Chicken Katsu Curry
Japanese cuisine for me is Ramen, Sushi/Sashimi and this one Katsu Curry, three of the most popular dishes in this cuisine as well as in Japan itself. Chicken Katsu Curry as the name suggest is prepared with Chicken Katsu which is served with the curry sauce, but pork and beef can also be used. Most popular version of this dish is served over rice but there are other two varieties for this dish where it is served over udon (curry udon) and as a filling on a crusty bread.
Like most curries this Japanese version had originated from the Indian cuisine when it was brought to Japan from India by the British. During those times the Imperial Japanese Navy adopted curry brought by the British from India to prevent a disease called Beriberi, basically thiamine deficiency. The British version of curry was different though, instead of a solid mix of spices and legumes it was made with a mix of tinned curry powder, butter, meat, root vegetables and a sauce thickened with flour. Meat and flour as we all know is rich in thiamine making this dish the silver bullet against beriberi. Since then the curry changed, modified and adapted to the taste preferences of the Japanese hence we have the boxed versions now. Curry during those times was just the normal meat curry until Katsu curry was invented.
Katsu curry is claimed to have created around 1948 at Grill Swiss a yōshoku restaurant located in Ginza, Tokyo. I was believed that Shigeru Chiba a Yomiuri Giants player, frequently dines in at this place, apparently, he loves to combine curry and katsu when he dines in, but it was too bothersome which led to the creation of the combination.
Like the instant ramen this the Japanese curry was heavily modernized hence in Japanese homes, curry sauce is most commonly made from instant curry roux and not from scratch. It is also readily available in convenience stores and supermarkets, making it really easy to prepare and very handy. That totally reflects with our recipe today, easy to prepare, simple and delicious.
- 6 cubes Japanese curry (I used Vermont Curry)
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 large potato, cubed
- 1 carrot, cubed
- 800 ml water
- 2 cups panko breadcrumbs
- 1 cup flour
- 4 servings chicken breast fillets
- 2 eggs, slightly beaten
- freshly ground black pepper
- In a plate place your bread crumbs, on a separate plate place the flour and, on another plate, place the beaten eggs.
- Season your chicken breast fillets with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- Dip both sides of the chicken breast fillets on to the flour, then on to the beaten egg then on to the bread crumbs.
- Heat enough oil for shallow frying in a pan, once it reached 180C carefully lower the chicken katsu and cook in medium low heat until golden and crispy. This will take around 6-8 minutes on each side depending on the thickness of the breast fillets. Remove from pan then set it aside to cool and crisp down.
- In a pot heat oil in medium heat then sauté onions until its soft.
- Add the carrots then continue to sauté for 2 minutes.
- Pour water into the pot, bring it to a boil, add potatoes. Simmer for 15 minutes or until vegetables are soft.
- Add Japanese curry cubes, then turn heat to low, let it simmer for 10 minutes until curry sauce is thick. Turn heat off.
- Place rice on one side of the bowl, place sauce on the other side. Cut chicken breast into sections, place in the middle topped with extra curry sauce and pickled radish. Serve.