Knowing that you will have a small cooking space, as well as storage space. You will need to adjust how you prepare food. Living off of konbini food doable, but it can be unhealthy and cost more than cooking at home in the long run. After learning to optimize cooking space one should discover what is the best food to make. The surrounding grocery stores will have a big impact on that, and your ability to adjust the size of meals will be a big factor as well. Using locally grown products may not have been a big thing back home, but some places in Japan have wonderful selections of freshly made foods for you to use in your cooking.
Rice is King
If there is one food in Japan that you will always see, it is rice. Rice is a staple of Japanese cooking and is used in a large number of meals. You will rarely find a restaurant that doesn’t serve it in some capacity. Rice is a perfect food for home cooking as it is very versatile and is easy to store in small spaces. You can find different boxed meals that allow for a variety of meals for you to make. Some require a bit more cooking experience than others, but they can generally be made with ease. Some examples are:
You can make large amounts at low costs, and have plenty of food for extra meals. It helps that Japan has made an industry around it, and options for cooking it with appliances is easy to do. Finding cheap and well-made rice cookers are a breeze and make sure you never have to go without rice.
No oven? Try a Crockpot
Using a crockpot to make easy meals and meal prepping is one of the best ways to ensure you always have a hot meal to eat. You prep an entire week’s worth of meals using some easy recipes you can find anywhere on the web. If you have a refrigerator with a freezer you can freeze food for even more meal options. Crockpots aren’t extremely popular in Japan, there is still no shortage of them in the stores. There are a ton of meals that can be made using recipes you can find with ease, and it always leads to multiple meals when finished cooking. These are especially good for people who aren’t the best cooks and don’t have any talent or time for food prep. They take little preparation and mostly cook themselves. A small crockpot is an inexpensive and easy way to make stews, cook meats, and even make rice if you don’t already own a rice cooker. They don’t use much electricity either so they can be an all-around great product for your kitchen.
The grocery stores are usually close or attached, to the station. They may not always have the cheapest prices overall, but they can guarantee that you will have fresh ingredients that you can pick up on your way home. This is very useful for apartments with smaller kitchens, and will even influence the kind of food you will make on a daily basis. The grocery stores have bakeries as well, and they make many kinds of breads, sandwiches, and other foods for you to enjoy. You can buy certain things to combine with your meal if you don’t have time to cook the whole thing on your own. They even have a selection of fresh-made sweets and treats for you to purchase. These small foods can help elevate your meals for around the cost of buying and making them yourself. It really helps to keep your kitchen tidy, and making sure you can save space in your tiny cooking space.
Making it Taste Good
Most seasonings can be found in grocery stores as well. For basic cooking ingredients, the grocery store has everything you will need. There is always salt, pepper, oils, and other cooking essentials. If you want to use something that isn’t a common ingredient in Japan, you will need to go to special import stores. These stores are stocked with items that you won’t be able to find normally in Japanese groceries. Remember that if you want a special seasoning, you will have to pay a special price. Because it isn’t a common thing the price can be as much as 300 yen more expensive than the normal prices. If it seems like it will end up costing too much to continue that way, you can always grow your own herbs and spices. You can get seeds for just about any plant you want to grow and add to your menu. It won’t always be available for you to use, but it is always nice to have something fresh that you have hand-grown yourself. It can be a unique way to get some of the harder spices to find in Japan.
Cook Like a Native
If you find it too hard to find all the things you need to make meals from your home country, you can try to learn how to make Japanese style food. Even though everyone would rather cook and eat foods from home, it could be a fun and interesting way to experience more aspects of Japan. You will be guaranteed to find all of the items you need, and you can use it as a means to talk to some Japanese people. They would be happy to see someone showing interest in their culture. It can also be a good way to learn more about Japanese culture. Finding what the local delicacies are can be a lot of fun as well.
The best thing to do is to try and keep within the confines of the space allowed. If it is too much to store, prep, or make at one time, then you may need to try something else instead. The good thing is that there is a wide selection of food that you can choose to make, and they can fit whatever your needs are. Small simple meals are usually the best way to go. You may find that cooking per meal may be the best option for you too. Only use what is needed and try to cut down on extra waste and you should be able to eat your best meals.