Japan: Chicken Katsu Curry

I know, I know. I should have made Sushi for Japanese week, and one day I will, but I didn’t have the time or energy for it this week. I’ve made sushi twice before. The first time I made it it worked relatively well – the rice was a bit thick and we didn’t tempura the prawns properly, but it was still tasty. The second time I made it could only be called a disaster. I’m not sure what happened, but the rice (again) was thick and there was just too much of it. I made it with some friends and my brother, and it ended up being flung from chop sticks around my garden. I’d not had the best day at the time, and it was actually the perfect way to cheer me up (I didn’t see the game as an insult to my sushi making ability because I too realised it was terrible!)

Anyway, needless to say I’ve been a bit hesitant to make sushi, but I promise I will one day.

I decided to rather go with Japanese Katsu Chicken Curry for this week’s cook. It’s not a typical curry – the meat and liquid are cooked separately and I guess ‘curry’ refers more to the spice, rather than how we typically view curry (meat and liquid together).

The recipe I used can be found here. There was another in my Jamie Oliver comfort food book, but it required buttermilk which I didn’t have time to source, so went with the other recipe on his website (I don’t think it’s his recipe, but one on the forum).

Basically you make the gravy first, and I found it incredible how beautiful the smell of just carrots and onions cooking could be (never thought I would hear myself say that). The stock and flour allow it to thicken nicely, and it ends up being a wonderful and thick sauce. The recipe suggests straining the sauce through a sieve if you want a clear sauce, but Darryn (he was with me this evening) and I decided that a ‘lumpy’ sauce with the carrot pieces etc would be better. The chicken is then coated and then fried. Frying of stuff is not my strong point, and I blame my ancient stove and even older pans, so one part did burn, but not badly (we basically ate all of it, carcinogens and all!). We set it up so properly – rice in a little mound, chicken cut into little slices, sauce poured on top and then some Coriander to top (gosh I love Coriander!!). The plate I used was perfect too as it has flowers that look kind of like the beautiful Japanese cherry blossoms (Japan is 100% on my bucket list!)

I don’t know if words can actually explain how delicious it was. There were so many different flavours between the chicken and the sauce and the Coriander. It was just so amazing. I would certainly recommend it to everybody who eats chicken and who likes a little bite to their food. Seriously. It was so delicious hey D? I will definitely be making this again. I may try Jamie’s recipe from the book with the buttermilk too, although I’ve actually never cooked with buttermilk and I’m not sure what sort of taste it will have (even more reason to try it I guess!).

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Oh, and also we set up my Christmas tree in between eating and drinking a delicious Weltevrede Vanilla Chardonnay (apparently Chardonnay goes well with Katsu Chicken), so here’s a picture of us all Christmassy and with our delicious Chardonnay! I love Chardonnay.

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