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melonpan

Korean and Japanese Curries

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I generally have not liked the Snot-On-Rice Korean/Japanese curries, but we at the ZenKimchi household have been experimenting--or rather--I've shown EJ where I keep my stash of Pakistani spices and have encouraged her to pillage them.

A great accompaniment, if you can get your hands on it, is Indian or Pakistani pickled garlic.


<a href='http://www.zenkimchi.com/FoodJournal' target='_blank'>ZenKimchi Korean Food Journal</a> - The longest running Korean food blog

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I don't remember which type of curry roux I usually use (one of the Japanese brands) but one of the things I like best to do is add some shredded mozzarella cheese just before eating. It's really mild and creamy and enhances the flavor just perfectly.

I also really like eggplant as a main ingredient, especially with the cheese!

ETA: Man, now I am REALLY jonesing for some curry-- the pumpkin and bacon one sounded really good! I think it's one of the things I will teach our housekeeper how to make (planning for the future!)


Edited by FlyingRat (log)

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I mix my curry with my rice at home, because I typically serve it in a bowl rather than on a plate. At restaurants where it's served on a plate, I don't mix it with the rice.

I generally use S&B Golden Curry at home, because it's the only curry blocks that I can find that are peanut free. It's also what my mom used when I was a kid, because it was the most readily available in regular grocery stores.


Cheryl

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Melon! What happened to you hate curry rice and only your husband like it???

My wife HATES curry rice.

What's your secret?

How did you get to like it?

Maybe I will try on my wife.


Edited by jkim (log)

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Melon! What happened to you hate curry rice and only your husband like it???

My wife HATES curry rice.

What's your secret?

How did you get to like it?

Maybe I will try on my wife.

i grew up eating it. but i grew up eating only OTTOGI curry rice. i think it is just korean curry that i dont like. i recently tried ottogi again. still dont like it. i dont know what it is that i dont like about it.

how did i get to like it? SHEER exposure. we lived in a place with 3 curry restaurants 0.4 miles from our apartment. THREE. seven minute walk. try living there for five years. no matter how you try to avoid curry, you cant. i kept ordering spaghetti dishes for the first three years. and then one day i ordered curry rice. and then the wall broke down. i havent looked back.


"Bibimbap shappdy wappdy wap." - Jinmyo

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eh? in the first post of this thread you said you hate curries!

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I confess that the thing that I don't quite get about Japanese-style curry is the fact that it's served next to but not on top of the rice (I've had it at a local branch of Curry House that opened up in San Diego awhile back). I mean, there's this nice big pool of curry gravy, and the rice carefully arranged on the other side of the plate, and as an American eater whose previous exposure to curries has been with (admittedly Americanized) Indian restaurants, my first impulse would be to mix it all together. But if you don't mix them, how does one eat the curry gravy? Just with a spoon, as if it were soup? Just seeking to enlighten my cluelessness here... :blush:


Edited by mizducky (log)

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When I was a kid, we ate a lot of S&B Japanese curry (still my favourite!). We just put it on top of our rice. And we mixed.

But the first time I came to Japan, I ordered Japanese curry at a restaurant and I was so disappointed! I got a plate of rice and a gravy boat (complete with serving spoon) of curry!!! I wasn't sure what to do, but I ended up spooning it onto my rice. My friends later told me it was better to spoon it onto the plate so it was next to my rice, but I didn't really care (and I still scoop it only my rice, but not all over, just a little at a time).

So mizducky, what you can do is scoop a bit of the curry and the rice onto the same spoonful, and eat it like that. That's the polite way. Or you can scoop some of the curry onto the rice (but not mix), to get better coverage. Just don't cover all the rice with all the curry at once. That's the not-so-polite way. But if no one is watching, then feel free to mix. It's the really not polite way, but it sure will taste better that way! :smile:

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Mizducky, Japanese curry is alway eaten with a spoon. You spoon a bit of rice and curry at the same time, and eat it together. You do this at the "border" where the curry and rice meet. Or you spoon a bit of curry onto a patch of rice and spoon it up and eat it together

I'm not a big fan of mixing, because I like to preserve the texture/taste contrast between rice and curry. If you have a really thick curry, you can pour it directly on the rice without having it soak the rice underneath.


Baker of "impaired" cakes...

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Miz D,

There is an interesting paralllel discussion going on about this very subject in the Japan forum that might intrigue you. The separation you speak about also may have something to do with the presence, sometimes, of a fried cutlet, and the issues that then rise of preserving its distinct identity and crispness (or not). Life is so complicated!

Indian "curries" work on totally different principles. There, the flavors of the individual starches, say different rice preparations, or breads, are as important as the vyanjana, the supplement. The "starch" needs to be at least half if not 4/5 of the mouthful to balance the flavors, when eaten Indian style [even when you consider thin South Indian rasams, the relative masses do mean that this proportion holds true].

Many US eaters are reluctant to concede this much mouth or tummy space to what they consider "starch" as a result of which all sorts of things go out of whack, including the cooking that tries to accomodate this trait.

The vyanjana or accompaniment ofthe starch thus contains two types of flavor brighteners [in addition to the dominnt notes], one to brighten its own flavor, such as a delicate souring agent, and a second (e.g. a very restrained HINT of powdered roasted cumin) as a brightener for the expected starch.

Plus, and this may be common with the Japanese style of eating "curry", every mouthful is varied in intensity and flavor, by adding in side flavors like pickles chutneys, lime wedges, salads, textures like crisps, and more or less starch.

So the Japanese and Indian modes of combining rice and curry seem to differ in some respects and share common points in others!

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