Toast With The Most

Question of the Day: When you drop a piece of toast, why is it that it always seems to land on the buttered side? Huh? Huh? One popular theory is that you’re holding it an angle anyway, so when it falls (probably less than 6 feet), it only has distance enough to do a half-flip, landing it face down. Ugh! Let’s all celebrate National Toast Day this Feb. 24th anyway, with a few interesting ways to enjoy your toast.

Korean Street Toast What is in this wondrous creation? Only vegetables! It’s a smorgasbord of shredded cabbage, round and green onions, carrots and an egg, fried crispy and layered on thick toast—served up hot right off the griddle. Here’s what goes into this classic toast, also known as gilgeori, that’s so satisfying you’ll be amazed at the “nothing special” ingredients it starts with.

Before you drop the egg in, try massaging the cabbage mixture so it’ll fry up tender. This works, believe me. I used Maangchi’s toast recipe for this, and it’s her suggestion. Butter the slices of bread and shape the veggies into a square as you fry them on a pan.

After browning both sides, carefully flip the vegetables and lay the patty on the bread. I used my handy okonomiyaki twin spatulas for this little trick.

Underwhelming so far? Check out how we dress this thing—add a couple teaspoons of sugar and spread it on top, drizzle some ketchup and yellow mustard! This is genius, right? The sugar seems a bit over the top, but it works. Eat this hot, and I guarantee you’ll be impressed with the burst of flavor. This is a meal in itself. And it’s vegetarian! This is Korean gilgeori toast.

I should mention here that I’m using homemade bread from my breadmaker (I’m getting better at baking them taller).

I bought a neat little Bread Slicer to help me get these even thick slices just like at the Japanese bakery. The concept is different from the American ones and a lot less complicated. You lay the loaf on its side and let gravity help to keep it steady as you slice sideways. It works pretty well…

Tsukudani Nori Toast Next I tried this strange combination (at least to me) of toasted bread and nori (seaweed). Specifically I used a seasoned nori paste called tsukudani which can be bought in bottled form. This is a condiment type of spread that is usually used on hot rice, which I love. A little salty and so full of umami. But these guys from TabiEats showed how to use it on bread, so I thought I’d give it a try.

You dress it with cheese and pop it in your toaster oven. I’m not gonna lie—I was more than a little worried about what this could taste like. I mean it’s just weird to pair seaweed with bread, much less eat it with cheese. 

But surprise, surprise! It was tasty! The cheese mellows out the sharpness of the seasoned seaweed, and when it’s toasted I think it gave the bread another level of flavor. What do you think? Ready to try this?

How about some toast trivia? 
•The word “toast” comes from the Latin word “tostum”, which means to burn or scorch. Duh.
•Approximately 75 million Americans are believed to eat toast every day.
•Before the use of electricity, people used to toast slices of bread by holding it over a fire like we do with marshmallows.

Egg Toast My last contribution to National Toast Day is a popular Japanese Egg Toast made with herbs and mayo. 

This one is easy. Just make a scrambled egg mixture and season to taste with salt, pepper and parsely flakes. Create a border on your bread with the the mayo and carefully pour the egg on the bread without going over the mayo piping. This is tricky, but steady hands wins the day!

Put it in your toaster oven and bake until brown.

Egg Toast!

So what do you guys put on your toast? C’mon—get away from the jam and butter and try something different for National Toast Day! If you want to see what Zojirushi does with their toast, visit their recipes and check these out:
Mushroom Pizza Toast
Yogurt French Toast with Fruit

Products used in this post: Gourmet Sizzler® Electric Griddle EA-DCC10, Home Bakery Maestro® Breadmaker BB-SSC10 Micom Toaster Oven

Korean Street Toast by Maangchi

Nori Tsukudani Toast by Tabi Eats


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

All images by Bert Tanimoto ©2021



Product of the Month: Limited-Edition PAC-MAN™ x ZOJIRUSHI Stainless Mugs (SM-SHE48PA)

This month’s product of the month is here to bring you a blast from your gaming past.

Imagine the days of yesteryear: you’re at your favorite arcade or gathered around your in-home gaming console. Your avatar is on a mission to eat as many pellets and fruit as possible, all while outrunning multiple colorful ghosts after your game lives. Yes, you guessed it – we’re talking about PAC-MAN™.

