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Japanese curry

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OK, guys. This is what I did. No exact quantities because...proprietary info, y'know ;) Not that I'm really afraid of anyone stealing my secret -- the real secret of making good curry from scratch is that it's a lot of work!

I decided to make a beef curry, both because it's my favorite kind and because it stands up to long simmering a lot better than chicken and I wanted a curry that is nice and 'stewy'. I bought some boneless short ribs. Not too expensive. I didn't trust the anonymous diced meat they sell as 'beef for stewing'.

I knew I needed a flavorful stock. So I roasted beef marrow bones in a low oven. Meanwhile, I lightly caramelized a ton of sliced onions. Half I reserved for the curry itself, the rest stayed in the stockpot. In addition to the bones and the onion, I added carrots and a few bay leaves, then boiled everything gently for two hours until the stock was really rich. I also added some sliced apple and tomato in there towards the end for good measure.

While the stock was working, I made my roux with some butter, S&B curry powder and flour. I cooked it for a really long time to get the flour-y taste out, on really low heat of course. As a bonus, the long, slow, cooking also drew out this delicious nuttyness in the butter that was detectable in the final curry. I also steamed some potatoes and carrots to go in the curry.

I cut the short ribs into nice, meaty pieces and seared them in a skillet. Once they are brown all over I added the onions I reserved earlier and stir-fried them together briefly.

Now I'm finally ready to start the curry itself! Into a large saucepan went the roux, to which I slowly added hot stock while stirring constantly. Exactly like making a white sauce. Then I added a puree of some of the steamed potatoes, carrots, half a raw apple all blended up with some stock. This thickened the curry up even more. I added the previously seared meat and onions and started braising everything. I tasted the sauce. It had a lot of rich flavor, but it was also kind of wan and lacking in depth. I needed something savory. Something strong. Something to bring out the beefiness...V8 vegetable juice! It did the trick. I also added one square of S&B amakuchi curry roux for the requisite hit o' MSG. After more simmering, the meat was tender. The onions melting. The curry was silky and full of flavor.

The recipe is by no means perfect, and I'm sure I'll have many more batches to cook in front of me before I'm ready for the restaurant to open. The next challenge: I have some friends coming over on thursday who are very "crunchy granola" types so I need to develop a healthy curry with absolutely no MSG by then! Wish me luck.

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I have also found that adding stock instead of water to curry roux mixes gives the curry a better depth of flavor. Simply follow the instructions on the package and replace the required amount of water with stock. As for the meat, I use well-marbled cuts such as short-ribs, ribeye, oxtail, chicken thighs or pork butt. For a real different flavor try lamb shanks, they are great in curry and when they break down they add a richness to the curry that can't be beat, except maybe by the oxtails. Browning the meat in "browned" butter is a great idea to add that nutty flavor to the sauce.

By the way, House Foods recommended using their Javanese Curry instead of their Vermont Curry for a true commercial "curry house" flavor profile. Has anyone tried their Javanese Curry?

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Greetings, I'm new to eGullet. I had to join after finding this Japanese food section. You guys are really fanatical about food!

Anyhow, I have a question about Japanese curry. Me and my boyfriend absolutely love it, and is in fact thinking about opening a small restaurant specializing in Japanese curry in the United States. I know we are taking a risk because nobody knows about Japanese curry in the States, but at the same time it is so addictively tasty we believe our restaurant can take off in a big way if we do it right.

Anyhow, right now when we cook Japanese curry for ourselves we use the roux cubes we find in the local asian market. It makes for a very acceptable product that is less complex than the curry you'd find at specialist curry stores in Asia, but nevertheless pretty good. From what research I've done it's clear that this is the way that curry is made in most households. But, to tell you the truth, I would almost feel like cheating using a convenience product like curry cubes in our restaurant. Does anyone have good recipes for making curry truly from scratch? Or are there additional steps or extra ingredients I can add to our curry to make the roux more flavorful?

