I’m used to eating Asian cuisine at least one meal a day back home, so I knew I needed to invest in “instant,” or ready to serve Asian foods, to bring to college. I acquired the following from H-Mart, but most of these can be found at your local Asian market, such as Kim’s Oriental Grocery and Gifts.

Microwavable Rice

instant food

Photo courtesy of Amazon.com

No need to worry about bringing a heavy, breakable rice cooker to college. Microwavable Rice packages only take two minutes or less to heat up and all you need is a microwave. They don’t exactly taste like your mother’s home cooked rice, but it’s guaranteed to be better than the sorry excuse of rice dining halls have. Of course, you can eat rice plain, but most prefer to add a little flavor, which brings me to the next college essential grocery.

Seasoned Seaweed

instant food

Photo by Becky Hughes

Seasoned Seaweeds are one of the staples in a Korean American household, and make for one of the best condiments to give some flavor to plain rice. Seasoned with salt and sesame oil, these crispy sides can also be the perfect snacks if you’re craving something salty.


instant food

Photo by Eunice Choi

This classic ready-made food from Japan is adored by many for its tastiness and it’s easy to prepare too. Traditionally, Chazuke is made by pouring green tea on cooked rice with savory toppings. The ready-made package includes green tea powder and dried toppings, so all you need is hot water to complete the meal.

Cup Ramen: Shin Bowl Noodle Soup

instant food

Photo by Isabella Neuberg

Up next on the all-you-need-is-hot-water trend is ramen noodles. The Shin Bowl Noodle Soup, affectionately referred to as Shin Ramen is the best midnight snack when you’re craving that spicy goodness. It won 3rd place in the ramen contest and definitely lives up to it’s winning title.

Green Tea

instant food

Photo by Ana Cvetkovic

Green tea is the best after meal drink to wash down all the oil and junk in your food. An added plus is that it’s full of antioxidants. Personally, I just like the subtle bittersweet taste of green tea.

And that’s really all I need to survive a day in my college dorm.