Well, we’re here to introduce you to our newest collaboration that will allow you to take the iconic imagery from this staple game with you wherever you are. Meet our product of the month: PAC-MAN™ x ZOJIRUSHI Stainless Mug (SM-SHE48PA).

Did you know PAC-MAN™ is one of the most successful vintage video games of all time?

Since PAC-MAN™ has a voracious appetite, we like to think that he’s always thirsty too, and what better way to quench that thirst than drinking from a world-famous stainless bottle made by Zojirushi.

These vacuum insulated stainless mugs come in two fun designs, featuring the famous PAC-MAN™ characters – designed to bring a little whimsy and retro flair to everyday hydration. Want to learn more about this item? Let’s dive in!

Cherry accent on the back side

Two Styles

The black version of the PAC-MAN™ x ZOJIRUSHI vacuum insulated bottle features the four PAC-MAN™ ghosts and PAC-MAN™ himself, while the stainless version features PAC-MAN™ and a bright yellow push-button. Both of these travel mugs come in 16 oz. sizes and feature Zojirushi’s famous vacuum insulation technology to keep your beverages hot or cold for hours.

SlickSteel® Interior

We’ve electro-polished the interior of this stainless-steel bottle, resulting in a surface that resists corrosion, repels stains without the use of nonstick coating, and makes cleaning the ultra-smooth interior extra easy.

Superior Temperature Retention

Through our signature Zojirushi vacuum insulation technology, these bottles will be able to keep your beverages hot or cold for hours. The vacuum insulation between the two stainless steel layers also minimizes heat transfer to keep the exterior from getting hot and minimizes condensation if you’re carrying a cold drink.


The PAC-MAN™ branded stainless mugs feature a flip-open lid that stays open and away from your face when you drink. It’s 2-step lid release process also prevents excess condensation on the stopper from being flung off while the lid opens, and locks down the tight fitted lid when closed to avoid unwanted spillage with help of the safety lock on the side.

Thoughtful Design

These bottles are lightweight and compact for added portability and feature a 1-5/8″ (4cm) wide mouth opening that accommodates full-size cubes. This also makes the bottle easier to fill and easier to clean. The air vent on the mouthpiece also ensures that beverages flow out smoothly, without gushing or overflowing. And as always, all surfaces that come into contact with food or beverage are BPA-free.


Taking care of your stainless-steel bottle will be a breeze (when used according to the manual), as the stopper disassembles for thorough cleaning. Remember, do not use bleach on this product, as it will cause the stainless steel to rust and the stopper and cover to experience premature wear. Instead, the vacuum insulated mugs and its parts should be hand washed with a soft sponge and a mild dishwashing liquid.

Are you a PAC-MAN™ fan? Do you have any special memories of the PAC-MAN™ arcade game that come to mind when you see these branded bottles with the PAC-MAN™ characters? Be sure to share your experience with us on social by tagging your photos on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram! #Zojirushi #ZoFan

You Love Your Rice Cooker. Now, Here’s Everything You Need to Know About Rice.

Zojirushi has been making rice cookers for nearly 40 years, so we like to consider ourselves experts in the field. Therefore, we test our products with the most modern technology to ensure that our appliances can make the best quality cooked rice every single time. For example, our new Umami® Micom Rice Cooker & Warmer NL-GAC10/18 is equipped with a special umami setting that features technology that soaks and steams your rice for longer, which results in an enhanced rice flavor. This is in addition to our signature Fuzzy logic technology, which can cook a variety of different grains to perfection. 

But, did you know that rice is the most important human food crop in the world, feeding more than half of the world’s population? In Japan, rice symbolizes blessing and joy and is a staple for every meal in every household. Not only are rice crops a staple in Asian countries, but the gluten-free grain is essential in cuisines from Africa to Latin America. Today, in honor of our love of rice, we will be exploring the history of rice, where rice comes from, and other ways that the rice plant contributes to human culture worldwide.

What is Rice?

In simple terms, rice is an edible starchy cereal grain produced from a grass plant. Specifically, the grass species or rice plant that rice comes from is called Oryza sativa (Asian rice) or Oryza glaberrima (African rice). There are many other rice species within these classifications, such as Japonica, Indica, Aromatic, and Glutinous. Overall, it is estimated that there are up to 40,000 different types of Oryza sativa all over the world. 


Where Did Rice Originate From?

