I love Japanese style curry. Japanese style curry and (good) ramen are two of my comfort foods from Japan. It totally thwarts any efforts I have to eat totally vegetarian today, but we got the beef from a cow that Tim’s uncle raised, so I am mostly okay with that.
Let’s just start with that this recipe makes use of a concentrated curry roux block, which is not “real” food. Read the ingredients, I don’t know what half of them are. I don’t know how to make this any other way… but trust me, it might not be “real,” but it is good.
I usually pick up Vermont curry medium-hot (not hot at all, actually) from our local Asian grocer, Tsai Grocery.
Of course you can put this amazing-ness over rice, but that’s a little simple and expected.
Japanese curry is not like what you think of with Indian or Thai curries. It is not overly spicy and is more like a beef stew served over rice, udon noodles, inside of bread, with breaded pork.’
Japanese style curry
makes about 8 servings, ~2 cups each
Whole block (12 little squares) of Curry Roux
6 cups of Water
1.5 pounds of meat (beef, chicken, lamb). I used stew beef.
2 big potatoes, peeled and cut into small chunks
2 big carrots, peeled and cut into circles
An onion, if you like (I don’t like…)
That’s all! Add all ingredients to a crock pot and set to high.
Cook on high for around 4 hours, then set to low. I stir every once in a while to break up the curry blocks.
Pro-tip: Before adding curry roux to the crock pot, cut it up into thin slices. You could ever omit a cup of water from the crock pot and dissolve the curry roux in a cup of hot water, then add it to the crock pot mixture.
This is the way I made curry on Sunday afternoon and when I took it from the crock pot and into a Tupperware it made ONE GALLON of curry.
Serve side by side with hot white rice or over udon noodles. You can also taste your skill at making some pork katsu and adding that to make katsu-kare, another popular way to eat this dish.
This keeps very well in the fridge for about a week (any fat will congeal on the surface and is easily picked off) and also keeps well in the freezer in an air tight container.
Again, this is the easy way to make Japanese curry. I found some recipes online for a DIY method without the curry block. I’ll have to try that too sometime and compare the taste.
Thursday night after the Westboro Baptist Church counter-protest, myself and two of my friends went out to dinner at Sansu Japanese restaurant in East Lansing. We didn’t go there much when I was actually a student since it was pretty far away from our dorms and seemed more expensive than the closer Japanese restaurants. The prices didn’t seem that bad this time (maybe they’ve changed?) or maybe I just have more money now than when I was 18. They seemed normal for the same type of restaurant in Ann Arbor.
This was my first time attempting to eat vegetarian at a Japanese restaurant. It was hard not to just order the eel and avocado roll (the eel sauce is all I want really…). Yes, I am ignoring whatever is used in the broth for the miso soup. There is probably dashi stock in it, but LA LA LA LA LA I CAN’T HEAR YOU. I was very surprised to see green veggie gyoza, but they were very good… although I think they were deep fried and not pan-fried like I am used to. The egg sushi was very good (although there was probably dashi in that too). I was really happy about the grapes and oranges (?) with the gyoza, they made a nice little dessert instead of having to order anything else.
Yesterday I mentioned that I like to make Oyakodon and if anyone actually looked at that picture on Wikipedia they’d think it was a pretty fancy dish. And, well, it’s not. At all. I just happened to make it tonight, so I figured I would share–it’s a pretty easy dish to make if you can find two of the ingredients that are a bit more on the elusive side.
1.5 tbsp Dashi
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp Mirin
1 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
1.5 cups water
Onion (as much as you want, we use less since I don’t eat onion)
Chicken Breast (again, as much as you want, we use one breast)
1.5 cups rice (uncooked, about 2 cups cooked)
Those ingredients feed the two of us. The dashi is a soup stock made from bonito fish flakes and is the base of a lot of broths in Japanese cooking. The kind that I buy comes in little pellets. Both dashi and mirin can be found at any good Asian market.
1.) Measure out 1.5 cups of rice and wash them. Even if the bag says “pre-washed,” wash the rice. If you’re using Minute Rice, you’re doing it wrong. It’ll look like this below when you first swish the water around. Wash it until its not as cloudy. Cook the rice however you normally do–I use a Zojirushi Rice Cooker that I bought at Mitsuwa in Chicago.
2.) While the rice is cooking, cut the onion into pieces a little bit bigger than bite size. Again, I don’t like onions so I cut them bigger so that I can fish them out when I dish up the Oyakodon. Cut the chicken into bite size cubes. Set both aside.
3.) After this, in a medium sized bowl, mix together the water, dashi, mirin, soy sauce, and sugar.
4.) When the rice is almost done (my rice cooker counts down from 12 minutes) put the onions and chicken in a pan with taller sides and pour in the broth you made. There should be enough to just cover everything. Cook on high-ish until chicken is cooked through.
5.) While the #4 mixture is cooking, crack 3 eggs into the same bowl (less clean-up) and beat them. Once the chicken is cooked pour the beaten eggs in the pan and cover it to let them cook.
6.) When the eggs have cooked and some of the broth has evaporated, its done. Serve over top of the rice.
By the way, the name Oyakodon is a little bit punny. “Oya” means “parent,” “ko” means “child”…… chicken is the parent of an egg…. haha..ha… okay it’s not really that funny but it is pretty cute.
Definitely not vegan/vegetarian, and not gluten-free. I believe you can buy gluten-free soy sauce, but the dashi has MSG in it. I know MSG is kind of frowned upon all around, but you just can’t get around it here. If you’re worried about sodium or cholestorol, I probably wouldn’t eat this everyday.