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Korean and Japanese Curries


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i was never a fan of korean style curries. you know, the kind that usually come in blocks or powders. i think koreans prefer the powders while a lot of the japanese brands come in blocks. i think both countries also produce the instant 3 min kind which is in sauce form (often referred to as retort pouch food). and both countries also produce something called "vermont curry" which is sweeter than the others.

when my mom made it on occasion, i would just eat a little bit and eat mostly banchan. then when i lived on my own, i never made it. but my husband is a fan of it and as a result, i will make it out of guilt maybe twice a year.

i just made some today and added a lot of things i love (lots of mushrooms and carrots) so that i can get through the leftovers more painlessly. husband prefers <a href="http://www.koamart.com/images/products/1582_default.gif">ottogi brand</a>, but out of desperation to find some new curry that i might like, i bought some attractively packaged <a href="http://www.house-foods.com/our_products/images/imported_retort_curry_koku2.gif">kokumaro brand from house</a> and cooked with as much love as i could muster.

husband said it was good, but not as good as korean curry. i think i liked it better than ottogi curry. it was tasty. tasty for curry that is.

i ended up scraping off as much sauce as i could.

i told my husband that i am not making it anymore, im sorry. i am willing to make <a href="http://www.ottogi.co.kr/english/product/powder/images/01_b1_p.jpg">ottogi hi rice</a> (something like a brown stew) or japanese <a href="http://image.www.rakuten.co.jp/s-morita/img1019692953.jpeg">cream stews</a> or brown stews from blocks, but not curries. unfortunately, my husband does not like any of those stews or hi rices.

he is unfazed. he said he will make curry on his own from now on and i can have whatever i want those nights.

any die hard korean or japanese curry fans out there? want to share your favourite way to prepare them with my husband? special recipes? while looking online today, i found a <a href="http://www.house-foods.com/yummy_recipes/recipe_pages/curry_pumpkin_bacon.html">bacon and kabocha recipe</a> from the house foods america site. sounds good for a curry.

"Bibimbap shappdy wappdy wap." - Jinmyo
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I know you didn't forget about this huge thread:

http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=15137

on curry in Japan

I am curious as to how Korean curry is different than Japanese, having never tasted the Korean one I can't imagine how it could be much different.

I have to admit to not being a big fan of curry either, for me it is one of those lazy day dishes when I just want to put something on the table that is fast and easy and everyone will eat without complaining. :biggrin:

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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I'll occasionally order it as a donburi with perhaps some katsu as a lunch box type thing, and I also like it in those football-shaped donut things you get at Sunmerry and some of the other Japanese-style bakeries in Asian supermarkets like Han Ah Reum and Mitsuwa.

I've never gone and made it out of the packages you can buy, though. Rachel hates curry of any kind.

Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

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Growing up (in Chicago), my mom would make S&B in our house. It was the kind that came in a big block. It was a big favorite for me...very comfort-food-like. A big bowl of curry-topped rice with kimchi on the side. I still make it for myself from time to time.

I don't recall having any Korean brands though. Are they very different from S&B-style? Also, I need to branch out & try some other Japanese brands as well...as mentioned in the curry thread. I think the consensus was that there are better curries than S&B.

Edited by viaChgo (log)
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Growing up (in Chicago), my mom would make S&B in our house. It was the kind that came in a big block. It was a big favorite for me...very comfort-food-like. A big bowl of curry-topped rice with kimchi on the side. I still make it for myself from time to time.

curry and kimchi....

I think I remember a picture of skchai eating this somewhere, I think I need to give it a try.

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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he is unfazed.  he said he will make curry on his own from now on and i can have whatever i want those nights.

My daughter, age 5, can eat amakuchi (sweet) curry only, while three of us like to eat karakuchi (hot), so we just simmer the ingredients until soft and then divide them into a portion for three of us and another for my daughter.

Isn't this the best solution?? :huh:

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  • 2 weeks later...

In the past, I think I used the S&B brand, but I cook rarely these days so perhaps my memory is failing me. I guess I'm a fan but not enough of one to search out the best curry products.

I make it the way my mom makes it, with American stew ingredients. Big chunks of stew meat, onion, peas, carrot, potatoes, well, perhaps not that different from anyone else's version, now that I think about it. Very nice with good hot rice.

I've had curry at Japanese shop before, and they weren't that different from ours, except less stuff in it like meat and veggies.

I love cold Dinty Moore beef stew. It is like dog food! And I am like a dog.

