Posts tagged ‘curry’

Curry Chicken Salad

When I was a kid, my mom would often make curry chicken salad. It was the only kind of chicken salad we had at home, and really, it’s all we needed, because we all loved it.

Despite hating celery and olives as a kid, I loved this chicken salad. I still do. It’s a classic.
My husband loves it as well. Heck, he’s loved it since he first had it, before we were dating! How’s that for a good chicken salad, eh?

It goes well on sandwiches, crackers, in wraps, on lettuce, on baked potatoes, and by itself.

I really can’t think of anything else to say about it. It’s self-explanatory in its simple greatness.

Easy. Delicious. What more can you ask for?

Oh, and it’s even better the next day!

Thanks, Mom, for this great recipe!

Curry Chicken Salad

(serves 6 – 8)

  • 2 (10 oz.) cans cooked chicken
  • 2 (2.25 oz.) cans sliced black olives
  • 1 can sliced water chestnuts
  • 1/2 c. diced celery (about 1 1/2 stalks)
  • 1 c. sliced almonds (toasted)
  • 1 apple
  • 1 c. mayonnaise
  • 3 tsp. curry powder
  • salt
  1. Add the chicken, olives, celery, and toasted almonds to a large bowl. Chop up the water chestnuts and add those as well.
  2. Peel, core, and chop up the apple into small chunks, and add them to the bowl. Mix everything well.
  3. Add the mayonnaise and curry powder, and mix until everything is well coated. Add salt to taste.

October 17, 2012 at 11:55 am Leave a comment

Spring Coconut Curry

When Hisa and I got up this morning to go swimming, it was dark, raining, and thundering and lightning. We went to the pool though, only to discover that when there’s lightning the pool closes (which seems odd considering it’s an indoor pool). So, we came back home and I baked muffins for breakfast. And my parents were happy. Because there were muffins. And they were good. The end.

It really is quite a cold (compared to the 70’s temperatures we’ve been having this week), wet, miserable day. But on the other hand, we really need the rain, the trees are starting to leaf out, and spring is on its way (or I suppose it’s already here really). Nonetheless, we’re going to try and go swimming when the pool opens for lap swim this evening, although, I admit, I would love nothing more than to snuggle up with a blanket, have a cup of cocoa, and watch movies and read all day. That’s what rainy days are for, right? 🙂

We had this dish for dinner one night while we were in Texas working on the farm. The sauce is basically made up of Rotel, coconut milk, and buttermilk, three things I would never had thought to combine. For whatever reason though, it works. And the resulting slightly spicy, coconut milk curry is really really good.
This curry is great for featuring spring vegetables like asparagus, carrots, spring onions, peas, leeks, fennel, etc. I used a big bunch of new asparagus, carrots, mushrooms, onions, and green bell pepper as well as diced chicken, and served it over steamed brown rice, but feel free to use whatever spring vegetables you like/have, and leave out the chicken if you want to make it vegetarian. This is really good served on steamed rice, but I think it would also make a lovely pasta sauce.


Thanks Nancy, for such a wonderful dinner idea!


Spring Coconut Curry

(serves 5 – 6)

  • 1/4 c. coconut oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 bunch asparagus, cut into 1 – 1 1/2 in. pieces
  • 1 c. sliced mushrooms
  • 2 c. chicken cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1/4 c. flour
  • 1 (14 oz.) can coconut milk
  • 1 can original Rotel
  • 1/2 c. buttermilk
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 c. uncooked brown rice
  1. Cook rice according to package instructions.
  2. Heat coconut oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onion, carrot, and bell pepper, and saute for about 5 minutes.
  3. Add mushrooms, asparagus, and chicken, and saute until chicken is cooked through, about 8 – 10 minutes.
  4. Add flour, and mix until becomes paste-like. Cook for 1 more minute.
  5. Add Rotel, coconut milk, buttermilk, and oregano. Heat until hot, but not boiling. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Serve with steamed rice.

March 8, 2012 at 11:01 am Leave a comment

Chicken Korma (with korma curry paste recipe)

Since Hisa and I came to my parents’ house from Japan, we’ve been unable to use our laptops with the internet.

My parents have two computers in their house, only one of which is hooked up to the internet.

Although the internet is fairly fast dsl, the computer it’s hooked up to is so incredibly old (it has a floppy drive), that it simply can’t handle doing anything remotely fast or even an average speed. The result is that the internet is quite slow. Although considering the computer itself, the internet does pretty good in terms of speed. The problem is, anything and everything the computer does is horribly slow.

Open a browser? Wait a whole minute for it to appear.

Opening the start bar? Click it, then wait for half a minute for it to appear.

Now I’m not trying to sound impatient with the computer here or anything, but it’s like trying to get a 110 year old man to cook a four course meal. You’ll be dead yourself by the time the meal is ready.

Now, take that situation and you can understand why Hisa, who’s in the middle of trying to find a job via the internet, and myself, a food blogger who likes to update daily, were starting to get a little frustrated with the computer/internet situation.

