Wasabi Bento Buffet

Wasabi, the war within your mouth

Imagine you find this green paste, artistically placed on your very first sushi plate. At first you think it is a garnish and your friends look at you all knowingly, some with an evil glint in the eye and dare you to taste it. Clumsily you pick-up your chopsticks and you manage to get a piece of wasabi onto the sticks after ruining the nicely displayed lump of wasabi. Distrusted in your friends you sniff it and a beautiful aroma enters your nose that reminds you of something nice. “This does not smell so bad,” you think and you stick the lump of wasabi in your mouth…

There is an explosion of flavour in your mouth and a slight sting starts until it expands into a burning sensation from the very fiery depths of hell. Your face reddens and you can’t talk. Your eyes plead to your now laughing friends for water and you try to re-invent sign language in order for them to rescue you from the burning sensation. Some one hands you water and instead of the water taking out the fire, it feeds the flames in your mouth.

When the war in you mouth is over you realize that wasabi is actually very tasty. And you eat some more. The war begins anew.

Yes, our bento this month is all about the beautiful taste and the beautiful pain of this wonderful ingredient. We share wasabi lore, learn wasabi words, share a yummy wasabi recipe and a food challenge that is a war in itself. And don’t forget our anime challenge, AMV and birthday of the month! Join us for the bite and the burn. We are YOUR monthly source of news. Itadakimasu!!

Anime News

Dokunie Cooking (Cooking Poisoned Offerings)

Have you read the manga Dokunie Cooking (Cooking Poisoned Offerings) by Suu Minazuki? The comedy manga tells the tale of Pepopa, an elf girl that was chosen by the villagers in her town to be the sacrificial offering to please the local monster. Problem is that when the monster tried to eat her, it found her feet so smelly that he spat her out. This makes Pepopa determined to get eaten and she tried various methods to get him to gobble her up, but she keeps failing… 

This manga was launched in Hakusensha’s Young Animal magazine in October 2017. The manga’s second compiled book was published in September 2018 and the third volume this February. It has been revealed that the manga is to end in the magazine’s next issue on March 8th.

 

Manga Art Hotel

Imagine you can chillax in a hotel surrounded by manga. Imagine it no more! Recently the Manga Art Hotel opened in Tokyo Japan. It boast with 25 guest rooms and around 5,000 manga titles for its manga fanatik guests to read. They took a page from all the manga libraries net and manga cafes has, which are cafes where for a minimal fee, guests can read manga, surf the net, shower and even sleep in a private booth. This is taking that concept to the next level.

To top it off, they are considerate to cater for manga fanatiks that are not kanji literate as all the manga has Japanese and English commentaries and while most of the manga will be Japanese, they have lots of English versions which means they aim to please global as well as local guests. This dream hotel is situated in Tokyo’s Jinbocho district and has one floor reserved for men and one floor for women.

Ryan Reynolds is Detective Pikachu

Dead Pool and Green Lantern actor Ryan Reynolds recently mused on his becoming Pikachu. His dark side comes forward as he explains how he neglected his duties as father and husband while immersing in his role in the upcoming Pokemon: Detective Pikachu movie. Is becoming Pikachu making this Van Wilder star mentally unstable? Watch the video to find out…

Young mangaka sets the bar high

Can a 13 year old be a mangaka? Bessatsu Margaret Magazine is the answer to that question. The magazine hosts a “Manga School” competition monthly and the winner of Bessatsu Margaret’s 609th “Manga School” competition, 13 year old Nana Hoshiki made her debut in the March 2019 issue of the Bessatsu Margaret Magazine. Her manuscript titled The Tidings of Snow (Inshin no Yuki), was published in the magazine.

Her manga is the tale of a girl that doesn’t like or dislike anything, until the one day, while she is waiting at the station with a cheerful boy and discovers that maybe she likes the snow.

The magazine regularly hold competitions aimed at both middle and high school children bu Hoshiki’s submission is quite interesting because she won it in the regular competition which had no age restrictions. Her manga was praised by the readers, who has praised her high-quality work. It comes to show that you are never too young to fulfill your dream. We hope that she will inspire many young minds to reach for their dreams. This young mangaka sets the bar high for her peers, never mind their age.

Source: Bessatsu Margaret Magazine 

Kawaii Kulture

Wasabi

Wasabi!

In the Western world, sushi lovers love to eat their sushi with a side dish of wasabi. Some take the wasabi and mix it into their soy sauce while others put it on the sashimi directly. Some brave souls pop the whole ball of wasabi as it is into their mouths and then there are others that fear it and refuse to eat it. The sad fact is that the wasabi we get at places that serve sushi is highly likely to be a form of horseradish or mustard as real wasabi is very hard to come by. It is estimated that only 5% of all the Japanese restaurants in Japan will actually serve you the real deal, but in all honesty, the ‘wasabi’ we are served at sushi bars are delicious too.

Part of the Brassicaceae family, cabbages, horseradish and mustard are related to wasabi. It is also called Japanese horseradish by some (real Japanese horseradish, however, is a plant that is often used for a wasabi substitute in Japanese cuisine as mentioned above). It is a plant that grows naturally along stream beds in mountain river valleys in Japan and the Japanese are quite passionate about this plant as an ingredient in their dishes. It is quite popular, mostly eaten when fresh and its leaves and stems are known for its pungency as well. Wasabi’s hotness is more related to very hot mustard that chilies and you will taste the difference when you try it. Both horseradish and wasabi contain a chemical called allyl isothiocyanate, and that chemical is to blame for the heat that explodes in your mouth as you eat this wonderful ingredient. Allyl isothiocyanate can cause all type of reaction to you. It can make your body sting, burn, choke , cough, or stimulate tears since our human bodies are not used to this chemical, don’t worry it is highly unlikely to die from eating wasabi, even if some of you think you are dying.

