Chicken katsu curry and rice

This is a Japanese way of doing curry. To get the right flavour you really need Japanese curry sauce cubes, such as S&B Golden Curry or Vermont by House Foods.

I prefer the hot versions myself, but they really aren’t particularly hot to my way of thinking.

Curry was only introduced to Japan in the 1870s, during the Meiji period and was seen as a “Western” dish, along with deep-fried breaded pork (Ton Katsu), served with a bottled piquant brown sauce, rather like HP or Daddie’s sauce. The Japanese didn’t really eat meat until this period, it being seen as barbarian food and was unacceptable to Buddhists.

Japanese curry spice blends were developed in the 20th century to appeal to the Japanese palate and are really very different from classic Indian curry blends. They contain all kinds of ingredients and tend to be quite sweet and fruity.

You make a curry sauce as follows;

Soften some diced onion in sunflower oil and add in some diced peppers (green or red), a diced apples and a diced carrot (I didn’t use carrot this time) and cook them for about five minutes.

Then add in a dollop of tomato purée, a tablespoon of Japanese soy sauce, chicken stock (from a cube is fine) and the chopped up curry sauce cube and simmer until the vegetables are done and the sauce has thickened. It will thicken easily because the curry sauce cubes contain cornflour.

Some recipes call for honey to be included, but I personally find this too sweet.

In the meanwhile, cook some plain rice (sushi rice or Thai jasmine rice are best) and keep it warm.

You need chicken breast fillets that you have floured, egged and bread-crumbed (panko crumbs are best, but unfortunately I’d run out and used some wholemeal crumbs I’d made a while ago and frozen instead) and fried in sunflower oil until crisp. Alternately, you can use pork chops, fat removed and beaten out.

When the chicken is cooked, you cut it into thickish slices and serve with the rice and with the curry sauce spooned over.