I began inquiring my parents about WiFi, and how much it would cost to get. My mom, bless her, followed through on my inquiries and called their internet service provider to find out. She discovered that they only needed to pay a one-time fee for a WiFi router, and they could have WiFi. How easy is that?

The very next day, with some encouragement from myself, Dad and I went to the internet provider’s store in town, and bought a router. That evening Hisa and I got it hooked up, and now we can finally use our laptops to access the internet again! Hisa can now continue his job hunt with much more ease, and I can post here at the same time! What a concept, right? We can also use our iphones with the WiFi, and my parents want to get the direct movie download to your TV service by Netflix.

Ah, WiFi. It’s like Christmas come early!

I tried out a new Indian recipe this week. For those who don’t know, I love Indian food (and Thai, Korean, Japanese, Chinese, Italian, Greek, German, and Mexican food), but I only have a few Indian recipes I’ve made before. I think Indian food can be intimidating for a lot of people to cook, because there’s simply so many spices involved, many of which are unfamiliar to people not from that region.

What I’ve realized from some of the Indian dishes I have prepared, however, is that although there are quite a few spices involved in Indian cooking, you see many of the same spices in every Indian dish. Once you have the staple spices, you can make many of the popular Indian dishes that are popular in the West.

I tried out a new Chicken Korma recipe by Jamie Oliver for dinner the other night, and everyone loved it! It sounded a bit complicated at first, as I actually made the korma curry paste, but it was quite easy really! Once I had all my ingredients assembled (which always makes cooking easier), everything went along quite quickly.

Now you don’t have to make the korma curry paste yourself. I’ve provided the recipe for it, but feel free to use store bought korma paste if you want.

I served this with steamed brown rice with turmeric and ginger in it, but plain steamed rice or naan bread would be great with this as well.


Recipes adapted from Jamie Oliver’s Korma Curry Paste and Chicken Korma recipes.

Korma Curry Paste

(makes about 1/2 cup)

  • 2 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp. coriander seeds
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 thumb-sized piece of ginger, peeled -or- 1 Tbsp. ginger paste
  • 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp. garam masala (if you can’t find this in your regular super market, try a health food store)
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 2 Tbsp. peanut or coconut oil
  • 2 Tbsp. tomato paste
  • 2 fresh green chilies
  • 3 Tbsp. unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 2 Tbsp. almond flour
  • small bunch fresh cilantro, washed and diced
  1. In a small pan over medium-high heat, toast the cumin and coriander seeds until golden brown and fragrant. Remove from heat, and grind seeds in a mortar and pestle or food processor to make a powder.
  2. Add powdered seeds and remaining ingredients to a food processor and process until they form a smooth paste.

Chicken Korma

(serves 4 – 6)

  • 1 3/4 lb. skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 medium onions
  • 1 thumb-sized piece of fresh ginger -or- 1 Tbsp. ginger paste
  • a small bunch of fresh cilantro, washed
  • 1 (15 oz.) can of garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 – 3 Tbsp. peanut or coconut oil
  • 1 Tbsp. butter
  • 1/2 c. korma curry paste (either store bought or the recipe above)
  • 1 (14 oz.) can coconut milk
  • 1/2 c. water
  • 3/4 c. slivered almonds, plus more for serving
  • salt and pepper
  • Plain yogurt for serving
  1. Dice chicken into bite sized pieces, peel and finely slice onions, peel and dice ginger, and separate cilantro leaves and stalks. Reserve leaves for serving and finely dice stalks.
  2. Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add butter, onions, ginger, and cilantro stalks, and saute, stirring often, until soft and golden, about 8 – 10 minutes.
  3. Add korma curry paste, coconut milk, water, almonds, garbanzo beans, and chicken. Mix well. Bring mixture to a boil, then turn down heat, cover, and simmer for about 30 minutes.
  4. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve.
  5. Serve chicken korma with rice or naan bread. To top, add slivered almonds, a dollop of plain yogurt, and cilantro leaves as desired.


December 23, 2011 at 3:36 am Leave a comment

Menu Plan Monday for Nov. 14 – 18

First of all, let me just say, things are gonna be a little crazy around here this week.

In case you haven’t heard, Hisa and I are moving out of our apartment this Friday.

Hisa had his last day of work on Friday, so we’re cleaning, packing, throwing stuff away, and much more this week.

I have a couple dinners and a couple lunches planned this week, but nothing else.

This is why:

This is our fridge. Take note of all the empty space.

The remaining contents (from top to bottom) include: olives, plain yogurt, ground flax seed, cornmeal, the last of the apple butter, some yogurt cups, the last of the bread, some cheese, and abura-age (fried tofu thingies).

We’re trying to finish everything off before Friday rolls around, so we haven’t been buying much food. There’s also some stuff in the refrigerator door and the cupboard, but not a whole lot. Thursday morning we’ll be getting rid of all our pots and pans (not that we have that many), and that evening someone is coming to buy our gas stove (Japanese stoves are small portable things with two burners and no oven like American stoves), so Wednesday will pretty much be my last day of cooking in this apartment.

