Friday, July 2, 2010

Deliciousness from a box. (箱からのおいしさ。)

Well, I'm not sure if it counts as a "cooking" post when I'm talking about pre-packaged foods, but I feel that, as a (hopefully) respectable Japan blogger, it is my responsibility to make sure that you, my readers, are fully aware of all the culinary options available to you, including the convenient store-bought varieties.

Especially when they're so darn tasty and satisfying.

(No, seriously. Though it says that this was posted in the morning, I write now from the afternoon, still full up to the top with my delicious store-bought lunch.)

...Apple and Yogurt? Funny, the English box said Apple and Honey... oh well.

I wonder why they felt that English-speaking types wanted "Curry Sauce," whereas Japanese-speaking types wanted plain old curry...

I admit, I too was dubious at first--I bought this box of heat-and-serve curry because, despite my love for the dish, making an entire batch of curry for one person is pretty ridiculous. Were I in a particularly curry-loving period in my life and could see eating it every day for a week or so, maybe, but in reality? A single-serving package is really the best plan.

And even though I was especially dubious about that apple-honey prospect (I don't tend to like sweet in my savory), I put the box in my hand basket, thinking "ah, what the heck."

And thank goodness I did.

Basically, what you get when you buy yourself this particular box of curry is a foil pouch full of a vegetable curry (complete with chunks of potato and carrot!) that you can either boil as is, or pour out and microwave. (It's foil, kids; you know better than to microwave metal, don't you?) Since I am often dubious of the microwave (except when it comes to instant noodles of the Thai variety, or reheating my spam musubi), I went with the boil-the-bag method. Sort of a pain, considering I used a pot that was slightly too small... but still. Three minutes, and it was done.

Not including, of course, the rice cook time. I mean, you don't have to put the curry over rice... but if you don't, you do realize that you're some sort of heathen.

Ha ha, I kid, of course. The package itself even suggests putting it over pasta.

(... but we all know that it's wrong.)

So, しゃもじ (shamoji, rice paddle) yourself out your desired amount of rice, cut open your package of curry (carefully, as the box will tell you; it's hot, remember!) and pour it right on over. Voila, instant curry dinner!

Or, in my case, lunch. To each his own.

Honestly, I was very surprised by the quality and taste of the curry. It was by no means home-made or restaurant level cuisine, but it tasted pretty darn good. I was certaily pleased, as mentioned, with this purchase.

Now, my mother is probably reading this, shaking her head and preparing a nice lecture for me--see, I suffered a bit of indigestion (ok, a lot) after eating this curry and rice the other day. However, I am prepared to believe that it was a fluke, possibly brought on by a sudden return to real food after a week of vacation junk, the massive amount of rice I consumed, or some hitherto unthought of combination. Besides, I really don't think that the world at large should take my stomach issues into consideration--for some reason, all of my stress goes straight to my digestive tract, so there's already something amuck there. I believe that I can safely say that my reaction was not typical, and should only be used as a warning if you have a particularly sensitive stomach.

Never let it be said that I didn't disclose everything, though--I won't have anyone coming to me complaining of an upset tummy, and insisting that I led them into this blind. I told you, right there: this delicious pre-pacakged curry upset my stomach. There. Consider yourself forewarned.

... and, uh, here's hoping that the curry company doesn't come after me. I still thought it was tasty, guys, honest!

... though admittedly I am rethinking my original plan to stock up on these things once I move to Mie just in case of some late nights.

But hey, Melon ate this stuff all throughout her summer in Kyoto, along with any number of other pre-packaged Japanese meals, and never seemed to have a problem. So. Like I said. Circumstances can really ruin your lunch/day/evening.

I'll just really have to make sure to find some sort of Tums equivalent in Japan. They have those everywhere, right...?

(I don't mean to advertise for them, but... really. I eat a lot of tums, guys. A stressed-out-stomach will do that to a girl.)

This is Edo, signing off hoping that her body won't decide to ban her from pre-pacakaged curry for life...

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