I Have Decided To Make My Own Japanese Curry Roux–Japanese Curry Chicken Rice

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UPDATED POST ON 2-10-2014

Please scroll down towards the end for an updated quicker recipe of Japanese curry cooking.

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INTRODUCTION

I grew up eating curries but the South East Asian type of curries. The curries that are spicy, savoury and with coconut milk. As I have explained in the Japanese curry spaghettis and Japanese curry potatoes pies post, I only learned to like Japanese curry very recently because of my kids. The curry is slightly sweet and definitely not spicy, though not my top choice of curries, but it is definitely acceptable to me.

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Recently, we have cooked Japanese curry rather often. All because of my kids. They love it because it is not spicy and sweet. Because of their preferences, I have to buy the Japanese curry cubes from the supermarket which is definitely not cheap as compared to the traditional Indian curry powder or Malay curry mix. A meal will cost about SGD5 just to buy the ready mix Japanese curry cubes.

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It had always in my mind since the taste of Japanese curry do not vary much with the other curries that I have tried, it means that they must be essentially made up of the same main ingredient, the turmeric or curry powder. However, there must be some other ingredients in the Japanese curry cubes that gives its unique tastes and differentiate from the Malaysian curries..

Is it not nice if I can home made these Japanese curry cubes and that will save me some money for a blogger house dad like me? Secondly, I can share the recipe with my relatives in Malaysia who have to pay a hefty price for the small Japanese curry cubes and is not easily available.. My relatives in Malaysia have also started to like these curries because it is kids friendly.

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I search the net for the recipe.. There are not many recipes available but they do have some bloggers who are willing to share. I have read 2 recipes and comes out with my own recipe of Japanese curry roux. The recipes that I have referred were from Just One Cookbook and Norecipes.com. Both recipes are rather different but as a Malaysian who are familiar with curry smell, I have adjusted the recipe along the way. However, I do believe the taste come at least 85% closed to the the Japanese curry roux blocks that I have used before.


THE JOKE ABOUT GARAM MASALA

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One of the ingredients required is called turmeric or curry powder and both recipes called for the use of Garam Masala. I make a joke of myself when I went and bought the Garam Masala, I went to a few shops requesting for Masala Salt and it appeared that none have this item. I was rather surprised and before I gave up my hope, I went to an Indian provision shop near my housing area and told this friendly old man that I wanted Garam Masala (instead of Masala salt). To my surprise, he immediately pointed me to the shelf and asked me to get it myself. I searched high and low and I couldn’t see any salt that I was looking for. I asked him to come and showed me where it was. He just gave me a packet of curry powder with the name Garam Masala. I was even more doubtful that how come the salt became curry powder.. Subsequently, I knew where was my mistake. Garam Masala had to be used together and it is an INDIAN language meaning curry spices. I am a Malaysian and I thought it was salt because GARAM is salt in Malay language. So I have been wasting my time asking for the wrong thing! It was my mistake not to search for more before I bought the ingredients.

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WHAT IS REQUIRED

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  • 6 tablespoons of ghee or butter (I used a mix of ghee and butter)

  • 1/2 cups plain flour

  • 4 tablespoons of Garam masala

  • 1 tablespoon curry powder

  • 1 tablespoon coriander powder

  • 1 tablespoon of chilli powder (optional)

  • 1 teaspoon of black pepper powder (optional)

  • 1 piece of dark cooking chocolate (2cm x 2cm x 2cm)

  • Pinches of salt

  • Pinches of sugar (optional)

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  • 500 grams chicken drumstick or chicken breast cut in cubes

  • 1 cup of onions diced into cubes

  • 1 cup of green peas (I have used the canned green peas as I do not have the frozen green peas)

  • 1 cup of carrots diced into cubes

  • 1 cup of potatoes diced into cubes

  • 2 tablespoons of cooking oil

It all depends on your family preferences. Feel free to adjust the quantity or substitute to what you like.

