Cooking: For novice home cooks – part 9

Japanese Katsu Curry over Rice (カレーライス).

I was aimlessly browsing the internet and came across a video blog from a restaurant chef demonstrating a chicken katsu curry recipe.  I don’t know how authentic the recipe was, but it looked pretty good, and I noted that I had all the ingredients he listed, so I decided to try it.

Curry comes from India, but when British merchants brought curry spices to Japan, the Japanese took it and ran with it.  Today, curry appears on the menus of quite a few japanese restaurants, and there are even restaurant chains in Japan that serve curry exclusively.

Japanese style curry tends to be sweeter than indian or thai curries, and they generally don’t have much heat (for that matter, the versions of indian and thai curries served in north america generally don’t have alot of heat either).

you’ll need

countertop blender or hand held immersion blender
sauce pan
deep pot for frying
three bowls
plate covered by paper towels
1/2 cup japanese rice
3/4 lb boneless chicken
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 cup panko
1 tbs curry powder
1 tbs tumeric
1/2 cup onions, diced
1 tsp ginger, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
1/3 cup chicken broth or stock
1/4 cup coconut milk
1 egg, beaten
salt & pepper
neutral oil for frying

IMG_20200507_133033

prepare the sauce

  • prepare the chicken (I used chicken drumsticks, so I deboned them.  If you use breast, debone, butterfly the breast, and slice into two halves, then pound it flat)
  • dice the onions, mince the ginger, mince the garlicIMG_20200507_174817
  • in a sauce pan over medium low heat, saute the onions, garlic and ginger with a teaspoon of neutral oil, season with salt and pepper
  • add the tumeric and curry sauce to the onion mixture, saute for 15-30 seconds
  • add the chicken stock and coconut milk and simmer for 1-2 minutes
  • use the blender to puree the sauce, set sauce asideIMG_20200507_181015
  • start cooking the rice (If you have a rice cooker, use that; they’re almost foolproof.  If you don’t have one , find a small pot, add the japanese rice, wash the rice and discard the water 3 times, then add an amount of water slightly greater in volume to the rice. ie. the rice should be submerged in water to a depth of a 1/2 cm.  Heat up the pot of rice and water over high heat until it starts to boil, then turn the heat down to low.  Let it cook for about 10 minutes.  Add more water, and turn off the heat, and let rest for another 10 minutes.  The rice should be slightly sticky).
  • prepare three bowls, filling the first with all purpose flour, the second with a beaten egg, and the third with panko.
  • season the flour and the egg with salt and pepper
  • heat up the deep pot with frying oil to a depth of about 1/2 cm (about 1/4 inch), set the heat to medium high.
  • dredge the chicken in the all purpose flourIMG_20200507_181829
  • dip the floured chicken in the egg, and then the panko until it’s well coated
  • gently lower the coated chicken into the hot oil in the frying potIMG_20200507_182020
  • fry for about 2-3 minutes (depend on the thickness of the meat)
  • turn the pieces over to fry on the other side for another 2 minutes (my drumstick meat is a little thicker, so it went about 3 minutes on each side)IMG_20200507_182132
  • drain the chicken over paper towelsIMG_20200507_183057(Notice the inverted wire rack between the chicken and the paper towel? That’s intentional.  The oil will seep onto the wire rack, and into the paper towel, so that the chicken is not resting in a pool of it’s own oil)
  • after the chicken has cooled slightly (about 3-4 minutes), slice the chicken across the grain of the meatIMG_20200507_183934
  • serve over the steamed rice.  Pour the fresh curry over top of the chicken. Traditionally, this would served with finely shredded cabbage, and some pickled vegetables, and maybe a cup of miso soupIMG_20200507_184015

 

notes:

  • the three step breading procedure (using flour, then egg wash, then panko) can be easily adapted to most “deep fried” things.  It works well for fish, shellfish, pork, etc.
  • I’ve used japanese style calrose rice, but you could just as easily use jasmine rice, basmati rice, or any type of rice that you like.

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