This is a fun and simple recipe that I enjoy making on a weekday night. This Japanese curry is done with a Taiwanese slant which is the way that I eat it when I’m in Taipei. I think it is a great fusion of two styles that makes for a rich and satisfying comfort food. To add a real international touch to the dish, I use Vietnamese yellow curry paste rather than the powder stuff that’s sitting stale in most people’s spice cabinets.
It’s great stuff. It is fresh tasting and gives a body and richness to the dish. If you can’t find it in your local asian store or at Whole Foods, just add yellow curry powder to taste.
Japanese Yellow Curry with Pork
2 cups – White rice
2 lbs – port cutlets
1 Tbsp – Five spice powder
1 cup – All-purpose flour
4 Tbsp – Corn starch (or tapioca starch), divided
1 cup – light oil for frying
3 – carrots, peeled and diced coarsely
2 – potatoes, peeled and diced coarsely
1 clove – fresh garlic, minced
1 tsp – fresh minced ginger
1 Tbsp – Yellow curry paste (or more to taste)
2 cups – chicken broth
4 – eggs, beaten, mixed with 3 Tbsp of water, and divided
toasted sesame seeds
Cook the rice
Rinse the rice well, in cold water and then add it to a rice cooker with 5 cups of water. Cook until done. Fluff with a rice paddle and let rest on warm in the cooker.
While the rice is cooking prepare the pork and the curry sauce. For the pork, trim any excess fat from the cutlets and then pound them until they are very thin, about 1/4 inch thick (halve as necessary). Salt and pepper generously. Mix the five spice, flour, and 2 Tbsp of starch on a plate. Add 1/4th of the egg and water mixture to a small bowl. Heat the oil in a large skillet on medium-high heat. Dip each cutlet into the flour mixture, then egg, then flour again. Deep fry the cutlets until browned and very crispy, turning once. Let cool on a wire rack.
Heat a large wok on medium heat until smoking, add some peanut or light oil (about 1 Tbsp) then the garlic, ginger, carrots, and potatoes. Fry for 5-8 minutes, stirring often, until the carrots and potatoes have begun to soften slightly. Do not brown. Add the broth and curry paste and bring to a low simmer. Lower the heat and simmer until the potatoes and carrots are softened and fully cooked. Mix the remaining 2 Tbsp. of starch with a 1/4 cup of cold water, stir well, and add to the curry broth, stirring well. Bring to a simmer until the sauce thickens into a thin gravy. Salt and add more curry to taste.
In a smaller wok or fry pan, heat to medium heat, add oil, and pour a small amount of the thin egg mixture in. Turn the sides of the wok so that the egg coats the inside in a consistent thin layer. It should cook thin, like a crepe. Salt to taste. Turn once if necessary. Once the egg “omelet” is completed, take a serving of rice and shape it into a semi-sphere or almond shape. This is best done by lightly pressing it into a bowl. Pop the rice out of the bowl and onto a plate. Wrap the rice gently in the omelet so that it looks like a rice mount coated in a thin layer of egg. Repeat for each plate.
Slice the pork cutlets into 1 inch thick slices and serve a generous serving on each plate. Add the curry sauce on the plate as well and garnish with toasted sesame seeds.