I’m not Japanese, let’s just get that right out there. Some might say, “Why post this recipe then?” Because it’s REALLY good, that’s why. On my very first visit to Japan years ago I had my first plate of Japanese chicken curry and I fell in love.
When I came home I’d think about it but I never tried making it because, well, I wasn’t Japanese. It was like I needed a skill I would never have so I waited until my return to Japan to enjoy it again.
Then one day last week I saw a recipe for Japanese Curry Rice by Serious Eats on another blog and I knew in an instant I wanted to make it. The blogger who’d posted the recipe even used Serious Eats’ photo so when I checked the photo, I found the original recipe and I give them full credit for it. This is Japanese Chicken Curry for someone like me who loves it and didn’t think about making it at home.
This recipe is really easy to make and I loved every bite of it.
- 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
- 2 large onions sliced thin
- 2 pounds chicken thighs cleaned and cut into chunks
- 2 carrots cut into chunks
- 4 cups water
- 2 large potatoes cut into large chunks
- 1 small apple peeled cored and pureed (I use a box grater)
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt (use less if you use regular salt)
- 1 teaspoon garam masala
- ½ cup peas
- 3 tablespoons butter
- ¼ cup flour
- 2 tablespoons garam masala (or curry powder)
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper (add less if you want it mild or more if you want it spicy - I used MUCH less and it was spicy)
- Fresh ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon ketchup (or tomato paste)
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce or tonkatsu sauce
- Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium low heat and add the onions. Sauté the onions with a pinch of salt until they are golden brown and caramelized. It will take about 30 minutes of occasional stirring. Remove the onions to a bowl and set aside.
- Turn up the heat to high, add the chicken and stiry-fry until lightly browned on all sides.
- Return the onions to the pan and add the carrots and the water, then bring to a boil. Skim off any foam or oil that accumulates at the surface then lower heat to medium.
- Add the potatoes, puréed apple, salt, and garam masala and simmer for about 30 minutes or until you can pass a fork through the carrots and potatoes and the meat is tender.
- While the curry is cooking, in a small skillet melt the butter over medium low heat.
- When the butter bubbles, add the flour and garam masala, stirring until you have a thick paste. Add the cayenne pepper and some fresh ground black pepper and incorporate into the roux. Add the ketchup and Worcestershire (or tonkatsu) sauce and combine.
- Continue to cook until the paste starts crumbling. Remove from heat and set aside until the meat and veggies are ready.
- When the vegetables are tender, ladle about 2 cups of liquid into the roux then whisk until it's smooth. Pour this mixture back into the other pot and gently stir until thickened.
- Add the peas and heat through.
- Serve over rice