Because we’ll try anything before actually doing any real cooking ourselves.

We’ll readily admit that while our hearts and souls are acutely attuned to the joys of eating a meaty meal, the process of actually cooking it doesn’t hold nearly as much appeal for us. Because of that, we’re always looking for ways to satisfy our carnivorous cravings without setting foot in the kitchen, and today we’re finding salvation in a can.

No, we’re not talking about the canned Yoshinoya beef bowls, because we already ate the entire box of those that we ordered. Instead, we’re digging into a canned hamburger steak from prestigious Japanese butcher shop Kakunoshin.

Kakunoshin is based up in Iwate Prefecture, but they also have a combination restaurant/gift shop inside Gransta Tokyo, the shopping center attached to Tokyo Station.

Since Japan never passes up an opportunity for a good pun (or a bad one, since there’s really not much difference between the two), Kakunoshin calls its canned hamburger steak “Canburg.”

At 864 yen (US$8,15) per can, it’s not something you’d buy to stretch your budget. However, being made with a mixture of Japanese beef and Iwate pork, it did promise to be tasty, and the can’s label even boasts:

“Using the choicest meat, selected for its delicious flavor, this hamburger steak is cooked and sealed with umami in the can.”

That was enough to convince us, so we purchased a Canburg and took it back to SoraNews24 headquarters. Kakunoshin says Canburg has a shelf life of three years, but if you think we have anywhere near the willpower to let meat sit uneaten for 36 months, you don’t know us very well, so we immediately staged a taste test.

First, let’s go over the preparation procedure.

Firmly grasp the ring on the can’s lid and give it a pull. You should hear a “pop” (or paka/パカッ if your brain is set to Japanese-language sound effects) as the lid separates from the rest of the can.

Keep pulling and remove the lid, then…oh, wait, that’s all there is, because Canburg is ready to eat right out of the can.

The first thing we noticed is that it’s packed in a lot of oil, which made us worried that it might have a greasy flavor and soggy texture. We suppose we could have just eaten it directly out of the can, but we decided to be fancy and actually put our food on a plate, and as we transferred the patty we were reassured by how it kept its structural integrity.

Honestly, out of the can it looked perfectly stylish, and if we’d put a little garnish or a few carrot sticks on the plate, it would look like one of those 1,500-yen hamburger steak lunch plates that stylish people who work in swankier parts of Tokyo than we do eat in posh cafes on their lunch breaks.

Slicing it in two revealed that not only was the patty not soggy, the oil hadn’t saturated the center either. OK, so Canburg looks and feels legit, but how does it taste?

Delicious! Once again, despite all the oil in the can, the meat itself isn’t greasy. It’s nice and flavorful, but would also pair well with various sauces, making Canburg not just a great-tasting substitute to cooking, but a versatile one too.

If a visit to Tokyo Station isn’t in the cards for you, Canburg can also be purchased in three-can sets here on Kakunoshin online store. And as a reminder, they’ll keep for three years, so if you do buy three, maybe you can put one in your disaster preparedness kit for a special morale-boosting luxury should you get tired of eating your rolling stock of Cup Noodles.

Related: Gransta Tokyo
Photos ©SoraNews24

● Want to hear about SoraNews24’s latest articles as soon as they’re published? Follow us on Facebook and Twitter!
[ Read in Japanese ]