Thursday, April 28, 2011

Dinner Tonight - Japanese Style Kare Raisu (Curry & Rice) with Chicken

This is another Japanese homey meal.  It's another dish that the Japanese took from another ethnicity and made it their own.  The curry is sweeter and thicker than Indian curry.  It's a dish that all children in Japan have grown up with.  It's a comfy & cozy dish.  I actually had a small argument on Chowhound about this.  The other person was saying that Kare Raisu (Curry Rice) was a gourmet dish and there were so many restaurants in Japan that use the best ingredients and have turned it into that.  I argued that yes, it can be gourmet and there are fanatics about it, but when you get right down to it, it is a homey comfort dish...he never did agree with me;o)  It's also a meal that can be made pretty quickly, but it took me a while longer since I used frozen chicken.

Kare Raisu Roux

It's so easy to make the curry at home because their are many brands of curry flavored roux at the Japanese stores.  This is a newer brand that I found.  I usually use House Brand or  S&B which look like a chocolate bar, but this brand is more like granules.  I've made curry from scratch, by carmelizing onions and adding a ton of other ingredients which I can't remember off the top of my head.  I just remember that it took me hours to make and it turned out good, but didn't taste that much different than the packaged  Maybe I will try it again someday, but for now using the package is much easier.

Back of the package...

Carrots, Onions & Daikon

It traditionally is made with potatoes, but I didn't have any, so I used daikon instead.  Curry is another dish that you can put most anything you want to in it.

Boiled & Strained Chicken...

I didn't go to the grocery store, so I only had frozen cut up chicken.  I took the lazy route and threw the frozen chicken in water and boiled it with onion, celery, carrots etc. just like making stock.  It took about 40 mins to cook through and I got some tasty stock out of it too!

Veggies Simmering in Chicken Stock...

Normally you would just cook the veggies in water and then add the curry roux to it for flavor.  Since I had the flavored stock, I used that.  I boiled the veggies for about 10 mins then added the roux and cooked for another 10 mins then added the chicken and cooked for another 10 mins.  I ended up adding a little flour slurry at the end to thicken it up a little more.  More common is to use beef cubes and that takes a little longer to cook.

Pickle Condiments...

These are pickles that is commonly served with the Kare Raisu.  I just buy it prepackaged, I have no idea how to make these.  I'm not really even sure what they are since they are so oddly It's just something I grew up with and I always serve it with the curry.  It's a little sweeter than most types of Japanese pickles.  The white, I believe is Rakyo, a type of onion that looks like cocktail onions and is a little sweet.  I'm not exactly sure what the green & red pickles are.  I think the green ones are cucumber and the red one is daikon.  I just know that on the package the ingredients are listed as onion, radish, eggplant, cucumber, ginger etc.  ;o) They do have a nice crunch to it and the sweetness goes well with the spicy of the curry.

Kare Raisu with Chicken

Japanese Onion Dressing

I served a salad with the dinner. On Chowhound a man mentioned a popular dressing in Japan now.  It's a simple onion dressing.  Of course I couldn't stick with the simple recipe and made it my own;o) The original recipe is just Rice Wine Vinegar, Veg Oil, Grated Onion, Soy Sauce, Sugar and S & P and you stir all the ingredients together with a whisk.  I also added Sesame Oil, Dashi Powder, Ajishio, Sake, Mirin & Ponzu Sauce and then whirred it up with my immersion blender...I love that thing!

Onion Dressing Salad

I marinated Red Onions & the tomatoes in the dressing for about a half hour and then tossed it with lettuce & radish.

Rice Bran Oil

This is my favorite oil to use for Japanese dressings and for deep frying.  I can find it at the Japanese store only sometimes.  It has a very clean flavor to it.


  1. I agree with you, curry is comfort food, just like a hamburger is comfort food. Because they so familiar, creative chefs have elevated the simple to sublime.

  2. Hi Kay: I think the green pickle is nasu and the red is daikon or nasu also.

  3. This is excellent commentary and directions! Whoever gets to eat this is a lucky person!!

  4. the red pickled vegetable is called fukujinzuke. here's a short wiki stub:

  5. Thanks Anon #1, I do still think Kare is comfort food, but it's always interesting to try the gourmet ones;o)

    Thanks Anon #2, I was at the Japanese market today and I do believe the green one is a baby cucumber, the red is probably daikon or nasu as you suggested!

    Thanks for your nice comment Anon #3, I think my husband DOES think he is lucky to eat my food :o)

    Jason, thanks for the link, I think I'm going to research it more and possibly, try to make some of my own some day!

    All your comments are much appreciated!!

  6. I'll try the kare with the udon noodles. Thanks for posting!

  7. I commented on your latest Curry Udon post that I wanted to cook my own Japanese Curry but since you mentioned here it took you HOURS to cook from scratch, I think maybe I'll just be like you, buy those pre-packaged ones and add our own ingredients! LOL
    But I'm also willing to try out cooking from scratch! :)
    Hope to see your cooking from scratch kare soon! :D
    Btw, I've already asked my parents how to cook the chicken rice and now I'm trying to get everything sort out nicely first b4 i post out as most of the ingredients are based on their own estimations! :(
    Hopefully it'll turn out nice! :)

  8. Cooking, thanks for the comment, I hope you do try making the curry udon, it is so easy and good to make!

    Lyn, it's so easy to make Kare with the packaged stuff, but maybe soon I will try to make it by scratch again. I have to figure out my notes on how I made

    It would be so great if you could post about the chicken rice. I'm sure that you will do a great job and it will be delicious! No pressure though;o)

  9. Hi KEcker, it's ok take your time on that :)
    Hopefully the chicken rice I cook will be the same as the one my dad cooked that day! LOL

  10. I'm with you. Curry rice is total comfort food. We ate this stuff all the time growing up! (Only with kimchi on the side. ;)

    Looks like April was a productive month for you, lady. I'm off to read about your kimchi fried rice (one of my favorite comfort foods in the history of everrrrr...).