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Japanese curry

Japanese Curry from Scratch!

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  • 400g beef chuck, or any other protein of your choice (see note)
  • A generous pinch of salt
  • 1 onion, small dice
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1-inch piece ginger, finely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp + 2 tsp curry powder (any kind will do just fine, but if you want to use Japanese curry powder, see my video for the packaging)
  • 2 cups beef stock, unsalted (if not using beef, use stock that matches your protein)
  • 1 medium apple, puréed (you may need to add a bit of water to the blender to get it going)
  • 1 heaping Tbsp tomato paste
  • 3-4 Tbsp Japanese soy sauce
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce (or sub tamarind juice)
  • 1 medium carrot, bite sized pieces
  • 1 large russet potato, 1-inch chunks
  • ¼ cup frozen peas (optoinal)
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • Japanese pickles for serving "Fukujinzuke"
  • Japanese rice for serving

Note: If using pork, choose pork shoulder, and it'll take 2 hours total to cook. If using chicken, choose dark meat, and whole, bone-in pieces will take about 45 minutes total to cook. If not adding any meat, you can add the potatoes and carrots along with the stock and seasoning, and just let them cook for 30 minutes. 

Ingredients and Kitchen Tools I Use


Sprinkle a generous pinch of salt to the beef cubes and toss to coat.

In a heavy-bottomed pot (the one you're using for the curry) add just enough vegetable oil to coat the bottom and heat over medium high heat until the oil is very hot. Add beef to the pot without letting it crowd, you may need to do this in 2 batches. Let sear without stirring until browned, then flip and sear the other sides, and repeat until at least 3 sides are browned. Watch your heat and make sure you don't burn the brown stuff that's on the bottom of the pot. Remove the beef andset aside.

To the same pot, add onion, garlic, ginger and saute over medium heat for a few minutes until the onion is soft and translucent. Add tomato paste and saute for a minute. Add curry powder and toaste the spices for one more minute, adding more oil if it seems to dry.

Add the beef stock, pureed apple, the seared beef, soy sauce, and worcestershire sauce. Cover and simmer on low heat for at least 2 hours or until it is almost fork tender.

Once the beef has simmered, add carrots, potato and simmer, uncovered, for another 30 minutes until the potato and carrots are tender. If using peas, stir them in about 15 minutes after the potato has gone in. Note: At this stage, I let it simmer uncovered because I want to reduce the amount of liquid slightly, but if you don't want to lose any more liquid, you can keep it covered. 

Meanwhile, make a roux by melting butter in a small pot, then add the flour and stir over medium heat until the colour has darkened slightly. Remove from heat and set aside until ready to use.

When curry is done, stir in half the roux and bring to a simmer. Check the thickness, and if you want it thicker, add some or all of the remaining roux. If you have leftover roux, you can save it for another use in the fridge or freezer, it can be used to thicken any kind of soup, stock, or stew. 

TASTE and adjust seasoning! This is very important, as you may need to add more soy sauce.

Pour the curry over Japanese rice and serve with some fukujinzuke pickles. Enjoy!

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