When I landed at a Japanese university I had one mission for my first day: to sit next to the window, that crucial spot in which main anime characters usually sit in class. I was even joined by a green-haired stranger and we became friends. There are so many ways to take things out of fiction and make them a real fixture in your life: cosplay, learning languages like Klingon or Dothraki, maybe owning a lightsaber (or rather an approximation of it), or recreating food and drinks from your favourite shows.
Eating like an anime character is a great way to drag fantasy out of the screen and into your daily life. Yes, I can always munch on melon pan or pocky, or stuff my face with ramen, but Tokyo Survival Challenge has something trickier in mind.
They challenged me to cook 5 anime foods from anime about cooking, in less than a week, recreating the recipes and the look of the dish. Obviously, both the foodie and the anime otaku in me said “Challenge accepted!” in unison.
Getting my CHEF on!
Embarking on this week-long cooking challenge couldn’t have been done with only a couple of spoons and a dozen eggs. I needed to feel like a proper chef. Listening to Erina-sama lecture everyone in Shokugeki about ingredients, then watching the Yakitate Japan bakers circling the world for the finest flours, I knew that I needed something extra.
The answer found me on Instagram and it’s called Yabenoen organic farm. They replied on their social media in English and got my veggie box loaded up with only what’s best in season and sent it that same day! They described their garlic as ‘very garlicky’ and dear reader, after I tried it I knew it was the best description ever!
Feeling like a proper chef, I bought additional ingredients from my local shop and got down to business.
Day 1: Ghibli’s Howl’s Moving Castle breakfast
Let’s walk before we sprint, shall we? Ghibli anime foods are always super simple like this one, but seeing the characters devour them with such gusto makes you think twice whether we’re taking them for granted. I definitely felt like I rediscovered the eggs and bacon combo all over again. Only my Calcifer is electric and shying away in the stove. Probably.
How to make it:
You know how to make it, you don’t need me to lecture you on frying eggs.
How to cut corners and make it simpler:
This one cannot be simpler. But it can be more complicated if you wish! Chefs online have shared recipes with home-cured bacon and expensive free-range chicken eggs.
Confession time: I hate raw/soft yolk. Something about cutting into it and yellow liquid oozing out reminds me of (and please, if you’re squeamish stop reading NOW) – reminds me of popping a pimple.
Sorry for that mental image.
So, after copying the anime version, I made another fry up with the eggs thoroughly fried.
Difficulty level: 1/10
Even the culinary-challenged can make this and pretend they live in a Ghibli world.
For the challenge, I was supposed to pose it and serve it perfectly with the tea and bread, so factoring that it is 3/10 in my case.
Continue reading on Tokyo Survival Challenge: Making Anime Food in Real Life: 5 Dishes, 1 Week, 1 Obsessed Otaku!