When you think Japanese curry, you probably think Japanese curry cubes and who would blame you? Most of the Japanese curry recipes you'll find on this site are made with the ubiquitous Japanese curry cube whether it be a Golden Curry cube, a Java curry cube, a Vermont curry cube or one of the many other Japanese curry cubes you can find on the market. But not every Japanese curry is made with curry cubes. This one is made from scratch using five spices and some salt and pepper. It's quite a recent idea in Japan, but if the Brits can have their Mulligatawny, then the Japanese can have their Curry soup too!
So what goes into a Japanese Curry soup? As I said above, Japanese Curry soup doesn't use curry cubes so the first thing that goes into the mix is the spices - some curry powder, coriander, cumin, cinnamon and last but not least, some paprika. As you can see from the picture above, although this is a "soup", it is meant to be a filling main course, so each diner gets a chicken thigh and drumstick plus a halved boiled egg. Of course, if you don't want to include so much animal protein, you can miss out one of those ingredients and you'll still have a nourishing meal. As for the vegetables, this recipe includes some peppers, baby corn, sweet potato, butternut squash, courgette and it woudn't be a curry without some tomato, onion, garlic and ginger. (Well, I said this was nourishing, didn't I!)
Once you've mixed your spices, you'll need to finely chop the onion, garlic & ginger. Then, a little more chopping - the sweet potato gets cut into small pieces - it's really in the dish to add a little sweetness to the soup. The peppers and courgette are cut in half as is the piece of butternut squash, while the tomato is cut into segments - like the sweet potato, it's there for its sweetness. The babycorn stay as they are. A last little bit of prep, make a slash or two into the meat of the chicken drumsticks to ensure that they cook through.
Next, let's get cooking. The first thing to do is boil your eggs. I hard boil mine for this recipe but if you prefer an oozy middle, then I leave that to you. Next, slightly brown the chicken in a tbsp of vegetable oil - just enough to get the meat cooking and colour and flavour the oil. Once that is down, set the chicken aside and tip the chopped onion, garlic and giner in to the oil to fry until lightly browned. Then, in with the tomatoes and the spices - add another tbsp of oil here and mix everything into a curry roux - the aroma should already be getting your appetite going! Next, pour in 400ml of water and return the chicken to the pan along with the sweet potato. Bring to the boil then reduce the heat quickly to a simmer for 20 minutes.
While the chicken and the curry sauce are cooking, pour about 1cm / 1/2 in of vegetable oil into a frying pan. Get the oil nice and hot, then shallow fry the peppers, the butternut and the babycorn until they are nicely browned. Last of all, peel and halve your boiled eggs.
Now you are ready to assemble your Japanese Soup curry. Place a chicken drumstic and thigh into a deep serving boil. Add pieces of fried pepper, babycorn and butternut. Pour over your Curry soup. Top with the boiled egg halves. I always add some coriander as a garnish but I leave that to you.
Your Japanese Curry soup is ready to serve with a boil of steamed rice.
If this recipe has got your taste buds going, you can find the Youtube tutorial at the bottom of the page or just click Japanese Curry soup. If you want to look at the written recipe, you can find that just below.
Happy cooking! Kurumi XXXX.
ingredients: makes 2 generous servings
for the curry spice mix:
1 tbsp mild curry powder
2 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp cinnamon powder
1 tsp paprika powder
1/2 medium sized onion
2 cloves of garlic
2 cm ginger, peeled
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 boned chicken drumsticks
2 boned chicken thighs
60g / 2 oz sweet potato, peeled
400ml / 13.5 fl oz cold water
1/2 chicken stock cube
salt and pepper to taste
vegetables for shallow frying:
1/2 red pepper
1/2 yellow pepper
2 slices of butternut squash or kabocha
2 portions of steamed rice
to prepare the curry spices, mix the curry powder, cumin powder, coriander powder, cinnamon powder & paprika powder in a small bowl. set aside.
chop the onion, garlic & ginger finely
cut the tomato & (peeled) sweet potato into small pieces
halve the peppers and courgette. peel the butternut squash and cut into 2 slices
make some incisions on the chicken drumsticks. trim off the excess fat from the chicken thighs
add 2 eggs to a small saucepan of boiling and cook for 10 mins (for hard boiled.) drain the eggs and leave to cool in cold water before peeling and halving.
heat 1 tbsp of vegetable oil in a medium saucepan. lightly brown the chicken, then remove to a plate
add the onion, garlic & ginger to the saucepan and brown lightly over a medium heat
add another 1 tbsp of oil to the saucepan and add the spice powder. stir well
next add the tomato & sweet potato pieces to the saucepan and stir
add the 400ml water to the saucepan along with the pieces of chicken, 1/2 chicken stock cube and some black pepper. bring to the boil then simmer for about 30 mins
meanwhile, heat 1cm of oil in a small frying pan. shallow fry the pepper, butternut squash, baby corn and courgette, turning once or twice until lightly browned. rest on kitchen paper
season the curry soup with salt to taste.
place the chicken and vegetables in two serving bowls. ladle over the soup.
serve with bowls of steamed rice