My boyfriend thinks I'm being silly. He has a point since then roux curry is really quite yummy and we're hardly in competition with anybody else selling an even remotely comparable product. Still, I want to make our food the best it can be. Any advice will be helpful!

People do know about Japanese curries in the states. It's not widely known, but there are restaurants that serve curry dishes. Obviously most of them are targeted toward Japanese and Koreans. It's also on the menu of alot of Korean-Chinese restaurants in LA (these restaurants are usually owned and operated by Korean born folks of Chinese descent). It's kind of funny, because the Chinese population is off the beaten track in LA, over in the San Gabriel Valley. But the Koreans have a huge presence smack dad in the middle of LA. They also run alot of Japanese restaurants. So I don't know if very many Los Angelenos realize they are getting Koreanized versions of Chinese and Japanese food when they eat these places. They've also opened up a huge number of Pho restaurants (but these are targeted to mostly Koreans)

Anyway, back to Curry. There was a chain (it's probably still there) called "Hurry Curry" that had a location on La Cienega Blvd in Beverly Hills. You might want to look up the company. You can also find S&B curry bases in almost every Supermarket in LA, so it would be safe to guess that alot of Non-Asians are making it at home as well.


Edited by chefzadi (log)

I can be reached via email chefzadi AT gmail DOT com

Dean of Culinary Arts

Ecole de Cuisine: Culinary School Los Angeles

http://ecolecuisine.com

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I just saw a commercial for this, Glico's latest

Zeppin

it is double delicious :biggrin: becasue of the paste within the roux....

Only available in chuukara (medium) and karakuchi (spicy) and it is about double the price of the other boxes of roux.....


Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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What do you all think about this recipe?

Curry from scratch

Well, I think it's a great recipe. I can never bring myself to follow that recipe, though.

In Japan, there are some yoshoku restaurants that spend a whole week making curry roux.

Just one example:

http://www.ctv.co.jp/gourmet/shop/2000/0921/06.html

(Japanese only).

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I am with Hiroyuki,

I just couldn't imagine spending days just to make curry....

it does sound good though


Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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I made curry nanban.

gallery_16375_5_75027.jpg

Ingredients:

1/2 pack mixed mushrooms (398 yen)

1/2 onion

1/8 hakusai (Chinese cabbage)

1/4 carrot

200 g chicken breast

Store-bought men tsuyu (noodle soup), concentrate type

3 cubes karakuchi (hot) curry roux

1 pack (300 g) soba (100 yen), which I bought at the 100-yen shop.

gallery_16375_5_54599.jpg

gallery_16375_5_35129.jpg

We had curry nanban together with some leftovers (simmered kuruma fu and atsuage, and macaroni salad with corn in it (not shown)).

We all loved the curry nanban!

***

Some comments:

1. I had to add mushrooms to impress my son. (My primary concern is to impress my children and make them want to eat.)

2. This particular soba, which I regularly buy at the 100-yen shop, is a favoriate of ours. It's an 'inaka' soba, not 'sarashina', which is whitish.


Edited by Hiroyuki (log)

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Curses, forgot all about curry day after less than 5 hours sleep and a long day at work...had to make the roux from scratch, because the nearest shop doesn't sell the "no beef-fat" roux that I like.

SO. Chicken curry with meat and potatoes stirfried in spices, and aubergines deepfried. I do this to avoid the very bland texture and taste of chicken curry Japanese style. Green peppers added at last moment for color.

Roux (flour, butter, curry powder) can of tomatoes plus 1 squeeze ketchup, salt and chicken bouillon, plus the garlic/ginger/cumin/coriander/turmeric/red pepper rub used when frying the chicken and potato, with paprika for brighter color.

Served with plain white rice, taa-sai Chinese greens stirfried with green ginger and black pepper, dressed with a dash of yogurt.

