When you were growing up, what was the meal that was a regular staple in your house? The meal that was always in your Mom’s regular menu rotation? Maybe it was meatloaf or spaghetti or a Sunday roast? For me, that dish was Japanese curry. It was my comfort food when growing up and I never got tired of it. It was always, and always will be, absolutely delicious.
There are several Japanese curry brands out there. I’ve heard that they differ slightly in taste — some sweeter and some spicier — and some people even like to mix different brands but I grew up on S&B Golden Curry and always reach for this brand at the grocery store. It’s the O.G. curry for me. S&B Golden comes in different spiciness levels (conveniently labeled 1-5) so you can choose whether you like a milder or spicier curry. I love spicy foods so I always choose the highest level. There are times I think about trying another brand but I just can’t seem to do it, probably because I want my comfort foods to be consistent and familiar. Know what I’m sayin’?
Japanese curry is super duper easy to make with no real measuring of any kind and is great for leftovers. I like making it with chicken but you can make it with beef too if you like. That’s the best thing about Japanese curry, there are no real rules!
Here’s what I like to put in my curry. First, get the rice going in your rice cooker (I measure about 2 cups dry so I have enough for the next couple days). Now, grab some potatoes (about 3 small – medium), 1 medium carrot, 1 large white onion, 2 chicken breasts (about 1 lb.) and a package of curry. Each S&B Golden Curry box usually comes with 2 packs inside.
Now cut the chicken into 3/4-inch cubes. Basically bite-size pieces. Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper. Because chicken breasts can be a little tough when cooked I like to add a little corn starch or potato starch to make it more tender. So just get a heaping teaspoon and sprinkle it on top. Then you want to drizzle a little water on top and mix everything up with your hands. You want the chicken to be coated with the corn starch mixture. Season as you go if it needs more salt or pepper.
Now cut the carrot up into rolling chunks, which means you roll the carrot while cutting it at an angle so you get these irregular triangular carrot shapes.
Cut the onion into medium slices and cut the potatoes into chunks. All the ingredients are now prepped.
Get the curry roux ready. Take it out of the package…
…and dice it up so it’s easier to mix later. Now you’re ready to make the curry!
To cook the curry: Heat large pot on medium heat for 2 minutes. Add 1.5 tablespoons of vegetable oil and heat for another minute. Add the chicken and saute until most sides of the chicken pieces are seared. Add the onions, carrots and potatoes. Saute for another 3 minutes. Add 3 cups of water. Bring to boil and then cover and simmer for 10 minutes or until potatoes and carrots are tender. Add the curry roux and keep stirring until melted and fully dissolved. Add more water to taste. I like my curry thicker so I only end up using about 3.5 cups water total but you can use up to about 6 cups if you like thinner consistency. I recommend adding water and tasting as you go.
Lastly, ladle the curry over the warm rice and shovel it down until you descend into a food coma. MmmmMmm! This curry recipe is also good over udon noodles or better yet don’t add chicken and enjoy it with tonkatsu :).
Japanese Chicken Curry:
Prep time: 10 minutes | Cook time: 20 minutes | Serves: 8
1 lb. chicken breast
1 large onion
1 medium carrot
3 small to medium potatoes
1 pack of curry roux such as S&B Golden Curry