The oldest rice species is thought to have originated about 14 million years ago in what is now the Philippines. Over time, this species became cultivated by humans, and the rice plant evolved to produce rice grains that were more palatable to the human taste. Asian rice was first domesticated in China between 8,200 and 13,500 years ago and then spread to other parts of the world. 

Where is Rice Grown?


Because rice is a resilient plant that can grow in various wet or dry climates and withstand extreme weather conditions, it can essentially be grown anywhere in the world (except for Antarctica). There are more than 144 million rice farms worldwide, ranging from Asia, West Africa, the Middle East, and South America. The Oryza sativa can be grown worldwide, while the Oryza glaberrima is grown in West Africa. In 2017, China produced the most paddy rice in the world, clocking in at 210.3 million metric tons. India had the largest harvest area of rice in the 2017-2018 season, coming in at 43.78 million hectares of farmland. 


Global Rice Consumption


Rice is most widely consumed in Asia, providing up to 50% of the dietary caloric supply for millions in the region. However, we are seeing other countries in Latin America and Africa adopting rice as an increasingly important part of their diets as well. According to recent studies, rice consumption around the world is expected to grow steadily at 1.1% per year until 2025. Thanks to rice, we are able to fill hungry stomachs around the world and even use every part of the rice plant to build houses, make clothing, or even make rice-based beauty products. At Zojirushi, rice is a way of life, which we celebrate daily in our commitment to making the best rice cooking appliances.


Did you learn something new about rice today? What is your favorite type of rice, and how do you like to prepare it? Let us know if you have any more rice trivia by tagging Zojirushi on your photos with #zojirushi on TwitterFacebook, or Instagram!




Cozy Wintertime Meals Made with the Umami® Micom Rice Cooker & Warmer NL-GAC10/18

Happy New Year! We are so excited to cook our favorite wintertime meals this January as we cozy up to the colder weather. With Zojirushi’s versatile new Umami® Micom Rice Cooker & Warmer NL-GAC10/18, we’re able to make so much more than white rice with just a single appliance, from soup, congee, and more. The exclusive Umami setting on this Zojirushi rice cooker is also great for cooking a variety of rice grains as well, as it extends soaking and steaming to make your rice fluffier, sweeter, and more delicious. Today, we’ll be sharing some of our favorite rice based dishes we’ll be preparing in January with the help of our Umami® Micom Rice Cooker & Warmer NL-GAC10/18.


Zojirushi’s Umami® Micom Rice Cooker & Warmer NL-GAC10/18Before we dive into the recipes, let’s get to know our rice cooker a little better. The Umami® Micom Rice Cooker & Warmer NL-GAC10/18 is an elegant appliance that comes in a stylish Metallic Black color, with two sizes available to accommodate various household sizes: 5.5 and 10 cups. What makes this rice cooker unique is its advanced micro computerized fuzzy logic technology that allows it to offer a long list of menu settings including Zojirushi’s special Umami setting, that will help you whip up a variety of tasty dishes.


Menu settings include:

  • White
  • Umami
  • Mixed
  • sushi/sweet
  • Jasmine
  • Porridge
  • Congee
  • Brown
  • GABA brown
  • Quick white
  • Quick Jasmine
  • Steam
  • Slow cook


It features an easy-to-read LCD control panel, clock and delay timer, nonstick coated inner cooking pan, and all food contact surfaces are BPA free. The inner lid is detachable for easy cleaning, and the rice cooker also comes with additional accessories such as a steaming basket, rice spatula, and measuring cup. To see this rice cooker in action, visit our product video here.

Now that we’ve been properly introduced to our Umami® Micom Rice Cooker & Warmer NL-GAC10/18, let’s dive into our dishes!

Rice Dishes:


We love Jambalaya because it combines many great flavors into one delicious bowl. This hearty meal features shrimp, sausage, and a hint of chili flakes that will warm you right up.



This classic Japanese rice dish is simple to make using the convenient mixed setting for an easy meal that will keep you satisfied with its umami-rich flavor from the shiitake mushrooms.



Vegetable Brown Rice Zosui (Japanese Rice Soup)

Zosui is traditional Japanese comfort food that combines rice, chicken broth, and seasonal vegetables. This simple yet satisfying soup can be made from scratch or from leftover nabe base if you have it. Perfect for lunch or dinner on a cold day!


