Crunchyroll #85: Salt Bae’s Fried Rice from “Black Clover”

Salt Bae took the internet by storm by liberally (and sassily) sprinkling salt onto a giant hunk of delicious, sizzling meat. It only makes sense that this incredibly over-the-top cultural icon would make its way into one of the most over-the-top anime out this season (I mean, have you HEARD Asta speak?). In any case, because Salt Bae is so classic, I wanted to immortalize Anime Salt Bae’s special recipe here for our consumption.

As the episode goes, the gang runs into a head chef who is busy cooking his best dish. Though enemy forces are invading, he decides not to leave in the interest of cooking his dish to completion. As he would argue, nothing comes before cooking a perfect meal. Charmy pops in and insists on trying his famous dish, inspiring him to carry on cooking. He goes back to his giant wok and sprinkles seasoning in, a la Salt Bae.

The sprinkling technique, though it looks very excessive, is actually a good way to make sure you are evenly seasoning food. By sprinkling seasoning from on high, you give it a greater opportunity to spread out in the air before hitting the food. The further it spreads, the more evenly you season. There, now you have a legitimate excuse to season like Salt Bae, as if you needed one in the first place. The question, at this point, is WHAT exactly is anime Salt Bae seasoning?

He has a large wok, and appears to be tossing a rice concoction that is rife with shrimp, peas, and egg. It looks to me like a classic shrimp fried rice, so that’s the recipe I chose to go with today. The recipe is incredibly versatile – you can add pretty much anything you want to it to achieve great flavor, but you can also keep it simple. I’ve put a basic recipe down below, but of course feel free to tailor it to your desires as you see fit.

A few fried rice secrets – if you have a gas stove, cook with a wok to achieve the wonderful smokey oil flavor possible only through wok cooking. A flat bottom wok works as well as a traditional one if you don’t have a range that will accommodate the round bottom of a traditional wok. If you have an electric stove like me… womp womp. It’s harder to achieve the smokey flavor synonymous with good fried rice, simply because it’s much more difficult to heat the sides of the pan and to create a truly hot surface all around the rice. Stick with a pan that is wide and deep to accommodate the tossing of the rice. Furthermore, cook with cooked & cooled medium- to long-grain rice, or rice that has been cooked the day before. You don’t want to cook with fresh rice, or it will get mushy in the pan as you stir it, making for an unpleasant dish. Instead, you want rice that has had some of the surface moisture evaporated out of it, leaving a rice that will be easily coated with oil and won’t continue to exude starch as you toss it.

Anime Salt Bae knew what he was doing here – this dish is a little sweet from the onion, has the perfect tang from the soy sauce, and is well seasoned thanks to that traditional Salt Bae seasoning move. It’s great to feed to a crowd, just make sure not to overcrowd your own pan – you want to give the rice room to fry up and absorb those delicious flavors you’re showering the dish with.

I really hope you can try this out! Watch the video below to get more pointers on how exactly to make this dish!

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Crunchyroll # 84: WcDonald’s Burger

One of the first anime I ever got into was Inuyasha, which has a lot of charming features. But the one that stuck with me the most was the WcDonald’s burger that Kagome visited often with her friends. Being fairly new to anime, I was also new to the concept of taking popular brands and altering the names juuuust a tiny bit so that the production wouldn’t get sued. The idea of WcDonald’s being a discount version of McDonald’s just made me laugh – the duplicity wasn’t even hard to see through! It was so OBVIOUSLY just a McDonald’s. For years I didn’t give it much more thought than that.

But recently, something has changed.

A WcDonald’s restaurant is no longer just a fictional concept.

You may have seen the headlines – McDonald’s recently experimented with their branding by flipping the ‘M’ upside down at real restaurants. Japan is considering installing a WcDonald’s restaurant somewhere in Japan to appeal to anime fans. This restaurant we all thought to be a joke… is suddenly real.

Which begs the question, at least for this anime food fan: How does one make a WcDonald’s burger?

It seems like it would be identical to a McDonald’s burger – a toasted sesame seed bun, ketchup and mustard, cheese, a ground beef patty, more cheese, pickles, and onions. Yet, it can’t be that simple. How do you take a McDonald’s burger and turn it into a WcDonald’s burger instead? M, W, M, W, M, W, M, W… what is the secret to unlocking the true potential of the WcDonald’s burger?!?! It’s just one letter that separates the two brands… who knew that one letter could be the crux of anime’s biggest question – what IS a WcDonald’s burger?

After much research, testing, retesting, and more research, I discovered the technique that can turn simple McDonald’s ingredients into the anime burger of your dreams. After this, there is no more need for McDonald’s burgers. It’s so simple – how could we not have seen it before? We can now conquer the known world with anime commercialism and WcDonald’s.

I am pleased to present my findings to you. Please watch the following video to see exactly how one makes a WcDonald’s burger.

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Crunchyroll #83: Angel Food Cake from “Cardcaptor Sakura: Clear Card Arc”

When was the last time you went to a tea party? I mean, for real, does anyone do those things anymore? Actually, hard truth comin’ at you- I’m a party junkie. By that, I mean that I love throwing unique parties. Examples? Murder mystery party, handcrafted and NOT from a kit- check. Done that. A literary party where I made my friends collect pieces of literature that spoke to them and we sat in a circle and recited said literature. Check. It was a great party! How about this? A tea party with three kinds of sandwiches, scones with all the fixings, over 5 kinds of tea, AND VEGAN CHOCOLATE CUPCAKES? Check. It was FANTASTIC, I highly recommend it.

So when I ask who has tea parties anymore, the honest answer is me. I do. I have tea parties. But I’ve never had a tea party with such a delicate and superb treat as angel food cake complete with whipped cream and strawberries. Now, if you’ve been with me long, you’ll know I almost universally hate sponge cake. However, angel food cake is the rare exception. It’s incredibly fluffy, moist, and pairs well with my favorite combination ever- strawberries and whipped cream. So, when I saw Sakura eating this at her friend Akiho’s house, I knew I had to try it.

Ya know, Sakura knows what’s up- go over to your rich friend’s house, take advantage of their butler’s astounding cooking skills, and then go ‘splorin to find a new Clear Card. This cake is a great accompaniment- it’s light enough to please, but is also surprisingly sweet and filling, supplying the consumer with copious amounts of energy for any magical doings yet to come. Better yet, if you can get past the semi-terrifying cake pan, it’s a really easy cake to make. This was the first time I ever made it, and let me just brag a little here when I say: it came out PERFECTLY.

This cake is called an angel food cake because it’s lightened and leavened with egg whites, making it pillowy soft and incredibly fluffy. As a result, the final flavor is driven strongly by the kind of extract you put in, as well as the sugar. It results in a sweet, airy treat which pretty much perfectly describes every single Cardcaptor Sakura: Clear Card episode. The only time I got worried while making this cake was when it came to actually removing the fluffy treat from the pan. Before that, as long as you can hold a hand mixer for about five minutes straight, you’re pretty much in the clear. Another trip to make the perfect cake- cool this sucker upside down. Either on a rack, on the little stands that accompany some pans, or over a wine bottle (be careful it doesn’t come crashing down around you, though). This will prevent the cake from falling and will ensure its fluffiness is maintained while it cools down.

With Spring on the way, you can’t miss with this cake. Like Sakura and Tomoyo, you can enjoy it too! Maybe even hire a butler to make it for you- spice up your life a little bit. Or just do it yourself- make some for your friends, invite them over to your very own tea party, and enjoy with copious amounts of whipped cream and berries. You won’t regret it!

I really hope you can try this out! Watch the video below to get more pointers on how exactly to make this dish!

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