Have you figured out how to slow down time? I am not talking about stopping time so I can stay young forever, but I am talking about just having enough time to do it all. My list is long. I want to exercise every day. As a matter of fact I enjoy running, boot camp classes, yoga, etc… and there is a two hour commute, not to forget the 40 hours a week of my daytime entertainment, called a “job”. I also love gardening, which also just started and requires a bit of attention. I am a mom, and as you can imagine, that comes with endless activities. On my “to do list” there are other enjoyments such as cooking, taking care of the dogs and cleaning (no not really, I dislike the act of cleaning but I love clean space). My recent hobby of food blogging and photography sort of ended up on the bottom of the list. Anyhow the point is I have high aspirations for life and need an extra 2-3 hours a day. My list of desired activities is super long. I want to travel more, I want to take Spanish lessons, and I want to go lindy hop dancing and salsa. I want to go get back to daily meditation, I want, I want, I want…
So what is it? I am not productive? Or am I over ambitious? Anyhow, if you have any good suggestions or if you figure out all of that, please let me know…
Today I am going to share with you a recipe for Japanese curry. It is totally a shortcut since it uses store bought curry paste. Curry is not a traditional part of the cuisine. I think it was adopted most likely from India, but its flavor and consistency are different. Japanese curry is sweet, milder and thicker. Typically the mix comes in segmented bars which look like a chocolate bar that you break off and add to a pot of meat, vegetables and water. It is always served with rice. In Japan you can find a casual restaurant that specializes only in curries. From the very first time I was introduced to it, I loved it. For me it is Japanese comfort food, sort of like our beef stew or chili.
I don’t know any Japanese people who make it from scratch. Most people resort to buying the curry bar mix. You cannot mess it up. The end result is always predictable and delicious. Maybe one day when my life’s “to do list” gets shorter, I will master Japanese curry from scratch.
Most people will make this dish using beef, lamb, chicken or even shrimp. Since I am not a big meat eater, I went with tofu as a source of the protein, but for my husband who loves this dish, I used chicken. Typical vegetables used in this dish are: onion, regular potatoes, carrots, celery, bell peppers and peas. I used onions, sweet potatoes, green beans, peas and tomatoes but you can come up with your favorite combination or you can see what you have available in your fridge. Just make sure that you don’t overcook your veggies.
If you are using tofu you can cube and brown it in a bit of oil and add it at the end, but if you use meat sauté together with onion as the first step (see box instructions)
- 1 box of extra firm tofu, drained and cubed ~ 1 inch size
- 1 large onion, sliced
- 1 sweet potatoes, cubed ½ inch size
- 1 small bell pepper, cut into ½ inch squares
- ½ cup of peas (frozen is fine)
- 1 small tomato or ½ cup of canned tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons of oil for sautéing
- 3.5 oz. S&B Curry mix (there are other brands that can be used as well)
- 2.5 cups of water
- Sauté tofu in oil to brown it a bit for about 2-4 minutes, set aside
- In a big pot add oil and sauté onion (if you using meat, add it at this point)
- Add vegetables with exception of tomatoes and peas.
- Add water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes. If you are using meat, it also should be cooked till tender.
- Remove from heat and add curry sauce mix broken into the pieces, stir until completely dissolved. Add tomatoes, tofu and peas and simmer for 5 minutes stirring gently not to break the tofu. Serve over rice.