Tag Archives: Japanese

Chicken Katsu Kare (Curry)

Chicken Katsu Kare (Japanese Curry)

One of my favourite Japanese meals is Chicken Katsu Kare.  A breaded chicken (or sometimes eve pork) cutlet with a lovely thick, mild curry sauce and sticky rice, topped with lightly pickled red pepper.

Chicken Katsu Kare (Japanese Curry)

Its absolute rainy day comfort food for me.  I had a real craving for it the other week but didn’t have any of my usual short cuts in stock.  (In Japan I’d always make the curry with shop bought roux cubes as would everyone else!) So I set to and made it all from scratch.  I didn’t even have any curry powder!

Chicken Katsu Kare (Japanese Curry)

Its actually not hard at all, it just takes a bit of organisation in a small kitchen like mine as there are a lot of little stages you need to pull together.  I’m very happy I took the time and did a big batch though, this recipe will serve 4 so for singletons like myself I suggest you freeze ready prepped portions for the next rainy day craving!

Chicken Katsu Kare (Japanese Curry)

Serves 4:

For the curry roux:
50g butter
4 tbsp flour
1 tbsp curry powder
1tbsp Garam masala
1/2 tsp five spice
1/4 tap cayenne pepper

(Curry Powder:
2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp chilli powder)

For the curry:
1/2 onion
1 clove garlic
1 carrot, diced
1 medium floury potato,diced
500ml chicken stock

For the cutlets:
2 chicken breasts
2 tbsp flour + salt and pepper
1 beaten egg
4 tbsp bread crumbs
3 tbsp rapeseed oil

Sticky Japanese rice and chopped pickled pepper* to serve (*I love Lidl’s jars of roasted peppers!)

  • First things first, make up your curry powder if you’re making that from scratch, just give it all a good mix.  There will be some spare so pop it in a small jar for later use.
  • Then prep your roux.  Melt the butter in a small saucepan and once it is all bubbly add the flour and spices.  Give it a good stir for 30 seconds or so and it will turn a golden brown. Set aside off the heat.
  • In a larger saucepan heat a splash of oil and sautee the onion and garlic until soft.
  • Add the carrot, potato and chicken stock and simmer for 20 minutes.
  • Add the curry roux to the saucepan gradually, stirring well to avoid lumps.
  • Simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally as it thickens to avoid sticking.
  • Take your chicken breasts and lay them on a large chopping board, with plenty of room between them. Cover them with cling wrap.
  • Take a rolling pin and whack the chicken breasts to flatten them.  You will find you can slightly direct how the meat spreads, you want to get it all to a thickness of ~1cm.
  • Remove the cling wrap.  Cut each chicken breast in half to make approximately equal portions.
  • Place the flour on one plate, the egg in a shallow dish and the breadcrumbs on a final plate.
  • Coat the chicken in the flour, then dip it in the egg and finally cover with breadcrumbs.  Then set aside and continue with the remaining pieces.
  • Heat 3 tbsp rapeseed oil in a large frying pan (you may have to do this in 2 batches, or with 2 pans depending on size).
  • Place the cutlets in the oil and cook for 3-5 minutes, until you can see them cooked halfway up, then flip and cook for another 3-5 minutes until cooked through.
  • Serve the cutlet sliced into strips, with a heap of sticky rice, curry sauce and pickled red pepper on top.
Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Easy, Japanese, Mains

Grilled Salmon and Miso Soba Noodles

A recipe with a bit of a Japanese twist today!  This Grilled Salon with Miso Soba Noodles is quick (about 10 minutes to cook), simple and delicious!  What’s not to love about that? Oh and it’s super healthy for you too! Grilled Salmon with Miso Soba Noodles

You marinate the salmon the night before (or even for a few days, it won’t spoil it!) and then simply pop it on the grill while you cook your noodles.  10  minutes, done and dusted!

Grilled Salmon with Miso Soba Noodles

I actually made this for my lunches during what I knew was going to be a hectic week.  I needed good quality food, full of nutrients that would tempt me to actually stop and eat rather than grabbing something worthless on the fly.  This dish is delicious either hot or cold.  If you haven’t had cold noodles during a heat wave I urge you to give it a go, they’re divine!

Grilled Salmon with Miso Soba Noodles

 

2 salmon fillets
2 tbsp light soy sauce
2 tbsp mirin
1 bundle soba noodles
1 sachet tofu and wakame miso soup
edamame to serve

– Place your salmon in a sealable watertight bag and add the soy sauce and mirin.
– Leave in the fridge to marinate overnight or longer.
– When ready to cook simply place the salmon on a health grill or in a frying pan.  If cooking in a pan remember to flip over then the colour has changed half way up.  Pour the marinating liquid over the top (being careful of run off for the health grill!)
– Prepare the soba according to packet instructions (usually cook for about 4 minutes in boiling water).
– Drain the noodles (don’t be too thorough) and then add the miso paste and dried wakame and tofu bits.  Add a little splash of hot water to slacken.
– Stir well to coat the noodles in miso.
– Serve with edamame if you fancy them!

