I met my friend Rachel when we lived in Tokyo. Actually, we met her husband Nate first. It was our first Sunday in Tokyo and it was Nate’s, too. A senior missionary couple, the Snow’s, invited us all for dinner. Rachel came awhile later. I do feel that I have gotten to know Rachel a bit better since leaving Japan. She has a blog Lafujimama.com, but mostly I see her on Instagram. She shares many Japanese recipes and I love her recipe for Japanese Curry. It is a favorite comfort food. You might be thinking why would you need a recipe, can’t you just buy the curry block at the store? My answer is usually, I can buy a brand that doesn’t have much flavor at my favorite grocery store or I can drive across town and buy the one we do like at a different store. Right now, with the Covid 19 stay home in place neither of my stores have curry blocks on their websites for curbside pick up. That doesn’t mean they don’t have it, but I am not going in to find out. Also, Ally hasn’t found them in Montreal at all. Another reason for making your own is to avoid preservatives and gluten. This is my adaptation of Rachel’s Vegan Japanese Curry Rice. If you want to see her original recipe go here.
2-3 cooked chicken breasts, chopped (depends on how much meat you want)
1-2 large onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger (See my tip on fresh ginger below)
2 to 4 tablespoons curry powder-I tried S&B this time (Start with 2-add more to taste)
1 teaspoon salt (add more to taste at the end of cooking if needed)
4 carrots cut into chunks
2 large potatoes cut into chunks
1 cup green beans or frozen peas (add at the end of cooking)
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons apricot or peach jam (I didn’t have either and used fig preserves instead)
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar (I love rice vinegar, but use white or apple cider as a sub)
2 cups chicken stock (I make mine from bouillon cubes so I can control the strength)
1-2 cups water (start with 1 and increase it until you get the consistency that you like)
1/3 cup cornstarch
Hot steamed rice for serving
Heat a large non-stick pan or wok over medium high heat and add the onions to sauté until wilted. If they start to stick add a little water. Next add the garlic and ginger and sprinkle the curry powder and salt over everything and stir.
Add 1/2 cup chicken stock, tomato paste, jam, and vinegar and stir to combine. Add the carrots, potatoes and rest of the chicken stock and the water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium.
Add the cooked chicken and peas or green beans. Simmer until the potatoes and carrots are cooked.
Put the cornstarch in a bowl and spoon some of the hot curry sauce over it. Whisk it to make a paste. Add to the pan and stir until the curry has thickened. If it is too thick add water a little at a time. Sample and add more curry powder or salt to taste. Serve over hot rice. Makes 6 servings.
You can use any kind of vegetable you have on hand.
Ginger- Did you know that you can freeze fresh ginger? I bought a piece at the store and just popped it in a freezer bag. When a recipe calls for ginger I pull it out and grate the frozen ginger on my microplane. I don’t even peel it. The peel is not noticeable at all in whatever I am cooking. I was so glad to discover this, no more wasted fresh ginger!