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One simple ingredient that makes bland carbonara totally delicious

By Shannon, SoraNews24

Japanese convenience stores are famous for their delicious eats, enough to grab the attention of Tokyo Olympics reporters and more. However, you may be surprised to know that not all dishes make the cut. One victim of convenience store mediocrity tends to be carbonara.

It’s just cheese, pasta, an egg, and some bacon, right? You may think it’s hard to mess up, but in our Japanese reporter Seiji Nakazawa’s experience, he’s often left unsatisfied by conbini carbonara. But through a lot of experimenting, Seiji has found the key to making this pasta dish delicious no matter where you buy it, and it’s probably in your pantry right now.

▼ Any final guesses as to what it is (unless you recognize this bottle from Japan)?


It’s vinegar. Yes, all you need to take your pasta to the next level is a bit of sourness. You don’t need a lot of it either, so even if you’re running low, you’ll still be able to make a delicious lunch.

Here’s how Seiji makes it, as per convenience store pasta instructions. First, he heats it up at the indicated heat and for the suggested length of time.

▼ If you’re not piling on this much cheese, are you really doing carbonara right?


Then, he piles on a bunch of powdered parmesan cheese. If you have the real stuff, it’s even better, but the powdered kind will do just fine, considering you’re about to make it taste like the real thing anyway.

▼ And finally, the not-so-secret-anymore ingredient.


Finally, he adds a teaspoon of vinegar and mixes it in together. And that’s all you need to take it from bland and boring to gourmet and delectable.

How did Seiji make this grand discovery, you ask? Well, carbonara happens to make a regular appearance in his meal rotation. He loves experimenting with the flavor. It was during an experiment in which he tried to make carbonara without cream–relying solely on the flavor of Parmigiano-Reggiano–that he realized the power of vinegar.

▼ Here’s a sample of his carbonara adventures.


If you’ve had hard Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese before, you’ll know it tastes a bit sour. That same tartness doesn’t exist in cream or powdered parmesan cheese, but it’s easy to recreate the sensation by adding something sour like vinegar. And just like that, he decided to test his theory, and it worked!

▼ And now he has a dish worth bragging about to the whole internet.


So next time you make carbonara and don’t have a nice, sour cheese on hand, try adding in a teaspoon of vinegar, whether you’re heating up a premade mix or making it from scratch. And if you have sauce leftover, try mixing it with some mochi.

Images ©SoraNews24

Read more stories from SoraNews24.

-- Turns out that mochi can be made more delicious by smothering it in creamy carbonara sauce

-- How to make tonkotsu ramen at home 【SoraKitchen】

-- New instant ramen from Acecook really puts the “carb” in “carbonara”

© SoraNews24

©2024 GPlusMedia Inc.

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One single ingredient to make bland sushi tastes good: ketchup! And nah, yea, nah, don't kid yourself, all traditionally made sushi tastes like paper bland, the more expensive the worse it tastes. Did it felt good?

Traditionally made carbonara tastes really good despite having only four ingredients!!!

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

-pasta (Bucatini, Spaghetti, Rigatoni)

-guanciale (you can use pancetta or streaky bacon sliced into small strips)

-pecorino romano

-grana padano or parmigiano

-Egg yolks



And nothing else, otherwise please don’t call it Carbonara.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Sven - exactly! And for the love of Buddha, Dalai Lama and other gods, please do not order pecorina instead of pecorino, while in Italy!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Carbonara was never bland to begin with unless you're eating one that is poorly made.

Not too sure about adding vinegar directly into carbonara...

3 ( +4 / -1 )

First Carbonara has pasta, Pancetta (Bacon will do in a pinch, raw egg, coarse black pepper and Pecorino Romano not Parmigiano.

The dish is from the region around Rome and Pecorino cheese is used a Sheep milk cheese and the egg should never be cooked/partially cook before and the whisked raw egg should be mixed in without becoming scrambled eggs.

But no black pepper and it is not carbonara

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Carbonara is a recipe from Rome, pancetta is never used in the original as it lacks the fat needed to create this dish ergo the guanciale which is made from pig jowl. Pecorino Romano not parmigiano. The Italians use whole egg not just the yolk and it is mixed with the Pecorino to make a cream, the pasta is tossed in the fat from cooking the guanciale to flavour it, the heat turned off and the egg mixture added to cook, the skill is in cooking it without turning it in to scrambled egg!. The guanciale is served on top of a spaghetti nest on the plate.

Definitely a high calorie dish.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Forgot to say, carbonara should be eaten freshly made so not surprised something made long before and sold in a shop doesn’t taste that good.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Carbonara with Garlic is nice.

Fettuccine carbonara with chicken, onions, snow peas and a heap of garlic. Awesome meal.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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