Sure, maybe you’re too busy to cook, but there’s always time for the most famous Pokémon, right?

As a nation of hard-core foodies, the bar is set extremely high in Japan, and just about every neighborhood has multiple eateries passionately dedicated to making meals that will thrill your taste buds. 99 percent of the time, that makes Japan arguably the greatest place on the planet to be when you’re hungry, but there’s a problem that comes up with the other one percent.

See, being surrounded by so much great food means that on those rare occasions when time constraints or other circumstances force you to forget about culinary excellence and just fuel up your body, it can seem like a depressingly wasted chance to have eaten something greater.

Case in point: the other day I was stuck at home, with no time to go out and no ingredients to cook anything with. So lunch for the day was going to be a cup of instant ramen. And not even a fancy variety of instant ramen, but the absolute cheapest 100-yen (US$0.93) kind that I had left over from my last grocery run.

▼ Dude, I came all the way to Japan for this?

But sometimes it just can’t be helped, so I poured in the boiling water, let the noodles cook, and then stared at my dull-as-could-be lunch.

When you’re at your lowest point emotionally, it’s important to have someone you can look to as a beacon. Someone who’ll give you the strength to carry on. Someone who’ll show you the light…and in my case, that light came from a 100,000-volt thunderbolt.

“Save me, Pikachu!” I cried out in turmoil, and while some may insist it was just my undernourished brain imagining things, I clearly heard the Pokémon icon say “Look inside the bag…pika!”

Hey, when Pikachu gives me advice, I listen. So I did as I was told…

…and pulled out this packet, labeled “Charamen Topping.”

The top of the pouch has a tab to tear off, so I did that and peeked inside, where I found…

a whole bunch of tiny Pikachus!

Charamen Topping is a packet of topping to sprinkle over ramen, udon, or other noodles, or into miso or other soups. There’s corn and wakame seaweed, but the real stars, obviously, are the thin slices of kamaboko fish cake that look like happy little Pikachus.

And with that, my mundane instant ramen could be transformed…


Pikachu ramen!

▼ The power of Pikachu ramen is undeniable.

▼ For best results, make sure to eat your Pikachu ramen under the watchful gaze of other Pikachu items.

While the Pikachu toppings won’t turn a humble cup of instant noodles into Michelin-level gourmet ramen, they definitely add adorable visual flair. The toppings are still tasty, though, and also make the meal a little more filling, since they give you something other than noodles and broth to eat.

The packaging says the modestly sized pouch contains seven servings, which might be a little on the conservative side for Western-sized appetites. Still, there’s probably more than you’ll finish off in one go, so thankfully the vacuum-tight pouch is resealable, like a Ziploc bag.

Now, if you’re not lucky enough to have a magical talking Pikachu bag that dispenses foodstuffs, there’s also a simpler way to get ahold of some Pikachu Charamen Topping, which is to buy it at Japanese supermarkets or one of the Pokémon Center megastores, where they sell it for the extremely reasonable price of just 121 yen (US$1.12).

With the pouches light weight and long shelf life, Pikachu Charamen Topping also makes a great souvenir to bring back for friend from your trip to Japan, or, of course, to buy multiple packets for yourself so that you can enjoy Pikachu ramen for months to come.

Related: Pokemon Center shop list
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Follow Casey on Twitter, where he eats far more Pokémon-related food than he ever thought he would.