Yesterday, the Japan Centre sent me a link to their Japanese Curry Udon recipe. It’s almost vegan. The main problem with it is the tsuyu. All the commercial bottled tsuyu contains fish, as far as I’m aware. Last night’s tea was based on this recipe, and this is my version of it.
For the curry:
2 cubes of hot Golden Curry roux
1 onion, chopped in chunks
1 carrot, cut into chunky triangles
2 small potatoes, cubed
4 cherry tomatoes, or one ordinary one, chopped
a handful of dark tvp chunks
vegetable oil for frying
For the soup:
400ml konbu dashi, or 400ml water and half a sachet (4g) instant dashi powder.
2 tsp shoyu
2 tsp mirin (use a cheap one here)
2 bundles dried udon, or two packets of fresh udon
Put the tvp chunks to soak in plenty of warm water about 15 minutes before you need them, then drain well.
Put plenty of water into a large saucepan and start to bring it to the boil. Heat oil in a wok or large frying pan and fry the onions, carrots, potato, tomato and tvp chunks for a few minutes until the onions are however you like them. Add 400ml water, bring to the boil and simmer until the vegetables are cooked through.
By now, the water in the big pan should be boiling so add a dash of oil and the udon, and boil them until they are tender. Drain, put into cold water, then drain again.
Meanwhile, put the soup ingredients into a smaller saucepan and bring them to the boil. Simmer very briefly and remove from heat.
Back to the curry, when the vegetables are tender, add the cubes of roux one at a time and stir until they are completely dissolved. Add the soup and mix thoroughly.
Divide the noodles between two large bowls, then ladle the curry soup on top of them, and serve. It can be quite messy to eat.
You need to choose your curry sauce carefully – there are at least two varieties of Golden Curry, one of which contains beef and the other of which is vegan. The vegan one helpfully had the words “No meat contained” splashed prominently on the packet and seems to be made for the US market. Go for the hot variety, as Japanese curry is incredibly feeble compared to what we’re used to in the UK.
It would be much easier to make this by adding the soup ingredients to the vegetables right at the start, and that’s what I plan to do in future.
You can vary the curry ingredients according to what you have. The version given is a close interpretation of the classic Japanese curry. They have regular cubes of beef in theirs, and the TVP chunks are exactly right in this. Tofu, unless deep fried, doesn’t work too well, but gluten is good. I always add the tomato as it has a dramatic improvement without the flavour becoming too obvious.