You may have already had this dish in a restaurant that serves Japanese food. Its origin is actually British ‘curry and rice’ which was introduced to Japan during the Meiji period, therefore it was considered Western food at first.
Nowadays, however, curry rice is one of Japan’s national foods and an all-time popular menu at school diner.
One of the characteristics of Japanese curry is its thick consistency by using roux. A packet of pre-made curry roux slab was on the market in 1954 by a Japanese food manufacturer SB Foods and other manufacturers followed, fiercely advertising their products on TV. Curry became a popular home cooked dish as the sauce was able to be made instantly by dissolving the block of roux. In 1960, confectionary manufacture Grico developed blocks of curry roux using their techniques for making bars of chocolate by incorporating the breakable grids of blocks, like in chocolate, and this style hasn’t changed since.
The first dish I cooked in my life, under the guidance of my mum, was this curry recipe. It’s fairly easy, though you have to know some tricks. For examples, how to prevent burning after adding the roux and how to cook meat succulently.
Once you know these tricks, you can cook delicious Japanese style curry easily for your everyday home meal.
It’s been popular to put breaded chicken fillets on top of curry rice in the UK recently. If you want try the flavour of this, cook the curry following my recipe without potatoes, add readymade bread crumbs that were heated in an oven to crisp on rice, and then pour the curry. The crispiness of the bread crumbs and the curry sauce surprisingly goes well with.
I’m going to put the authentic Japanese curry recipe with a breaded chicken and pork on this blog soon, so watch this space!
Ingredients for 4
500g chicken thighs (deboned)
100g blocks of Japanese curry roux (1 packet)
Freshly grinded black peppers (optional)
- Debone and cut the chicken into large bite-sized pieces. Cut the onions in half and then slice thinly. Peel the carrots and chop into chunks. Peel the potatoes and quarter.
- Heat the butter in a large pot and fry the onions. When they become transparent, add the chicken and fry over medium heat until they are coated with the butter.
- Add the potatoes and carrots and fry for a further 3 minutes.
- Pour the water in the pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Once boiled, reduce heat and remove any scum.
- Place a lid and simmer for a further 10 minutes or until the vegetables are softened and the chicken is cooked.
- Add the curry roux and stir until dissolved.
- Place a lid and simmer for a further 5 minutes and it’s done.
- Arrange cooked rice on one half of the serving plates (the recipe for cooking rice is here). Pour the curry on the other half of the plate.
- Cut the chicken and the vegetables approximately the same size.
- Stir-fry the chicken and the vegetables quite well in order to keep their flavours.
- After adding curry roux, it’s easily burned. Stir frequently from the bottom of the pot in order to prevent burning.