Thursday, August 23, 2012

Mild Japanese Vegetarian Curry

For a while now, I've had half a package of Japanese curry roux in my cupboard. It's something I usually keep around the house because it's easy to make and quite tasty, but it also makes a lot of food and I can't eat it all by myself. When I made the first half of the package over a year ago, I froze half in Tupperware for later use, then ended up throwing it away when I moved because it looked incredibly freezer-burned.

Since we were hosting game night at our apartment last weekend, I came upon the curry roux when I went rooting around in my cupboard for ideas. Easy and makes a lot of food. Perfect for a dinner party!

The first step was deciding which kind of curry to make. There is a recipe to follow on the back of the box that basically involves potatoes, carrots, onions, and a meat of your choosing (or not, if you prefer vegetarian, which is what I usually do). I also have two recipes in my homemade recipe book, one for vegetarian curry, the other is chicken. I decided on the veggie one, which requires one eggplant, one yellow pepper (again, I change this to orange since I think it is sweeter and more flavorful), and an onion. Since they're in season, I picked up a Vidalia onion, which are just plain awesome. Sweet and don't bother my stomach. Win!

First, I chopped up the eggplant into little cubes the size of croutons and put them into my wok with a bit of oil to cook down in over medium heat. Next, I chopped the pepper into bite-sized pieces and threw them in with the already simmering eggplant. Last went the chopped up onion – the whole thing, a rare occurrence for me. And since curry isn't any good without some garlic, I cut up three cloves of fresh garlic and stirred it all together to simmer for a bit.

After a few minutes, I added 3 cups of water with some dashes of salt and pepper. The vegetables needed to simmer for quite a while in the water. I think I had them on there for nearly 30 minutes. I also ended up adding another cup of water because the mixture seemed too thick.

Once the vegetables were mushy enough to my taste (it's really up to you how much you want to cook the vegetables), I broke up the chunks of Japanese curry roux and plunked them into the wok, stirring as the roux melts quickly and immediately begins to thicken the sauce. Once it was thoroughly stirred in, I let it sit a couple of minutes before turning off the heat.

While the curry was cooking, I had my rice cooker going. I ended up doing two batches of rice. Since it was Japanese curry, I chose short grain white rice, the same used to make sushi and onigiri, or really anything Japanese. I serve the curry over the rice in a bowl with no extras. Some friends were kind enough to make homemade delicious egg drop soup (my favorite!) to go with it. Even without any meat, everyone agreed dinner was quite tasty!

Now that I'm out of curry roux, I need to find a Japanese market so I can buy more. Oh darn!

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