Japanese Curry Rice

Monday, February 28, 2011

Japanese Chicken Curry 
Japanese Curry 
with chicken, onions, carrots, potatoes, corn...over brown ice and topped with pickled ginger

My friend Pam and I are 400 miles apart (she in Berkeley, me in Los Angeles) but we want to "cook" together. I have some very basic cooking skills...I often find myself cooking for one or two and don't throw together a huge feast. Besides, I'm too busy baking! :)

Anyway, I told Pam I would share a few easy recipes with her that she might want to make for her family, including her cute son, Toby. Although I'm not there in her kitchen, I hope these step-by-step photos will help.

A note on authenticity... I'm Japanese American and am sending Pam a box of stuff I use from the Japanese grocery store. However, these recipes aren't a picture of authenticity...they are just what I do with the ingredients and shortcuts. If you want authentic Japanese, there are many cookbooks out there... or visit blogs such as Just Hungry.

Japanese Chicken Curry
Japanese curry is way easy. You grab a box of curry (everyone buys the box), some meat or tofu, and veggies. In about 30 minutes, you have dinner and a yummy lunch for tomorrow (it reheats nicely...just add a bit more water or broth if it is too thick).

Japanese Curry 1
I used an onion, carrot, parsnip, and purple heirloom carrot. I picked up the purple carrot at the farmer's market and planned to use it in a raw slaw or something, but that never happened. So in the curry it goes. Please note, your curry liquid will turn all shades of purple! But the curry roux covers all that up...just be careful when cooking anything with purple carrots.

Japanese Curry 2
One chicken breast is cut up into small pieces and browned with the onions in a bit of oil. You don't have to cook the chicken completely, it is going to simmer for about 30 minutes with the veggies. Add the veggies and cover with water or broth and simmer until the veggies are cooked. For complete instructions (in English), see the side of the box of Japanese curry. I added some frozen Trader Joe's Roasted Corn (soooo good) to the veggie mix too. You can also add peas or green beans too.

Japanese Curry 3
After the veggies cook, break of this block of curry roux and stir until it fully dissolves and thickens the liquid. So freaking easy. I purchase "Medium Hot" because you have to remember this is Japanese curry (not Indian or Thai curry). And the Japanese are weak when it comes to spices. Once, I held up some peppers to the seller at a farmer's market and asked, "Are these really hot?" He surveyed me and said, "Chinese?" I said, "No, Japanese." And he quickly shook his head, clearly telling me with this slight motion, your people can't handle these peppers. So, even though the package says "Medium Hot", it's really not that hot.

There are several brands of Japanese curry such as House and S&B, each with different flavors.

Japanese Chicken Curry
I top my curry with some pickled ginger (you can find it in the Asian grocery story). You can make your curry with any type of meat or tofu and top it with a hard boiled egg, some tempura or anything else. It is a wonderful comfort food and perfect for a chilly night.

To Pam: I sent you a box of Mild and Medium Hot curry! I hope you give it a try soon. - mary the food librarian
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JelliDonut said... [Reply to comment]

We swear by this curry in our house. Good stuff!

Kimberly(Unrivaledkitch) said... [Reply to comment]

I love this kind of curry! we always make it. I've been eating it since i was so little. tastes like home :)

Mary said... [Reply to comment]

I am mildly obsessed with the purple carrot. Cool post.

~Tina~ said... [Reply to comment]

This tastes like home to me, too, having grown up with a Japanese mother. I make curry this way for my three children. :)

Jocie's Mom said... [Reply to comment]

This looks fantastic! Super tasty and super easy, the way good food should be :)

Thanks for sharing!


Eliana said... [Reply to comment]

Hmmm - this looks so delicious Mary. I will have to add this to my regular rotation. Thanks so much for sharing.

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