We also need to turn off our refrigerator sometime on Thursday, so the freezer can thaw out, and we can clean it.

So please pardon this week’s short and rather simple and uninteresting menu plan. I felt I should explain why so you wouldn’t think I was holding out on you. I’m moving. Internationally. Have pity.

I just noticed there’s a large blob of sauce on the side of the bowl. Opps. Bad food picture-taking me.

Menu Plan Monday for Nov. 14 – 18:

November 14, 2011 at 11:35 am Leave a comment

Menu Plan Monday for Oct. 31 – Nov. 4th (and fun in the park)

The weather has been absolutely fabulous here the past several days. Especially the weekend! And considering every weekend for the past month has been rainy and dreary, I was so glad to have a sunny weekend finally!

Saturday, Hisa and I went to the park to enjoy the lovely weather. We have neither a baseball, baseball gloves, or a football, so we ended up playing catch with a tennis ball (because we’re cool like that). It worked out quite well though, surprisingly enough! Tennis balls are soft enough that you don’t need a glove to catch them.

We also played Frisbee for awhile, but as you may remember, I’m horrible at Frisbee, so we didn’t play that quite as long. Around the time the sun started going down (4:30pm. Oh, Japan), we just walked around the park and enjoyed the changing leaves. It was a fun afternoon.

Japanese Ginkgo trees are so pretty in the fall!


My husband has this condition that makes him unable to take a normal picture on the first (or second) attempt. I’m pretty sure this is due to high levels of silliness in his blood.

The second attempt at a picture resulted in an equally silly face, so this is actually the third attempt. Third time’s the charm! By the way, don’t we look cool in our sunglasses? Prescription sunglasses: best idea ever.


Menu Plan for Oct. 31 – Nov. 4:

  • Meatloaf, mashed potatoes, and tossed salad
  • Pad Thai and tom yam kung soup
  • Japanese curry rice and miso soup
  • Spaghetti with bolognese sauce and tossed salad
  • On Nov. 4th, Hisa’s co-workers are having a going away dinner for us, so we’ll be eating out that night.


October 31, 2011 at 12:50 pm Leave a comment

Japanese Curry Soup

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.



October 18, 2011 at 3:20 pm 2 comments

Menu Plan Monday for Oct. 3 – 7

This past Saturday, Hisa applied to several different moving companies for a quote on moving our stuff to his parents’ place when we move out of our apartment next month. Some companies sent quotes by email, and some companies sent a representative to our apartment to see everything we have to move, and then give us a quote (it was like having a car salesperson in our apartment. Bleh).

Most of our remaining furniture and our large appliances (kitchen, washing machine, etc.) we’ll be sending to Hisa’s parents’ house, as they wanted it. I’m happy they can use it all, because otherwise we would have had to mess with trying to sell the stuff, or just throw it away (which I would have hated doing, because it’s perfectly good stuff, and not that old, and gosh darnit, I hate waste!).

The downside to all of this, is that we have to hire a moving company to move everything, and moving companies cost money. They don’t have rental trucks (ala U-Haul) in Japan, and large pick-up trucks are practically none existent, so when people move, they always hire a moving company.

Moving companies in Japan are both a blessing and a curse in my opinion. If you absolutely hate packing, cleaning, hauling boxes and furniture, then moving companies may be your best friend in Japan. They will do everything for you. With the most basic service, they’ll simply come to your home, haul all of your boxes and furniture to the truck, load it, drive it to your new place, and unload everything where you want it. You can purchase additional services, however, like having the movers pack everything for you, and then clean your entire place after everything is loaded into the truck. If you want, and if you pay, and won’t have to do a thing when you move.

Oh, did I mention they’ll also cover all your large appliances (refrigerator, washing machine, etc.) with protective covering and padding so that it won’t get scratched while being moved? It’s brilliant.

Like I mentioned before though, moving companies cost money (no, I know you already know this, but let me get to the point), and when I say that, I mean a lot of money.

To give you an idea, we’re just having the movers come and move our stuff (no fancy add-on services), and we don’t really have that much stuff to move (our futons, table, one small bookshelf, some plastic drawers, my stationary bicycle, refrigerator, washing machine, microwave, some small odds and ends, and maybe three boxes). That’s it. But the average price from the different moving companies we got was around $600.

Yeah… I don’t know. Maybe that’s not a lot to some people, but I’m used to moving with the use of a U-Haul truck or by borrowing someone’s pick-up, so $600 seems like a lot of me. Still, it’s really nice not having to move everything ourselves. Especially since our apartment is two floors and the entrance is on the 2nd floor (weird, I know), so the movers will have to carry everything (including our full-size refrigerator) up the steep narrow stairs of our apartment to get it out. Not fun. Good luck mover people!

Menu Plan for October 3 – 7:

  • Stew and homemade bread
  • Homemade pizza
  • Coconut curry pumpkin soup, salad, and
  • Japanese Nabe
  • Japanese croquettes (korokke) with shredded cabbage, steamed rice, miso soup, and stir-fried burdock root and carrot (kinpira gobo)

October 3, 2011 at 4:23 pm Leave a comment

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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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