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Easy, Japanese, Mains, Sides

Yakitori

I LOVE Yakitori!  But I often forget about how easy it is to prepare and how delicious it is to eat!  It’s a mainstay of Japanese food found on street stalls and izakaya menus across the country.  I have some absolutely perfect memories of eating Yakitori across Japan on my travels.

Yakitori

It’s usually served as a snack, side dish or a dish amongst many but you can make it as a main in its own right.  I had it with a bowl of rice and some gyoza here.  It’s a brilliant option for BBQs as something a little different and makes a great canape option too.

Yakitori

One of the great things about Yakitori is that you don’t need to marinate the meat.  You just make the sauce and brush it on as you cook it.  You could even make the sauce in advance (and soak your skewers) then it’s simply a matter of 10 minutes on the  grill!

Yakitori

 

Makes 6 skewers (serves 2 as a main)

2 chicken breasts, sliced lengthways into strips (or chunks, whatever you prefer!)
1/2 cup mirin
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup granulated sugar

– Place your mirin, soy sauce and sugar in a small pan and bring to a boil.  Allow to simmer for about 10 minutes on a low head but don’t let it get too hot or you will end up with salty toffee!
– Once the sauce is reduced and thickened (about the consistency of double cream) remove it from the heat.
– Reserve a little of your sauce for dipping once cooked
– Thread your chicken onto presoaked bamboo skewers.
– I like to give the chicken a quick coating of sauce before placing on the grill.
– Then put them on the grill and brush every minute or two with sauce.
– Give one final coating just before you serve for a glossy, sticky finish.
– Serve however you wish!

Yakitori

Leave a comment

Filed under Canapés, Dairy Free, Easy, Japanese, Low Fat, Mains, Sides

Oyakodon

When the weather is dull and wet as it has been recently, I get serious cravings for Japanese food.  We English may think we know rain, and to an extent we do.  We certainly have a lot of different rains.  Japan simply has RAIN.  As in, buckets and buckets, step outside without an umbrella and be drenched to the skin within 5 meters RAIN.  And when the heavens open, and keep opening, there is absolutely nothing better than finding some tiny little out of the way eatery, thick with a fug of steam and soy sauce and mirin, and hunkering down until the warmth seeps back in and you are ready to face the day once more.

Now, by all rights, what follows should be a recipe for Ramen… but I can never make ramen that is anything other than a poor, pale immitation of proper ramen.  And I know why this is.  It’s all about the stock.  One day I will spend an entire weekend carefully crafting the perfect bowl of ramen but until then I content myself with being able to whip up a number of easy, quick, filling, and delightfully warming Japanese dishes, such as this one.

Oyakodon translates as Parent and Child Bowl, which tickles me rather.  The combination of chicken and egg is a brilliantly satisfying one.  This dish really hits every single one of my savoury cravings and is always a winner in my kitchen.

20130729-103151.jpg

Serves 2

150ml dashi stock
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp mirin
3 tbsp soy sauce
2 chicken breasts, in chunks (or you could use 2 large chicken thighs, skinned and boned)
1 onion, sliced /1 leed, sliced diagonally*
1 egg, beaten
sticky rice to serve

– In a deep frying pan combine the dashi, sugar, mirin and soy sauce and bring to the boil.
– Add the chicken and onion / leek and simmer for 8-10 minutes until the chichen is cooked through.
– Pour the beaten egg over the top of the sauce.  Do not stir!
– When the egg has set serve over a bowl of sticky rice.

*Sometimes I use an onion, sometimes I use a leek.  I think the onion is more traditional but I was given it with leek in too.  I like squeaky leek but if you don’t then just go with onion!

Leave a comment

Filed under Easy, Japanese, Mains

Chicken Jibu-ni

When I was living in Japan the first time I begged one of the teachers at the school I was teaching in to teach me how to cook Japanese food. She dutifully came round to my apartment and under her supervision I crafted a beautiful Japanese meal, so precisely served and garnished, and presented like a masterpiece… Suffice to say I’ve never hit that level of perfection since!

However, Mida-sensei gave me a wonderful introduction to cooking my own Japanese food and the recipes she taught me are ones I turn to again and again. This one is quick and convenient and I always turn to it when I find I have a random leek left in the fridge or am just feeling nostalgic for Japan.

20120219-140604.jpg

Serves 4

3 chicken thighs, cut diagonally into chunks
3 tbsp corn flour
1 leek, cut diagonally ~every 1/2″
200ml hot dashi stock
100ml sake
4 tbsp mirin
4 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp sugar

– Put the dashi, sake, mirin, soy sauce and sugar in a sauce pan and bring to the boil.
– Pat the chicken thighs with corn flour, coating well, and discard the excess.
– Put the chicken in the sauce and simmer for 5-6 minutes, stirring occasionally.
– Add the leek and cook for a further 4 minutes.
– Serve with sticky rice.