No batteries in digital camera. :sad:

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I made today's curry without the store-bought curry roux. I was worried that it would turn out to be more of an Indian curry (not that I have anything against Indian curries) but it came out just like a typical Japanese curry. I used home-made vegetable stock and lots of vegetables- onions, carrots and tomatoes- to replace the koku (deep rich flavour?) and sweetness that the store-bought roux imparts. After a few hours of simmering, I cooled it down in the fridge, as a kind of short-cut to that wonderful second-day curry flavour. And finally I reheated and added regular flour-and-butter roux.

I think I'll never buy curry roux again!

curryday.jpg

Served with fukujin-zuke, salad (with corn of course), and beer.


My eGullet foodblog: Spring in Tokyo

My regular blog: Blue Lotus

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Hmm...I added my roux at the end too, and felt that it was one of the better "home-made roux" versions we've had!

I see you like to add tomatoes too.

Yes! I think tomatoes are great in curry. The one I did last night has canned tomaotes and half a bottle of tomato/vegetable juice.

I don't use roux (the flour and butter kind) very often so I could be wrong, but I assumed using it at the end would be better for two reasons. First, I think the thickening power of roux isn't permenant, and since I simmer my curry for a long long time I was worried that if I thickened it at the beginning it might start to thin after a few hours. Second, I like to skim the foam from the top of the curry while it simmers, and I imagine that the foam wouldn't form if I thickened first.

No idea if any of that is true or not. But I'm pretty happy with the way my curry turned out last night!


My eGullet foodblog: Spring in Tokyo

My regular blog: Blue Lotus

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Curry Udon: (My first attempt at Curry Udon, ever).

CurryDay.jpg

I never thought about adding much to my curry besides the curry roux and maybe some sugar, something hot (kochojang or chili paste), and maybe some shoyu, until.... i read the eGullet curry thread.

Thus, presenting, curry udon, using S&B curry roux with the addition of some dashi-no-moto, shoyu, sugar, mirin, sake, and chili paste.

I also added onions, garlic, carrots, shiitake, aburaage, and some leftover tofu.

I made the curry kind of soupy for the curry udon, dumped it all over udon, and added on some leftover chicken katsu and shrimp.

Eaten with some daikon greens "oshinko" I tried making, scallion tsukemono, and fukujinzuke.

Im pretty happy with the way it came out, especially since previously, i didnt know what to thin the curry broth with without loosing alot of flavor when making curry udon.

Next time I want to try the tomatoes idea!

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Happy Curry Day!

I made a Meatloaf Curry Loco Moco. I'd been thinking about doing something with eggs, or maybe meatballs, when it hit me. I could just make a Loco Moco and substitute curry sauce for the usual brown gravy. I had some leftover meatloaf, so I used a slice of that instead of a hamburger patty. The sauce was made with Java Curry roux.

It was not too bad. Would've been better with my favorite roux (S&B Golden! :raz: ) and a proper hamburger (or "hamburg") patty.

No photos to post yet. Still don't have a good digital camera.

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Thanks, Kiem Hwa and Hiroyuki, for your menu suggestions. I wasn't able to find fukujinzuke. :sad: But I did make a salad... with corn. Actually, the corn was a nice addition, but don't tell anyone I said that! I used the recipe in that link because it was much more detailed than the curry box. The curry came out quite nice. My huband, who really enjoys Japanese curry, was thrilled with it! I'm glad I don't have a digital camera, because I'd be embarrassed to show my curry next to those really beautiful meals. :biggrin:

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tonkatsu curry

gallery_6134_549_15461.jpg

I still wasn't feeling well so my husband made the curry and I made the tonkatsu (he doesn't deep fry).

I have to admit my husband makes really great curry but I just can't watch while he is doing it as he adds things to it that make me cringe...

I know he used 3 very large ones and he grated at least one of them, he also asked me for some coconut milk and cinnamon and I walked in the kitchen when he was adding coffee to it. While eating it I also bit down on a cardamon pod and I found 2 half empty boxes of roux so he used half amakuchi (mild) and half karakuchi (spicy).

