favorite options for appetizers on skewers include Corn Dog Nuggets and Cheesy Spinach Munches.

Making dinner rolls for a family get-together? The automatic rise-then-bake function on our new Micom Toaster Oven will proof the dough for the second rise and then automatically bake it for you. Bonus: it frees up your oven for other dishes! The Micom Toaster Oven (ET-ZLC30) can also help you make delicious Spanakopita, a savory pastry pie made with a spinach and cheese filling, inside of a buttery and crispy filo crust – perfect for a side or an appetizer.

If you’re wondering how to offer a time-saving twist on main entree classics, consider making Rolled Stuffed Turkey Breast, a more compact and faster way to offer roasted turkey using our Multicooker (EL-CAC60), or a Spinach and Turkey Lasagna using the Home Bakery Supreme® Breadmaker (BB-CEC20).

A Sweet Ending to a Sweet Day

The best dinners end with dessert and a good cup of coffee. A Zojirushi air pot will keep your coffee hot to the last drop, without making it bitter. Air pots are great for self-serve beverage stations, too!

Did you know you can prepare many delicious desserts using the Home Bakery Supreme® Breadmaker (BB-CEC20)? Here are some of our favorite recipes you can use to close out your holiday meal:

  • Skillet Bread with Cranberry Cheese Dip: A delicious finger food that can be baked right in a cast iron, with a cranberry cheese dip that’s a holiday treat.
  • Bourbon Street Beignets: Donut hole-like pastries that are coated generously with powdered sugar, and a New Orleans classic
  • Choco Cornet: Shaped like an instrument, the Italian-named pastry is a treat any chocolate lover will love

What are your favorite Zojirushi appliances to use on busy days? Are you planning on trying any of the recipes or tips we shared today? Be sure to share your experience with us on social by tagging your photos on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram! #Zojirushi #ZoFan

Bert-san’s Gift Guide


It’s time for another holiday gift guide from me, featuring all Zojirushi products of course. But I’ve got specific reasons for choosing these; so from a non-cook and older dude who can still learn new tricks, here are my choices for the perfect gifts for this wacky year.

And BTW, I should mention all of the electronic products mentioned here can be purchased on the new Zojirushi online store.

Rice Cooker NP-HCC10/18B

This is the exact same model that I own—and the most trusty appliance in our kitchen for a rice lover like me, which I used to full advantage on National Rice Ball Day to make this Okinawan Spam Musubi. The one menu setting that is probably overlooked, but absolutely useful, is the Regular/Softer/Harder setting that is perfect for fried rice. When I did my Island Style Kimchi Fried Rice I didn’t really have day-old rice (best for fried rice), so I just cooked up a fresh batch and used the “harder” setting—worked like a charm and gave me non-mushy fried rice!

 

Stainless Mug SM-SHE48/60

I like this one for the shape, build and outer skin texture. First of all it’s made with their polished steel interior so if you’re not into non-stick coatings, this is the bottle for you. The lid is one of the best that Zojirushi makes in my opinion. A flip-open, push button style that you can operate with one hand, including a lock. Two more important features that I love—the lid flips open 180°, so it completely clears my nose (!), and it disassembles completely so I can wash everything. This was the most annoying whenever I bought the other brands; that maybe they were insulated and leakproof, but you couldn’t clean them! And trust me, they can get moldy! Hopefully Zojirushi will introduce more colors to this line, but meanwhile both the black and orange are pretty cool. Here’s my test drive out in the field.

 

Glass Vacuum Carafe AH-EAE10

How would I use this, you might ask? Well, actually, this is the kind of gift that you may not appreciate until you need one at a family get-together or just if you like drinking your coffee or tea throughout the day. That’s when you’ll think, “Oh yeah, we got one of those from (fill in the blank) for Christmas!” Seriously, a cool design combined with superior heat or cold retention is a handy thing to have, and will be appreciated by anyone. And guess what, not everyone has a water boiler, so a thermal carafe serves the same purpose! HIDDEN BENEFIT: a glass lined thermal carafe like this one means it will not absorb odors or stain because it is non-porous. When we did our hot pot at home I used it to pour broth into the pot to replenish the soup stock. Brilliant!

 

Micom Water Boiler CD-LFC30/40/30

If you want to splurge just a bit more, you might want to get an actual water boiler. I cannot tell you enough how valuable this product is on our kitchen counter. You can read my review here.This model is short and squat and low profile, but still fills up with 3 Liters of water, plenty enough for our family. BONUS! I discovered just today that the lid comes completely off, allowing me to refill the tank from my refrigerator water dispenser—that’s a plus since I don’t have a filter running from my sink. Having immediate access to hot water is a luxury; and it helps me make jello anytime I want, ha! See my Broken Glass Jello for more fun! Get yourself or someone else a water boiler—you can thank me later…

 

Home Bakery Maestro® BB-SSC10

This is one appliance I can honestly say is fun. People say the act of kneading bread is therapeutic, which is why baking bread has been skyrocketing. Yeah, it’s OKAY…but I like getting to the end result for my fun. The Maestro® bakes a smaller 1lb. loaf—again, plenty enough for our family to consume before going stale. But it still has the full range of menus so I’ve even used it to make jam. Shhh…don’t tell my wife, but she recently made from scratch a batch of Concord Grape jam. She peeled and boiled the grapes and everything. My jam made with frozen blueberries in the Maestro® tasted better (my opinion). The Blueberry Bread I made uses dried blueberries and the automatic dispenser that comes with the breadmaker to drop the berries into the dough. All you do is push the button, and about 3-1/2 hours later—fresh baked blueberry bread!

