In honor of my Japanese friends, including Mona, Marcus, Andy, Eric and so many others – today’s TFD recipe celebrates the Japanese national dish of curry.
That’s right, you might have thought Sushi or Ramen, but it is the humble curry that has been adopted wholeheartedly by the Japanese as an everyday dish! Japanese curry is unique – and delicious – and I will show you, my loyal Citizens, how to properly make it. 🙂
A wide variety of vegetables and meats are used to make Japanese curry (カレー karē). The basic vegetables are onions, carrots, and potatoes. For the meat, beef, pork, and chicken are the most popular.
Curry was actually introduced to Japan during the Meiji era (1868–1912) by the British, at a time when India was under their administration.
As curry was introduced to Japan via English cuisine, it was originally considered to be a Western recipe. Western-style curry draws its influence from stews mixed with curry powder, which were popular among members of the British Navy. The Imperial Japanese Navy adopted curry from the Royal Navy, and now the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force’s Friday menu is curry.
The dish became popular and available for purchase in supermarkets and restaurants in the late 1960s.
Japanese curry rice is served in anything from a flat plate to a soup bowl. The curry is poured over rice in any manner and amount. Japanese short grain rice, which is sticky and round, is preferred, rather than the medium grain variety used in Indian and Chinese dishes. It is usually eaten with a spoon, as opposed to chopsticks, because of the liquid nature of the curry, and is usually served garnished with pickled vegetables.
Japanese curry employs several unique spice blends and techniques – including both grated apple for sweetness and a touch of chocolate. Don’t scoff, it balances out the spiciness of the sauce and adds both color and richness. Unlike so many Japanese who eat their curries out of a pouch or box, mine is strictly homemade with top-quality beef stock, freshly-ground spices and tender beef.
Citizens – try my recipe which reigns supreme in the firmament of celestial flavor and you too will become a convert to the Japanese curry mindset! 🙂
Battle on – The Generalissimo
BEEF STOCK INGREDIENTS:
2 qts of water
2 ½ pounds beef bones (marrow or femur) in 3 inch pieces
4 peeled carrots
4 celery stalks
2 halved peeled onions
1 halved head of garlic
½ bunch flat-leaf parsley stems
4 sprigs thyme
2 bay leaves
¼ teaspoon black peppercorns
2 qts of beef stock
4 onions, sliced
5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 lbs chuck roast or wagyu chuck marinated ½ – 1 day in 4 tbsp sake lees (leftover solids from making sake, available in Asian grocery stores) + mirin (sweetened Japanese cooking sake) to thin or just mirin if you don’t have access to sake lees
3 large russet potatoes cut in half then in 1/6s
3 carrots cut in 2-3 inch pieces
3 cloves of garlic, sliced
1 apple, peeled and grated
1 cup frozen green peas
2 tbsp S&B curry powder
1 tbsp garum masala
1 tbsp cumin
1 tbsp turmeric
4 tbsp worcestershire sauce
4 tbsp chili sauce
2 tbsp grated fresh ginger
2 tbsp bulldog (tonkatsu sauce)
1 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp sake lees (strongly preferred) or mirin
1 tbsp Guittard Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
1 tbsp Tiger hot sauce
4 tbsp flour or rice flour
1 bay leaf
1. Cut beef into 1 inch cubes. Place in a ziplock bag with sake lees (highly preferred) or mirin. This will tenderize the meat. Leave for ½ to 1 day.
2. Place the onions for 4 min in the microwave. Mix them around and cook in the microwave for another 4 min.
3. In a large stock pot, heat 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil. Add the garlic and microwaved onions. Make sure the onions cover the whole surface of the pot. Keep on high. Don’t stir. You’ll smell the caramelizing. Turn off heat once you start smelling the browning (approximately 5 min).
4. Remove onions from pot. Don’t clean the pot.
5. Add 2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil. Remove beef from ziplock bag and place beef as one layer in pot on med-high. Don’t stir. Heat until the meat is browned (approximately 5 min).
6. Add onions back in and stir beef and onions.
7. Add potatoes and carrots.
8. Submerge in beef stock, add water if it doesn’t cover it completely.
9. Combine all of the remaining ingredients in a small bowl, then add that mix to the pot.
10. Bring to boil. Bring down to the lowest setting on your stove.
11. In a small bowl, combine 4 tbsp of flour (or use rice flour for gluten-free) and 4 tbsp of the curry liquid in the pot. Introduce the flour into the liquid portion slowly and mix well. It will end up in a clay-like consistency. Introduce this mixture one tablespoon at a time into the main pot.
12. The curry should have the consistency of a thick tomato soup. If it still seems watery, repeat the previous step. Mix the pot well.
13. Simmer for 2 hours on low heat. For best results, simmer for up to 4 hours on low heat.
14. At the last minute, add the frozen green peas and stir – they should cook almost instantaneously. Serve immediately with steamed rice.