ad info

TIME Asia Home
Current Issue
Magazine Archive
Asia Buzz
Travel Watch
Web Features
  Photo Essays

Subscribe to TIME
Customer Services
About Us
Write to TIME Asia
TIME Canada
TIME Europe
TIME Pacific
TIME Digital
Latest CNN News

Young China
Olympics 2000
On The Road

  east asia
  southeast asia
  south asia
  central asia

Other News
From TIME Asia

Culture on Demand: Black is Beautiful
The American Express black card is the ultimate status symbol

Asia Buzz: Should the Net Be Free?
Web heads want it all -- for nothing

JAPAN: Failed Revolution
Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori clings to power as dissidents in his party finally decide not to back a no-confidence motion

Cover: Endgame?
After Florida's controversial ballot recount, Bush holds a 537-vote lead in the state, which could give him the election

TIME Digest

TIME Asia Services
Subscribe to TIME! Get up to 3 MONTHS FREE!

Bookmark TIME
TIME Media Kit
Recent awards

TIME Asia Asiaweek Asia Now TIME Asia story


Watch Japan's Chefs Colonize World Cuisine

The menu at the Japanese chain Mos Burger brings new meaning to the concept "fusion food." While global giant McDonald's bows to local culture by adding to its standard mix burgers flavored with teriyaki and nabeyaki (a traditional pot-boiled dish), Mos Burger takes the Japanization of Western fast food to new extremes with its rice burgers. The buns are made of rice instead of bread. Nestled between them is a choice of shrimp cakes or Japanese-style fried beef. And they seem to be popular:Mos operates more than 1,500 outlets in Japan and has expanded into Malaysia, Singapore and China with its unique brand of blended fast food.

The Japanese are famed, of course, for their mixing of outside and local influences. That eclecticism is true with food as well, providing visitors the opportunity for entertaining culinary adventures. According to master chef Yukio Hattori, who runs a cooking school in Tokyo, the Japanese have developed a knack for sampling foreign foods and modifying them to fit their own tastes. Says Hattori:"Exploring with food is in our dna".

Watch Japan's Chefs Colonize World Cuisine
Shrimp burgers on rice buns: the Japanization of Western food goes to new extremes

Short Cuts
The 10 most dangerous spots in the world last year

Web Crawling
Bone up on diseases and dialects before you set out

Scattered through the hills and valleys of Kyongju lie the glorious remains of Korea's Silla Dynasty

While geneticists might argue that point, it's hard to find a fast-food specialty that hasn't been adapted to local tastebuds. The Royal Hat pizza chain, for example, offers a variety of wafu, Japanese-style pizzas. One features mochi (sticky rice cake) with nori (dry seaweed) sprinkled on top. Burger chain First Kitchen attracts customers with French fries flavored with takoyaki--octopus balls. And it's not only a fast-food trend; upmarket restaurants also get into the act. Most Italian eateries in Japan, for example, offer tarako, or cod roe spaghetti.

The phenomenon isn't just about being playful. Culinary experts in Tokyo credit Japanese chefs with a certain artistic flair, in seeking out the most exciting combinations of ingredients spread among different national food groups.

Such ardor is hotly pursued in restaurants like Kiti (tel: 813-3478-7727), located in Tokyo's posh Shibuya district. Its softly lit Euro-techno interior is sprinkled with Japanese accents like a small traditional garden with bamboo water pipes and a tansu (a Japanese cabinet) with French wine bottles on top. The menu, too, involves an intriguing mix of French and Japanese. And we're talking about more than just rice dressed like a baguette. Try the sea urchin and grated yam wrapped in a thin layer of baked paté. Or the beef filet sushi: a delicately cooked piece of beef, placed on top of a vinegared rice ball and dipped into a rich cheese sauce.

"Some might think we are haphazardly blending one ingredient with another," says Kiti's chef, Tsuyoshi Kuwasawa. "Only one out of 10 combinations we try proves to be the right match." While the chef declines to describe any of his less successful blends, take note:fermented bean linguine is nowhere on the menu.

Travel Watch Archive | TIME Asia Home
ASIANOW Travel Home


Quick Scroll: More stories from TIME Travel Watch


U.S. secretary of state says China should be 'tolerant'

Philippine government denies Estrada's claim to presidency

Faith, madness, magic mix at sacred Hindu festival

Land mine explosion kills 11 Sri Lankan soldiers

Japan claims StarLink found in U.S. corn sample

Thai party announces first coalition partner


COVER: President Joseph Estrada gives in to the chanting crowds on the streets of Manila and agrees to make room for his Vice President

THAILAND: Twin teenage warriors turn themselves in to Bangkok officials

CHINA: Despite official vilification, hip Chinese dig Lamaist culture

PHOTO ESSAY: Estrada Calls Snap Election

WEB-ONLY INTERVIEW: Jimmy Lai on feeling lucky -- and why he's committed to the island state


COVER: The DoCoMo generation - Japan's leading mobile phone company goes global

Bandwidth Boom: Racing to wire - how underseas cable systems may yet fall short

TAIWAN: Party intrigues add to Chen Shui-bian's woes

JAPAN: Japan's ruling party crushes a rebel ě at a cost

SINGAPORE: Singaporeans need to have more babies. But success breeds selfishness

Launch CNN's Desktop Ticker and get the latest news, delivered right on your desktop!

Today on CNN

Back to the top   © 2000 Time Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines.