This has got to be my closest ever gap between 2 posts, I did one yesterday and its another today! No, i have not turned for the better, it's just that when one is late, one rushes! And it's Asian Food Fest featuring Japan which ends on Nov 1st that i am rushing for. I thought it would be good to include this since we enjoyed it so much, after all it was the event that motivated it. In fact i tried out quite a few Japanese dishes this month but didn't manage to post all of them :)
This is not my first time making Japanese curry or Karei as they say in Japanese but before this it was always stored bought instant roux. This prepared from scratch version is so much better, really delicious. Never again will i buy instant roux! It just takes a little extra effort. We had it over 2 meals and it tasted even better on the second day. My son polished everything clean, that practically says all about how good it is :)
Essentially the recipe came from Nami of Just One Cookbook though I did compare hers with the one from Marc of No Recipes. They are both pretty similar except Marc added tomato sauce and tonkatsu (or Worcestershire) to the roux instead of the dish of which i adapted. So, thank to Nami and Marc for the recipe! As we more accustomed to spicier curries, i doubled the amount of curry powder and garam masala into the roux. I would still categorized it as mild in terms of spiciness but that's how Japanese curry is, mildly spiced yet still smells heavenly with a nice hint of sweetness from caramelized onions and apples. This curry is a sure hit with kids!
Oh, and allow me to gush a little, i concocted my own garam masala instead of rushing out to buy some! It's on occasions like these that one goes an extra mile to find out the ingredients in ready mixed seasonings and realized that the ingredients are readily available in the kitchen!
Japanese Curry is always served with rice hence the name Karei Raisu for this all in one meal.
Reference: Nami of Just One Cookbook and Marc of No Recipes
- 1 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs (or beef, pork, seafood, tofu, or vegetables) (I used the wings and thighs from 1 medium size free range chicken with bones and skin)
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 carrots
- 2 onions
- 1-2 potatoes
- 1/2 Tbsp. ginger
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 QT (4 cups/1000ml) chicken broth (or water if you use store bought curry roux) (I used water)
- 1 apple (I used Fuji apple)(I used Honey Apple)
- 1 Tbsp. honey (omitted)
- 2 tsp. salt
- Homemade Japanese curry roux or 1 box (7 oz, 200g) store bought Japanese curry roux (see recipe below for homemade roux, I used about 3/4 of portion of the prepared roux)
- 1 1/2 Tbsp. soy sauce (omitted)
- 1 tbsp ketchup (added into roux instead)
- Rinse the chicken and pat dry with paper towel. Discard the extra fat and cut it into bite size pieces. Season the chicken with salt and pepper.
- Peel and cut the carrot in rolling wedges (Rangiri) and cut the onions in wedges.
- Cut the potatoes into 1.5 inch pieces and soak in water for 15 minutes to remove excess starch (I cut them into quarters, then eighths)
- Grate the ginger and crush the garlic.
- Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat and sauté the onions until they become translucent.
- Add the ginger and garlic.
- Add the chicken and cook until the chicken changes color.
- Add the carrot and mix.
- Add the chicken broth (or water).
- Bring the stock to boil and skim the scrum and fat from the surface of the stock.
- Peel the apple and coarsely grate the apples.
- Add the honey and salt and simmer uncovered for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. (I omitted honey, reckon the apple gave enough sweetness)
- Add the potatoes and cook for 15 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender, and turn off the heat. Meanwhile you can make homemade curry roux.
- If you are using homemade curry roux, add a ladleful or two of cooking liquid from the stock and mix into the curry paste. Add more cooking liquid if necessary and mix well until it’s smooth.
- Add the roux paste back into the stock in the large pot and stir to combine.
- Add soy sauce and ketchup (omitted). Simmer uncovered on low heat, stirring occasionally, until the curry becomes thick.
- Serve the curry with Japanese rice. (I added blanched baby kailan as a side dish)
- 3 Tbsp. unsalted butter (40g)
- 4 Tbsp. all purpose flour
- 1 Tbsp. curry powder (2 tbsp)
- 1 Tbsp. garam masala (2 tbsp)
- 1/4 tsp.+ cayenne pepper (1/2 tsp chilli powder)
- 1 tbsp tomato sauce (from Norecipes.com)
- 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce (from Norecipes.com)
- In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium low heat.
- When the butter is completely melted, add the flour.
- Stir to combine the butter and flour. Soon the butter and flour will fuse and swell. Do not stop stirring because the roux will easily burn.
- After 20-30 minutes, the roux will turn to light brown color. Add the curry powder, garam masala, cayenne pepper and sauce.
- Cook and stir for 30 seconds and remove from the heat.
- 1 tbsp ground cumin
- 11/2 tsp ground coriander
- 11/2 tsp ground cardamom (omitted)
- 11/2 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon (1 1/2 tsp)
- 1 tsp ground nutmeg (1 1/2 tsp)
- 1 tsp ground cloves (1 tsp All Spice)
Mix everything together and store in an airtight container.