Around the World in Twelve Plates – Japanese Chicken Curry
I can’t even begin to tell you what these first 3 weeks of school have been like for our family. Suffice it to say that if your teen ever changes high schools, make sure that you know all the policies surrounding the switch…including those related to high school athletics. To make a really long and emotional story short, our family ended up having to appear before an appeals committee to prove that he didn’t move schools for athletic reasons. It was quite surreal having to defend him against these accusations; a boy who is the kindest, quietest, most respectful boy I know. It was also disappointing for him (and us) to see how petty and vile adults can be when they are given ridiculous power over children. It was the first time that someone else was making a decision for my son other than me and it was terrifying.
Don’t worry though, the story does indeed get better! His appeal was accepted and he has been able to play football (and other sports) at his new high school. In case you are wondering why he switched schools to begin with, he was drawn to the commercial cooking course that was available at his new school. He wants to be a chef and I couldn’t be more proud! Since starting school he has come home every day telling me what he’s learned and I know the day is coming when he’ll tell me I am doing a technique wrong or criticize my knife skills.
When the September Around the World in Twelve Plates country was revealed to be Japan, I got pretty excited because there are so many options! The obvious ones may be sushi and ramen, but I’m also a huge fan of dishes like karaage, katsu, teriyaki, and various izakaya (bar snacks). There’s Japanese binchotan grilling and those gorgeous Japanese cheese cakes, mochi (check out my Red Lentil Mochi here), and one can never forget gyoza! So many possibilities and I love them all. I really need to get to Japan!
Did you know that there was such a thing as Japanese Curry? Ever since I made dumplings with Carol from The Office Broccoli I have been wanting to try and make a Japanese Curry. We used the pre-made curry roux that comes in a box as a flavouring for our dumplings and I wanted to explore this flavour more but never did. It turns out that making the curry roux yourself is not that difficult, just time consuming. The flavours of a Japanese curry are what you would think a curry made with curry powder would be like but with other flavour aspects such as sweetness from the grated apple and honey punctuated with a bit of heat from the cayenne. Huge thanks to Gabby for giving me a gentle push I needed to make Japanese Curry for this month’s challenge!
If you’re wondering what the rest of the ATW12P regulars cooked this month, check out their links here:
Sugar Love Spices made Raw Vegetable Nori Wraps
The Food Girl in Town made some izakaya dishes to share with friends
I know that we made the right decision in supporting our son. He’s so much happier and focused at his new school. Now I know he’s also making friends too because yesterday it was game day and two of his team mates came over to chill before the big game. They arrived just as I was finishing this curry photo shoot and each had a huge bowl. I told them it was magic curry and that it would give them extra power during the game, little did I know that they would go on to win and all 3 of the boys were a huge part of that win. The boys came to see me after the game to let me know they were convinced the win was due to ‘CURRY POWER’ and that they’ll be showing up next week on game day for more of that delicious Japanese Curry.
Japanese Chicken Curry (adapted from Just One Cookbook)
- 2 tbsp canola oil
- 2 medium onions; cut into large pieces
- 3 cloves garlic; peeled and minced
- 1 inch piece ginger; peeled and minced
- 1 lb chicken thighs; cut into bite size pieces
- salt and pepper
- 2 small sweet potatoes; peeled and cut into large pieces
- 2 large carrots; peeled and cut into large pieces
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 1 apple
- 1 tbsp honey
- curry roux
- splash of acid; either lemon juice or rice wine vinegar or ketchup
Ingredients for Curry Roux
- 3 tbsp butter
- 4 tbsp flour
- 1 tbsp curry powder
- 1 tbsp garam masala
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
- Add canola oil to a large pot, then add diced onion. Cook until the onion begins to soften then add the garlic and ginger. Cook a few more minutes.
- Add chicken pieces, season with salt and pepper, then cook until they have changed colour with intermittent stirring.
- Add sweet potatoes and carrots then cover with chicken stock. Grate the apple into the pot and add the honey. Simmer for 20 minutes.
- While the chicken is simmering, make the Curry Roux.
- Melt the butter in a heavy bottomed pan and stir in the flour. Stir continuously for 20-30 minutes until the roux changes colour and looks like a copper penny.
- Add the spices to the roux and cook for another minute, stirring continuously.
- Add enough ladles of the simmering chicken stock to the roux so that it becomes somewhat fluid. Add roux/stock into the simmering chicken pot.
- Add your splash of acid.
- Serve with rice and some sort of pickle; pictured below is pickled ginger but you can pickle daikon or garlic scapes as well. You can also add a soft boiled egg.