Sunday, June 10, 2012

Japanese Style Curry "Curry Rice"

I was asked by my husband to post the recipe for Japanese style curry called "Curry Rice", because he loves Curry Rice and would like to introduce it to his American colleagues.

It is called curry but the taste is unlike Indian curry.  Curry Rice is more fruity and even small kids can happily eat it.

Curry Rice is everyone's favourite in Japan including Seattle Mariner's Ichiro, who loves his wife's Curry Rice!

Ingredients for 5 - 6 people
(Bouquet Garni)
2 - 3 sprigs of parsley
2 - 3 springs of thyme
1 stalk of celery (about 6” length)
1 large bay leaf (use 2 leaves if small)

Olive or canola oil if necessary
1 lb braising beef - trim off extra fat and tendons, and cut into half inch cubes
2 tablespoons butter
1 large clove garlic chopped
1 red chile seeded and chopped
1 large onion slice
1 large carrot peeled skin and cut into half inch cubes
4 - 5 cups water
1 can of crushed tomatoes
1 granny smith peeled, cored and grated
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 medium potato peeled and cut into one inch cubes
2/3 - 3/4 of 8 oz box of curry sauce mix break into pieces

If you are using prepared "suji" and homemade beef stock, skip the first 2 steps and start by cooking garlic and chile.  Click HERE to learn how to prepare suji and make homemade beef stock. 

Heat a non-stick deep pan and brown the beef without oil (or with a little amount of oil if you do not have a non-stick pan large enough), until the beef is browned all over and any excess water has come out of the beef (4 - 5 minutes).

Remove the beef from the pan and place on kitchen paper to drain.  Discard the “mysterious” water from the pan.
Clean the pan with kitchen paper and heat the butter. Add the garlic and chile and cook for 1 minute. Add the onion and cook for 3 - 4 minutes until it becomes soft.  Add the carrot and cook for further 3 - 4 minutes.

Return the beef (or add the prepared suji) to the pan, then add the water (or homemade beef stock), tomato, apple and tomato paste and bring to the boil.  I

Place the bouquet garni on the top of meat and vegetable, reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 90 minutes.

Add the potato to the pan and cook for further 20 - 30 minutes until it becomes soft.

Remove the pan from the heat and add the curry sauce mix to the pan.  Mix well.

Return to the low heat and cook for 10 minutes or so until the curry thickens.  Serve with some hot cooked rice.

As a serving suggestion, you can add some Japanese pickles such as Fukujinzuke and Rakkyo (both available at Japanese food stores).  Also, you add a Schnitzel style pork or chicken cutlet to make "Katsu Curry Rice" shown in the picture above.

Bon appetit!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Feta & Chick Pea Mediterranean Style Salad

I tasted a sampler salad at Whole Foods the other day.  It was just so delicious!

Unfortunately, as I had already made a dinner plan for that night so I didn't buy it, but I just couldn't forget its beautiful taste.  Anyway, rather than going back to Whole Foods to buy it I made something very similar at home, remembering the taste of the original salad.

I think my replica salad is as delicious as the Whole Foods one, or maybe even better!

Ingredients for 3 - 4 people
1 can Chick Peas washed thoroughly in running water, then drained
1 large shallot chopped finely
1 clove garlic chopped finely
4oz crumbled feta cheese
about 10 cherry tomatoes cut in half
1 tablespoon parsley chopped finely
1 teaspoon fresh oregano chopped finely

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon lemon juice (about half a lemon)
1/2 - 1 teaspoon sugar to taste
salt and black pepper to taste

Place all the ingredients of salad into a large mixing bowl and mix. Simple!

To make the dressing, whisk (or shake, if you put it in a bottle) the oil, vinegar, lemon juice and sugar together.  Season to taste with the salt and black pepper.

Add the dressing to the bowl and mix well.

If you would like to read this recipe in Japanese, please click HERE.

Bon appetit!