(I got very eager so I drew the banner for this too, oops...! (๑˃̵ᴗ˂̵) )
Hello, Moon here ! Welcome to my kitchen and first Asayoru Blog Post !!! ٩( ᐛ )و♡ ༘*.ﾟ
Thanks for being so patient while I find the time and energy to make my first post ~ I have been deliberating on what I should cook for the first post of the series, and thought it would be best to start with something simple. That way, everyone can do it ☆
I haven't had the time lately to cook very elaborate or recipe-worthy meals, but I wanted to do this before I start getting busy during the holidays ! Today we're making a quick and easy Japanese curry with a sweet twist ~ 🍎🍛
I initially threw this together because I had some leftover apples I didn't want to go bad, and it turned out surprisingly well ! For this recipe we will be using Granny Smith AKA green apples, as opposed to the Fuji apple that I have seen used before in other Japanese curry recipes. Instead of grating them, they will actually be added into the curry in fairly sizable chunks as an alternative to potatoes !
"<( °^° )> HUH?? Apples as potatoes substitute !?! " you may be thinking. I know, I surprised myself with how well they worked too. Don't worry about it being too sweet either since Granny Smiths tend to be more tart. Also due to the firmer nature of them, the texture ends up being very similar to a less starchy potato (like Yukon Gold) in the end result as as they are not overcooked. It will feel a little lighter than your usual Japanese curry too and will taste pretty balanced ! ( •͈૦•͈ ) ✨ Cool right ?
Some notes before we begin:
Ingredients are measured by weight, since size of ingredients may vary. Most grocery stores should have scales to help you select the right amount of ingredient !
I like to prep as many ingredients the day before I decide to cook as I can. I noticed pacing myself in this way helps save so much time on cook day. For this recipe, I prepped the carrots and onions ahead of time since those won't oxidize like the apples will after cutting
For this recipe, I am using thinly sliced pork belly, but you are free to use your protein of choice-- or even entirely omit it if you wish! I've used beef, hamburg steak, and even extra firm tofu in the past and all have turned out great ! For chicken, I recommend using thigh meat, because it's near impossible to overcook and doesn't get dry quickly like breast does. For this recipe, I recommend sticking with something you can just throw into the curry to cook through (thinly sliced pork belly, thinly sliced ribeye, extra firm tofu) Depending on the protein the prep will be different
I also like to use pre-minced garlic and ginger paste for convenience's sake, but it's even better if you mince your own fresh !
For the curry roux blocks, I like to use S&B Golden Curry (hot), but feel free to use your favorite curry roux at any spicy level 💛
The addition of tomatoes after the carrots brighten the curry and give it some extra umami and sweetness. They should melt into the curry, so don't worry about them becoming mushー they are supposed to do that 🍅
Before you begin cooking, make sure you cooked some rice to have it with ~ 🍚
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Okay let's get into the ingredients and recipe ! ( • ̀ω•́ )✧ This particular one serves 5-6 people. If you are only cooking for yourself, then you can halve this recipe; it will still make enough for leftovers !
You will need:
Large thick-bottomed saucepan or pot
1 tbsp neutral oil*
1/2 tsp ginger paste
1/2 tsp minced garlic/garlic paste
130g / 4.5oz carrots
450g / 1 lb onion***
150g / 5oz Granny Smith apples
1/2 box curry roux cubes
450g / 1 lb thinly sliced pork belly, ribeye, or protein of choice****
600ml/ 3 cups water
Small pinch sugar
Small pinch salt
* You can halve the amount if using pork belly as the protein
** Substitute with similar amount of shallot for more complex flavor *** If using chicken, be sure to season with salt before searing and cutting into bite size chunks (~1 inch cubes). Don't worry about it not being cooked through. We just want a little color/browning because color=flavor !! It it can finish cooking in the curry. For extra firm tofu, drain and cut into bite-size cubes. For hamburg steak, it's better to make them separately and plate them at the end with the rice and pour curry on top.
**** Everyone's "pinch" is different ! In cooking terms one pinch is as much as you can hold between all the tips of your fingers. Mine is approximately 1 teaspoon, but yours may be different, so please keep that in mind !
Steamed white rice
Beni shoga/Red pickled ginger
Taberu rayu/Crunchy garlic chili oil (optional)
1. Prep your ingredients: Roughly dice your onion and tomatoes. Peel and chop both your carrots and apples into similarly bite-sized chunks for even cooking. Chop up curry blocks into small pieces for easier melting
Ingredients prepped, woohoo ! ᕕ( ᐕ )ᕗ I chopped the roux tiny tinyyy
2. In your saucepan, heat up your neutral oil til it can smoothly ripple in the pan like water. If it begins smoking, your pan is too hot and you need to lower the heat or it will burn
3. Add in your carrots to the hot oil. Sprinkle 1 pinch MSG and stir-fry on medium-high heat til the edges start to brown. The outside of the carrots should be able to be pierced with a fork or knife, but with some resistance
4. Lower heat to medium and add onion and apple and cook until onions are beginning to brown (do not overcook the apples !) Keep stirring so they do not burn and cook til onions are lightly browned. Add tomatoes, garlic, ginger salt, & sugar
Onions should look like this ! (Tomatoes not pictured)
5. Add thinly sliced pork belly and stir-fry til it starts to become cooked. Do not worry if meat is not all the way cooked though since it will finish in the curry. For tofu, do not add until curry roux is mixed in
A little pink is okay ! It will finish cooking in the next few steps ~
6. Add water and bring to a boil. Simmer until meat is cooked through. If not using meat, just until carrots are tender to to your liking
7. Turn off heat and dissolve the chopped up curry blocks into the water, mixing constantly until incorporated. (If using tofu, mix the cubes in now)
Look at those things dissolve... I just barely started mixing the roux cubes.
Chopping them up is super effective !
8. Simmer for around 5 mins until the curry is thickened
omg I'm drooling look at that... (* ´ ﹃｀*)
9. Moe moe kyun and enjoy over hot rice with beni shoga and taberu rayu ! 🍛(๑ᵔ⤙ᵔ๑)
I quite like this plating cuz it looks like a moon, hehe.... (it totally wasn't on purpose but it was a good coincidence ( • ̀ω•́ )✧ Wanted to do plate deco as well but no room/I didn't want ketchup to touch this) I actually didn't have any taberu rayu left, so I just used some different chili oil I had on hand (STILL SO YUMMY....)
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Hey !!! You've made it to the end of the recipe ദ്ദി ˉ͈̀꒳ˉ͈́ )✧ Thank you for reading and I hope you give this a try yourself ! Let me know in the comments if do and how you liked it. The chili oil at the end rly does make a difference ! Feel free to also drop any additional questions you have if anything about this recipe is unclear. I'm excited to share more recipes with y'all !! Now go feed yourself and see you in the next blog post ~🍏
Moon ٩(ˊᗜˋ*)و ♡