After my delicious Japanese curry at Yong Green Food last night, I decided to try making my own. Before I became vegan I used to buy a pre-packaged Japanese curry mix from the supermarket. I think it’s vegan but last time I looked at the ingredients list it was full of nasty flavour enhancers and other scary looking stuff.
A cookbook I hung on to from my omni days is Curry Cuisine by a number of authors and published by DK, which features curry recipes from all over. Japanese curry was the one dish I’d order in restaurants and it contained a crumbed meat. I’m a sucker for anything crumbed/breaded and fried til crispy.
So I pulled out Curry Cuisine today and looked up the Japanese Curry recipe. I made this a couple of years ago and really liked it. Today I had a bunch of veg I wanted to put in and I decided to toss some cubed hard tofu in cornflour and fry it first so it went all crispy-like.
Because I had so many veggies I doubled the recipe but also made a few here-and-there changes. The recipe calls for a cooking apple which I didn’t have and shoyu, which ran out recently and I keep forgetting to replace it (remember folks my walls aren’t filthy, they’re burn marks and stains that can’t be removed):
I left out the mango chutney because I wanted to avoid adding too much sweet stuff and the recipe has tomato sauce (ketchup) in it. In the end though I felt it needed a bit so I stirred it in after a taste test.
The consistency turned out great, nice and thick. I made this as a last minute decision and if I’d been more organised I would have used home made veggie stock (I used vegan beef stock as it’s all I had on hand), bought the shoyu and a proper Japanese curry powder (all I had was Keens…).
The recipe has you prepare a roux first. Here’s what mine looked like:
Here’s the curry roux and curry sauce part of the recipe. The rest of the recipe is about cooking non-vegan 🙂 Once the veggies were finished cooking, I put my tofu on a mattress of rice and spooned the veg curry on top. I know I go on about my bad photos so how about another example?
Katsu Curry (minus the katsu bit) from Curry Cuisine, 2006 published by DK
For the Curry roux:
* 2Tbs vegetable oil
* 2Tbs butter (I used Nutellex)
* 1 onion, thinly sliced lengthwise
* 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
* 3/4inch – 2cm piece fresh ginger, grated (I used minced ginger)
* 2Tbs mild Japanese or Indian curry powder
* 4Tbs all purpose flour (I used brown rice flour)
* 1Tbs mango chutney
* 2Tbs tomato sauce/ketchup
* 2tsp shoyu (I used tamari)
To make the curry roux, heat oil and butter in a frying pan, add onion and reduce heat to low. Fry for 30-40 mins or until onion is soft and brown [I couldn’t be bothered waiting so long]. Stir in garlic, ginger, curry powder and fry for 2 minutes. Add flour and stir to absorb the oil. Add chutney, ketchup and shoyu and mix well. Remove from heat and set aside.
For the curry sauce:
* 1Tbs vegetable oil
* 1 onion, thinly sliced
* 14oz – 400g button mushrooms, halved or quartered [I used a heap of veggies and no mushrooms, see photos]
* 1/2 cooking apple, grated with skin [I didn’t include this]
* 1 small carrot, peeled and grated
* 1 stick celery, finely chopped
* 2 1/2 cups vegetable stock
* salt and ground white pepper
Heat oil in another frying pan and fry onion for 3 minutes. Add the mushrooms and fry until soft [I just dumped in all my veggies at this point]. Add apple, carrot and celery and fry for 5 minutes over med-low heat. Pour in stock and bring to a boil then stir in curry roux little by little and add salt and pepper to taste. Cover and leave to simmer gently, stirring occasionally.
I think following the recipe will produce a better result than my hack job 🙂