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Japanese curry is like making beef stew but with a lot more flavor! All the spices are in the "roux"--a dry curry paste that looks like a chocolate bar so you don't have to buy a ton of seasonings! They are labeled mild, medium, or hot and commonly found at asian markets in boxes branded "S&B" or "House". A common Japanese dish eaten at home, this recipe is from the iron chef winner Katsuyo Kobayashi. It is published in her book, "the Quick and Easy Japanese Cookbook". You could also substitute the beef strips with chicken instead, both are quite good!
- Cut the onion into bite-sized pieces. Cut the carrot into 3/4 inch (2cm) half rounds. Finely chop the garlic and ginger.
- Heat the oil in a pan. Before it gets very hot, add the garlic and ginger, and saute until fragrant. Add the onion and carrot, and saute another minute or so.
- Add the water, cover the pan, and simmer 10 minutes, until carrot becomes soft. Remove the pan from heat and add the curry roux, stirring until it is completely dissolved. (I found it best to break sections of the roux in smaller pieces and place one of them in a seperate bowl to pour some hot broth on it from the heat to melt it evenly before stirring it back into the big pot.)
- Return the pan to the fire and add the beef, one slice at a time, as this makes it more tender. Stir well and cook until heated through.
- Serve with hot white rice and garnish with little Japanese red pickles and or Japanese pickled scallions; purchased at most asian markets--compliments the dish with its sweet/salty flavor with a crunch. (Optional).
This has to be one of the easiest recipes ever - and so full of flavor. I used the mild curry paste and the children gobbled it up! I have made a version of this using the recipe off of the box of curry paste and the meat is usually cubed beef - but I like your version of thinly sliced beef (cut against the grain) which made it very tender. I especially like the zing of the fresh ginger! Other veggies such as potatoes, cauliflower, parsnips...etc would be very good too. Thanks lemonlylime!