I have a thing for Japanese Curry and I have for as long as I can remember. I used to buy those packages of Vermont Curry (who knows why they are called that since they are made in Japan) and I would break off chunks of the solidified seasoning sauce and add it to chicken cooked with carrots, potatoes and onions. It was a warm and homey bowl of deliciousness that was served over steamed rice. I've been missing it ever since I found out that it was thickened with wheat flour and I can't eat that anymore as I've gone completely Gluten Free. So tonight, I made a Gluten Free version that made me so happy - it tasted just right and I just kept eating it and eating it, so luckily I made a lot!
The trick to getting this version of Curry to taste like the one in the box is to use S&B Curry Powder if you can find it. Other brands will work too, but this one has a special flavor mix. The onions are sautéed until they are caramelizing and other pungent seasonings are a bit of Ginger and Garlic. I then added Carrots and Potatoes and the Curry Powder along with Chicken Broth and grated Apple and cooked it until the Potatoes were tender. Then I added in cut up Chicken Breasts - you could also use Beef or Pork or Tofu - and finally mixed in a Roux made with Sweet Rice Flour and Butter to thicken it. I didn't have any frozen peas, but that would also have been a good addition. This Japanese Chicken Curry turned out really creamy and had that same special Japanese Curry smell and taste that I've been craving. If you want to make it spicier, you can buy the Hot version of the S&B Curry Powder or sprinkle on a little bit of S&B Nanami Tagarashi - Japanese Assorted Chili Pepper - or Cayenne Pepper. But, I like my Curry non the mild side. This is such a wonderful dish for a cold winter night!
Japanese Chicken Curry
1 large Onion, cut into square pieces about 1 inch
2 Tablespoons Vegetable Oil
2 Garlic Coves, minced
1 teaspoon grated Ginger
2 heaping Tablespoons S&B Curry Powder
4 cups Chicken Broth + up to 1 cup more
3 medium Potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
3 Carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch rounds (cut in half if large)
1 pound of boneless, skinless Chicken Breasts, cut into 1 inch pieces
4 Tablespoons Butter
1/4 cup Sweet Rice Flour (also called Mochiko or Sticky Rice Flour)
Optional: 1/2 cup frozen Peas, defrosted
1/8 teaspoon S&B Nanami Tagarashi or Cayenne Pepper sprinkled on top
In a wok or large pot, heat the oil and add in the Onions. Cook stirring frequently with a spatula until the Onions start browning and getting caramelized. Add in the Garlic and Ginger. Stir until you smell their fragrance. Add in the Curry Powder and then pour in the Chicken Broth. Add in the Potatoes and Carrots. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Cook for 15 minutes. Then add in the Chicken and cook for an additional 15 minutes.
While the Chicken is cooking, make the Roux. Melt the Butter in a frying pan. Add in the Sweet Rice Four and stir until the mixture becomes light golden brown. Turn off heat and reserve.
When the Chicken is cooked through, add in the Roux and stir until thickened. If it is too thick, add in up to 1 cup more of Chicken Broth. This is also the time to add in the Peas, if you are using them. Serve with Steamed Rice.
Five Element Analysis
As a thick stew, there is a a strong suggestion of the Earth Element and the Potatoes and Carrots add even more. There is a also a lot of the Metal Element as Curry is a mixture of Metallic Spices and the Onion, Garlic, Ginger, Rice Flour and Butter add even more Metal. The Chicken and Chicken Broth make sure that the Wood Element is involved. The Water and Fire Elements are not present so you can add in some S&B Nanami Tagarashi, which also has some Sesame seed and Seaweed in it which adds some Fire and Water or Cayenne, which adds just Fire. And be sure to add some other foods in your meal that bring in more of the Fire and Water Elements for balance. I served it with Tea for the Fire, along with the S&B Nanami Tagarashi and some pickled Japanese Eggplant that brought in some Water and extra Wood too.