I love scattered sushi - it's so easy to make and you can add so many different ingredients to it to shake it up. I wanted to combine two really British ingredients in with this to make a fusion dish fit for summer. It really works if you have a British palette, because the vinegar in the rice acts as a substitute for the sour taste of tomato ketchup, so this is sort of like a summery fry-up... Well, sort of.
2 cups Japanese rice (around 430g)
6tbsp sushi rice vinegar (or check label)
1 tbsp sake (optional)
1 piece dried konbu (optional)
1 egg yolk
2 tsp cornflour
Large pinch salt
Packet streaky bacon (smoked or unsmoked - your choice!)
500g asparagus tips
Make your sushi rice - I recommend you buy a rice cooker, as it takes all of the guesswork and stress out of cooking rice.
Firstly, wash the rice thoroughly and leave it to soak for half an hour. Then, drain and add your sushi rice to the same quantity of water in your rice cooker. Add the sake and konbu if using, then switch on and leave to cook. Once it has finished, leave it to rest for 15 minutes.
Turn the rice out into a damp, flat container (like a pyrex oven dish) and add the sushi rice vinegar. Using a damp wooden spoon, turn the rice gently to coat it in the seasoning. At the same time, fan the rice to cool it and help it to absorb the dressing. Continue until no visible steam rises from the rice, and place it under a damp kitchen towel.
Make thin Japanese omelettes by combining the eggs, egg yolk, salt and sugar in a bowl. Add the cornflour dissolved in 4 tsp water. Heat the oil in a frying pan, and add enough oil to coat the base. Thinly cover the pan with the egg, and heat until almost set. Then, turn the omelette over to finish it off. Do not allow it to colour. Continue until all the egg has been cooked, then roll the omelettes up and shred them finely.
Fry the bacon until very crispy. Snip into small pieces.
Steam the asparagus, and when cooked, remove the tips and slice the stems into small coins. Divide the rice into four bowls, and top with the bacon, asparagus and omelette.
This would be perfect to serve up to your mates for a Jubliee picnic, or an Olympics watching party!
When I first started writing for NEO, way back before the first issue was even on sale, cosplay wasn't a major part of the UK scene. That's not to say that you didn't see cosplayers - one of my most vivid memories of my first ever anime con was seeing a crossplayer Sailor Moon, complete with beard and some kind of mechanically enhanced boobage. That's not something you forget in a hurry.
Over the years, though, the cosplaying contingent has grown, and cosplaying has become an essential part of most events. The ubiquitous masquerade is ever present, and if there aren't a gaggle of cosplaying teams loitering in a foyer, you'll probably think you've gone to the wrong place.
At NEO, we've showcased countless cosplayers, and it's easy to see how the standard has improved over the years - from costuming to poses, cosplayers have a confidence borne from experience and passion, and it's a pleasure to see such an outward display of their love for animation and games - and pop culture in general! That's why, at the MCM Expo in October 2011, we launched our very first Cosplay Idol competition, calling for the best the UK has to offer.
And boy, did we get a response! Click back next week, same time, to find out more!
(Pictured above, Bethany Balster as Nariko from Heavenly Sword)
On Thursday 22nd March, NEO 96 will hit the shelves! This month, we have a gorgeous cover for Angel Beats, Manga Entertainment's latest action adventure series, which is set in the Afterlife! We also have a flipper cover for Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm Generations (maybe the longest titled game we've covered for a few years...), where we tackle the game itself, and delve a little into the history of CyberConnect2, the Japanese developers.
Daniel Robson also discusses one of Japan's most iconic volcanoes, Mount Fuji - that's right, it's not just a mountain! Find out about the history and cultural significance of this famous landmark in his regular Man in Japan feature! Our new personal mission - climb Mount Fuji - but only once...
This issue also features articles on Mardock Scramble, Naruto Shippuden Movie 2: Bonds, plus interviews with L'Arc en Ciel, and directors Lee Myung-se and Teddy Chen. Somehow, it feels like we've packed even more than usual into this issue, so we hope you enjoy it!
NEO magazine's team works on a four weekly schedule, which means that every fourth Friday, we're plugging away at the final stages of the latest issue, tweaking the design, checking the spellings (or trying to!) and generally double checking everything we can to ensure that the magazine is ready to be sent off to the printers. The designer and the editor work as a team, with the designer creating PDFs of the final pages, sending them to an online facility set up by the printer, where the editor can check them. Final checks include everything from the captions of the images, the resolution of the files, the page bleed, and the page numbers and position of the page in the issue itself. There's a lot that can go wrong - but thankfully, it mostly seems to go right...
It's been a long time in the making, but finally we can reveal the new face of NEO's brand new website - complete with a fancy new blog section where you can keep up with the NEO team!
Not only can you check out the blog section, where we'll be updating you on the world of NEO, the magazine, and what we're up to, but you'll be able to get the latest word on the world of Asian entertainment from our news section, plus read reviews, articles and features, and you can even get your hands on digital copies of the mag, too! All that, and you'll be able to find out how you can get involved in NEO and see your name in the mag, as well as track us down on our various social media portals.
We hope you enjoy our new look, and look forward to all the juicy content to come!
