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The surprisingly high quality instant curries of 7-Eleven Japan

Convenience stores in Japan are often lauded for having surprisingly quality food that buck some stereotypical images of them being junk food pit stops. In particular, 7-Eleven Japan has been noted to wow visitors from abroad, particularly with its seemingly endless sandwich menu.

Another surprising category of tasty food you might find there is instant curry. While in recent years, there have been a lot of instant curries from curry specialty restaurants available at grocery stores in Japan, convenience store packs may not be at the top of your shopping list--but a lot of rave reviews online have led us to believe they just might need to be!

So today, we’d like to introduce you to five different types of 7-Eleven original instant curries, comparing the prices, flavors and calories!

7-Eleven “7 Premium Beef Curry” choose your own spice level

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There are 3 different spice levels (mild, medium, and hot) with this one. We tried the spicy to see what the max was like.

If you're cooking a batch of curry for your family at home, you may have to consider other family members’ spice tolerance levels. But with a pack of instant curry, it is portioned for one person, so you can choose your preferred spiciness, so it’s a very convenient meal for solo diners.

On the side of the package box there’s a chart for spice level. 7-Eleven’s is ranked on a scale of 1-5.

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There were lots of vegetable pieces in this curry, and even thinly sliced meat, too.

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There was a hint of black pepper, and it was not quite as spicy as expected. True spice-heads may want to consider adding in a bit of their own heat for some extra punch. It was definitely an acceptable level of spiciness for most people.

“7 Premium Beef Curry Karakuchi (Hot)” is priced at 105 yen with tax included, and contains about 122 kcal.

Moderate spiciness for anyone to try, 7-Eleven “7 Premium Oufu (European style) Beef Curry”

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Next in line is “7 Premium Oufu (European style) Beef Curry”.

The “European style” curry focuses on the flavor of slowly stewed veggies and meat as opposed to heat, so it comes in default at a moderate 3 on the spice level.

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There was only one piece of beef in the package, but it was very soft and full of flavor!

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The flavor was overall on the sweet side. It tasted similar to demi-glaze sauce.

It was very mild yet with a deep flavor. However, the amount of mushroom and beef content was a bit underwhelming. It is best to add some toppings of your preference with this curry.

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Our personal choice was tonkatsu pork cutlet (which you can also buy at 7-Eleven). “7 Premium Oufu Beef Curry” is priced at 192 yen with tax included, and contains about 166 kcal in each package.

120g of vegetables! 7-Eleven “7 Premium Gorotto (chunky) Yasai (Vegetable) Curry”

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If you prefer your curry loaded with veggies, this is the 7-Eleven curry choice made for you.

This one package of curry contains about a third of recommended daily vegetable consumption. It’s often hard to come up with a nutritionally balanced recipe, so having an instant meal like this is pretty convenient.

The spiciness level is also 3 out of 5, a medium spice to make it friendly for everyone.

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The curry sauce was much more reddish brown than others and had a spicy look to it, but actually had medium heat and a fruity aftertaste.

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The veggie chunks were really like they appear on package photo. There are many bite-sized veggies including eggplant, potato, and lotus root in the curry.

The volume of this curry was also very satisfying, too.

“7 Premium Gorotto vegetable Curry” is priced at 192 yen with tax included, and has about 130 kcal in each package.

A “restaurant grade” instant curry, 7-Eleven “7 Premium Butter Chicken Curry”

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It’s a lot of work to make homemade butter chicken curry. You have to marinate the chicken with yogurt and minced onion into small pieces, and slowly caramelize. It can take quite a bit of time to get it just right.

But this instant curry satisfies that craving quite well.

The spiciness of this curry was rated at 4 out of 5. As butter chicken curry is usually considered a milder option at Indian curry restaurants, that might give you some indication as to how 7-Eleven’s spice scale works.

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The curry had a nice sweet flavor to it, perhaps owed to the cashew nut paste listed in the ingredients.

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The spiciness lingers in aftertaste, but we personally found it in between medium and hot compared to other curries in the series. There were also lots of bite-size chicken pieces in it, too.

The quality of the flavor felt almost restaurant grade, and not like something you could easily replicate at home in Japan.

“7 Premium Butter Chicken Curry” is priced at 213 yen with tax included, and has about 228 kcal in each package.

Lots of minced beef in this one, 7-Eleven “7 Premium Keema Curry”

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7-Eleven’s curry series also offers Keema Curry.

The question we had here is if there is as much minced beef in the curry as the picture describes on the package. Well, there’s only one way to find out!

This Keema Curry’s spiciness is rated at 4 out of 5, the same as the butter chicken curry.

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Surprisingly, it was the sweetest of all the curries we sampled! The ingredients include fruit and the famous cream of Hokkaido, so it’s probably owing to that.

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Unlike the picture that shows lots of minced meat in the curry, the package had larger chunks of meat with thick texture, making for a less liquidy curry.

There is a fair amount of meat, but the total amount of the content is only 150g. Since it’s less overall quantity than most other curries, this may not be satisfying for those that want volume. Call it a quality over quantity thing.

“7 Premium Keema Curry” is priced at 192 yen, and has about 245 kcal in each package.

These are just a few of the recommended regulars we sampled. There will be lots of new additions to the 7-Eleven curry series, so keep your eyes out for them.

By - Mugi.