Queer Eye: We're In Japan! premiered this week and though it was just a four-episode special, it schooled us on all things food, culture, grooming, fashion, and interior design. The gang teamed up with model Kiko Mizuhara to change four people's lives forever.
There is so much to love about this mini season. When I wasn't too busy crying (these are maybe some of the most emotional episodes ever!!) I still found time to jot down some of the best food lessons imparted by food and wine guru, Antoni Porowski. From cocktail secrets to how food can affect your emotions, here are some of the best ones.
Episode 1: Japanese Holiday
1 Fuji apples are the best. They're a Japanese staple, and Antoni uses them to make a delicious looking pie. He also says he likes them best...and I must agree.
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2. Don't be afraid to go heavy on spices. Antoni used a healthy amount of cinnamon in his apple pie and encouraged hero Yoko to use, like, 1,000 more "pops" of cinnamon than she was planning on. Get in there, girl!
3. Making food for others is an expression of love. Making food for others can help you connect to them, Antoni says. Couldn't agree more!
4. Butter is everything. We knew this! He uses a lot of butter in his cooking in Japan and says how much he loves it at every turn.
5. If you can't make a super pretty pie crust, make a tarte tatin. OK so Antoni didn't outright say this, but I couldn't help but notice it! He taught Yoko how to make an apple tarte tatin, which is a tarte with apples on top and no top crust. This means if you're much better at knife skills than making a pretty crust, this could be a good option for you.
5. The best part of baking is when something is in the oven. That's when you get to relax and chat with your baking partner. Never thought of it that way. I always preferred the eating part.
6. Use your hips when you flip a pan. Yoko asked about this very important aspect and Antoni imparted this wisdom: Don't be afraid to practice using your hips. Maybe this is why I always drop my omelets...
Episode 2: Crazy In Love
7. Elevate what you already have. Don't try to learn a bunch of new cooking techniques. Build on what you already know.
8. Don’t sit in the back seat of the car, get in the driver’s seat. Good advice for cooking and for life.
9. Measure your food and cut it evenly. OK, so this tip actually came from Yuji Takahashi, who taught Antoni and Kan how to make yakitori, or Japanese skewered chicken. He shared how important it is to cut slices as even as possible and to measure your meat so you can be sure it is all cooked evenly.
10. The first bite should always be the best. Another tip from Yuji, you may have slightly bigger and smaller pieces, so the biggest should always be at the top of the skewer. Both he and Antoni agreed they like the first bit of any meal to have the most flavor.
11. How to make a St. Germain in Tokyo. So he doesn't always give us exact measurements, but from what I saw, it's two shots St. Germain, two shots grapefruit juice, Yuzu, and lime juice, shaken up and poured into a cocktail glass. Top it with edible flowers and you're good to go!
12. How to properly shake a cocktail. Making sure you hold the top of the shaker and shake hard enough that you break the ice.
13. Chill the martini glass in your freezer before pouring. OK, I never thought about doing this! It's a great way to make a bar-quality drink at home.
14. Ordering for someone can be romantic. Maybe don't do this on the first date (yeah definitely don't) but he pointed out it can be a way to show that you know your partner...just ask first.
Episode 3: The Ideal Woman
15. Cooking together can help parents bond with their kids. Get them in the kitchen early.
16. Even just being in the room can help. He said he learned to cook partly just by watching his mom cook growing up. Even if you're not ready to have them help, at least let them watch.
17. Take over the cooking from the person who mainly does it once in a while. If your partner, parent, roommate, whoever, normally cooks for you, surprise them by cooking for them once in a while. It will go a long way.
18. Be gentle with tofu. Antoni, Kae, and her mom made Mapo Tofu together. He said one of the biggest tips for cooking with it is to be gentle. Treat it like a baby when you're cooking it, Antoni says.
19. Chopped up mushrooms can be a good meat alternative. If you're a vegetarian or you're just trying to cut down on your meat consumption, chopped up mushrooms can give your dishes a "meatiness" without using actual meat.
20. Don't be afraid of spice. Ask your dining partners how much spice they can handle and don't be afraid to make it as spicy as you both want.
Episode 4: Bringing Sexy Back
21. Everyone should be able to cook something. Antoni said he believes that every single person should be able to cook basic things and to have at least cooked once, which this week's hero had not.
22. Be firm when you crack an egg. When you go to crack an egg, if you hesitate, that's when you might get shells in your bowl.
23. Go light on the milk for omelets. Just a tablespoon will do ya.
24. Reuse your leftovers—even from takeout. Many dishes, like omurice, use leftovers you have lying around in your fridge (see: everything I ever cook) but that doesn't just mean frozen veggies and half bags of shredded cheese. If you're a person who loves takeout, Antoni said you can use ingredients from that to make a meal, too. Duh!
25. Sometimes it doesn't matter what your food looks like, as long as it tastes good. This week's hero Makoto made omurice, which can be difficult to get right. In the end, he ended up with more of scrambled eggs over rice versus a fluffy omelet over rice but as Antoni said, as long as it tastes good, he's fine with it.
Kristin Salaky is the news editor at Delish.com covering viral foods, product launches, and food trends. Before joining Delish, she worked as an editor at insider.com and as the front page editor for talkingpointsmemo.com. She graduated with a degree in journalism from Ohio University in 2015.