Month: February 2015

Pigeon’s Recipes for Busy/Lazy People: Umeboshi Chicken Burger

This recipe is probably the most important accomplishment of my life.

It came about when I heard about the “Kishuu plum burger” (紀州梅バーガー/Kishuu ume burger) sold by a bakery called Kawa in Wakayama prefecture. I really like umeboshi, so I thought it sounded good, but I also felt like the execution could be improved. And while I still haven’t tried the original, I’m pretty sure mine is better.

This recipe is probably the easiest one I’ve posted on here so far, but the ingredients might be hard to find if you don’t live in Japan, so plan/substitute accordingly.

I use:

-Chicken breast (I use skinless)

-Honey umeboshi (ハチミツ梅干し/hachimitsu umeboshi)

-Mild salt umeboshi (うす塩梅干し/usushio umeboshi)

-Mizkan brand “Ponjure” ponzu jelly (ぽんジュレ)

-Shiso/perilla/ooba leaf (しそ/大葉)


-Soy sauce

-Cooking sake



-English muffins


1. First, cut the chicken breast up into patty-ish shapes. Try to flatten them out a bit so they’ll sit nicely on the bun. Season the patties with soy sauce.


2. Heat up some oil in a frying pan. Put the chicken breast patties in and cook one side for about a minute. Then, flip them over, pour some cooking sake in, and put a lid on. Steam them until they’re done (depends on thickness).


3. Make the umeboshi tartar sauce: Remove the pits from some of the salt umeboshi (about 1-2 per burger). Chop/smash them up with your knife until you have a ball of umeboshi goop. Put the goop in a bowl and mix it with mayonnaise (I think about a 1:1 ratio by volume is good, but taste as you go).


4. Prepare the toppings: Remove the pits from some honey umeboshi (1 per burger); leave them whole. Slice the tomato and onion. Wash the shiso leaves.


5. Mizkan’s ponzu jelly is a really good sauce for this. If you can’t find it, I recommend something light and fruity as an alternative. Maybe marmalade?


6. When your chicken is done steaming, stack all of the ingredients on half of an English muffin: chicken, shiso, tomato, onion, tartar sauce, honey umeboshi, ponzu jelly.


7. Put the other half of the English muffin on top, squish it down, and enjoy!


Mayuyu Can’t “Rassun Gorerai” So Good

Here’s comedy duo 8.6 Byou Bazooka’s (8.6秒バズーカー/8.6-Second Bazooka) crazy popular comedy routine, “Rassun Gorerai” (ラッスンゴレライ):

Here’s YouTube performer Satoshi Castro (カストロさとし) doing “Rassun Gorerai” line-for-line in English:

And here’s AKB48’s Mayu Watanabe (渡辺麻友) doing “Rassun Gorerai” in two Vines posted by fellow member Yuki Kashiwagi (柏木由紀):

Her rhythm’s way off…but this is adorable so I’ll let her slide.

Chocolate Natural Tofu is Chocolatey, Delicious, Tofu

I’m a big fan of tofu. Recently I’ve been eating a lot of “Mascarpone no You na Natural Tofu” (マスカルポーネのようなナチュラルとうふ/Mascarpone-like Natural Tofu), made by Sagamiya (相模屋). While I wouldn’t necessarily compare it to cheese, it’s soft and tasty and is especially good with a drizzling of olive oil. But today, when I went to pick some up at the supermarket, I found something new on the shelf:


“Mascarpone no You na Natural Tofu: Chocolate Aji (チョコレート味/Chocolate flavor)”!

Of course I had to buy it. I felt a little trepidation as I used the included plastic spoon to plop it out of the container onto the conveniently enclosed styrofoam plate:



The consistency was a little watery. But the taste was…


It was something like a semi-sweet chocolate pudding, or a very squishy chocolate cake. There was only a slight hint of tofu flavor. It actually reminded me of a vegan cake.

Actually, as far as I can tell from the ingredients, this product appears to be vegan? So maybe give it a shot if you’re a vegan craving chocolate this Valentine’s! (I’m not a vegan, though, so I don’t know all the ins and outs of what is and isn’t vegan, so please check yourself if you’re a vegan planning to eat this.)

I give “Mascarpone no You na Natural Tofu: Chocolate Aji” two thumbs up (wayyyyyy better than Spoon Vege). It’s a seasonal item so it’ll probably disappear soon, so if you see it at your local supermarket, grab it while you still can!

Momoiro Clover Z vs. KISS: “Yume no Ukiyo ni Saite Mina” Single

Momoiro Clover Z’s (ももいろクローバーZ) newest single, “Yume no Ukiyo ni Saite Mina” (夢の浮世に咲いてみな/Try Blooming in the Floating World of Dreams), is their long-awaited collaboration with the heavily made-up American superstar band, KISS. The members of KISS wrote and performed the music for the song, and also provide backup vocals.

The music video features Momoiro Clover Z playing the part of Minamoto no Yorimitsu (源頼光) and his Shitennou (四天王), and the members of KISS playing Tsuchigumo (土蜘蛛). They battle each other in a half-animated ukiyo-e world.

The single comes in two types: Momoclo version (ももクロ盤/Momokuro-ban) and KISS version (KISS盤/KISS-ban). The Momoclo version comes with a Blu-ray video of the music video; the KISS version has no video but has one extra song. That extra song is “Samurai Son.” “Samurai Son” has the same music as “Yume no Ukiyo ni Saite Mina,” but has English-language lyrics sung by KISS, with Momoiro Clover Z singing back-up. The lyrics to “Samurai Son” are a little different from “Yume no Ukiyo ni Saite Mina”‘s (see my English translation here)…but I suppose a certain amount of disparity to be expected when you have a collaboration between Japanese women in their 20’s and American men in their 60’s.

There’s an hour-long documentary about Momoclo and KISS’s collaboration uploaded on DailyMotion.