Japanese curry is my go-to meal during the colder months. It ticks a lot of boxes- very very easy to make, budget-friendly, delicious, versatile, can feed a lot of people, one-pot meal, very comforting and great as left-overs. It’s very rarely that a meal can have that many of benefits. That’s why it’s not weird that this is the meal that I cook very often, at least once a month especially during the busy over-time working week.
A lot of people know how to cook Japanese curry. Step 1 – buy a pack of curry roux from the Asian grocery. Step 2 – prepare vegetables and meat. Step 3 – cook curry according to the packet. Done.
I used to do these three steps mentioned above as well and I was pretty content with it, didn’t really bother to try tweaking the process to make it better. It wasn’t until I tried a much better Japanese Curry from Coco Ichibanya which I was blown away (the difference between my curry and Coco’s curry was like heaven and earth, or beautiful swan and ugly duckling, or Elsa from Frozen and the Frog Prince).
It was too different. Coco Curry is very flavourful and bolder. I can not stop thinking about it after my first Coco Curry experience.
Sadly I can not find any Japanese curry in Melbourne which is as good as the one in Coco Japan. The Japanese curry that resembles Coco the most was from Sushi Monger in Melbourne CBD. For me it is the best Japanese curry in town – but it’s only open for lunch and the queue during lunchtime can be a pain!
Then I did my homework. I tried finding the best recipe for an authentic Japanese curry and tried it on my own. I still can not make the Japanese curry as similar as Coco’s but at least now it’s much much better in taste. I still use the instant curry roux (mostly Golden Curry or Vermont Curry) but I also add some extra ingredients just to deepen the flavour of the curry so that it tastes not so much like an instant curry but more like do-it-from-the-scratch curry even though we all know that it’s NOT..
Thanks to Nami-san from JustOneCookbook.com I am now able to make my favourite Japanese Curry better. I used her beef curry recipe and tried adding more curry powder, Worcestershire sauce, bay leaves, tomato ketchup and beef/chicken stock. The difference is quite noticeable and it has made my Japanese curry more delicious. I have been using this method ever since.
I use the combination of red and jasmine rice for my rice to make it look more interesting, not to mention healthier. But normally people like to use short-grain rice.
- 1 tbsp of butter
- 1 large onion, diced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 medium potatoes, chopped to chunks
- 4 medium carrots, chopped to chunks
- Your preferred meat or katsu
- 1 box instant curry roux
- 2 cups of hot water
- 1.5 tbsp of curry powder
- 2 tbsp of tomato ketchup
- 3 tbsp of Worcestershire sauce
- 2 cups of chicken stock or beef stock
- 2 bay leaves
- Melt butter in a large shallow casserole or saucepan over medium heat.
- Add onion and garlic cloves. Saute for 2-3 minutes until soft and translucent. If you are cooking beef curry add the beef now to be browned.
- Mix curry roux with hot water and stir until the curry roux becomes liquid. Pour curry into the saucepan and stir to cook.
- Add curry powder, tomato ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, chicken/beef stock and bay leaves.
- Add potatoes and carrots into the curry pan. Cover with a lid and turn the heat to medium-low. Simmer for 15-20 minutes.
- Season to taste and serve with warm rice.