Wasabi has a lot of healing properties but that it would cure sinus or the cold or flu is an urban myth as it can cause a bit of congestion. So eating sushi covered in wasabi will not cure your cold, but at least you will have a nice meal! It has been proven however that wasabi has antimicrobial properties, thus if you eat raw fish with wasabi, it can reduce the risk of food poisoning, according to studies wasabi root and leaves can prohibit the growth of those nasty food poisoning bacteria. Wasabi is also very good against the fight against cancer and it is a rich nutrient source of potassium, calcium and vitamin C.

Talking Japanese

Horseradish, the facts, it’s the burn and pain we love 

We can get fanatikal about horseradish, it is the burn and pain we love. There are different was to say horseradish in Japanese: Wasabidaikon, Seiyouwasabi and even the romanji version Hōsuradisshu.

If we don’t like wasabi it is acceptable to tell the waiter “Wasabi wa nigate desu” which means “I am not a fan of wasabi”. Just remember to be polite to the waiter as you say it. You can even add Sumimasen before the sentence, it is a way to say you are sorry. “Sumimasen, Wasabi wa nigate desu.” “I am so sorry, I am not a fan of wasabi.” Being polite is very important in Japanese culture and your politeness will earn you serious respect.

If you like wasabi but in a small serving you can say “Wasabi wa sukuname ni onegai shimasu.” “Please go easy on the wasabi.” Notice the onegai? It is a polite way to say please. Shimasu is a formal form of the verb “to do”. Shimasu loosely translate to “Do me this favour”.

Traditional Recipe of the month

Who does not like chicken wings? In our recipe video today we see just how ‘sweet’ it can be spiced up with some wasabi! We hope the recipe will inspire you to try it out or to change up the recipe to suit your taste! Itadakimasu!!

Eating is fun, especially when you can enjoy it with friends. Here is a food challenge that all fellow foodies might enjoy. We all like sushi, right? How about an extra sushi roll with extra wasabi to attack surprise one of your friends? The fun is not just in the eating but also in wondering who of your friends will get the bite from yummy hell.

Top 5 food anime

Welcome to our new feature in the bento. Every month we will feature  top 5 anime suggestions related to the bento theme or inspired by one of the articles. Since our bento is all about food this month, we thought we’d share a list of food anime we really love. There are so many good choices but these five suggestions are some of the anime that is very dear to our hearts. Enjoy this feast of food anime. Itadakimasu!!!

Isekai Izakaya - Koto Aitheria no Izakaya Nobu

Isekai Shokudou

Shokugeki no Soma

Toriko

Yakitate!! Japan

Birthday of the month

Sanji

If you are a fanatikal One Piece follower then Sanji is no stranger to you and the perfect birthday boy for a bento buffet all about food. Sanji’s birth date is March the 2nd. He is a pirate and the cook of the Straw Hat Pirates. He is known as ‘Black Leg’ Sanji and was born under the name Vinsmoke Sanji. He is the former sous Chef of Baratie, a restaurant on the ocean, a prince of the Germa Kingdom! He is the fifth member of Luffy’s crew, the fourth member to join. Born in North Blue, he was the first Straw Hat member not to originate from East Blue. As with all Straw Hat Pirates he has a dream: He wants to find the legendary All Blue, a piece of the ocean where East Blue, West Blue, North Blue and South Blue meet, a place that is a chef’s paradise because of the ingredients you can catch there. Due to the events on Whole Cake Island, his current bounty is Beli 330,000,000, giving him the third highest bounty in the crew after Luffy and Jinbe

He is one of the top fighters of the Straw Hat Crew, the other being Luffy, Jinbe and Zoro. Sanji also is the only member that does not use weapons or devil fruit abilities in combat; he rather relies on the martial arts combat style that centers on his leg. Even if he was trained in Martial arts as a prince of the Germa Kingdom, his fighting technique he learned under the tutelage of his mentor Zeff, the head chef and owner of Baratie.

He has incredible physical strength, enough to haul a dead Tyrannosaurus Rex through the Jungle and back to the Merry (Little Garden), he has immense endurance, almost superhuman speed, agility and reflexes. His speed rivals Chopper’s Jump Point and Luffy’s Second Gear.

Sanji shares his birth month with Leorio from Hunter X Hunter (March 3rd) and Tenten from Naruto (March 9th).

AMV of the Month

Inspired by the fire that eating wasabi brings our amv of March is the song Catch Fire by Jenix with scenes from the anime Fairy Tail.

Anime Challenge March 2019

Koufuku Graffiti – Gourmet Girl Graffiti​

Greetings challenger! Our anime challenge for March, should you accept, is Koufuku Graffiti also known as Gourmet Girl Graffiti. It is based on a four-panel manga witten and illustrated by Makoto Kawai. It has 12 episodes and aired in Japan between January to March 2015.

Our mark to investigate in the challenge is Ryo Machiko. She is a second-year middle school girl who has been living alone since her grandmother passed away. She is an exceptional cook but feels that her own cooking does not taste good. Then she met up with her second cousin, Kirin Morino, who starts to stay with Ryo over weekends while attending cram school in Tokyo. Will Kirin convince Ryo that she is a great cook? Challenger, it is up to us to study this cook and learn from her habits and to see how her life is changed by her cousin. Are you ready to challenge Koufuku Graffiti?

Anime Meetup

The anime meetups every month is always a high point to us as we have the opportunity to meet our readers and fellow anime enthusiast in real life. This March the will be no anime meetup but we might have a big surprise in store for April! Please keep checking our website for details, you don’t want to miss out!