 

Micom Toaster Oven ET-ZLC30

I just reviewed this product a couple months ago and it was fantastic. You can read how I baked a Margherita Pizza, a Zucchini & Corn Pizza and a Plum & Peach Galette, all with this toaster oven. It has a large enough capacity to replace your regular oven for most dishes, and you can see from the review that I was able to load a 10-inch cast iron skillet to make the Zucchini Corn Pizza. I was impressed with the sturdiness of the rack, too! This is a super impressive countertop appliance that looks so good with that black mirrored oven door—trust me, whoever gets this as a gift is going to be extremely happy.

 

Gourmet d’Expert Electric Skillet EP-RAC50

It seems like there’s no limit to how I can use this item, and I think I’ve only scratched the surface. At first when I chose this skillet over the smaller EP-PBC10, I thought it might be too big for us. But I’m glad that I did. For one thing, the shallow pan that it comes with was handy for the Kimchi Fried Rice that I made a couple months ago, so there’s that versatility. And the large size just makes it easy to cook anything, especially if it has soup stock in it that requires the deep pan. At the beginning of this year, I wrote about our traditional Sukiyaki that our family does for every New Year. We’ll probably do it again this year on New Year’s Eve. It’s fun to have traditions—you can count on them to be consistent, even if everything around you isn’t!

 

Just For Fun
What kind of fruit is this? These are ginormous Muscat Grapes that we found at the Asian supermarket. $26.99 for a bunch—there were 44 grapes. You do the math. They were delicious though! To me it tasted like mango, or maybe cotton candy–except more sophisticated.

Season’s Greetings From Us!
Thanks for reading my posts this year; I really hope you enjoyed my stories. Here’s a collection of Santa pictures of my kids—all the way up until my oldest was 21 years old! Aren’t these great? They complained a lot as they got older, but we made them do it!

 

photo credits: all photos by Bert Tanimoto, Zojirushi product photos by Zojirushi America Corporation, gifts by Marco Verch used with permission under Creative Commons license

 

 

 

 

B-kyu Gurume: Sobameshi from Hyogo

Image link: https://www.chopstickchronicles.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Sobameshi-11.jpg

When you think of street food in Japan, you probably think of noodles or fried rice. But, have you ever heard of Sobameshi?  Sobameshi derives from the words for both noodles and rice: yakisoba and yakimeshi – coming together to make the ultimate street food, comfort dish.

This delicious meal is said to have originated in Hyogo in 1957, when a customer brought cold rice from their lunch box to a shop and asked the owner to heat it up for him. The owner then added the rice to the soba dish that was in the middle of being prepared, and voilà! This shop is believed to be Aomori located in Nagata ward, Kobe City, which is still serving their delicious creation to this date.

Another story suggests that the dish was invented by women factory workers, who mixed the rice and noodles they brought for lunch with sauces on grills at okonomiyaki restaurants close to their work.

Whatever the origin, the dish has become a fan favorite across the country. The main ingredients? Rice, noodles, and beef – with many variations available at each establishment.

The meal is generally prepared by placing a bowl of rice on top of the grill, along with a pile of noodles. Next, there is a sweet and salty mixture of meat, some cabbage, and then a delicious sauce. All ingredients are chopped and grilled. The dish is finished with more sauce that was used to cook the dish, and sometimes other sauces are offered as options (from mild to spicy, depending on your taste preferences).

Sobameshi is often considered to be a must-eat when visiting Kobe, renowned as the most famous cheap-and-easy local dish in a town known for its many gourmet dishes. You can find the dish at okonomiyaki restaurants or grill-it-yourself (or grilled live in front of you) dine-ins. Dining in this type of eatery is often a social affair, where regulars and new patrons sit at the counter and socialize while they enjoy their meals. In front of the guests is a large griddle where everything is cooked and served. It’s a sight to watch the ingredients being chopped and prepared in front of you, and an enjoyable scene to see the community of people enjoy their meal together.

If you’re looking to make the dish at home, take a look at this easy-to-follow recipe on YouTube, with English and Japanese subtitles:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ZV_hdjy87A

Where You Can Find Sobameshi

  • Aomori: Considered to be the creators of this dish.
  • Kobe Entrecote (Teppanyaki): Menu available in English, where sobameshi is available as a side to the fine tenderloin steaks they’re known for.
  • Nagata Tank Suji: Known for their sobameshi, which features many sauce options to pair with and top the dish.

Let us know if you try any of these restaurants, or make this dish at home by tagging Zojirushi on your photos with #zojirushi on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram!