The Japanese love curry. Their curry is quite a departure from Indian curry. I prefer Japanese curry because it has that "sweet 'n' mild yet spicy" flavour. The best curry is found in specialized curry restaurants; the best dishes there use premium wagyu beef and can cost over 3000 yen. Regular curry rice with inexpensive imported beef usually goes for a reasonable 600 to 800 yen.
You can eat decent curry at home too! It's as easy if not easier to make than instant noodles. Instant curry rice is cheap as well, only around 300 yen altogether for rice and curry. You do need instant rice -- i.e. rice that's already cooked -- otherwise the curry rice wouldn't be very instant now would it...
Here's how to make instant curry rice.
1. Buy instant rice and instant curry. This is a pretty obvious step. Supermarkets typically have a wide selection (at least 20-40 kinds) of curry.
2. Bring a small pot of water to a boil, and then put the curry package in for 3 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, 'instantly' cook the rice in a microwave ('instantly' = 90 seconds).
4. Take a plate and spread the rice on it to cool it down a bit.
5. Cut the curry package and pour its contents onto the rice or beside it, whichever you prefer.
Here are some pictures from my instant curry adventure:
These are the 12 kinds of instant curry I bought today. Prices ranged from 90 yen to 525 yen. Can you guess which is the cheapest and which is the most expensive? The cheapest one should be easy to spot. =P (Answer at bottom of post)
Here's what's inside a box, a pack of curry.
And the instant rice.
(Answer to the expensive/cheap question!)
The middle one in the leftmost column is the 525 yen one. It contains below-average Kobe beef, which means it's still among the most expensive. The cheapest is the one without a box. A pitiful, homeless curry pack.
From most expensive to least expensive, left to right.