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Big public appetite building for Japan Coast Guard 'diver curry'

Japan Coast Guard divers show off the curry in this photo provided by the 5th Regional Coast Guard Headquarters.

KOBE -- A boil-in-the-bag version of high-protein chicken curry specially made for Japan Coast Guard (JCG) divers debuted in July for home consumption, and has apparently been selling well at 390 yen (about $3.50) a pack.

    The 5th Regional Coast Guard Headquarters, based in the city of Kobe, codeveloped the "diver curry" with its reported "taste of sea" with a food manufacturer.

    Divers on Kobe Port-based vessel Harunami, whose missions include sea rescues and ocean patrols, are sometime aboard ship for several days at a time. They require a lot of physical strength to do their jobs, and the curry was made to fill these needs.

    Shunta Takahashi, a 26-year-old Junior Coast Guard Officer 1st Grade who was then Harunami's chef and now belongs to the Tokushima Coast Guard Office, perfected the recipe in 2020 after 1 1/2 years of trial and error. The main ingredient is protein-rich chicken, but he added whole-grain mustard as a subtle addition to the overall flavor.

    Takahashi said, "It has a mild taste accessible for everyone. It was favored by divers, too."

    Looking to promote the job of the coast guard, the regional headquarters decided to give the public a taste of the curry. It asked MCC Food Products Co. in Kobe to codevelop the pouched curry, which just needs to be heated in hot water before eating, and it went on sale in July.

    The diver curry is available online at https://www.rakuten.co.jp/mcc-home-party-kobe/ and at some retailers in Hyogo and Osaka prefectures.

    (Japanese original by Ai Murata, Kobe Bureau)

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