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STEPS OF PREPARATION

Preparing the Japanese Curry Roux

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  • In a big frying pan, melt the butter and/or ghee under medium heat. Once melted, add in Garam Masala, curry powder, coriander powder, chilli powder, black pepper, salt  and stir fry until aromatic. Add in chocolate and let it melt in the heat. Once melted, add in the plain flour and continue stir frying.

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  • Continue to stir fry for about 15 minutes under low to medium heat until the fragrance start to spread again. It is okay if you have some lumps. Add in some water if it is too dry or difficult to fry. If there are some lumps, put all the roux into a food processor, blend until your desired texture. However, the blending is optional depending on your preferences.

  • Let it cool at the room temperature. If preferred, put the roux in a airtight container and store in the fridge. It can keep for at least a month. You can also consider to pack it for individual serving. Just take a portion out for your next session of cooking.

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Cooking the Japanese Curry Chicken Rice

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  • In a frying pan, add 2 tablespoons of cooking oil, stir fry the onion until the onion is slightly brownish and aromatic. Add in chicken cubes, carrot and potatoes. Stir fry until for 2-3 minutes. Add in 2 cups of water (or water adequate to cover the ingredients, bring to boil and simmer for about 5 minutes. Add in 2-3 tablespoons full of Japanese curry roux to the frying pan. Stir well until all the roux have dissolved.

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  • Add in chocolate (optional) green peas, salt and sugar to taste. Let it boil for another 2-3 minutes. Off the heat and let it rest for 5 minutes before serving. (Note: I usually add chocolate for colour, taste and sweetening, but this is optional and depends on individuals. The amount should not be too much until it overshadows the curry flavour).

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  • Best served hot with white rice.


CONCLUSION

Please do not ask me if it is authentic or not? I do no think it is that authentic since I have added some spices of my preference . However, the taste is very close. As far as  I am able to satisfy my taste bud with a minimum fraction of costs, I am willing to try to replicate. As you can see in the Garam Masala picture, 1 big packet only cost SGD 1.30 and 12 small cubes will cost about SGD 5.00 in Singapore supermarkets. For me, it is really worth the try and most important of all, it is kids friendly and a very good way to introduce this spice packed cuisine to children. You will have some leftover for you keep in the fridge, you can try to prepare Japanese curry spaghettis or making Japanese curry potatoes pies. Hope you like the post day. Cheers and have a nice day.

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UPDATED POST ON 2 OCTOBER 2014

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Today, I have decided to prepare these Japanese curry chicken rice for lunch. Since I do not want to take the trouble to prepare a lot of curry roux, I just cooked one portion for that particular meal only. There is no changes in the ingredients except that the ingredients were reduced accordingly.

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In a pot with some cooking oil, add all the powdered spices. Sauté until fragrant and add in the chop onion. Sauté again until aromatic. Add some water and follow by all the ingredients except plain flour and chocolate. Bring to boil and let it simmer until the meat is soft. Mix the plain flour with some water until it form a paste, add to the curry mixture and let it simmer for one two minutes. Add in the chocolate and dish up when the chocolate melts. Throughout this process, add in more water until you reached the consistency that you preferred. It took me only about 1/2 hour to get this done.

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  • For more recipes, you can refer to my RECIPE INDEX (updated as at 28 July 2014)  here and you can follow me at PINTEREST or visit the blog’s FACEBOOK PAGE to keep abreast of my future posts.  

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When East Meets West, It Is A New Cuisine….Japanese Curry Spaghettis

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INTRODUCTION

It was last night’s dinner and I wouldn’t have any luxury of time to take additional photos. Therefore, with the limited photos that I have taken, I will just share this extremely nice “one pot” noodle dish – JAPANESE CURRY SPAGHETTIS. I did not refer to any recipe when I cook this but before I cooked this, I have predicted that it would be a nice combination and this was confirmed by my wife after she took the first bite : “It is much better than spaghettis with tomato pasta sauce!”

