Fusion food never fails to surprise me. When I lived in Glasgow I was charmed by the Scots, in particular the Glaswegian Scots love for 'Irn Bru, Curry Sauce and Chips', but at the same time I was baffled at their liking for 'Cheese on Chips' almost a Scottish take on the Canadian-French melty cheesy gravy Poutine.
Well here is another fusion dish from around the world - Japanese Curry known as Katsu.
According to the Japan Centre, Katsu curry sauce was introduced to Japan by the British over 100 years ago. Katsu is a a thick curry sauce served with crispy panko crumbed chicken or pork cutlets known as Tonkatsu. Katsu is the traditional Japanese breaded cutlet - whereas my version is more of a Japanese curry sauce. Its very much like an Indian curry, but thickened towards the end with a roux, similar to the way I do Paprika Mushroom sauce for my pies. I noted many of the Japanese recipes used blocks or cubes of curry sauce roux.
I came across vegan Tofu Katsu for the first time ever via a Scottish Japanese blog called Japanese Vegan In Scotland, but was reminded of a vegetarian version of it last year through Johanna's blog. The curry was spicy hot, even for my taste buds, and for those of you who know me I like spicy, but not blow your head off spicy. This did not blow my head off, but it was very spicy. We didn't mind it, but D shared that he preferred Indian - Pakistani - Bangladeshi style curries.
We both preferred this inauthentic fusion Japanese Curry more the day after when the flavours had a chance to meld a bit more and it is for this reason I am sharing this with Cook Once Eat Twice and Cook Blog Share hosted by Hijacked By Twins.
Japanese Vegetable Katsu Curry Sauce
2 tablespoons oil
1 onion, finely sliced or minced
2 teaspoons fresh ginger, grated
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
1/2 - 1 teaspoon chilli flakes
1 teaspoon Chinese Five Spice Powder
1 tablespoon tomato puree
2 carrots, peeled and sliced into coins or half moons
1 large aubergine, chopped into bite size cubes
100g chestnut mushrooms, sliced
1 x 400g can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 tablespoon cornflour
200ml vegetable stock
Optional: Coriander to garnish
In a wide pan, heat the oil, then stir in the onion and cook for a few minutes until its begin to go soft, then stir in the garlic and ginger and cook for a couple of minutes, before stirring in all the spices and tomato paste. Stir fry the spices for a few minutes, before stirring in the carrots, cook for a few minutes, before stirring in the aubergine.
Turn the heat down and cook for a few minutes for the aubergines to get well coated in the spices, then stir in the mushrooms.
In a small bowl, stir the cornflour with 1 tablespoon of the vegetable stock until it becomes a paste, then stir this into the Katsu, along with the remaining vegetable stock and the chickpeas.
Bring to boil, then turn the heat down and cook for 15 minutes, stirring now and again to prevent it from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
Serve with steamed white rice.
Other vegan and vegetarian Japanese Curries
Vegan Miam - Vegan Japanese curry
Green Gourmet Giraffe - Vegetarian Japanese Curry