I think I am going to leave the curry making to him, it really was good.

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Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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Happy Curry Day!

I made a Meatloaf Curry Loco Moco.  I'd been thinking about doing something with eggs, or maybe meatballs, when it hit me.  I could just make a Loco Moco and substitute curry sauce for the usual brown gravy.  I had some leftover meatloaf, so I used a slice of that instead of a hamburger patty.  The sauce was made with Java Curry roux. 

That really sounds great!

My husband has made a "hamburger curry" a couple of times by making up a hamburger patty and placing ontop of the curry and rice. I never thought about its similarity to a loco moco, now we have a better name for it. :biggrin:


Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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So what did everyone do with their leftover curry?

I made curry soumen, which is what I always do. I had enough for a third day and was planning to serve it over potatoes tonight. But last night my husband ate the leftovers with frozen rice for a midnight snack. Guess I'll have to make curry again sometime soon.

Norio, I think curry Loco Moco is a great idea! Loco Moco has been popular in Japan for about a year now, but still seems to be mostly unknown outside of Hawaii. What a shame!

Merrybaker, what beautiful meals? Curry is not a very attractive food, but we still like seeing pictures. Take a picture next time!


My eGullet foodblog: Spring in Tokyo

My regular blog: Blue Lotus

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Leftovers? Well, I thought there was about enough for 3 people, so when son1 was home from school on one of those unpredictable holidays :hmmm: I phoned from work and told him to heat himself up some curry. Came home to an empty pot...

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I used my leftover "udon" curry to make "curry nanban", in other words, instead of udon, i threw it over some soba :biggrin:

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I served mine the next day with ebi-furai (deep fried shrimp), don't want to waste the oil either! :biggrin:


Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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I used my leftover "udon" curry to make "curry nanban", in other words, instead of udon, i threw it over some soba :biggrin:

A bit of curry nanban (or namban?)

Curry nanban was first developed by a soba restaurant called San-chou-an in 1905. (Katsu don was also first developed by this restaurant.)

http://waseda-links.com/moguwase/shop/santyou.html

The initial curry nanban was a combination of soba and curry sauce containing negi (leek), but the term 'curry nanban' is now quite ambiguous. Some use 'curry nanban' to mean a combination of udon and curry sauce. And, you can hear such phrases as 'curry nanban soba' and 'curry nanban udon'.

***

We am not very creative about the uses of leftover curry. We just eat it as it is until it's gone.

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My husband has made a "hamburger curry" a couple of times by making up a hamburger patty and placing ontop of the curry and rice. I never thought about its similarity to a loco moco, now we have a better name for it. :biggrin:

Yep, that sounds close to what I made. Just put a fried egg on top, and you've got

a curry loco moco!

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Hey, I finally figured out how to post a picture!

My Meatloaf Curry Loco Moco with Green Peas

gallery_16207_752_581772.jpg

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after reading the entire thread i was almost drooling. so thanks for the inspiration! dinner was as follows:

i shop daily and today i did not go out, so it was "whatever is in the fridge curry"

in a wok:

1/2 onion carmelized in olive oil

1 red pepper -the little ones

1 green pepper

4 shitake

1/2 package (100g) maitake

1/2 zucchini

1 tomato

then i added 2 cups of vegetable stock

three squares of s&b med. hot curry ( i always grate it before adding it)

just before serving, i added a handful of spinach

served with white rice and a salad of:

lettuce

1 sliced cucumber

2 tbsp pari pari (crunchy) soba noodles

2 tbsp pari pari jako

sprinkled with asahi ponzu

i try not too eat to many foods high on the glycemic index, therefore, no carrots or potatoes in this curry.

(i did have a small bowl of rice and i ate about three bowls of the curry) :biggrin:

thanks for the inspiration folks!

is anyone up for a winter stew day?


"Thy food shall be thy medicine" -Hippocrates

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