Introduction: Easy Authentic Japanese Curry
My wife and I have been in love with the Asian culture for a while. One of our favorite places to eat has the best curry recipe we have found to day, and we have worked for years to replicate the flavor and improve it. This recipe is super easy, and if you love Japanese curry as much as we do I invite you to try making it if you have an hour for the cooking process (yes good food takes time). This is my first -ible so I invite comments and recommendations.
That being said, let's begin!
To start, we need some good curry ingredients that will make our stew more appetizing and hearty.
Traditional Japanese curry is usually with beef but we love chicken, too. Any meat can be used so experiment and try things out, it's a great way to make recipes your own. This -ible is based on a traditional "family recipe" style curry, but it is very easy to make it uniquely your own.
1/2 - 1 pound Beef, Chicken or your favorite meat, cubed into stew sized chunks
2-3 cloves Garlic, minced
2 peeled Onions, cut in quarters then sliced into 1/4 to 1/2 inch slices
2 peeled Carrots, cut randomly into bite-sized pieces (next step)
2-3 peeled Potatoes, cut into just larger than bite sized 1/4 to 1/8 of the potato (mine are kind of big so I'm opting for a slightly smaller cube, this doesn't affect flavor but some people like bigger potatoes)
1 package Curry Sauce roux ( you can buy this at any super market or your local Asian market)
Extras and add in's (These are optional - include or ignore at will. I find these enhance the flavor, and help to balance the end result):
1 Tbs Tomato Ketchup
1 Tbs Worcestershire Sauce
1 Tbs Soy Sauce
1 Tbs Apricot Jam/ Preserves
1 Tbs Curry powder (what else would go better with curry but more curry!)
Step 1: Clean and Cut Veggies and Meat
View the pictures it you have questions, but this is fairly straight forward. Wash 'em, clean 'em, cut 'em.
Step 2: Cook the Meat
You'll want to use a pot that has a lid, a wooden spoon and a pair of tongs.
Heat pot with 1 Tbs vegetable oil on medium-high heat.
Make sure pot is HOT before adding meat, the goal here is to sear, NOT to cook through. So with that in mind, brown the outside of the meat. If your pot is small add a little at a time so that the juice doesn't leak out and make the meat soggy. Again use the pictures for reference. After the meat is just browned remove it from the pot, keeping the heat on.
Step 3: Cook the Veggies
Add garlic and onions. Cook until they are caramelized, soft and smelling a little sweet.
Add in potatoes and carrots, cook for another few minutes, about 5 will do - this isn't too important, it's just to get the pot back up to temperature.
Add the meat into the veggies.
Add in water according to the curry sauce directions; the pack I'm using says 3 cups per 4 bricks, but you may need more or less (the more that you use the thinner it will be, therefore vice versa on the less you use. We also enjoy using low-sodium chicken broth instead of water to give it more flavor, but it is entirely up to you).
Bring stew to a boil then simmer for 45 minutes. This is a good time to get your side dishes in order - I'm also steaming some rice so serve with my curry, but you can do some chicken katsu, tempura veggies, or miso if that's your fancy.
Step 4: Finishing the Curry
After your stew is done it's time to add the cubes. Remove the pot from the heat and drop in the cubes, then stir until they dissolve. Now comes the interesting part...
The optional add -ins:
Apricot Jam/ preserves
These help to enhance the curry's natural flavors and to sweeten it some (by using the jam)...they are totally optional, if you want them then go ahead and mix them in now; if not, feel free to skip to the end you stick in the mud you! Either way you need to cook your now curried broth an additional 10 - 15 minutes, to allow to thicken.
Curry powder is an add-in I would strongly recommend if you have it handy. If you love curry as much as we do then this is a must, just make sure you add it right before serving and give the pot a few extra stirs!
Step 5: Serve!
This recipe is best nice and hot; serve with hot steamed rice, with chicken katsu, or however you like!
The perfect cold day food when it's rainy and you don't want to go outside, or maybe when you're feeling a little down and need a pick me up comfort food style.
Step 6: Extra Credit: Homemade Curry Sauce
So some people have mentioned in the comments an interest in having a from scratch version of this recipe. So because I love this recipe so much, and this 'ible is my fist I figured I would keep everyone up to date.
Step 7: Ingredients (take Two)
3 Tbs S&B curry powder, this is a little more pricy than your garden variety curry but well worth it.
1 Tbs granulated sugar
2 Bay leaves
3 Star anise pods
1 Tbs tonkastu sauce (not pictured)
Apple sauce - a single apple rough chopped and blended is plenty, about a cup of you prefer store bought
Recommended (based on how spicy you like it):
1/4 tsp Paprika
1/4 tsp Cayenne
1 tsp Ginger powder
1 tsp Aleppo Chili flakes - a little easier to find online, this is a Syrian spice and since the country is in conflict could be a little hard to come by.
Step 8: The Roux
This will depend on if you want a meat based or vegitarian sauce. if you want a meat sauce then brown the meat first as before and then cook the rest along with the other steps. This part starts the same as the original 'ible. Brown the onion and garlic, be sure to start with minced onion and garlic, it'll melt away in the sauce. After the onion is caramelized add in 2 Tbs of butter, mix in the spices until you reach a paste consistency.
After this is done add your apple sauce, the pectin is a natural thickening agent, so you can cut back on your starch later.
Step 9: Add Broth
Add the Bay leaves and the Anise pods. cook for five minutes or so the add 3/4 of the broth. If you are adding in potatoes and carrots add them as well, make sure that the stew is covering the veggies. If you are doing a meat sauceal add it back to your pot. cook for 30 minutes to 60 minutes.
Step 10: Thickening
The tonkastu sauce will be added at this point, to keep things similar I stayed with the same add ins I used in the first 'ible. Katchup, soy sauce, worstishire, jam, but also included is a 1/2 tsp of corn starch and 1 Tbs or tonkastu. Cook for another 10 minutes. Enjoy!