Monday, March 19, 2012
Curry Noodles and a Bobbers Cocktail
Curry Udon Noodles was a treat we tried when we went to San Francisco's Japanese district. I love wandering around there and finding hidden shops, so when we stumbled into one restaurant that was literally a door hidden in the corner, we were thrilled with what we found. I can't remember what it was called as the sign was in Japanese. (Still trying to learn, but unsuccessfully.) What I do remember is that we all had a wonderful meal with a very friendly staff. I had a donburi with eel (basically, a rice bowl), but Bobbers chose the special of the day: Curry Udon. As much as I loved my eel, I couldn't help but eyeball his pile of curry and noodles and vowed to try it myself someday.
It's been a couple of years, now, but Japanese curry is one of those stick-to-your-ribs meals that you just don't forget. You can make this either of two ways: store-bought roux paste or make it yourself. The first is how I grew up with the curry. I recommend Golden Curry as it comes in a variety of heats and colors and you can break up as much of the bars as you need and reserve the rest for another time. I ended up making this from scratch, but the flavors are almost identical.
Chicken Curry Udon:
1 small russet potato, sliced thin
1 carrot sliced thin
1/2 small onion chopped
1/2 cup chicken stock, plus 1/2 cup
1 chicken breast, large, chopped into 1" cubes
2-3 tbs flour
1/2 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp garam masala
1/4 tsp cumin
1 tsp salt
1 package udon noodles prepared as directed
green onion for garnish
1. Slice up the veggies and heat a small pot with 2 tbs olive oil.
2. Cook the chicken cubes for 5 minutes on medium high heat and remove to a bowl.
3. Add the onions and sautee for 3 minutes.
4. Add the potatoes and carrots and cook for 5 more minutes before adding the chicken again.
5. Aside, mix the flour and spices in a small bowl or dish and add a little of the chicken stock very slowly, stirring until a thick past emerges with no lumps.
6. Stir the remaining stock into the veggies and chicken and add the roux in a little at a time, eying the thickness. The sauce should be runny at this stage.
7. Cover and reduce the heat to low, simmering for 15 minutes.
8. When curry reaches desired consistency, serve over the udon noodles with green onions sprinkled on top. Serves 2-4.
For experienced curry munchers, you may notice that this recipe is a little on the mild side. Japanese curry is supposed to have a smooth, creamy, and almost-gravy taste to it. You can kick up the spice a bit or mix around the ingredients; I don't even follow the recipe when I'm making it. I just smell what I like that day and adjust the flavor accordingly.
Belated St. Paddy's Day Treat Courtesy of the Bobbers: