The Kokkai Beef Curry is an immoral meal, in more ways than one. 

Japan is a curry-loving country, with people from all walks of life enjoying it at any time of the day, not only for its delicious flavour but the ease of preparation, with many retort instant pouches on the market requiring only a few minutes of heating.

We’re always on the lookout for new retort curry packs, as there are thousands to choose from, and our reporter Go Hatori recently came across a particularly unusual find: Kokkai Beef Curry.

In Japan, “Kokkai” is the word for the National Diet, which is the legislative assembly of Japan, and this curry is served there, hence the name. Go picked this pack up at the basement of the Shinjuku Isetan department store, where there were two varieties available, the Specially Selected Chicken and the Matsusaka Beef.

He chose the Matsusaka Beef for 2,160 yen (US$14.56), and when he read the blurb on the back of the pack when it came time to prepare it, he felt even more intrigued to try this rare type of curry.

“Introducing Akanedo ‘National Diet Curry’ (Ganges)

A store in the House of Representatives that has celebrated its 70th anniversary, and the historic Indian curry that has continued to be served at its four branches in the House of Representatives, commonly known as ‘National Diet Curry’, has been enjoyed by successive Prime Ministers and other members of the Diet. We have been loved and patronised for many years by government officials, foreign dignitaries, embassy officials, and members of the media.”

Curry eaten by successive prime ministers was indeed high praise for the curry and the store that’s been serving it for so many years, and Go was now keener than ever to get a taste of it.

▼ The golden chrysanthemum emblem — the National Seal of Japan — sparkled in the light, enticing him to enter the world of the elite.

Feeling slightly unworthy of such an expensive-looking meal, he opened the elegant box to find a plain, unmarked retort pouch inside.

▼ This simple retort pouch felt less intimidating and much more familiar.

Following the instructions on the pack, Go popped the pouch in boiling water for six to eight minutes…

▼…and served it alongside a bowl of rice.

Now all that was left to do was taste the curry.

It looked much better than he’d expected, and when it came time to eat it…

▼…he realised this was an immoral curry.

You see, this is an Indian curry so proud of its heritage it even incorporates the word “Ganges” in its description. However, when Go visited Varanasi in India, where the Ganges River is located, he’d seen cows strutting proudly all over the narrow streets.

In India, cows are sacred animals not to be eaten but worshipped like gods. However, this Ganges curry contained Matsusaka beef, which seemed like a sin against cows, making Go wonder if he should really be eating it.

Perhaps he was overthinking it, but he couldn’t help but feel that the curry was extremely immoral, not just because of the unusual star ingredient it contained, but because of the people in power who like to eat it. However, after reminding himself that he was in Japan, and this beef had been sourced domestically, from the Matsusaka region of Mie Prefecture where this expensive Japanese Black cattle is given a good life, he decided he would follow in the footsteps of the country’s politicians and try a mouthful.

If this is what it feels like to be tempted by the dark side, then Go was ready to surrender to it. For something so immoral it tasted so, so good, with just the right amount of curry flavour and not too much spice or sweetness, making it highly appealing for a wide variety of palates.

The first thing to seduce the taste buds was the tomato flavour, followed by a variety of spices that were intricately and delicately intertwined, creating an elegant finish on the palate. It was perfectly balanced, with nothing standing out to dominate the flavour profile, delivering a well-rounded blend of flavours in every mouthful.

Of course, the beef was also incredibly delicious, and a cut above the type of meat you usually find in retort curries. The entire meal left him feeling full and satisfied but without any heaviness, so if he were a politician he’d be ready to sit through an afternoon session without having to worry about nodding off in front of his peers.

After finishing the meal, Go told us, “It’s by far the most delicious retort curry I have ever eaten in my life“, which made us want to head out and pick up a pack too.

So if you’re looking for one of the best and most elite curries in Japan, be sure to seek out the Kokkai Curry. And if you want to eat the exclusive wagyu beef bowl enjoyed by politicians, you’ll find that at the Yoshinoya inside the Diet Building.

Images © SoraNews24
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