Friday, February 26, 2010

Japanese Curry - Recipe

RECIPE VERDICT - Fast, easy and delicious, who could ask for anything more.

OK, I know now someone is going to say something about how this is a restaurant blog and not a recipe blog...blah, blah, blah, we get it, Dad.  But what is better than going out, but making it at home.  If you don't live on the strip than I think that this fits into my blog.

I can't cook.  Or rather, I can cook, but I need a recipe and complicated instructions.  It becomes a frustrating, throw-yourself-on-the-couch hassle.  So, I generally try to do recipes that are easy to make and frustration free.  Think spaghetti without sides.  Think grilled cheese sandwiches.  Think one knife and one pot.  You get the picture.

I lived in Japan and always got the Curry packets that they have in Japan.  Just boil the whole thing, add rice and voilà, dinner is served.  In America, because of health concerns, you can only get the packets without meat and only one brand.  Luckily, I had a Japanese roommate when I returned to the States.  She made Japanese curry for Greg and I twice.  It took hours and always ended up with a pot so burned on the bottom that we would have to throw it away.  It came out perfectly both times.

The thought of slaving away for hours over a meal and having to throw away cookware never appealed to me.  I started to think about it and decided, my old roommate always did things in the most difficult way.  One time she ate all the cheese in the house.  Greg said, "Did you eat all the cheese?"  She said that she did and she wanted to know if 7-11 had cheese, because she couldn't drive.  We said not to worry about it and that 7-11 didn't carry cheese.  She then said she was going for a walk at about 7:00 PM.  Four hours later she returned from walking to the nearest supermarket miles and miles away.  She bought cheese.  She gave it to us and promptly went to sleep.  She did things a little oddly, perhaps just maybe I should try making Japanese curry.  Oh and we found out later that 7-11 does have cheese.

First, you start with curry seasoning.  This is easy to do as they come in convenient packets.  I decided on Vermont Curry, because it seems like such a funny name for Japanese curry.  I do have to admit that when in Japan I always drank Georgia coffee, produced by Coca-Cola.
A touch of apple and honey?  I couldn't taste it, which is a good thing.
The recipe is right on the box.  I cut up 1 and a half onions into strips (it asked for 2), 2 medium potatoes into small chunks, and 2 carrots into slices (it asked for 1), and half a pound of pork into small chunks.  I threw that all into a Dutch oven on the stove and cooked it on medium.  If you don't have a dutch oven you can certainly use a large pot, but I highly recommend a Dutch oven.  We got ours at Costco for $50 and it makes you feel like Julia Child.

I stirred pretty regularly and I didn't think that everything would get cooked.  About 14 minutes later, all the pork was cooked through and the onions were translucent.  I added 3 1/2 cups of water and brought to a boil.  Then you add the chunks of curry mix and simmer it on medium/low for 20 minutes.  Ta dah!

I stole this pic off of the web.  My curry looked similar.
Just serve it over medium grain rice.  I really suggest a rice cooker.  It makes cooking rice hassle free and keeps the rice warm until you want it.  I use calrose rice only because I can never find Japanese varieties in Las Vegas.  Calrose rice is a California rice and is close enough.  UPDATE:  Nishiki rice is now the household favorite and is, by far, better than Calrose.
The results were amazing.  It tasted great, took little time, and did not create much of a mess.  It is going into my normal rotation of recipes.

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