Review: Culinary Art with the Magic Five

magic five.jpg

Google Translate:

"This is easier if they had simply been painted many times, such as mayonnaise and various sources. Clean look!"

The Magic Five is a crafty, Japanese spread bottle with five parallel holes. If you squeeze just right, you can decorate a plate, food or person (huzzah!) with pretty much any reasonably-thick, chunk-free condiment of your choosing.

After discovering the bottle at an okonomiyaki counter in Kyoto during my first trip to Japan last November, I was hooked -- then mega-disappointed I couldn't find one at Tokyu Hands. Finally, I managed to import one. Find out how after the jump...

I'm a sauce guy. Not exclusively for taste, but play. Anytime a saucy desert, dinner or starter plate is put in front of me, I'm dragging a fork or toothpick through it to create a "spider web" or "checker board" (above) or Jackson Pollack.

The good news: This product is awesome for doing all of the above design work and more. I'm mostly decorating poached eggs with a mix of hot sauce, Tabasco, and ketchup. But mayo or anything with a similar consistency works great. Hot sauce with chunky peppers or skins are not good.

The bad news: It's sold only in Japan, where it's being marketed as an "As Seen On Tv"-style cooking aid. The only online outlet seems to be via shopping.yahoo.co.jp, which currently won't ship outside Japan*. Total bummer.

The good news (for me): Lisa has family in Tokyo. We split a set of two (below) for 1,259 yen, roughly $13 (including shipping, which was pricier than the Magic Five!). Worth every yen. I'll go out on a limb and say Lisa and I are now both budding decorators. She's using Kewpie mayo in hers. I'm jealous, and now very hungry.

magic five2.jpg

*If you live in Japan, buy these and eBay them. You won't be sorry.

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