I have always been fascinated and delighted by Japanese food for its clean flavours and complexity. Japanese curries like most other Japanese food are a unique dish that stands apart from most other cuisine. I first learned how to cook Japanese curry when I was in high school following the recipes from justonecookbook.com which I highly recommend. They are incredibly simple to make with only a few basic techniques needed.
What sets Japanese curries apart from those of India and South East Asia is that instead of being stewed for hours to thicken they are thickened in a more European style using a roux. This makes for a thick curry with concentrated flavour that is perfect as a comfort food. For our vegan version, the roux is made with olive oil and the curry is filled out with a mix of vegetables including potatoes, corn and carrots.
Vegan Japanese Curry
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 2 medium brown onions diced
- 2 carrots diced
- 3 cloves garlic finely chopped
- 1 inch piece ginger grated
- 2 tablespoons curry powder
- 1 tablespoon whole cumin seeds
- 1 tablespoon miso paste
- 2 teaspoons tamari
- 1/3 cup plain flour
- 1 litre vegetable stock
- 2 medium starchy potatoes diced
- 1/3 cup frozen corn
- 1/3 cup frozen peas
- 1 nashi pear
- salt and pepper to taste
- cooked sushi rice to serve
- Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large heavy-based saucepan or dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering. Add the onions and carrots and sauté for 10 minutes or until softened and starting to brown.
- Add the garlic, ginger, spices and miso and cook stirring for another 2 minutes or until fragrant. Add the remaining olive oil and tamari then stir to combine.
- Add the flour and stir vigorously until well combined. Cook stirring for 4 minutes or until thickened and roux has turned a dark colour.
- Gradually add the stock, stirring as you go and deglaze the pan. Add the potatoes then bring to a boil. cover and simmer for 45 minutes.
- Remove lid and stir in corn and peas, grate in the pear then cook stirring for a further 5-10 minutes or until thickened. Season to taste and serve.