One of the biggest challenges in cooking at home is coming up with a new ulam idea every night. Every other home cook has undoubtedly wished that there is an easy to whip up meal that is delicious and still nutritious. Enter Japanese curry. Wait, what?
Yes, I'm talking about the Japanese curry similar to what you frequent at Coco Ichibanya. Japanese curry is actually easy to prepare and can be used with different kinds of meats and vegetables. Clueless as to where to start? Let us help you find the curry you should add to your next grocery trip with our buying guide and recommendations.
Before we tell you about how to choose the best Japanese curry available today, let's get started with the basics. Curry can be any dish with meat and vegetables in gravy-like sauce, best enjoyed with fluffy rice. A versatile dish, different countries have their own versions of this yummy viand.
Widely considered as the original dish, Indian curry could very well be the most popular version. Usually coconut-based, other times fiery and spicy, this has a blend of various spices. Topping the list are turmeric, chili, and cumin. Yum!
Another popular version is the one from Thailand. Thai curry has a lot more fresh herbs that balances its spice. Best paired with their large prawns or crabs, their curry is usually more brothy than thick.
What sets Japanese curry apart from Thai and Indian curry is its thicker sauce, similar to the consistency of gravy. It is also sweeter, usually punctuated with caramelized onions, grated apples, and carrots.
While it comes in different spice levels, it is on the milder side especially compared to Thai and Indian.
There are many types of Japanese curry to choose from. It is also quite affordable so you can actually get different kinds. But let us help you narrow down your choices.
Japanese curry comes in two different forms - roux, and pre-made. Pre-made curry sauces are easier to use - just pop the packet in the microwave or put it in a pot of boiling water and it's ready to serve.
You can also opt for curry roux, which come in small bricks. It is a dense, seasoned paste that turns solid at room temperature. You can drop these in your pan and it will melt and thicken with your meat and vegetables.
Japanese curry usually comes in three different spice levels – mild, medium, and hot. The spice level of Japanese curry however is much milder than the usual spice we are used to so it is good to experiment with the different levels. Some kids can even tolerate the spicy variant.
If you are still unsure, you can always start with the mild or medium version. It is easier to add chili if you're looking for an extra zing.
You can customize your curry to enhance its taste. You can thicken it even more with butter, add a depth of flavor with chocolate or coffee, or bring out more of its sweetness with grated apple.
It is always helpful to check the back of the box. It has the ingredients of the curry and also the procedure on how to cook it. The most basic recipes include the meat of your choice, onions, potatoes, carrots, and water.
We rounded up the best Japanese Curries that you should add to your grocery list below!
|Flavor||Apple and Honey|
|Spice Level||Medium Hot|
|Spice Level||Medium Hot|
|Spice Level||Medium Hot|
Japanese Curry the Whole Family Can Enjoy
The Sweetness of Caramelized Onions in Every Bite
Make a Restaurant-Worthy Katsu Curry at Home
A Japanese Classic with Yin and Yang Flavors
Full Flavor Best Enjoyed by Mom and Dad
|Price Starts at||₱349||₱308||₱299||₱399||₱475|
|Spice Level||Mild||Medium Hot||Medium Hot||Medium Hot||Medium|
|Flavor||Apple and Honey||Caramelized Onions||n/a||n/a||Dry Black|
There are many different ways you can enhance your curry! Draw inspiration from these popular techniques.
You can start by sauteing the meat first with garlic and onions before adding water and the curry roux. This helps tenderize the meat slowly and extracts aroma and flavor. You can add the vegetables last to avoid overcooking.
If you are a sucker for really thick curry to pour all over your rice, a bit of flour and butter can do the trick. Start off by browning the butter then adding a bit of flour. Mix until light brown, then add your curry roux.
A recipe that kids are sure to love is adding a bit of grated apples into the mix! While simmering your curry, grate apples in and mix it slowly. You can also chop the apples and throw it in instead of potatoes.
Looking for other Japanese staples to add to your pantry? Here are some suggestions.
Spice up your usual family dinners with the help of easy to make Japanese Curry! This is a great product that should always have a place in your pantry for an easy to cook meal. These are sure to be a hit with kids and adults alike. Itadakimasu!
Author: Laura Mercado
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