I wrote last week about making Japanese curry for meal prep and linked to an old post wherein I made Japanese curry for the first time ever – back in 2006 – and I realized that I needed to update the pics, the method, all of it. Coincidentally, this week is Japanese curry week! so here we go… what I made for Hubba Hubby‘s lunches this week!
Family pack of boneless, skinless chicken thighs (I only used half of this package – 5 chicken thighs – for 4 lunches; it would have been 5 but I ran out of clean containers, haha)
2 random apples, cut into chunks
Baby carrots that I cut into smaller pieces
1 medium onion that I cut into chunks
3 ribs of celery, chopped
1/2 package of Vermont Curry (full package pictured)
Cut chicken thighs into chunks; add to a hot frying pan with olive oil. (In the background, you can see the broccoli I roasted at 375 for 20 minutes with a bit of olive oil and salt – super simple, but a nice side for this lunch!)
After the chicken’s browned a little bit, add the chopped, cleaned celery and onion cut into chunks, to the pan. There should be a bit of liquid in the bottom of the pan at this point – mostly the olive oil and fat being rendered from the chicken, yum!
In the background of the above pic, you can see a bowl of the carrots that I cut into smaller chunks, then zapped in the microwave for 3 minutes in a bit of water. I don’t like super crunchy carrots in my curry, but I like having texture — so I soften them a little and reserve the water for later use. You’ll see! Once the celery and onion is in the pan, I toss it all around a bit until they’re very slightly cooked. I like the crunch of celery and onion chunks, so I don’t cook these for very long – and then I break up the 6 pieces (half the box) of curry. See the ice cube shaped looking brown things?
This is when I added the bowl of carrots + carrot water. Stir it all together and let it kind of melt down into what you see above — this actually wasn’t enough water, so I added a bit more using the same bowl. It’s going to continue to cook and thicken, so you don’t want it to be too thick at this point. Not yet.
Then, finally, I added the diced apple. I try to keep everything roughly the same size, so it cooks evenly but also looks kinda nice (to me). I don’t bother peeling the apple because I think the pop of color is pretty, plus – something something fiber and nutrients (says my mom). Let all of this simmer for a few more minutes; the curry itself will thicken up, the chicken will finish cooking if it hasn’t already (and don’t worry if it’s already been fully-cooked; it takes a lot to overcook chicken thighs), the carrots will soften further, as will the celery and onion.
While all of that was happening, I’d tossed brown rice in the rice cooker – a housewarming gift from my mom years ago, it’s such a lifesaver because I don’t like standing at the stove tending to a pot of rice – and 2 links of Chinese sausage. Hubba Hubby loves extra protein in his meals, while I don’t care for Chinese sausage, so I like to hide these under the curry as a little surprise for him to find. It also flavors the rice a bit while it cooks (you add these to the rice cooker while the rice cooks, and they plump up/cook).
Then scoops of the finished Japanese curry over the brown rice. Hubba Hubby loves sauce, so I made it a bit extra saucy for him. Let cool completely before covering and refrigerating!!! That’s for those pesky food safety concerns.
Close up of the finished dish.
What do you think? Will you be trying this yourself? Have you ever had Japanese curry?
Tune in next week for step-by-step pictorial instructions for next week’s meal prep lunch!!