Japanese Curry Soup

October 18, 2011 at 3:20 pm 2 comments

They were showing “Star Wars – Return of the Jedi” last night on TV.

…in Japanese.

Usually when they show movies on TV in Japan, they’re bilingual. Most TVs have the option of changing the language to either the original language (for non-Japanese movies) or the dubbed Japanese version.

I have nothing against dubbing, but personally I would much rather see movies (and TV shows) in their original language with subtitles.

So you see, I’ve always been highly appreciative of the language change function on TVs, and I’ve always used that function, as seeing a lot of Hollywood movies dubbed in Japanese is just not my thing. Especially when it’s a movie I’ve seen many times and that is dear to me, it just weirds me out seeing all the characters speaking Japanese.

Unfortunately, for reasons unknown, when Japanese television switched to digital from analog this past summer, our TV mysteriously lost the ability to switch languages for foreign movies and TV shows.

Thus, Hisa and I ended up watching the second half of “Return of the Jedi” on TV last night in Japanese.

At first, I thought it was just too weird to watch, but after awhile, it began to turn amusing for me. I actually burst out laughing the first time I heard Darth Vader speak, and Luke sounded extremely girly.

The only character whom the Japanese voice over worked really well for was… you guessed it, Yoda.

Sadly, after the movie I went to bed, had weird dreams, and slept badly, again.

I blame the Japanese-speaking Darth Vader.

Japanese curry soup is a wonderful, hearty, spicy stew that’s absolutely perfect for a chilly fall night. It’s also a nice change from your thicker regular curry.

This soup is full of rich vibrant flavors, but a small warning. This soup is not something you can whip up 30 minutes or even an hour before dinner time. This soup takes time. Around three to three and a half hours to be precise.

If you want to prepare something a little special for someone, or you’re home on a cold cloudy day with time to spare, this is the recipe for you. You won’t be disappointed!

And now, one word of caution. If you use a regular blender to blend the soup in batches, be sure you let the soup cool sufficiently before you blend it! If you try to blend it while it’s still super hot, it may splatter out of the blender all over everything, including you. The first time I ever made this soup I made that mistake, and I still have the burn scars on my arm where the soup splattered on me to prove it. I recommend making this soup early in the day, and then turning the heat off and letting it cool after it’s finished simmering for two hours. When dinner time rolls around, you can just blend the soup and then re-heat it. Easy peasy.

I definitely need a bigger pot.

Serve with steamed rice or fresh nan bread.

Japanese Curry Soup

(serves 6)

  • 4 onions, diced
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 Tbsp. ginger paste
  • 1 apple, peeled, cored, and chopped
  • 1 dried chili, diced
  • 1 chunk dark chocolate
  • 2 tsp. cumin
  • 2 tsp. dried coriander
  • 2 tsp. tumeric
  • dash black pepper
  • 1 – 2 tsp. garam masala  (depending on how spicy you want it)
  • 2 tsp. curry powder
  • 1 can tomatoes
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 6 c. chicken stock
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • Any meat and vegetables you want (recommended: chicken, potato, carrot, bell pepper, sweet potato, squash, broccoli, etc.)
  1. Heat olive oil in a very large pot over medium heat. Add onions and saute until amber brown and paste-like in texture (about 20 minutes).
  2. Add ginger, garlic, and apple to pot, and continue cooking for about 5 minutes, mashing well.
  3. Add spices, chocolate, chili, and cook for 5 more minutes.
  4. Add tomatoes and mix. Continue cooking until thickened to a heavy paste. Add stock and increase heat to boiling.
  5. Lower heat to simmering and add carrot, celery, and bay leaves.
  6. Simmer for two hours, stirring occasionally.
  7. Use an immersion blender to blend soup, or let cool and then blend in batches in a blender. Return to pot and re-heat.
  8. Boil, fry, or roast chicken and vegetables. Add to serving bowls, and pour soup over meat and vegetables. Serve with steamed rice or nan bread.




Entry filed under: Chicken, Japanese food, Recipes, Soups/Stews. Tags: , , , , .

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Pam  |  February 10, 2012 at 3:25 pm

    I am saving some of your Japanese recipes (since I nisei 2nd generation Japanese. I have eaten most of these diahes,but have not prepared them myself, as I am too “Americanized”, so do appreciate posts.

    • 2. rueki86  |  February 11, 2012 at 9:51 pm

      I’m glad my posts are helpful! I learned so much about Japanese food from the four years I’ve spent living in Japan, mainly from eating a lot of my mother-in-law’s home cooked Japanese food (yum) and my husband’s cooking, but also from eating at a lot of restaurants in a lot of places. I’m by no means an expert on Japanese food, but the things I can make, I make pretty good I think. I hope the recipes work out for you. 🙂


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About Me

My name is Rachel. I'm a small-town girl born and raised in Oklahoma, currently living in Japan, who likes cooking, baking, reading, working out, and traveling. Join me in my culinary adventures, my domestic doings, and the story of my life, one day at a time.

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