Delicious Instant Dishes to Warm Your Soul this Winter

  • FOOD
  • Cooking can be hard. After a long day at work, no one wants to break out the hibachi. Thankfully, the wonderful Japanese instant food market can come to your rescue! Plus, it’s cheap, quick to make, and makes wonderful souvenirs.

    1. Ochazuke – (Green Tea Over Rice)

    たらこのお茶漬け Cod roe and Boiled rice soaked with tea

    Don’t let the name fool you – delicious, savory, a warm pick me up on a cold day.

    Traditionally made by pouring hot green tea, hot dashi (Japanese soup stock), or simply boiling water over cooked white rice, it is topped with various toppings such as pickles, pickled plums, or dried fish. A great way to use up leftover cooked rice, Japanese people eat it for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or sometimes as a snack.

    Thankfully, you can simply buy delicious seasoning to pour over leftover rice, add hot water, and voila! Instant deliciousness. There are many brands that can be found at local supermarkets or convenience stores, with top three flavours being pickled plum, wasabi, and dried salmon.

    Bring some back for your friends or save it to eat when you need a little reminder of Japan to keep you sane.

    2. Okayu – (Japanese Rice Porridge)


    Yet another way to enjoy delicious, leftover rice, okayu is eaten for breakfast on a cold day, or when sick. Kind of like chicken soup in the west.

    Although it is easy to make from scratch, you can buy the instant version and save yourself the mess. Open the pack, pour it into a bowl, and microwave for 3 minutes. Alternatively, you can put the package straight into a pot of water to boil the porridge for 4 minutes, pour into a bowl, and enjoy.

    Cheap. Yummy. Soul warming!

    3. Japanese Curry


    Curry base is sold in a variety of forms, and usually requires just frying some veggies and meat, adding hot water, and boiling until the sauce becomes thick enough. Sometimes, that is just too much work. For those times, you can buy instant curry.

    Similarly to the rice porridge, open the pack, pour it into a bowl, and microwave for 3 minutes. Alternatively, boil the porridge in a pot of water on the stove right in the bag for 4 minutes, pour into a bowl, and enjoy!

    Instant curry comes in a variety of flavours and prices, from slightly sweet kid’s curry, to 30 times-the-spice-burn-your-mouth off Lee curry.

    Experiment! Just make sure to pack enough for home!