Out first cover story is the NEO Awards as we celebrate the highs of 2010 - did your favourite make the grade? The results are in and NEO 79 is the only place to find them.
In our features this issue, we bring you our in-depth report on the London MCM Expo, while It's A Pac-man Party looks at the timeless popularity of the little yellow chap with the big appetite.
In Neverending Fantasy Matt Kamen talks to the mind behind the Final Fantasy franchise. The Manga Preview this month is Neill Cameron's Mo-Bot High.
You want the latest anime reviews? Feast your eyes on Hetalia Axis Powers, Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood, Love Hina, Blade of the Immortal, Slayers Revolution and Vampire Knight.
Our lovely Neo readers share their thoughts on FMA Brotherhood Vol. 1 while in our Manga reviews we give you the lowdown on the latest box sets from Vampire Knight and Death Note, plus new titles Dragon Heir: Reborn and Vent 001.
What about the best of Asian cult cinema you ask? Fear not, we bring you Dream Home, Legend Of The Fist: The Return Of Chen Zhen, The Karate Kid and Pirates Of Langkasuka.
Then, once you've read all the news, the NEO Fanservice Hall Of Shame and the latest fashion tips, flip the magazine over and learn all about DragonBall Raging Blast 2: Super Saiyan Showdown. Are we good to you, or what? NEO 79 is in stores now, priced just Â£4.25. Christmas has come early.
NEO 78 is out now, bringing joy, light and a love for anime to all quality magazine stockists across the land. Better yet, it's another Double Cover Special. The babes of Bamboo Blade grace one side, then flip the magazine and there's Eden Of The East, which are the two lead anime features this month.
Anime Expose takes a look at Digimon Xros Wars while Manga Snapshot casts a critical eye over Mystery Bonita.
The Kung Fu Clan delves into the career of Yuen Woo-Ping and his famous family in honour of Woo-Ping's return to directing with True Legend. Tom Smith interviews Doping Panda about their fight against the Japanese music industry.
There's a profile of global style icon Hello Kitty while Yoko LittnerÂ from Gurren Lagann joins the ranks of the proud, the bold and the scantily clad in the NEO Fanservice Hall Of Shame.
Anime reviews include Bamboo Blade, Vampire Knight, Bleach 5:2, Moribito Guardian of the Spirit and Sengoku Basara: Samurai Kings. Get the lowdown on the latest movie reviews, with Little Big Soldier, The Legend Is Born: Ip Man and Deadly Outlaw Rekka. Plus news, fashion, cooking and so much more all yours for just Â£4.25.
Grab twice the excitment this month with another Double Cover Special issue as NEO 77 hits the stands.
In our special flip-over feature, we look at Sengoku Basara: Samurai Kings and give you a Japanese history lesson like no other. Our second cover story is the new Fist Of The North Star game in all it's face-exploding glory.
In Anime Expose, we take a look at Occult Academy, while your Manga Snapshot of the month is Men's Young. Tom Smith counts down the most shocking videos from Dir En Grey, while Andrew Osmond celebrates the wife and work of the sadly departed Satoshi Kon. Popi and Bambi show you how to make home-made hair bows in their fashion column, while Witchblade's Masane Amaha takes her place in The NEO Fanservice Hall Of Shame.
Our colossal review section includes critiques of Baccano!, Naruto Shippuden Vol. 3, Samurai Deeper Kyo, GunXSword, D. Gray-Man and Escaflowne, while NEO's readers give their views on Bleach: The Diamond Dust Rebellion.
Manga reviews this month include The Qwaser Of Stigmata, Chibi Vampire Airmail, KimiKiss and Scarlet. In our move review section, get the rundown on Mother, Brother, Higanjima - Escape From Vampire Island, The Sword With No Name and Connected. Plus there's all the latest news, competitions, Manga School, the Artists Showcase and more.
NEO 77 is out now priced just Â£4.25.
Another month and we humbly present you with another smorgasbord of the finest anime, manga and Asian pop culture for your entertainment and education. Yes, it's edutainment. Our cover story this month is Vampire Knight as we take you inside Cross Academy where the students of the Night Class are glamourous, confident and undead. But wait, what's this? You turn the magazine over and there is a second cover story, this time featuring the venerable sleuth Professor Layton.
In Chop Sticks, NEO's very own cookery school, our special of the month is Teriyaki Burger Bento. Anime Expose shines the spotlight on High School of the Undead, while the Manga Snapshot this issue takes you inside the pages of Monthly Ikki. Tom Smith talks to Visual Kei star Miyavi about his new album, while David West talks to filmmaker Kazuaki Kiriya about his eye-popping extravaganza Goemon.
Our reviews section is an imposing 20 pages this month as we rate the latest anime titles including Professor Layton and the Eternal Diva, Naruto Shippuden, Blade of the Immortal, Rin; Daughters of Mnemosyne, Ah! My Goddess and Soul Eater.
Manga under the microscope include Bakuman, the new project from the minds behind Death Note, plus Bleach and Red Hot Chili Samurai.
NEO's movie reviewers tackle Donnie Yen in 14 Blades, Vengeance Is Mine, By The Will Of Genghis Khan and Death Tube. NEO 76 is out now, priced Â£4.25 from all quality news vendors.
Uncooked Media Ltd