Thursday, February 6, 2014

Recipe: Japanese Curry

Jenny's Vegan Japanese Curry
Recipe Source: Family recipe, with modifications by Jenny

Japanese curry is yellow in color, as opposed to the green and red Thai curries. While it is not original to Japan (curry was first introduced to Japan through the English, who obtained this delicious spice from India), it has become one of Japan’s most popular dishes. With the large Japanese population and influence in Hawaii, Japanese curry has become very popular there is well. It is most often found served over rice or over chicken or pork katsu (breaded cutlet).

Growing up, my parents often made chicken curry for dinner. Their recipes varied depending on what ingredients they had available in the refrigerator.

Because I choose not to eat meat, yet have a desire to use recipes from my childhood, I have come up with an excellent vegan version of Japanese curry, while staying true to the flavors and consistency of the curry I grew up with.

This is a very mild curry (compared to many Thai and Indian curry recipes) that my children, ages 4 and 2, are able to enjoy. My husband enjoys it as well and likes having leftovers to take to work the next day.

1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 large onion, thinly sliced
2 cups carrots, chopped as desired
4 stalks celery, chopped as desired
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 large russet potatoes, cut into 1-inch chunks (leave the skin on)
2 tsp. McCormick Curry Powder
1 tsp. salt
5 cups water

Roux Ingredients:
3 Tbsp. olive oil
½ c. flour
2 Tbsp. curry powder
1 Tbsp. ketchup
2 Tbsp. soy sauce

Heat 1 Tbsp. of olive oil over medium-high heat in a large pot. Add onions, carrots, and celery. Cook until onions are tender (about 5 minutes).

Add the garlic. Add water, bring to a boil, then cover and reduce the heat to medium-low. Then add potatoes, curry powder, and salt. Simmer for about 30 minutes.

While simmering, make the roux. Heat the olive oil over medium heat and add the flour. When combined into a paste, add the curry powder, ketchup, and soy sauce. Stir constantly so that it does not burn to the bottom of the pot. Add about 1 cup of water from the vegetables pot and stir until smooth. If needed, continue to add water from the vegetable pot until the roux is smooth. Then, transfer the roux to the vegetables pot and stir until well combined. Simmer for 30 minutes (or longer, if desired).
After the roux, before simmering. It will thicken very nicely the longer it simmers.
If you prefer a less thick curry, you can skip the simmering process.
Serve over brown rice.
Nutrition Information
Serving Size: About 1 cup; Servings per recipe: Approx. 8
Calories: 173; Total Fat: 7.5g; Sat. Fat: 1.1g; Cholest.: 0mg;
Sodium: 595.3mg; Carb.: 24.5g; Fiber: 3.3g; Sugars: 4g; Protein: 3.6g
Because I have small children, I chop my vegetables small enough for them to eat without choking. However, as they get older I will probably use larger chunks of celery and carrots. If you prefer this, you will need to adjust the simmering time to ensure the vegetables are tender all the way through.

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