When I think of Japanese food, I automatically think of sushi and ramen. Most of us do, right? But my latest Japanese food obsession is curry. I was introduced to Japanese curry when I tried a sample at our local Japanese market, Mitsuwa. And when I asked my Japanese cousin for details on how to make it, I was advised to use the cubes of curry roux widely available in grocery stores. And while Vermont Maple Curry is pretty tasty, I always like to try making things from scratch. So after some trial and lots of errors, I created this version of Japanese Curry with Chicken. Is it authentic? Nope. But it is really tasty- and less sweet than many of the boxed versions I have tried. Plus, it is a good way to fit a lot of veggies into your dinner.
Japanese curry is very different from the Thai and Indian curries you may already know. They have far less heat than what you may expect and but bring a sweetness that makes them family friendly. Try using a Japanese curry powder in this recipe for the best results. S&B is my go-to for Japanese curry powder and has a different flavor from your standard grocery storecurry powder. Less heat and cumin than other blends with a sweetness unique to Japanese blends.
The funny thing about Googling Japanese curry recipes is that most recommend starting with the boxed cubes. And they really are worth trying if you are in a hurry. But I like to control the salt and sugar in what we eat, so starting from scratch makes the most sense for me. Consider making a double batch and freezing some for later.
Japanese curries are frequently referred to as curry rice because they are served as a saucy topping for rice. This version contains chicken and vegetables to keep things simple, but it is also delicious without added meat. I’ve been throwing in zucchini recently and it mixes with the sauce nicely. Or if you have more time, try it over fried pork or chicken cutlets for tonkatsu curry.
Z is starting to become a picky eater, but somehow curries are still ok. Give her a stir-fry and she only wants to eat rice, but give her a curry and she gobbles up everything in sight. She’s partial to Thai green curries with coconut milk, Indian chicken Tikka Masala’s, and now Japanese curry. So maybe this sounds a little too unusual for your family, but give it a try. You never know what is going to be a hit.
|Japanese Curry with Chicken|| |
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- ¼ cup flour
- 1 tablespoon curry powder - preferably S&B brand
- 1 tablespoon garam masala
- 2 tablespoons apricot jelly/jam/preserves
- 1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger
- curry roux - see above
- 2 large chicken breasts cut into small pieces
- 2 carrots cut into medium pieces
- 3 potatoes cut into medium pieces
- 1 quart chicken stock + more for thinning if needed
- Soy sauce to taste
- Heat a large sauce pan on low heat
- Add butter and allow to melt
- Add flour and stir regularly until the roux becomes a light brown color, about the color of peanut butter.This will take a while!
- Stir in curry powder and garam masala and stir together - it will become a thick paste
- Stir in apricot jelly and ginger
- Set aside
- Heat a large sauce pan with oil on low heat
- Add onions and stir until they begin to brown
- Add the chicken and stir together, allowing it to brown - this may take up to 20 minutes
- Add carrots, potatoes and chicken stock and bring to a boil
- Reduce heat and simmer until potatoes and carrots are fork tender
- Stir in curry roux and reduce to low heat
- Allow curry to thicken for a few minutes
- Thin with additional chicken stock or water if needed - you want this to be saucy
- Use soy sauce to season if needed
- Serve hot over white rice