While sitting at the computer and thinking and writing about Japanese curry, I was urged to make it for tonight meal. I remember that I had a shrimp curry recipe in my cookbook, The Japanese Kitchen, so I opened its page. I did not have half of the ingredients listed in my recipe, but I decided to make one with the ingredients which I have in my kitchen. The result was quite good after 1 1/2 hours of laboring, so I am going to share it with you. When the ingredients start with “about”, please note that I do not remember the specific amount which I added. I added flavorings little by little; taste it; added little more; taste it…to make the flavor right to me.
3 tablespoons olive oil
Half medium onion, chopped fine (use food processor)
1 tablespoon ginger, chopped fine (use food processor with garlic)
2 garlic cloves, chopped fine
2 tablespoons Japanese S & B curry powder
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
about 1 tablespoon AP flour
2 1/2 cups chicken stock
2 tablespoons tomato paste
about 2 to 3 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
about 1 to 2 teaspoons Tamari soy sauce
about 1/4 cup home-made apricot jam
about 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1 chicken breast half, skin attached, cut up into 6 to 7 pieces
1 chicken thigh, skin attached, cut up into 6 to 7 pieces
Cook the onion in the heated oil until it is lightly browned. (This requires patience; stir, from time to time.) Add the ginger and garlic and cook additional 1 minute. Add the curry powder, turmeric, and flour and cook until it is smooth. Add 1 cup of the chicken stock and stir with a whisk. Add the additional 1 cup of the chicken stock and stir with a whisk. Add the remaining 1/2 cup of the stock and stir with a whisk. Add the tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, tamari, sea salt, apricot jam and light brown sugar. Cook the curry sauce about 1 1/2 hours. Longer is better. When the sauce is being cooked half way, my mother’s tip of cooking her delicious curry suddenly came into mind. She always added lemon! I squeezed half of the lemon to the curry sauce and throw the used lemon into the curry sauce.
Heat a little oil in the skillet and brown the chicken pieces on both sides. Transfer the chicken pieces to the curry pot. Now in this picture you see delicious, dark brown, Japanese curry is almost ready to serve. As my mother did, I do not use much flour in the preparation. So, my Japanese curry is not too gooey. If you own The Japanese Kitchen, please try its Shrimp Curry, page 317. You need apple, mango, mango chutney, carrot,….
Several years ago I have helped to create a small Japanese curry restaurant, Kare-ken, in San Francisco. At Kare-ken preparation of delicious, rich curry sauce takes over 4 hours. Not like the short-cut version shown above. If you have not tried their curry, please do so. It is a real Japanese curry. http://www.kare-ken.com/ I would love to hear of your feedback!