Leave a comment

Filed under Easy, Japanese, Mains

Om-rice

A little bonus Wednesday post here for Japanese Week, I had leftover rice so decided to whip up this quick recipe.  I think that three recipes in a row counts as a theme!

It may not look that pretty (for which my apologies but I was very hungry and didn’t want to mess about) but this is a very tasty use of leftovers. It sounds like something a toddler might come up with, rice mixed with ketchup (my own sister lived off that for about a year as I recall) but this is actual food! It has vegetables and a nice wrapper of omelet to keep it tidy (and put some nice balanced protein in there). And to prove it it is served in cafes, restaurants and canteens all over Japan.

It is another thoroughly everyday meal, obviously invented to use up leftover rice, but which has become a meal in its own right. You can make this with any rice, Japanese or basmati and the vegetables can feature as much as you like or disappear completely, it just depends on what you have in the fridge!

20120221-190413.jpg

Serves 2

For the egg sheet:
2 eggs
2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp dashi powder if you have it (add a dash of soy sauce if you don’t)
1 tsp corn flour
a splash of cold water.

1 cup leftover rice, reheated
~4 tbsp ketchup
some cooked veggies
(I thinly sliced a few mushrooms, chopped some pepper and microwaved it for 1 minute and added some peas, I highly recomend peas at the very least)

– Mix all of the ingredients for the egg sheets together and whisk thoroughly.
– You can either use a lightly oiled pan to cook it or microwave it using a lightly oiled dinner plate.  You simply tip half of the mixture onto the plate, swirl it around and cook on high for about 1 minute 30 seconds.  Keep cooking until the middle is set.  Then, very carefully, peel the egg sheet off and cook the second half of the mixture in the same way.
– Mix the rice, ketchup and vegetables together.
– Place a heap of rice in the centre of each egg sheet and wrap the egg around it.
– Carefully transfer it to a plate, seams down, and the decorate with a zig zag of ketchup.

Leave a comment

Filed under Easy, Japanese, Mains

Gyudon (Beef Bowl)

I’m going through a bit of a Japanese phase at the moment. A lot of people, who haven’t had the joy of visiting Japan, would be forgiven for thinking that the Japanese only eat fish and rice. Not true! (Well, the rice bit may as well be true, noodles be damned!) However, Japanese cuisine does contain lots of meat dishes to complement the bountiful supply of fish that their island has blessed them with. This week I’m going to be posting two delicious Japanese recipes, one using beef, one using chicken, to introduce you to another side of Japanese cooking that is accessible to everyone.

A lot of people can be put off by the fact that you have to buy special ingredients but these are rarely something you can’t find in the supermarket (if you want a sure fire hit in one place head for Waitrose, they stock an excellent range, including decent sake). If you have a local Chinese supermarket then they almost always stock Japanese ingredients too.

20120219-132742.jpg

Of the essential ingredients I shall start with the hardest to track down, dashi powder. The box above is usually what you’re looking for. I always find it in the Chinese supermarket, although I think I saw a different brand in Sainsburys once. It is a fish stock made from bonito flakes (dried tuna) and konbu (dried seaweed). Unfortunately, I have yet to come up with with a half decent substitute so there’s legwork needed here.

Happily, the other essentials are easy to find. Kikkoman soy sauce is the authentic Japanese one but can be rather pricey. You can substitute with light soy sauce but the flavour is a bit stronger, however, I don’t think a Western palate will object. Mirin is a sweet cooking sake and can be found in any supermarket. Sake is the final piece in the jigsaw and luckily it is much more available now than it was even a few years ago. If you fancy drinking it then, as with most alcohol, it pays to spend as much as you can. If you’re simply going to cook with it then I wouldn’t bother. A dry sherry can be used as an emergency substitute… But only in an emergency!

Armed with these essentials (and some granulated sugar) whole new avenues of Japanese cooking are at your fingertips! At first you may think that all recipes look the same from the ingredients list but Japanese food is all about subtlety and the slightest alteration of ratios makes such a difference to the finished product.

20120219-134410.jpg

Now let’s start with Gyudon. Gyu means beef and -don is a bowl of rice with something on it. This dish is the specialty of Yoshinoya, a chain of eateries found all over Asia. It’s cheap, filling and delicious. A sort of beans on toast type meal, nothing fancy but very satisfying!

20120219-131614.jpg

Serves 4

~400g beef thinly sliced (I just use very cheap steaks for convenience)
2 onions, halved and thinly sliced
300ml hot dashi stock
5 tbsp soy sauce
3 tbsp mirin
3 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp sake
Sticky rice to serve

– Put the dashi, soy sauce, mirin, sugar and sake in a sauce pan and bring to a simmer.
– Add the onions and simmer for 10-15 mins until the onions are soft.
– Add the beef and cook for 3-4 minutes until the beef is cooked through.
– Serve on a bowl of sticky rice, with a little pickled ginger if you like it.

Leave a comment

Filed under Easy, Japanese, Mains