Think of this piece as our Japanese reporter’s love confession to this particular brand of frozen fried rice in honor of “Frozen Food Day.”

October 18 was “Frozen Food Day” in Japan. The month of October in the elected date is derived from the Japanese word for “frozen”–reitou (冷凍), specifically the tou part, which also happens to be one reading of the kanji for “ten” in Japanese. The origin behind the 18 is a bit more straightforward as minus 18° Celsius (minus 0.4° Fahrenheit) is the recommended temperature at which to maintain the quality of frozen foods (this temperature is a common sight on frozen food labels in Japan). While the day is more of a tongue-in-cheek joke on a clever linguistic pun than an actual holiday, stores do sometimes hold special events or sales for people to appreciate the convenience and ubiquity of frozen food in their lives.

Our Japanese-language reporter and self-dubbed “frozen food researcher” Takashi Harada is one pure soul who takes his annual celebration of Frozen Food Day very seriously. Today he would like to share his love for one brand of frozen fried rice with our readers and encourage you to try it for yourselves since now is a perfect excuse to celebrate. The rest of what follows is in his own words. Take it away, Harada.

Frozen foods in general have evolved quite a bit over the years, but the progress in frozen fried rice is especially noteworthy. Seriously, why is it so good nowadays? Let me humbly proclaim that Nichirei’s “Original Chinese-style fried rice” (本格炒め炒飯) in particular is godly.

The first time I purchased Nichirei’s “Original Chinese-style fried rice” I honestly wasn’t expecting much. It’s the kind of thing that you would buy when you were too busy to cook or just didn’t feel like going out. Of course, the taste was also only secondary in importance to the convenience factor of just wanting to wolf something down. And yet…and yet…!!

…It also happened to be really good. I mean, REALLY good. I’m at the point now where I can’t relax if I don’t have at least one bag of it in the freezer. In fact, I’m almost embarrassed by how good it is. If I had to equate its deliciousness to something, it tastes just like fresh fried rice that you would order at a restaurant.

Let’s suppose that you order a steaming plate of fried rice at a restaurant for around 600 yen (US$5.35)–a dish which is undoubtedly going to be good. Because it’s only gently seasoned, people come in droves to eat it at all three meals of the day. Although it’s not going to cost more than 1,000 yen, it’s likely to be more than 500 yen. But now, listen to this!

On top of only costing 299 yen at the supermarket, the convenience of heating this frozen fried rice up in the microwave is unbeatable. At a hefty 450 grams (almost 1 pound), it’s also a filling meal in itself with no faults that I can think of. The big chunks of pork are amazing, by the way.

I don’t usually care for package advertising and claims like “The best-selling product for 17 straight years!” but this one here boasts some serious delectability. Anyone would agree with me. I find myself musing, “Is this really frozen food…?” every time I eat it, even if it’s several times per week. In fact, just thinking about it now is making my mouth drool…

▼ By the way, Harada says that the fried rice at 7-Eleven is also good.

So there you have it–quick, run to your local supermarket and buy a bag before it’s too late to celebrate Frozen Food Day this year!

All images © SoraNews24
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