It might be hard to imagine, what the guns-blazing nature of its live-action film adaptations and later video game sequels, but the original PlayStation Biohazard, retitled Resident Evil for its overseas release, was remarkably stingy with its weapons and ammo. Having to make the most of every bullet meant waiting until enemies were as close as possible before deciding whether or not to fire, but being a fraction of a second too late let the game’s powerful zombies tear into your tasty human flesh.
As such, smart players always kept a green healing herb on themselves, to help fill up their life meter. Now, survival horror fans can use green herbs to fill up their stomachs, as Biohazard curry is now on sale in Japan. Curious to know whether a dish based on a game featuring flesh-eating monsters could ever be truly tasty, we grabbed a pack for ourselves.
We picked up our 500-yen (US$4.25) pack of awkwardly named Curry of the Biohazard at Village Vanguard, the book/novelty store from which we also procured our Attack on Titan curry a few months ago. The chain’s Shibuya branch actually has a whole shelf full of unique instant curries, including Dragon Quest curry, Street Fighter II curry, Instant Girlfriend curry, and “We ignored all the advice our Indian friend gave us” curry.
Curry of the Biohazard is made in Japan by Geek Life, a Japanese company. Nevertheless, the box exclaims in English, “They are going to eat you!” and helpfully adds, “Have the Biohazard Green Herb Curry and survive.”
▼ Capcom still can’t seem to make up its mind whether it loves or hates Mega Man, as it’s been years since the company’s given the Blue Bomber a sequel, but his face is on its seal of approval.
The Biohazard curry, which the top edge of the box also refers to as Green Herb Healing Curry, isn’t based on mild Japanese roux. Instead, it contains Thai-style sauce, made with coconut milk, spinach, basil paste, and chicken and fish stock. On the back of the package, Japanese text commands us to “Eat, heal, survive,” but the cooking directions are slightly at odds with the curry’s self-proclaimed appropriateness for a mid-zombie outbreak meal.
You’d figure time would be of the absolute essence when you’re surrounded by a battalion of the undead, but the Curry of the Biohazard isn’t microwavable, as the package warns heating it in the microwave could cause its pieces of chicken to burst. So, even though the box says to “eat this curry while surviving the terror pressing in on you,” you’ll have to ask that terror to wait just a little bit, as you’ll need to boil a pot of water and toss the plastic pouch full of curry in there to cook for five minutes.
Once that’s done, provided you weren’t turned into a malformed bio-weapon by the T- or any other virus in the meantime, you’ll be ready to eat. Figuring any zombie apocalypse scenario that allowed us time to boil a pot of water would also give us enough to make a pot of rice, we scooped some onto a plate…
…tore open the pouch and poured the curry onto our dish.
Two things immediately grabbed our attention. First was the generous amount of chicken the pouch contained, which is a lot more than you usually get with instant curry. Second, the curry isn’t all that green.
Sure, it’s pretty much the same brownish-green shade as regular, non-Biohazard Thai green curry, which is also what it smelled like. However, it’s not even close to what’s shown on the box.
Upon closer inspection, you can see there’s some sort of oozing green overlay on top of the box photo. It’s only in the very few sections of the bowl that don’t have this visual effect that you can see the curry’s real hue.
Still, it smelled nice, and if we’re being totally honest, the actual color is a lot more appetizing than what we’d been led to expect. So, since the proof of the curry is in the eating, we grabbed our spoon took a bite, and discovered that misleading visuals aside, Curry of the Biohazard actually tastes pretty good.
The chicken is nice and tender, without any of the stringy or chewy unpleasantness that so often plagues instant curries. The roux itself is full of flavor, and while the coconut milk doesn’t grab your taste buds as forcefully as some restaurant varieties, you can definitely taste it, and it lends the Curry of the Biohazard a more sophisticated feel than its humble pouched origins would imply.
Along with the pieces of chicken, there’s one other surprise mixed in with the roux, and when we saw three of them lined up on our spoon, for a second we thought they were tiny little brains.
▼ Wait a second, is Curry of the Biohazard supposed to be eaten by the survivors, or the zombies?!
Actually, they’re just garbanzo beans, and even after being boiled with the rest of the curry, they still retained a pleasingly firm texture. So in the end, despite its survival horror inspiration, there’s nothing particularly scary about the Biohazard curry, unless you count its powerful spiciness.
▼ Our Green Herb Healing Curry, along with Recovery Item #2: water
Tasty as it is, though, these video game food tie-ins tend to only be available for a limited time. If you don’t have a Village Vanguard in your area, you can also order Curry of the Biohazard directly from Geek Life here. Online orders can only be placed for 2,700-yen (US$23) packs of five, but with a listed shelf life of two years, we think you’ll find time to eat them all.
▼ Plus, you’ll have enough to share with friends, whether they’re living or dead.
Related: Village Vanguard website