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I have a post on Japanese curry potato pie yesterday and I have some leftover Japanese curry cubes. When I read Travelling Foodies’s Spaghetti with Bacon and Leeks (Ree Drummond), I told Ms. Yen Simpson (the blog owner) that I like pasta but I do not like the cooking time. She assured me that it is very easy to cook and took her only 8 minutes to cook the spaghettis. I concluded that I will try to cook the spaghettis again and it ended up that I was cooking spaghettis with the leftover Japanese curry cubes.

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Personally, I should say, this is a good combination. My kids were asking me when am I going to post this recipe in my blog because they wanted their cousins in Malaysia to try the spaghettis. They said that it was very nice. What they said were expected since they like noodles and Japanese curry sauce which was sweet and not spicy. That, however, should only be used as a reference and readers should try to prepare this and testify yourself if it is a nice combination.

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WHAT IS NEEDED

Servings: About 4-5 Adults

All measurements are estimated and you can always add or minus or even substitute the ingredients to suit your family’s taste buds.

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Must Haves

  • 400 grams of spaghettis (cooked using package’s instructions)

  • 2 medium sized onions (cut into small pieces)

  • 3 cups of water

  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil or cooking oil.

Optional and Substitutable

  • 20 grams of slightly sweetened cooking chocolate

  • 4 chicken franks (cut in slices)

  • 1 small carrots (cut into cubes)

  • 150 grams of cauliflower (cut into smaller pieces)

  • 1 small packet of fresh mushrooms

  • 150 grams of minced meat

  • Some coriander leaves or Chinese celery for garnish.

  • Seasonings for taste.

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STEPS OF PREPARATION

Cooking the pasta

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  • Cook spaghettis until desired texture and it is best to follow the instructions in the packaging to get best results. Every pasta will have different cooking time.

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  • After cooking, drain away the water and put it in icy cold water for 3-4 minutes. Drain again and set aside for later use. The purpose of this step is to make the pasta more chewy rather than soggy.

Preparing the Japanese Curry Sauce and Assembly the dish

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  • In a sauce pan, heat up some olive or cooking oil under high heat. Add in onion and stir fry until aroma start to emit. Add in broccoli, carrots, minced meat, chicken franks and mushrooms and stir fried for 1-2 minutes. Add in the water and let it simmer under medium heat for 2-3 minutes. Add in Japanese curry cubes or Japanese curry sauces and let it simmer for another 2-3 minutes.

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  • In order to “enhance” the colour and the sweetness of the curry, add in the cooking chocolate and let it melt into the sauce. Once the chocolate have melted, off the heat and add in some coriander leaves, if desired.

Theoretically, no condiment is needed but it is advisable that to take a spoon and taste whether the sauce suits your taste buds. Add additional seasonings if desired.

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Assembly of the pasta

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  • In a big serving plate, place some spaghettis on top of the plate and scoop some pasta sauce and place on top the spaghettis. Garnish with desired greens of choice such as fresh coriander leaves. Best served hot during meals.


CONCLUSION

This combination is fabulous and it is kids friendly. I do hope that readers can take a step out to try making the dish. If you can’t get ready made Japanese curry sauce, you can always used traditional curry sauce which can be slightly spicy. Remembers, the dish have full flexibility in the selection of ingredients that your family likes..

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This recipe was included in Page 65-66 of the “One Pot Noodle E-book”. For more One Pot Noodle Dishes, you can have a copy of Easy One Pot Noodles  – A step by step guide” that was packed with 30 recipes, 60 pages at a reasonable convenience fee of USD5.00. The recipes covered various recipes from curry laksa, prawn noodles to fish head beehoon and etc. Of course not forgetting the well like Economy Bee hoon and Mee Rebus . You can purchase by clicking the link above.You can either pay using Pay Pal or Credit card account. Please ensure that you have an PDF reader like Acrobat or iBooks in your mobile phone or iPad if you intended to read it in your ipad or mobile phone. Should there be any problems of purchasing, feel free to contact me at kengls@singnet.com.sg and separate arrangement can be made.

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Hope you like the post today. Cheers and have a nice day.

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