Vegan Japanese Curry

Japanese curries are delicious – slightly sweet, slightly spicy, all-around amazing. A lot of recipes, this one included, involve making a kind of curry-roux before adding the vegetables and liquid. A little bit more work than most curries, but well worth the effort! Serve this curry on a bed of rice or with some potato croquettes (I have a recipe for those too!) to make it a full meal.

This is a slight variation on your traditional recipes, so I can’t claim it to be authentic, but it sure is good!

Prep time: ~1  hour
Serves: 6-8

Ingredients:

For the curry roux:

  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely minced.
  • 2 tbsp ginger, peeled and finely minced.
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil.
  • 1/4 cup flour.
  • 2 tbsp curry powder.
  • 1 tsp garam masala.
  • 1-2 tsp crushed chilies.
  • black pepper.
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste.
  • 2 tsp soy sauce.

For the rest of the curry:

  • 2 tsp vegetable oil
  • 2 onions, peeled and thinly sliced.
  • 2 carrots, peeled and cut into 1-cm chunks.
  • 2 potatoes, peeled if desired, cut into 1-cm chunks.
  • 4 cups vegetable stock or water.
  • 1 tsp soy sauce.
  • 1 Chinese eggplant, cut into 1-cm chunks.
  • 1 apple, cored, peeled (if desired), and grated.
  • 1/2 cup peas, defrosted if frozen.

In a small saucepan, heat the oil on medium-low. When it’s hot enough, add in the garlic and ginger and fry until just fragrant. Next, add in the flour, curry powder, and garam masala. Stir until you have a thick paste, then add in the chilies, black pepper, soy, and tomato paste.

Keep cooking the roux, stirring until it just starts to get a little bit drier and crumbly. Remove it from the heat and set aside.

Put the remaining oil in a large pot over medium heat, then add the onions. Fry them until they begin to caramelize, then add in the carrots and potatoes. Fry them for a few minutes, then add in the stock and soy sauce.

Bring the whole thing to a boil, then reduce the heat and allow to simmer for a few minutes before adding in the apple and eggplant.

Once the vegetables are all tender, loosen up the roux with a little bit of the cooking liquid before pouring it into the rest of the curry. Stir well, until the roux has completely dissolved into the rest of the stew.

Let the curry continue to simmer, and once it begins to thicken a little, add in the peas. Taste for seasoning, adding more soy sauce or pepper if desired, and enjoy!

This curry is also delicious when cold.

Pea and Corn Croquettes

Exactly what it sounds like. Peas and corn mixed with mashed potatoes, rolled in breadcrumbs, and then fried to give them a lovely crispy outside. This is a great way to use up leftover mashed potatoes, and it’s also a┬ádelicious side dish or snack!

Serves: 6.
Prep time: ~1 hour

Ingredients:

  • 6-8 potatoes, peeled and roughly chopped.
  • 1 onion, peeled and roughly chopped.
  • 2 tbsp oil.
  • salt.
  • pepper.
  • 1 tbsp flour, plus more to coat the croquettes.
  • 1-2 cups breadcrumbs (preferable panko), depending on how many croquettes you make.
  • 1/2 cup peas, defrosted if frozen.
  • 1/2 corn kernels, defrosted if frozen.
  • vegetable oil – enough to fill a deep frying pan halfway, plus a little extra in a small bowl.

Cooking Instructions:

Place the potatoes and onion in a large pot of cold water, then bring to a boil for 16-18 minutes, until the potatoes are tender. Drain the potatoes and mash them well with the oil, then season generously with salt and pepper.

Cool the potatoes down until they’re cool enough for you to handle, either by spreading them out on a baking sheet or popping them in the fridge for a few minutes.

Once the potatoes are cooled down, begin heating your oil on the stove. You want it to be hot enough that a breadcrumb will start bubbling when you drop it in, but doesn’t go brown right away. If you have a deep fryer, use that instead!

Mix the corn, peas, and flour into the mashed potatoes. Set up 3 separate bowls: 1 with flour, one with a bit of oil, and one with the breadcrumbs. Scoop up about 2 tablespoons of your potato mix and form into either a small patty or a cylinder. Patties are easier to flip, but cylinders look cuter.

Roll the croquette in the flour, then in the oil, then in breadcrumbs. If it’s looking a little bare, dip it back in the oil and then back in the breadcrumbs, patting it on all sides.

Fry them in batches to prevent the oil from cooling down too much. The croquettes should take a couple minutes on each side, until they’re lovely and golden brown all over. Serve piping hot.

These go really nicely with a Japanese-style curry (which I’ll probably be posting soon!), or with a nice pureed soup, anything you can dip them in!