Curry was introduced to Japan in the late nineteenth century and quickly became popular, according to Ms. Shimbo. It was the English who brought curry dishes from their Indian colony; as a result, curries were seen as sophisticated Western food and were prepared by chefs who had mastered French cuisine. Japan has made curry its own: it is not very much like Indian curry. So here I am, a descendant of Finn-landers and living in the middle of the U.S. making Japanese curry!
Ms. Shimbo notes that the cook can use shrimp, chicken, pork, or beef. When I originally made this dish last October, I thought it needed just a bit more heat. This time, I added a little tobanjiang. Perhaps I should have used a smaller spoon?
Japanese-style Chicken Curry with Rice, page 316
Tori no Karei Raisu
- 5 TBS butter (3 for the vegetables, 2 for the chicken)
- 2 medium onions, minced (I used a grater)
- 1 thumb-sized piece of ginger (micro-plane grater)
- 3 cloves garlic (micro-plane grater)
In a large heavy pot, cook over low heat until tender, about 15 minutes.
- 3 TBS S&B dry curry powder
Heat the spice in a small pan until fragrant (30 seconds) then add it to the onion mixture. Stir.
- 1 medium carrot, grated (I used 2 small red carrots)
- 1 apple, grated
- 1 mango, grated or chopped fine
- (mangos were like rocks in the store so I used another apple)
- 1/4 cup tomato puree
- 2 TBS mango chutney
- 5 cups chicken stock
Add the above ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to very low.
- 2 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
Add the seasonings, stir, and cook uncovered for 3 hours. Stir about every 1/2 hour to prevent burning and sticking. The sauce thickens so you want to pay attention near the end of the cooking time.
I added the toban jiang, about 1 TBS at this point.
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1 1/2″ cubes (I had a pound and a half thawed, so I used them—no regrets to have more)
Melt the other 2 TBS of butter in a skillet and saute the chicken to cook through.
Ms. Shimbo directs the cook to add 3 TBS brandy to the skillet and light a flame to burn off the alcohol. I was fresh out of brandy, and also had no parsley to garnish. But I had spinach on the side and served the curry with plain white rice.
I’m looking forward to eating this again: there are only us two so there is plenty left. I love it when I can cook once and eat twice.
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