Keihan (Japanese Chicken Soup with Rice)

Keihan is another traditional Japanese dish that hails from the southern islands of Japan. This dish features shiitake mushrooms, chicken breasts, and egg crepes. Yum!



Baked Rice Casserole with Artichokes and Mushrooms

Our baked rice casserole dish is excellent for mushroom lovers and is a gluten-free alternative to other traditional casseroles. Combine all ingredients into a casserole or ceramic bowl and bake until golden brown, about 15-20 minutes.


Japanese Style Curry Doria

This Japanese-inspired doria is a wonderful way to make use of leftover curry and rice and turn them into the ultimate comfort meal. This dish comes sizzling out of the oven ready to eat, featuring mozzarella cheese, parsley, and butter.  


What are your favorite dishes to enjoy in the wintertime? Do you have any favorite recipes that you plan to try from this blog? Be sure to share your experience with us on social by tagging your photos on TwitterFacebook, or Instagram! #Zojirushi #ZoFan 

Local Kine New Year

I’ve lived in California now for over 40 years, which I guess means I’m more from California than I am from Hawaii or Japan. But because those other places represent major milestones in my life, I’ll never forget their effect on who I am today. Hawaii is where I grew up as a kid, and went to college later on. And even though I haven’t been back in a while, that’s one place I know never changes. I mean, it’s an island, man.

Every major holiday had a designated family that would host all my relatives for a potluck dinner—and New Year’s was at my aunt’s in Honolulu. My cousin has taken over that duty since then, and she still makes her specialty, Chicken Hekka. What the heck is Chicken Hekka, you might ask? It’s Hawaiian style sukiyaki; slightly sweeter, a little lighter broth, chicken rather than beef, but otherwise similar ingredients.

Our version had Japanese aburaage (fried tofu skin) and long rice (bean thread noodles), cut into short strands for easier eating and less splashing when people are fishing them out of the pot.

The fast cooking greens go last.

My Chicken Hekka. And before you say, “Why would you want to eat a hot pot in Hawaii?” Don’t forget, when you live there and the temperature drops to the 60s at nighttime (gasp!), it feels COLD if you’re always being tropical.

How much do you know about KIng’s Hawaiian Bread®, that soft, buttery, sweet and poofy bread in the bright orange packaging you see at the market? When the original bakery and coffee shop was located on King Street in Honolulu, it was known as a place to sit down and enjoy the food and pastries. The founder is originally from the Big Island, where he started the business in the 50’s, and today you can get their famous bread almost anywhere.

Hawaiian Bread is basically Portuguese sweet bread, which you can bake in a breadmaker. Look up a recipe for that and it’ll come close, even though you may not be able to replicate that signature texture. Mine still came out softer than regular white bread though, and the sweet bread taste was spot on. I was also very happy to say it rose higher than any loaf I’ve ever baked.

I used a popular Portuguese sweet bread recipe from for a 1.5 lbs. breadmaker. I reduced everything by a two-thirds for my 1 lb. breadmaker and it turned out fine. Forget other “Hawaiian” bread recipes that call for pineapple juice. This one is the real deal.

Serve with butter while still warm. We always had one of those big round loaves at my auntie’s house on New Year’s (so we could eat it with canned Vienna Sausage believe it or not). Mystery meat indeed!

Since the breadmaker was already out when I made my bread, I used it to make Butter Mochi too. All you need is mochiko, the sweet rice flour sold at most Asian markets. I added chocolate to mine and the rest was up to the breadmaker—pretty easy. Zojirushi has a recipe here.

Unlike wheat flour, rice flour is gluten-free—even mochiko, which is processed by milling a glutinous variety of short grain rice into fine powder. The sticky, chewy texture comes from the type of grain used, which replicates that snappy stretch of gluten. I’m not on a gluten-free diet, but for those that are, this is good to know. Here’s my Chocolate Butter Mochi.

So Hau’oli Makahiki Hou! to you and your family this year. Thanks for reading!

By the way, if you’re wondering what that dish is at the top of this post, that’s my wife’s excellent Chicken Long Rice, another Hawaiian favorite!


Products used in this post: Gourmet d’Expert® Electric Skillet EP-RAC50, Home Bakery Maestro® Breadmaker BB-SSC10

Portuguese Sweet Bread by


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

All images by Bert Tanimoto ©2021