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As most of you know, rice is the primary staple in Japan. It is a daily food and hot summer days are no exception. Japanese summers are so hot and humid, many people suffer what's known as "natsu-bate"; a loss of energy and appetite from the weather. Health experts also blame the blasting cold air from air conditioning as well, which everyone uses to escape from the heat!
Rice, though, is so versatile and can be served in so many ways, any rice recipe can be a delicious way to beat the heat. Here are three Zojirushi ways to rev up your appetite in spite of the dog days of summer. Turn up your taste buds instead of your AC!
This month we have rice prepared in a brothy soup, rice as a grilled rice ball and rice with a flavorful topping. When you think of all the ways we can enjoy rice, there is no excuse to say, "rice is bland and boring." We think these recipes will change your mind and bring you to the rice side of gourmet cooking.
We think you'll agree that this is not your typical canned chicken rice soup. In spite of the hearty ingredients, Japanese Keihan won't sit heavy in your stomach; which might explain why it is a favorite of the Amami Islands, a sub-tropical archipelago near Okinawa.
See this recipe
Summer means barbecue. The next time you fire up the grill, make room for a rice ball that you can char-broil or grill over an electric griddle. The rice achieves a crisp, flavorful outer shell that is crunchy and simply irresistible.
See this recipe
Different from the style of gravy based, stewed curry, this "dry" version is a spicy meat sauce that can be a rice topping favorite during the summer. Many cultures use spicy foods during sweltering heat to raise the body's internal temperature to match the outside. The body perspires, and when it evaporates, you cool down. Try it!
See this recipe
Summer in Japan can be stifling with the heat and humidity--so much so that the expression, "natsu-bate" literally means "summer-beat down." When the heat is on, you feel so tired that you lose your appetite, which can cause summer weight loss or "natsu-yase". The opposite may also occur--people get so hot that they constantly try to cool down with ice cream or cold drinks, and get "natsu-butori", or summer fat!
We Americans sometime refer to the "dog days of summer", when we get to the last part of July and August, and the heat is oppressive and very uncomfortable in some parts of our country. But where did this expression come from? Why is it a dog anyway?
The ancient Romans first associated dogs to summer when they believed that Sirius, the brightest star in the Canis Major constellation, to be the cause of the summer heat because it rose with the sun during the summer months, thus adding to the heat with its brightness. Canis Major is the dog constellation, and Sirius is known as the Dog Star.
More summertime talk; in the southern states of America, colorful phrases seem to come alive with a down-home touch of humor and delivered with a twangy drawl. Here's some hot ones. Can you think of any more?
I'm sweating like a prostitute in church. It's hotter than a goat's butt in a pepper patch.
It's so hot, the chickens are laying hard boiled eggs. It's so hot, I saw two trees fighting over a dog.
It's hotter than a stolen tamale. It's hotter than a honeymoon hotel.
Sometimes difficult concepts can be explained by using simple rhymes and phrases. Here's a fun lesson in Japanese phonetics.
"Hajime choro-choro Naka pa-ppa Akago naite mo Futa toruna!"
Hajime choro-choro
(At first it bubbles)
Naka pa-ppa
(and then it hisses)
  Akago naite mo Futa toruna!
(Even if the baby cries, don’t open the lid!)
  Let rice absorb
enough water
Cook at high heat to bring to
a boil as quickly as possible
Cook with continuous
high heat
Let the steam vent
IH causes the cooking pan itself to radiate instant heat, which enables the water to reach a boil quicker than ever before.
Before MICOM, the soaking and steaming stages were manually approximated. MICOM now takes out the guesswork and automatically controls the entire cooking process.

The MICOM, or microcomputer chip, automatically programs the rice cooker to soak, cook and steam the rice to what Zojirushi believes to be the perfect cooking “flow”.
IH causes the inner pan to radiate instant heat, cooking the rice quickly and with very high temperatures. It also enables precise temperature changes for optimum cooking.
Summer Vegetable & Bread Combo
Bake with us when we introduce our summer vegetable & bread combo.

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