Japanese Curry Rice

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Here’s something from my mom’s standard repertoire when we were growing up. It was easy to toss together and made lots of leftovers, which is great when you want a fast meal for a family of 5. We probably had it at least every month. Really, this is like the Japanese version of mac and cheese — warm, filling and full of starchy goodness. Except without the lactose issues, because Asians, yo. My version departs only a little bit from hers, which in turn departs a little from the original recipe that is printed on the back of the box. That’s how these things go with every family.

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We usually used the mild version of Golden Curry brand, so that’s the one that I’m used to buying even though someĀ reviewers consider it horribly bland. (A note for those of us in Finland — they sell it at Tokyokan in Helsinki and China Market in Turku. And probably more places, but that’s all I know firsthand.) I think the simplicity of this blend just lends itself more to a larger variety of add-ins, and have never been very much into super spicy food to begin with. It’s also the most traditional and widely carried Japanese curry around, so it’s the easiest to find even in far-flung reaches like Finland.

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My ingredients pile. I do use reconstituted dried onion and garlic a lot, because it’s faster to pull together, is easier to store and doesn’t involve me using knives. Which tends to make everybody feel safer, especially now that I’m going through a somewhat clumsy and forgetful phase.

As mentioned, this is my version of the standard curry, somewhat altered from the original available at S&B Foods Worldwide. I also doubled this particular batch, so that I could bag up lots of leftovers for the freezer.

Japanese Curry Rice

Serves 12
Prep time 15 minutes
Cook time 30 minutes
Total time 45 minutes
Allergy Wheat
Meal type Lunch, Main Dish
Misc Child Friendly, Serve Hot
Region Japanese
Website S&B Foods Worldwide
Japanese curry rice.

Ingredients

  • 1kg chicken (cubed)
  • 6 large onions (roughly chopped. I reconstituted dehydrated, which is ~1/4 cup per onion in dry form.)
  • 4 tablespoons butter (or vegetable/canola oil)
  • 5 cups water
  • 1 box Golden Curry sauce mix (240g)
  • 2 large potatoes (roughly chopped. I don't know the name of the potato, since it was in Finnish, but choose one that will hold up in a stew)
  • 4 cloves garlic (minced. or 1 teaspoon of dried minced garlic, reconstituted in water, like I use.)
  • 1 can whole coconut milk
  • 250g frozen peas

Directions

1.
Stir-fry cubed chicken, onions, garlic and potatoes in butter until lightly browned. If you were to want to add any other raw vegetables, now would be the time. I do this in a big skillet so that it cooks faster. A wok would be perfect.
2.
Transfer veg and meat into a large stew pot. Add water and coconut milk. Bring to a boil.
3.
Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Add any frozen items, like the peas.
4.
At this point, the box tells you to turn off heat, break up curry sauce cubes and add them into the stew, stirring until completely melted. Alternately, you could do what I do, which is to partially melt the curry cubes in a separate skillet with a couple pats of butter, to make sure they are well on their way to liquid form, before pouring the sauce into the stew pot and mixing thoroughly. I just like to make sure there are no lumps of curry, and that can sometimes be hard to tell in a very chunky stew.
5.
Serve hot over rice for the traditional presentation, or any other starch if you're feeling creative šŸ™‚ I've frozen several bags with rice here, and had the leftovers with toast soldiers for dinner.

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