When you think of curries, it isn’t usually East Asia that comes to mind. In fact, it’s likely that when you hear “Japanese food,” you think of sushi and teriyaki. But there’s so much more to the country’s cuisine – and you might be surprised to learn that curry is one of the most popular dishes in Japan. And chicken curry in particular is huge.
Developed by Japanese Canadian food blogger Caroline Caron-Phelps, our version features all the ingredients that appear in a standard variation of cozy Japanese curry: butter, apple, chicken, carrots and green peas. Based in Brooklyn, Caron-Phelps specializes in Asian cuisine — particularly Japanese recipes. Here, she shares insight into Japanese cuisine and curries with CE.
Clean Eating: What makes Japanese cuisine unique?
Caroline Caron-Phelps: Every dish is made with a lot of thought and attention to detail. A sushi chef will spend his life improving his sushi rice and sweet rolled egg. A cafe owner will spend hours brewing the perfect cup of coffee and trying to come up with the absolute best egg salad sandwich. You’ll never find an old wilted piece of lettuce in your sandwich. This unending mission towards perfection is why I love Japanese food so much.
CE: What makes Japanese curry so different from other curries?
CCP: I like to call it “curry for kids.” It’s sweet and not spicy at all — more like a demi-glace. The sauce can sometimes include a grated apple (which I love).
CE: What are your top tips for building an authentically Japanese curry?
CCP: At all times, I have boxes of premade Japanese curry roux in my pantry. If you don’t, you can make a decent Japanese curry combining curry powder, garam masala, tomato paste, soy sauce, butter, an apple and some red wine or a little demi-glace sauce.
Japanese Chicken Curry
- In a large pot on medium, melt butter. Add chicken and cook, stirring occasionally, for 7 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through. Transfer chicken to a plate.
- To same pot on medium, add onion and apple and sauté until soft and lightly brown, 6 minutes. Stir in curry powder, garam masala and cayenne (if using). Add broth and carrots. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to low. Gently simmer for 15 minutes, uncovered. In a separate bowl, whisk together water and arrowroot into a slurry. Gradually whisk into pot; simmer for 5 more minutes.
- Return chicken to pot along with green peas and honey. Simmer until peas and chicken are heated through. Garnish with fukujinzuke (if using). Serve with cooked short-grain Japanese rice.
- Serving Size 1⁄4 of recipe
- Calories 362
- Carbohydrate Content 24 g
- Cholesterol Content 113 mg
- Fat Content 16 g
- Fiber Content 6 g
- Protein Content 31 g
- Saturated Fat Content 8 g
- Sodium Content 242 mg
- Sugar Content 12 g
- Monounsaturated Fat Content 5 g
- Polyunsaturated Fat Content 1 g