Japanese Curry, or What to do with that box of S&B Golden Curry you just bought
This is kind of a departure for me, as I’m writing about a box of stuff that you buy at a store. In my defense though, it’s a box of curry paste that, although the integral ingredient is probably not that much off from when I start yammering about Madras Curry Powder or somesuch.
Anyway, if you ever wander through the “Asian Food” section of your grocery store, you’ve probably seen the “Golden Curry” packets, and if you’ve dared to delve further you’ll understand why I’m writing this – to say the directions “leave a little to be desired” is quite an understatement. But, it’s really nom so I thought it’d be worth talking about.
- 1-1/4 pounds chicken thighs (approximately)*
- 1 medium onion
- 1 green bell pepper
- 1 large carrot
- 2 celery stalks
- 2 roma tomatoes
- Calrose rice (4 cups for a full 6 people)
- S&B Golden Curry (pick the heat to taste)
- splash of vegetable oil
*chicken breasts can be substituted if that’s what you have available.
Ultimately, this is a stir-fry recipe. As such, a largish-size wok is preferred, but a larger skillet will do ~ you just need to give it a little extra attention to make sure nothing sticks/burns to the pan.
Anyway: dinner. Golden Curry says it works with about anything, but really prefer chicken, thighs particularly. It’s good protein, and doesn’t fight with the flavors so much. It’s also much cheaper than beef.
But, before you go any further, start some rice. For calrose, I use a 3/4 cup rice to one mark on my 36-year-old Hitachi and roughly the same should work for you. If you don’t have a rice maker, a basic one isn’t that expensive and you’ll be surprised at how handy one is.
Now, again, I deviate from the box directions a fair amount, as my understanding of these things have developed over the years. The directions on the box are pretty sparse anyway. So to begin, cut it the chicken into 1/4″-3/8″ chunks (but don’t worry about measuring) and set aside. Also cut up an onion. I like stringy onions so I halve and slice them, but cut that in half again because really, you don’t want too stringy. Add that to the chicken bowl, as we’re going to cook all that together. Separately, cut up some bell peppers, celery, carrots, tomatoes, and whatever else sounds good and put them in a separate bowl.
Now, assuming a wok (or that your pan can handle it) crank the stove up to eleven, and let the wok heat up a bit. Then, add a couple of tbsp of oil and let that come up to temperature. Then, add the chicken and onion and stir-fry that until the chicken juice runs clear (and the onions should be wilted at this point). After that, add the veggies and continue to stir-fry until they start to soften.
At this point, we need to start preparing everything to start receiving the curry paste. Add enough water to cover the pan contents (about 2 cups) and bring to a boil. Then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cover it and let it go for 20-30 minutes. Really though, let it go for a while until the liquid has dropped by about 1/3.
Finally, it’s time to add the paste. It’s a big block with divots, so break it into 4ths and then break those up into halves or so. Work them into the broth until they’re dissolved, and bring back to a simmer for 5-10 minutes until the broth turns into a sauce.
If you’ve timed things right, the rice should be done about the same time. If it’s early, cut off the power so it doesn’t overcook.
Either way, serve over rice, and try to be a bit heavy on the sauce so it soaks into the rice.