Nothing beats a steaming dish of Japanese-style chicken curry on a cold day. Hearty chunks of potato, carrot, onions and chicken in a thick, smooth sweet and spicy sauce topped over rice will warm you from the inside out. Curry-rice, as the dish is known in Japan, is a favorite for Japanese of all ages. It is relatively simple to make, and becomes even tastier the next day making it perfect for a weeknight dinner (or several weeknights’ dinner depending on how much you make).
Despite sharing a name and key spice component with Indian and Thai curries, Japanese is quite different, and a dish unto itself. It is often much sweeter than it is spicy, has a thicker more stew-like consistency, and often contains very little, if any dairy and no coconut milk. Curry spices were introduced to Japan in the mid 19th century by the British, and as such, Japanese curry bears a much stronger resemblance to Irish curry dishes than it does to its south asian counterparts, despite the much shorter relative distance. That said, Japanese curry has become a popular dish across Asia and the Americas and is commonly made both at home, and served in restaurants.
Try the following recipe to make your own Japanese-style curry!
Prep Time: 30 mins
Cook Time: 45 mins
Total: 1 hr 15 mins
1.2 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs (atsuage tofu works well for a vegetarian substitution)
2 carrots, peeled
2 potatoes, peeled
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 apple, peeled
1 box curry blocks of your choice (Maido uses ½ box of Golden Curry Hot blocks, and ½ box of Java Curry Medium Hot blocks for our curry recipe)
2 tbsp cooking oil
5 cups water
Scrape the excess fat from the chicken thighs and cut into bite-sized chunks.
Cut the carrots, onions, and potatoes into 1” square pieces\
Soak the potato chunks in water to remove the extra starch for about 15 minutes.
Once the potatoes have finished soaking, stir-fry the meat, vegetables and garlic with oil in a large stock pot on medium heat until the meat is cooked through.
Add water and bring to a boil. Grate the apple into the mixture.
Then reduce the heat, cover, and simmer the ingredients together until the carrots and potatoes are tender (usually about 20 minutes), occasionally skimming fat from the surface of the liquid.
Once the potatoes and carrots are tender, break apart the curry blocks and add them to the pot. Stir until the blocks are completely melted and the sauce is a uniform texture.
Turn off the heat, and serve hot over rice.