Happy October! 🎃 It’s only been a few days since October’s started but it’s already been quite busy for me. Can you believe it? It’s been a little over month now since I’ve made the move over to Colorado! I know you guys have only known me briefly, but I was born and raised a California girl so it was a rather big move for me to uproot from everything I know and move a couple states over. It’s been pretty busy settling in and getting all my things in order, from dealing with putting together my living space to dealing with proper things like car registration and insurance.
Even a month later, today has been just as busy as the past couple of weeks! As part of my plan to become a professional MMA fighter, I’ve added Muay Thai workouts into my routine along with my usual judo practice. Lol I kid. I wince at even the thought of being punched in the face. But I have indeed been adding in Muay Thai into my routine. It’s good cardio exercise, and I like punching and kicking bags to pretend I’m really tough. Today was particularly busy because I had a morning Muay Thai workout and an evening yoga workout (gotta stretch out those muscles!). After getting home, I wanted to just eat so I went to my go-to easy dinner: Japanese curry!
Now, as you’ve probably seen, I have a Japanese curry recipe up already that was a mixture of all the Japanese curry recipes I’ve tried over the years. Normally, before cooking any dish (regardless of how many times I’ve made it), I look over a couple of recipes to get a general idea (or quick reminder) of the ingredients I need and in what proportions. Tonight with the Japanese curry, I winged it. I thought, “Hm. I know the general ingredients of this dish and have made it so many times. Do I really need to look at a recipe? NAH.” Result? I forgot to do things here and there, added some random things, and POOF! Surprisingly delicious. My best Japanese curry to-date is one where I just threw things in and hoped for the best. The world works in strange ways!
What are the big differences with this recipe and my original post here? Well, firstly, not a katsu curry this time. This curry is just straight up Japanese curry with pork. Just cut up some thin boneless pork chops, sautéed it quickly, and mixed it into the curry sauce towards the end of cooking so the pork wouldn’t toughen up too much. Secondly, I used bacon. Bacon is the key difference. Now I know what you’re thinking. Using bacon is cheating and doesn’t sound very Japanese. The usage of bacon isn’t super traditional, but! I will say that bacon is used sparingly in this recipe. It does give the curry sauce some flavor but the curry is not overwhelming bacon flavored. Lastly, I used a combo of curry powder and garam masala. Garam masala gives the curry more depth in flavor than just using curry powder. It was actually in the original recipe I learned from, but it wasn’t included in my original post because I actually made the curry at my mom’s house and she doesn’t have any garam masala haha. Quick note for those unfamiliar with it–garam masala actually describes a blend of spices, so there is no one specific recipe; everyone has their own favorite blend. The brand I used today is called Natco, and I found it at World Market (a.k.a. the best store in the world). This blend has coriander, cumin, ginger, cassia, black pepper, and cloves. I don’t think the garam masala imparts any strong flavors, so if you want to use any blend, it should be fine.
One last thing! I love Japanese curry so I made enough for about 2-2.5 portions so I could have it for lunch the next day. If you really want 1 portion, you can split the recipe in half, and it should be fine.
Japanese Curry, version 2
- 2 thin boneless pork chops, cubed
- 1 tsp curry powder
- 1 tsp garam masala
- 1 tsp of ketchup
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp uncooked bacon, chopped
- Curry sauce:
- 1 medium onion, minced
- 2 tsp vegetable oil
- pinch of salt
- 3 tbsp minced apple (I used green this time)
- 2.5-3 cups beef broth (add more for soupier curry, less for thicker curry)
- 2 tbsp flour
- 1 tbsp butter
- 2 tsp curry powder
- 2 tsp garam masala
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp ketchup
- 1 large carrot, cut into chunks
- 1 medium potato, cubed
- In a medium pot, cook minced onions in vegetable oil on a medium low heat. Add a pinch of salt to help the onions sweat. Give the onions a stir every couple of minutes to prevent burning. We’re caramelizing the onions, which is a slow process so don’t try to rush it! This will take about 30-40 minutes.
- Use this time to prep your other ingredients! Cut your veggies and apple.
- After about 30 minutes, add in your minced apple and give the pot a stir to combine.
- Turn stove up to medium, then add butter. Once it’s all melted, add your curry powder and garam masala and cook in butter for about 3 minutes, mixing with the caramelized onions.
- Add the flour and cook for about a minute, stirring the flour into the rest of the ingredients.
- With a whisk in one hand and the beef broth in another, slowly mix the broth in a little bit at a time into the flour mixture. Make sure to keep whisking and add the broth slowly to prevent clumping. Stir until you have all of the broth in the pot combined.
- Add in your ketchup. I find it easiest to mix some broth and the ketchup in a ladle first to make for a more even mixture.
- Add in soy sauce! You can taste at this point, but if it’s not salty enough, don’t add anything yet. We’ll add bacon later, which will add some saltiness.
- Add in carrots and potatoes. Slightly cover pot to allow veggies to simmer in the sauce. The starchiness from the boiling potatoes will help thicken the sauce, along with the roux that you made with flour and butter earlier.
- In a small pan, render your 1 tbsp of chopped bacon on medium heat. Once it’s almost done, add in the cubed pork, spices, ketchup, and salt. Stir to combine and allow to cook for about 5 minutes to allow the pork to brown a little. We don’t want to cook too long since we’re adding this into the curry sauce.
- Wait until the sauce has simmered for about 15 minutes, then add the seared pork and all its sauces into the curry sauce.
- Taste the sauce one last time. If it needs more salt, add a little soy sauce. If it needs a bit of sweetness/tartness, add a little more ketchup.
- Allow for about 2 minutes to make sure everything is heated, then you’re ready to eat! I suggest having it with some nice fluffy white rice.
Enjoy! If you end up making it, send me pics and tell me how you liked it (or didn’t)! And as always, leave me questions, comments, and stories below 🙂