Monday, January 14, 2008

Japanese Curry Rice!

Anyone who is a fan of anime must be consumed with curiosity over the dish 'Curry Rice' which shows up in many anime. Okay, maybe not, but I sure was! For years I have (ocassionally) wondered what it was that made Jun Pei so rapturous over Curry. What is the incredible pull of Curry Rice that Rino and President Kanade love so much? Finally, after all this time I got a chance to find out and the courage to experiment.

You might get the impression from this post that I, too, am in love with Japanese Curry Rice and you would be correct! The really funny thing is that it reminds me more of an old-fashioned beef stew than it does a curry. Weird but true. All three of us agree that it's delicious, though, and I think we'll be eating a whole lot of it this year.Top portion: Japanese curry, baby tomato and steamed broccoli.
Bottom portion: rice with soy bologna heart, mozzarella Hello Kitty, nori eyes, mamenori nose and hair bow.

Top tier: Curry rice
Bottom tier: mochi, mamenori flowers and leaves. Soy hot dog flowers, steamed broccoli, baby tomatoes.

Top tier: Curry rice with snap pea leaves, baby corn flowers and veggie hot dog flowers.
Bottom tier: Veggie hot dog flowers, steamed broccoli, baby corn, baby tomatoes, mochi and lemon cream puff biscuit. The puff biscuit was very interesting - the biscuit part was just like a cracker and not sweet at all, while the cream inside was very sweet!

This is the box that the delightful curry sauce mix comes in. This one came from Super H Mart. It is medium hot, but can also be found in mild and hot flavors.

There are two of these packs inside the box. They are easy to break apart either into halves or fourths.

1/2 pack of Extra firm tofu cut into squares (Or meat product of your choice)
3 Idaho potatoes, peeled and cut into squarish shapes
3 carrots, peeled and sliced thickly
1 onion, peeled and chopped into large segments
2 Tb butter
1/2 block of Curry mix
Lots of water

1. Brown tofu (or meat) and onions in butter.
2. Remove from pan and replace with potatoes and carrots. Add 2-3 cups water and bring to a boil. Turn down heat and simmer until potatoes are tender.
3. Put tofu and onions back into pan with veggies and any remaining water.
4. Add the curry mix and stir until dissolved, adding water as necessary to maintain a mostly thick sauce.
5. Simmer for 5 minutes, continuing to add water if sauce gets too thick.
6. Serve with steamed rice in a 50-50 ratio with some of the rice underneath the curry but some on the side.

Note: The anime referenced above are: Jun Pei from "Those Who Hunt Elves". Rino Rando and President Kanade are from "Best Student Council".


Ashley said...

I just came across your blog yesterday and I love it! Your bentos are so creative!

Lunch Buckets said...

You know they put crack in that stuff, right?

Natakiya said...

Thank you, Ashley! I'm very glad that you like them :D

lunch buckets, I really think that they do! It's amazingly good stuff. I saw your blog post about it too, so funny!!!

Lisa said...

Thank you for posting your curry recipe! I have the same box at home but the instructions (the English ones at least) are incomplete.

Natakiya said...

You're welcome! Here is another version of the curry recipe by lunch buckets, too...

Niku said...

I have to agree with you about Japanese style curry rice. I was stationed in Tokyo from 1956 through 1958, and I found that my favorite Japanese food was their version of beef curry. Sure, I liked tempura, sukiyaki, and steaks made of their best beef (Their ordinary beef was some of the worst I have ever eaten, with the exception of that found on the island of Palau). I also liked their takes on many European and American foods; however, with these few exceptions, I found that Japanese cuisine is really overrated. In fact, I would have to say that most of the "pure" Japanese dishes are really lousy. One exception: sashimi. Well, I guess that's enough. I'll just add that I got to thinking about Japanese curry today, so I thought I'd try to see if I could find any recipes on the Internet. I'm no cook, but my memories of curry leave me no choice.

Amateur Cook said...

Thanks for posting that recipe Natakiya. It is simplicity itself really, but that is great for anyone who hasn't made it yet.