Curry Rice is extremely popular in Japan. In fact according to the Japanese food giant House-Foods, curry can be considered a Japanese national dish similar to ramen. While this may or may not be true, it shows how popular the dish is in Japan. You will be able to find curry being offered in most Japanese diner menu next to oyakodon, ramen, and other traditional Japanese food. Japanese curry is very different from Indian or Thai curry. We don’t have the differentiation of yellow, red, or green curry. The choices are usually just varying degrees of spiciness indicating mild, medium, or hot. Because Japanese changed the taste of our curry since it was introduced over 100 years ago, most Japanese probably would not be able to recognize a curry taste from India or Thailand since the look and taste is so different.
This following curry is not something we would typically cook on a weekday night. It requires quite a bit of time and effort. The reason I say this is because I spent exactly 1 hour caramelizing onion and cooked slowly for several hours. It’s hard to find time to do this on a weekday evening even for really delicious curry.
This recipe requires Japanese curry roux. All the curry spices are in a form of solid roux resembling a block of baking chocolate. Japanese curry spice is different from Thai or Indian curry, so I’d recommend you to buy the roux from Japanese supermarket or an Asian food isle in your local grocery store (they usually have it). I always add other ingredients so my curry doesn’t taste “out of box.” I hope you like Japanese curry!
- 1 russel potato, peeled and chopped
- 2 carrots, peeled and chopped (Japanese cutting technique “Rangiri")
- 10 mushrooms, sliced
- 4 large onions, thinly sliced
- 1 Tbsp. butter
- 1 tsp. salt
- 2 lb beef chuck
- Sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
- 1 Tbsp. butter
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 inch ginger, grated
- 1 Tbsp. curry powder
- 2 Tbsp. tomato paste (or ketchup)
- 1 cup wine
- 2 cups beef broth
- 2 cups water
- 2 bay leaves, cut in half
- ¼ cup apple sauce
- 1 box (7-8.4 oz, 200-240g) Japanese curry roux
- 2 Tbsp. milk
- 1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
- Cut vegetables. Parboil carrots until they are 80% cooked.
- In Dutch oven or large pot, heat butter on medium low heat and add onion and salt. Occasionally stir and sauté until onion is translucent. It will take about 1 hour. When liquid is gone, make sure to keep stirring and scrape the bottom of the pot.
- Meanwhile, cut the beef into 1 ½ inch cubes and sprinkle salt and pepper on both sides. Then sprinkle flour on top and coat the beef with the flour. Remove excess flour.
- In a cast iron skillet, heat oil and butter on high heat. Add the beef but do not crowd the skillet. Do a second batch if necessary. Cook beef until browned. If onion is still not translucent yet, keep the beef on a plate.
- When onion is translucent, add garlic, ginger, curry powder, and tomato paste. Sauté for 2 minutes.
- Add the beef into the Dutch oven and pour wine. Cook until alcohol/liquid is evaporated.
- Add beef stock and water and bring it to a boil.
- When boiling, skim off the scum and fat from the soup. The soup before and after skimming.
- Add bay leaf and apple sauce, and cook for 2 hours.
- Add vegetables and cook until potatoes are soft (carrots should be 100% cooked by now).
- If you really want to make a even better curry, keep the pot in the fridge over night after the pot cools down. Next day remove excess fat on the surface and re-heat.
- Now we add roux. Use a ladle and spoon/chopsticks to help dissolve the roux. From this point, you have to make sure you don’t burn the curry! Mix well and keep scraping the bottom of the pan with wooden spoon. If the curry is too thick, add water to dilute.
- Add milk and Worcestershire sauce and cook on low heat until everything is mixed well. Serve curry with rice.
Serve curry with rice. Here’s beef curry with Chicken Katsu on it. Enjoy!