- Who: My people (the Japanese)
- When: No idea
- Where: Um, Japan…?
- What: Bento (packed lunch) that heats itself, holy wow.
- Why: Beats pick-up, take-out, delivery, and instant noodles!
Ok — so I couldn’t decipher the directions by reading the box, so I Googled. I found a decent review site and this is what I picked up. That box works like this. See that little string? (I even marked it since awesome like that… ha!) When pulled, it bursts a heating pack, that warms up the rice bowl. Once the little box of goodness starts steaming, simply wait five minutes to heat, and voi la! Insta hot lunch. Wow.
The only downside to these suckers is, it’s not available nation wide. Just like how in the US, we have regional foods, Japan does, too. This particular one, is only available in the Sendai area (apprx. 9ish hours from Tokyo). And here’s the kicker. It can only be purchased at train stations.
If you’re not familiar with Japan, our country’s main means of transportation is railway. (like Amtrak but a bajillion katrillion times cleaner, more comfortable, high tech, and way pricier) Anyway, part of traveling includes enjoying regional foods, and trainstation bentos are HUGE. It sounds bizarre but these bentos are good and I too, look forward to trying the various train station bentos — or “eki ben” as we say in Japanese. :) And this is what it looks like cooked? prepared? finished?
(click to enlarge). The Sendai eki-ben is apprx. USD$11.00ish and it’s a beef tongue bowl over rice… if you’ve never had beef tongue, stop cringing! It sounds disgusting but not. It’s flavorful, tender, amazing, and a delicacy outside of Japan, too. The company that makes these insta hot meals is Kobayashi and they make eki-ben nationwide. Check out their site here — warning: NSFHP (Not Safe For Hungry People).
Man, these are the times I really miss Japan.