Introduction: How to Make Japanese Curry - the Easy Way!

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So every Friday we meet at the Rabbit Hole hackerspace and we order pizza. One of our members was dealing with high blood pressure and issues with his weight, so I offered to cook a more healthy option for him and myself. Why? Because I love cooking, and love cooking for other people even more (experimentation is key here folks!)

I am a sucker for easy-to-make food - and a sucker for curry, especially Japanese curry :). I made some last night and one of the newer members mentioned I should make an instructable for it. Normally I am a bit shy about my cooking to the generic public, but Japanese curry is worth it!

So the following Japanese curry recipe is for 4 people and can easily be scaled up as long as your pot/pan is large enough! Keep reading and I'll teach you how to make it!

Step 1: Rice

All good curry needs rice.  Jasmine rice is my favorite one of choice.  To cook it, you can either use a rice cooker, which I have.  Or you can use a small pot.  
  1. 2 cups of rice should be adequate for 4 people.  Put two cups in a pot, and "wash it".  This involves running cold water into the rice, stirring the rice around with your hands.  You'll notice it gets cloudy.  You don't have to wash until the water is clear, but wash at least two to three times.
  2. Then put enough water in the pot so that it covers up to the first knuckle of your thumb/finger.
  3. You want it on medium heat until it starts to boil, then turn it down to low-medium heat.  
  4. Check around 15 minutes or so and see how it look.  It should by then look like there're craters of bubbling air in the rice field.
  5. Once that happens, you can stir it, take it off the heat, and even put it in bowls in preparation.  

Note that this step should be done as your veggies are almost done cooking.  No one wants cold rice!

Step 2: Vegetables and Chicken!

So Japanese curry is like beef stew in terms of the veggies you use.  I use the following:
  1. 1/2 diced onion (I usually use white onions but I'm sure yellow wouldn't be a big deal)
  2. 2 stalks of celery diced
  3. 10-15 baby carrots cut up (this equates to two or three handfuls for me :p use however many you'd like)
  4. 5 small red potatoes diced and somewhat par-boiled.  Easiest way to do this is stick them in a bowl with a little water and put them in the microwave for 2 minutes.  They'll come out mostly cooked.  You can also use the larger yellow potatoes but you won't want as many of course - maybe just 1 even.
  5. I like chicken curry, so that's the meat I use.  3 chicken thighs (not including drumstick) cut up/diced/bite size.  Your preference is king here.
Stick all of that in a pan with olive oil on medium heat.  Salt and pepper - season to taste.  And then put a lid on it for a few minutes.  Stir occasionally.

Step 3: Adding the Curry Roux

Since you have the lid on, the salt will bring some of the water out of the veggies and the chicken will cook pretty quickly in that veggie stock you've essentially quickly created.  Once the chicken is cooked, you're going to want to use my favorite curry roux (fancy word for powder in a paste-y package form) - Golden Curry.

I usually find this in the asian section.  Another decent substitute (though it tends to be more on the sweet side) is Vermont Curry.  But let's assume you're lucky enough to have Golden Curry around.  I use 2 of the cubes, as shown in the picture, and stick them in the pot. I use a spatula to "shave" them into the veggie juices.  It will thicken quite quickly and you will realize that you have a lot more paste that needs to be dissolved.

SO! Add milk. I use whole milk, organic or non is equally fine.  Pour some in, and shave the rest of the curry roux.  If it's still too thick, then add a little more milk.  Repeat as necessary.

Step 4: Noms!

When your curry is to the thickness you prefer, serve it over your rice!