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 delicious 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!

Pea and Tarragon Soup

A lovely, refreshing soup that’s just as good served cold as it is hot. Don’t be scared off by the coconut milk – it doesn’t add much coconut flavour, just a lovely creaminess!

Prep time: ~45 minutes
Serves 6-8.
Gluten-free

Ingredients:

  • 1 large onion, diced.
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed/minced.
  • 2 tbsp olive oil.
  • 3 stalks celery, diced.
  • 500 g frozen peas (let defrost before adding to the soup).
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon (save a bit of the zest for garnish).
  • 2 cans coconut milk.
  • 4 cups vegetable stock/water.
  • 1 large bunch tarragon, finely chopped (save a few leaves for garnish).
  • Salt and pepper, to taste.

Cooking Instructions:

Heat a large pot over medium heat with the olive oil in the bottom. Once the oil is nice and hot, add in the onion and garlic.

Fry them off until soft and fragrant, then add the celery. Cook until the celery has softened and the onions and garlic have begun to caramelize slightly.

Next, add in all of the peas, the lemon juice and zest, the coconut milk, and vegetable stock.

Bring the whole thing up to a boil, then toss in the tarragon. Reduce the heat and allow to simmer for 10-15 minutes. Season well with salt and pepper.

Puree the soup, strain if desired, and serve with a little extra lemon zest and tarragon as a garnish.

Parsnip, Pea, and Potato Soup

I love parsnips. Roasted, mashed, in soup, in gnocchi (yes, you can do that), you name it! Even the word “parsnip” is super cute.

However, using just parsnips in a soup would be a little too much, so here we have a very alliterative alternative: the pinnacle of perfection, parsnip, pea and potato potage. Okay, I’ll stop.

Serves 4-6
Gluten-free
Prep time: ~60 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 large leek, sliced into thin half moons.
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed/minced.
  • 1-2 tbsp olive oil.
  • 4 medium-sized parsnips, peeled and roughly chunked up.
  • 4 medium-sized potatoes, peeled if desired, and roughly chunked up.
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen peas (could also use split peas, if you rehydrate them).
  • 4 cups vegetable stock.
  • 1 small handful fresh thyme/1 tsp dried thyme.
  • salt and pepper, to taste.

 

Cooking Instructions:

Preheat your oven to 375 F (190 C). Place your parsnips on a baking sheet and toss them with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Pop them in the oven to roast for about 3o minutes.

While the parsnips are cooking, heat a large pot on medium heat with some olive oil in the bottom. When the oil is hot, add in your leeks and cook them, stirring often, until they begin to soften.

Next, toss in the garlic, and reduce the heat slightly. Keep stirring them until they begin to caramelize nicely.

Next, add in your potatoes and stir well. Place a lid on the pot, and continue to cook them, stirring occasionally, until the parsnips are done.

Once the parsnips are done in the oven, add them to the pot, along with the vegetable stock and the thyme. Bring the whole thing to a boil, then reduce the heat slightly, until the soup is just simmering.

Simmer until the potatoes begin to tenderize, then add in the peas. Stir well. Let the soup come back up to a simmer, and then simmer for another 15-20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Puree the soup if desired. I think it’s nicer as a puree, but do whatever you prefer!

Cauliflower, Potato, and Pea curry.

A family favourite, this vegetable curry is incredibly delicious and filling. One recipe’s worth will leave you with plenty of leftovers, which is great! You might find this dish a bit spicy (I used to, until I got used to spicy food), so if you have a low spice tolerance, you might want to reduce the amount of peppers you use. This dish is also great when eaten cold.

Prep time: ~35 minutes
Gluten-free
Serves 6

Ingredients:

  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into small florets.
  • 2 large potatoes, peeled if desired, cut into bite-sized chunks.
  • 1/2 cup light vegetable oil.
  • 5 tsp ground cumin.
  • 4 tbsp ground coriander.
  • 2 tsp turmeric.
  • 2-3 tsp red pepper flakes (don’t overestimate yourself!).
  • 1 1/2 cups green peas (frozen work great).
  • 1/2 can tomatoes (if you’re using whole, puree them before using them).
  • 2 cups boiling water.
  • salt and pepper, to taste.

Cooking Instructions:

In a large pot, heat the oil over-medium high heat. Add the spices and fry for a few seconds, then quickly add the cauliflower and the potatoes.

Fry for about 5 minutes, stirring constantly, until the vegetables begin to brown slightly. Next, add your tomato puree, and stir everything well. Fry for about three minutes, until the sauce begins to thicken slightly.

Add the boiling water along with some salt. Reduce the heat, and allow everything to simmer, covered, until the cauliflower and the potatoes are cooked through, about 15 minutes, stirring often.

Add the frozen peas, and cook for another 5 minutes, or until the sauce is nice and thick. Serve hot, and enjoy.