Ben Laurie blathering

Japanese Curry

Last night I cooked an absolutely delicious (if I say so myself) Japanese curry for my guests – no recipe, because just copying out somebody else’s seems uncool, though I believe it is technically permitted. You can, however, find the recipe in Madhur Jaffrey’s Ultimate Curry Bible.

I had no idea the Japanese even ate curry until I came across this recipe but anyway, some comments…

Firstly, it was fantastically quick to cook, 10 minutes from start to end – far, far faster than any other curry I know how to make. It did take a while to prepare, mostly because slicing enough beef for eight people into 1/8 inch thick pieces takes quite some time. Even with a ceramic knife.

Secondly, its not really a Japanese curry, it’s Madhur’s guess at how to cook one without the specialist Japanese ingredients.

Thirdly, I served it with plain boiled rice and hot and sour aubergine (my older son, Felix, cooked it), which comes from another masterpiece of Madhur Jaffrey’s: “World Vegetarian Cookbook” – which no kitchen is complete without. Incidentally, this is the dish for which I am most often asked to provide a recipe. Again, sorry, you’ll have to get the book (by the way, there’s an American version of this book which is strangely different, but equally good, as far as I can tell – I don’t know if this recipe is in there).

Fourthly, Felix and I were of the opinion that just stir-frying the marinated meat would make a pretty fine dish, too. I haven’t tried it yet, but I intend to.

Fifthly, my younger son informs me that this recipe is highly unauthentic because it contains garlic, which is practically banned in Japan, he claims. I don’t care, it was lovely.

Finally, I used double cream instead of whipping cream, since that’s what I had. Seemed to work just fine.


  1. […] LinksBen Laurie blathering « Japanese Curry […]

    Pingback by Links » I Hope You’re Not In A Hurry — 22 Aug 2009 @ 23:58

  2. I’m SOOO with you on not following someone else’s curry recipe! Real cooks experiment, I say. Check out some of my curry experiments sometime:

    All the best, and keep up the good work.

    Comment by DDHA — 23 Aug 2009 @ 6:52

  3. Garlic banned in Japan? That seems… improbable. Quoth wikipedia, “In Japan and Korea, heads of garlic are fermented at high temperature; the resulting product, called black garlic, is sweet and syrupy, and is now being sold in the United States United Kingdom and Australia” 🙂

    Comment by ti — 23 Aug 2009 @ 11:23

  4. I’m also quite partial to “50 Great Curries of India”. The first quarter of the book discusses all of the various spices and theory of how curry works, and the recipes in the back of the book are basically just worked examples.

    Comment by Peter Corlett — 23 Aug 2009 @ 12:09

  5. Thanks for the pointer to the Curry Bible.
    Last year we cooked and ate our way through all the
    pumpkin recipes in the “World Vegetarian Cookbook”.

    Comment by Matthias Bauer — 28 Aug 2009 @ 20:55

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