The store stocked with reasons not to cook for yourself is now ready to help your home chef ambitions too.

When we feel our stomach rumbling, the question we ask ourselves is “Cook at home, or pick something up from the convenience store?” This time, though, the answer is “Both!”

7-Eleven branches in Japan recently started offering Meal Kits. These are not to be confused with the bento boxed lunches, donburi rice bowels, and other pre-made meals offered by Japanese convenience stores. Instead, they’re packages of all the ingredients you need, pre-cut and pre-seasoned, to cook a specific main dish in your own kitchen.

There’s a rotating list of different Meal Kits to offer, with single-serving packs starting as low as 410 yen (US$3.65), which is the price for the tomato-stewed chicken and vegetable kit we ordered (though we splurged on a two-serving pack)

7-Eleven’s Meal Kits have to be purchased through its online shop here, and need to be ordered three days in advance. On the plus side, if you have them shipped to the 7-Eleven branch of your choice and pick them up there, delivery is absolutely free (home delivery is also available for an additional fee).

Everything comes cut and ready to be cooked, like our sliced chicken which was marinating nicely inside the bag it was sealed in. The only things we had to supply were water and cooking oil, and the kit includes detailed, easy-to-follow directions.

The Meal Kits are especially handy if you live by yourself. While cooking just for yourself can be fun and tasty, it’s pretty easy to end up with more ingredients than you want if you’re making a dish that calls for, say, half an onion or a few table spoons of a certain sauce. Our kit, for example, had a mix of mushrooms, carrot, onion, beans, and peas, giving us lots of variety without an equal amount of unused excess supplies we’d just end up throwing out.

With everything pre-cut, and no peeling or chopping to do either, we could get straight to the cooking-with-heat part. The tomato-stewed chicken and vegetables can be cooked in covered frying pan, so we tossed the ingredients in, sautéed them, and then poured on the tomato sauce for the final stewing.

Once it was done, we sprinkled on the parsley for the finishing garnish and plated our 7-Eleven sourced culinary project…

and we were genuinely surprised at how beautiful it looked!

And it tasted great too! The tomato sauce was neither too tart nor too sweet, and with all the flavors of the chicken and vegetables having mingled during the stewing stage, we had a complex but comforting treat for the taste buds.

▼ Also, having the ingredients pre-prepped meant that aside from our frying pan, this was all the cooking equipment we used/needed to wash afterwards.

▼ We ate our meal with some steamed white rice that we made in our rice cooker, but it would have gon just as well with pasta or a nice slice of French bread.

Really, the only drawback to the Meal Kits is having to order them ahead of time, but with 7-Eleven having so many branches in Japan, we’ve got plenty of options within easy walking distance from our homes and office, and we can definitely see ourselves mixing these Meal Packs into our meal plans.

Top image: SoraNews24
Insert images: 7-11 Net, SoraNews24
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