You could eat restaurant curry multiple times for the price of this single-serving vacuum pack.

Curry isn’t a particularly expensive food in Japan, and it’s even more affordable if you’re making the instant type. So when our Japanese-language reporter Seiji Nakazawa came across a single-serving pouch of instant curry that costs 2,300 yen (US$21), he was shocked. Shocked, we tell you!

…but also curious.

With ordinary instant curry costing just a few hundred yen, this premium-priced one is the economic equivalent of multiple meals. However, it came recommended by the staff of Curry Land, a specialty shop in Tokyo that carries dozens of different instant curries from around Japan. They’ve never given Seiji a bad suggestion, and so he decided to take the plunge and try out the 2,300-yen instant curry.

▼ The staff of Curry Land at a recent food product convention Seiji attended

▼ The curry comes in a fittingly fancy box.

So why is this curry, produced by Tokyo Bishoku Labo, so expensive? Because it’s made with Matsusaka beef (also known as Matsuzaka beef). Taking its name from the Matsusaka area of Mie Prefecture, Matsusaka beef is ranked up there with Kobe and Omi beef as one of Japan’s three great varieties.

What’s more, the Tokusen Matsusaka Hamburg Beef Curry (“Special Selection Salisbury Steak Curry”) doesn’t use just any Matsusaka beef, but what Tokyo Bishoku Labo describes as “phantom Matsusaka beef.” According to the box, the cattle are fattened over an extra-long period of time, resulting in extra-flavorful “live-aged beef.”

Following the preparation instructions, Seiji boiled the sealed vacuum pouch in a pot of water for seven minutes, then removed it and poured the contents onto a plate of rice (alternatively, you can pour the contents into a bowl and microwave them for two to three minutes). With most instant curries, you only get a few small morsels of meat, but just as promised, there was a beautiful hamburger steak waiting for Seiji to take a bite.

A single bite, it turned out, was all he needed to feel like 2,300 yen was money well spent, as both the meat and the curry roux are exquisite. It’s juicy and rich, with such a deep, soul-pleasing flavor that Seiji felt like his entire essence was being absorbed into a delicious curry abyss.

▼ “I’m unable to pull myself away. It’s like the curse from Made in Abyss,” says Seiji, whose mind is always at least partly occupied with thinking about anime.

As a matter of fact, it tastes so good that it’s actually disrupted Seiji’s perception of the world. He knows that 2,300 yen is a lot to pay for instant curry, but 2,300 yen doesn’t seem at all excessive to him for food that tastes this good. So in the end, he can no longer tell whether the Matsusaka beef curry is expensive or a bargain, and all he does know is that he wants to eat it again.

Related: Curry Land
Photos ©SoraNews24
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