--NeroW

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  • 2 weeks later...
From what I can tell, the Korean brands are either knockoffs of the Japanese brands or they are locally produced versions of the Japanese brands with Korean labelling.

Korean and Japanese curries are the same. Just different brands. The Japanese had an earlier start on in the industrialization game so they began making processed foods earlier than the Koreans.

Anyway, the Japanese instant "block curries" are basically knock offs English powdered curry blends that tried to mimic a non-existent Indian "curry".

The Japanese block curries include a type of roux to produce thick stews. But like most commerciallly prepared curry blends, they are mostly made of cheap spices (usually a lot fo turmeric).

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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Curry was introduced into Japan not directly from India but through England. That's why Japanese curry is more like Western than Indian. Solid curry roux was first developed by S&B Food Inc. in 1954, and revolutionalized home curry making in Japan. The concept of the development of solid roux was to enable everyone to make curry as easily as they would make miso soup.

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I like Korean/Japanese curries very much. My wife likes it spicy. The kids and I like it very, very mild. So we always win, 3 against 1. We don't make it often, but for some reason our 20 month old son will only eat carrots cooked in this type of curry sauce and carrots cooked in an Algerian tajine. Go figure.

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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According to http://olive.zero.ad.jp/~zbd86454/Cooking.html

(Japanese only)

adding two spoonfuls* of instant potage powder to spicy curry on a plate (not to the pot) makes it mild.

*Ambiguous. Tablespoonfuls or teaspoonfuls?

It is common practice to add milk to spicy curry to make it mild so that children can eat it.

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According to http://olive.zero.ad.jp/~zbd86454/Cooking.html

(Japanese only)

adding two spoonfuls* of instant potage powder to spicy curry on a plate (not to the pot) makes it mild.

*Ambiguous.  Tablespoonfuls or teaspoonfuls?

It is common practice to add milk to spicy curry to make it mild so that children can eat it.

Thank you for the tip Hiroyuki-san (is this correct?). I will pass it on to my wife. Potage means porridge in French. Potage powder, do you mean potatoe powder as in potatoe flakes? Or is this a Japanese specialty that I am clueless about?

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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Thank you for the tip Hiroyuki-san (is this correct?). I will pass it on to my wife.  Potage means porridge in French. Potage powder, do you mean potatoe powder as in potatoe flakes? Or is this a Japanese specialty that I am clueless about?

Hiroyuki is correct, my real name.

I didn't know that potage means porridge in French. I've always thought it is short for potage soup (thick soup), as opposed to consomme (clear soup).

Anyway, what I meant by instant potage powder is any of 'potage' soups available at any supermarket in Japan, such as these http://www.knorr.jp/product/soup_cup.html

(most of which are 'potage' soups).

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Thank you for the tip Hiroyuki-san (is this correct?). I will pass it on to my wife. Potage means porridge in French. Potage powder, do you mean potatoe powder as in potatoe flakes? Or is this a Japanese specialty that I am clueless about?

Hiroyuki is correct, my real name.

I didn't know that potage means porridge in French. I've always thought it is short for potage soup (thick soup), as opposed to consomme (clear soup).

It means that also. You're correct. But when she mentioned potage powder I immediately thought of porridge for some reason.

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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  • 3 years later...

I did some googling on my own, and found that Korean curry differs from japanese curry in that:

1. Korean curry is yellower.

2. Korean curry contains smaller cubes of vegetables like carrot and potato.

3. Korean curry is less spicy.

Am I right?

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I rarely ate Ottogi brand curry while I was living in Korea. I don't miss Ottogi products. But certainly, their curry-in-a-pouch, in which my husband occasionally indulged, was definitely yellower than the ones I see in Japan. It also had vegetable lumps, and seemed a bit milder to the taste. I'm not sure about the powders, though, because I always used Vermont curry roux when making home curry.

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Am I the only one that mixes my curry with my rice when I eat it? I've seen little korean kids do this on tv and am wondering if that is also another difference between korean curry and japanese curry.

I know that in Japan you don't do this, and I would probably get smacked on the side of my head for it (:

Oh and Japanese like to eat pickles with their curries and Koreans like to eat kimchi (of course) with their curry.

I like to put some rice in a bowl, dump a whole lot of curry (extra sauce) on top of the rice and eat it with chonggak kimchi or gakkdugi on the side. I think cold crunchy food tastes good with curry

BEARS, BEETS, BATTLESTAR GALACTICA
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I thought mixing the rice and curry was a kid thing. My kids all did it and my 7 year old son still does but my daughters no longer mix it (ages 10 and 12). I think they stopped around his age.

