Servings: 4, with leftovers
Let’s dial it back to where it all began: old-school Japanese curry. Sweet-savory, fragrant, rich—and irresistible—this dish calls for the classic Japanese curry ingredients, that is, root vegetables, apple, and beef. And you thicken it using an old-fashioned roux, a French-style thickening agent for sauces made by cooking together butter and flour (a testament to this particular curry’s Western roots). We use S&B curry powder, a Japanese brand founded in the 1920s and widely available in Asian markets here, but you can also substitute with Madras curry (usually sold in cans in supermarkets) or any curry powder you like. You can riff on this basic recipe in endless ways. Use chicken, pork, or seafood instead of beef. Add other vegetables: celery, eggplant, green pepper, daikon, broccoli, spinach, or tomato wedges (add the tomato 10 minutes before finishing so it doesn’t break down). Use honey or even mango to sweeten the curry. Or throw the onions in at the beginning, with the beef, and totally brown them, which will both help thicken the dish and add more intensely caramel flavors. Experiment and have fun.
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The key to cutting the carrot rangiri style is rolling the carrot while you cut: Cut the carrot at an angle, roll a quarter turn, cut on an angle. Repeat until you’ve cut up the entire root.
Reprinted with permission from Japanese Soul Cooking, by Tadashi Ono and Harris Salat, copyright © 2013. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House, Inc.
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