13 November, 2014

Japanese Curry Rice

Japan has its own version of curry rice. This is marketed as a child-friendly meal, with cartoon characters often adorning boxes of the roux in the supermarket. This is the meal that they made at my middle son's kindergarten sleep-over. It's also the first meal the school gave the kids when our eldest son started at Japanese school. This is also a common dish at fast food places, like the roadside stops on the expressway. So, I guess it is a bit like hot dogs or spaghetti bolognese might be considered in Australia?

It's pretty easy to make. Simple in Japan, actually, because you can readily find the curry sauce mix in any supermarket. I've seen them here too, even in Woolworths, but I thought it was worth a try making it from scratch. I combined recipes for the main dish (here) and curry roux (here) and did a little modifying myself.


250g beef chunks [You can use more here, I used 500g. I'm also sure I've used pork before.]
2 onions
2 carrots 
3 potatoes
1 Tbsp oil
3 1/2 cups water (840ml). [I actually used a bit more than this, just adding water towards the end until it looked the right consistency. You don't want it too runny, but it still should be pourable.]
Optional veggies: sweet potato, parsnip, pumpkin, broccoli etc.. [I used the first two last night.]

3 Tbsp. unsalted butter
4 Tbsp. plain flour
1/2 Tbsp. curry powder [Adjust this to suit your family's taste. I put in double this and the garam masala and it was too hot.]
1/2 Tbsp. garam masala
  1. Cut vegetables into bite size pieces.
  2. Heat oil and brown meat in a pot, then take meat out.
  3. In the same pot, fry onions for 8 minutes. Add carrots and potatoes, then cooked meat.
  4. Add water to the pot/pan. After it boils reduce heat to low. Cover and cook for 30-45 minutes until the meat becomes tender.
 Meanwhile, make the roux.
  1. Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Add flour. Stir constantly until it turns slightly brown (only a couple of minutes).
  3. Add spices. Cook for 30 seconds then remove from heat.
Put it all together:
  1. Remove meat and vegetables from heat and add curry roux. Stir well.
  2. Add more water if it is too thick.
  3. Taste it to check spiciness. Add plain yoghurt or sour cream if too spicy. Add sugar if it's too bitter.
  4. Serve over rice (preferably medium or short grain). Enjoy!


Georgia said...

I can't believe I never tried to research this myself! I just sat here in Florida craving it from time to time! My favorite was Vermont brand so I may replace some of the water with apple juice.I recently received a gift box from my quilting Sensei that among other things contained Nori, Ocha, and home made Ume Boshi. I feel a Japanese dinner coming on! Thanks!

-J said...

I only recently found out that most packages of curry roux have MSG in them, which makes this a great alternative. Thanks for sharing the recipe!

Wendy said...

You're welcome. It was good for me to write it all out in the one place, I had two printouts that I was working between. Will definitely be making this again.