Maybe you never grew up.... :biggrin:

I should try kimchi with my curry that sounds really good, I love crunchy foods with my curry and can't eat it with out rakkyo (tiny onion pickles).

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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I thought mixing the rice and curry was a kid thing. My kids all did it and my 7 year old son still does but my daughters no longer mix it (ages 10 and 12). I think they stopped around his age.

That's my experience as well. Mixing isn't verboten as much as it is a thing that kids do. My younger one (7) still does, the older one (10) not so much I think. I'll have to watch her more closely next time.

What drives me nuts is when my wife pours the curry over part of the rice. I know I'm picking about this, but it should be poured off to the side of the rice when plating, to maximize the separation between the rice and curry, at least until eating.

Drenching the rice is a firm no-no, and not helped by soupy curry.

Edited by sanrensho (log)
Baker of "impaired" cakes...
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I did some googling on my own, and found that Korean curry differs from japanese curry in that:

1.  Korean curry is yellower.

2.  Korean curry contains smaller cubes of vegetables like carrot and potato.

3.  Korean curry is less spicy.

Am I right?

Partially.

1. somewhat correct depending on brand

2. we normally add chicken, shrimp or beef (or sometimes all three) as well as carrots and potato.

3. This depends on brand. Vermont curry ranges from mild to spicy. The spicy version is not bad (my preferred selection).

Red meat is not bad for you. Now blue-green meat, that’s bad for you!

Tommy Smothers

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I thought mixing the rice and curry was a kid thing. My kids all did it and my 7 year old son still does but my daughters no longer mix it (ages 10 and 12). I think they stopped around his age.

Maybe you never grew up.... :biggrin:

I should try kimchi with my curry that sounds really good, I love crunchy foods with my curry and can't eat it with out rakkyo (tiny onion pickles).

Hmm, that means I'm a 64 year old kid. I start with the curry on top of my rice in a bowl and mix away. I agree with the kimchi...some mighty fine eating that is...

Red meat is not bad for you. Now blue-green meat, that’s bad for you!

Tommy Smothers

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Thanks nakji and tsrue for their respective replies.

I, for one, don't think mixing curry with rice has something to do with age. Some people like to do that regardless of their age.

SheenaGreena: The Japanese do not necessarily like to eat pickles with curry. We like to eat something sweet with curry because we think they go together well. Fukujinzuke happens to be a sweet pickle, unlike most other Japanese pickles.

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1. Mixing curry does not have anything to do with Age. I think it is a cultural thing. All Koreans I know mix it. I even cook it pre-mixed (add rice to the pot in the last 2 minutes, and mix away).

2. Korean and Japanese curries taste different. Don't ask me why. I don't know. I have had both and I prefer the Korean Ottogi curry to the Japanese S&B. I do like the Japanese apple curry though...

I have noted that S&B has MSG in it and the korean ones I have had recently do not.

3. My recipe is as follows:

Ingredients:

1lb ***fatty*** pork (i.e. sam gyup sal) - cubed.

1 small zuchini.

3 large potatoes - cubed.

3 carrots - cut into small pieces.

4 celery strands - cut into small pieces.

1 apple - small slices.

1 pear - small slices.

Frozen peas.

2 large onions sliced.

3 cloves garlic.

small piece ginger.

Method:

- Heat a very small amount of sesame oil in a wok / pot on low heat.

- Prepare a large bowl of water, and place the curry powder in the water - stir when not doing anything with the other stuff.

- When oil is hot, throw in the garlic, ginger and let sit for 10 - 30 secs. then throw in the meat. Let the meat fat melt...

- when meat is not sticking to the bottom, throw in the cubed potatoes, onions and carrots. Stirfry until meat is cooked.

- Add the water with the powder in it, and adjust heat to high. Let it come to boil.

- Add the rest of the ingredients, and put heat on medium/low.

- Let simmer for about 20 minutes on medium/low.

- Add adequate amount of rice, and stir in to the curry to make a "bok keum".

- Plate the colored rice, on one side, with accompaniements on the other side to reduce dish washing.

"regular" accompaniements include at-least 2 of:

- normal kim chi. (or preferably bae choo kkot jo ri)*** a must!!!

- takuhan. (only when kimchi isn't available)

- some form of tempura.

- fresh vegetable sticks - i.e. green chilli or cucumber, together with a bit of ssam jang (1 part dwen jang 1 part go chu jang small amount of freshly chopped garlic some sesame oil).

- left over celery or carrot sticks from cooking together with mayonaise.

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