Sunday, May 14, 2017

Japanese Chicken Curry #SundaySupper

Homemade Japanese Curry Chicken WIN! The perfect balance of savoury, sweet, tangy and bitter, packed with umami and 100% from scratch. No roux, no prefab curry powder, and even gluten free to boot!

Oh my Lord what #recipe is this devil magic?? Homemade #Japanese #Curry #Chicken WIN! The perfect balance of savoury, sweet, tangy and bitter, packed with #umami and 100% from scratch. No roux, no prefab curry powder, and even #glutenfree to boot! #yummy

I know I've gone on and on and on about it time and again, but if there's one type of dish my mom can't get enough of, it's curry. I don't just mean your turmeric-stained yellow stuff either - although that is certainly on the "yes" list. Pick any curry-making region you can think of, and you can bet Mom will want a taste.

Our first experience with Japanese curry was actually about a year ago, when we went to a sushi and Japanese cuisine restaurant for my birthday. After ordering what was simply labeled "chicken curry" on the menu, Mom was surprised to receive a huge, steaming bowl of thick, dark and intensely aromatic stew with chunks of carrot, potato and chicken alongside a bowl of rice. A few spoonfuls later and she was sold - but we had no idea how to go about making it at home. After all, curry powder is British-Indian, not even vaguely Japanese in style, right?

It'll cure what ails you! Japanese curry powder I made for a cold-exorcising Japanese chicken curry, made 100%  from scratch. No roux! #yummy #yum #vegetarian #spicy #curry #eeeeeats #spicemix #japanese #food #vegan #glutenfree

Well, it turns out that Japanese curry is actually more or less based in a cube mix rather than an ornate blend of spices. Unfortunately, finding that pre-made roux is all but impossible around me, and I had no idea how to recreate the bouillon-like medley. However, I couldn't leave my dream of recreating one of my mom's favourte meals go cold, so I began Googling right after that fateful dinner, finally landing on No Recipes. There, I found a completely from-scratch formula for what I was looking for, along with a handy hint - the key to a really great Japanese curry is in the caramelized onions. Well, those I can do, and I do a lot.

Of course, I did modify a few things along the way - I didn't have apples at home, so an Asian pear stood in admirably. I made my own Chunou sauce too, because there was no way my "white bread" superstore would have heard of it if I haven't. I also left out the peas (forgot about them on grocery day) and decided to thicken the works with Veloutine instead of a roux (yeah, sacrilege, I know) because I'm lazy and didn't want to babysit and watch another pot. I've provided both methods, so go with your preference.

More #MothersDay treats for #SundaySupper are below. Our host this week is Amy from My Wolrd Simplified

Chocolate Treats


Sides and Salads


Sunday Supper Movement

Join the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board. Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

First up is the "punch" in this curry - a Japanese-style curry powder. What makes this "Japanese" as opposed to Indian, Thai, African, Sri Lankan, Jamaican or British I'm not entirely sure, although I know ingredients like fenugreek, curry leaves and mustard seed are omitted here. Regardless, it is a perfect spicy (not hot-hot), slightly earthy base that melds perfectly with the remaining ingredients. If you really can't be bothered, pick up a real Japanese blend like S & B

Japanese Curry Powder
Makes about ¼ cup
2 tablespoons turmeric
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon ground cardamom
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
¼ teaspoon ground fennel

Now, for the good stuff - get out your heavy, big Dutch oven and get to making this treat! I added a Japanese sweet potato for interest, but traditionally you'll only find "regular" potatoes, carrot and onions in this. Next time, I might go extra-crazy and toss in eggplant, since we all love it here. To get a head start on everything, you can caramelize the onions in advance - I do a whole 10 lb bag of them at once and store them in baggies in the freezer. 10 bags = 10 lbs of onions, easy math and easier flavour!

Japanese Chicken Curry
Serves 6
2 tbsp canola oil
550 g boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed and chopped into large chunks
2 large onions, thinly sliced (approx. 1 lb)
½ tbsp grated garlic (~2 large cloves)
½ tbsp grated ginger
2 ½ tbsp Japanese curry powder (see above)
3 cups low-sodium chicken stock
2 large carrots, cut into chunks
2 large, red-skinned potatoes, cut into large chunks (no need to peel)
1 medium Japanese sweet potato, peeled and cut into chunks
1 small Asian pear (or apple), peeled cored and grated
2 tbsp Chunou sauce*
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tbsp kosher salt
3 tbsp
Veloutine (for GF)
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon flour 

*Chunou Sauce:
1 tbsp all-natural ketchup
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce

  1. Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat.
  2. Add the chicken in a single layer (work in batches if needed) and let the chicken brown undisturbed (about 5 minutes).
  3. Turn chicken and brown the other side. Remove to a bowl using a slotted spoon and set aside.
  4. Turn down the heat to medium-low and add the onions, stirring for 1-2 minutes to coat with the oil.
  5. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are completely caramelized and almost a paste - roughly 30 minutes.
  6. Raise the heat to medium high and add the garlic, ginger, and curry powder. Saute 1-2 minutes, until very fragrant.
  7. Return the chicken to the pot and add the stock, vegetables, pear, Chunou sauce, tomato paste, cocoa powder, and salt.
  8. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce to a simmer, cover and simmer for 35 minutes.
  9. To thicken, either stir in the Veloutine until thickened or make a roux by melting the butter in a saucepan and adding the flour. Cook, stirring with a spatula, until the roux is a light brown color. Stir into the curry.
  10. Adjust salt to taste.
  11. Serve with hot rice on the side. 

Amount Per Serving
Calories: 298.2
Total Fat: 11.4 g
Cholesterol: 68.7 mg
Sodium: 1,037.6 mg
Total Carbs: 31.4 g
Dietary Fiber: 4.9 g
Protein: 19.5 g

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