Chopstick Cinema

Celeste Heiter's Adventures in Asian Food & Film

Casual Friday: Revisiting a Friday Night Favorite

Chopstick Cinema

This Week's Film: Shakespeare Wallah
Cuisine: Indian Curry

Katsu-karē is my son Will’s favorite dish in all the world. Oddly enough, he favors the type made from a mix, which makes for an easy night in the kitchen. Making the chicken cutlets is as easy as a grilled cheese sandwich, and the curry sauce involves nothing more than boiling a pot of water. Add yesterday’s steamed rice to the plate and Bob’s your uncle!

For those who missed my recipe when I featured it a few weeks ago, here’s an encore:

Katsu-karē

Curry Sauce: 3 cups hearty beef stock 2 tablespoon peanut oil 3 tablespoons flour 2 tablespoon curry powder 1 teaspoon cumin ½ teaspoon garlic powder ¼ teaspoon cinnamon 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves 1 tablespoon soy sauce 1 tablespoon brown sugar

Bring beef stock to a boil in a saucepan. Reduce heat and allow to simmer uncovered until stock is reduced to 2 cups. Warm the oil in a separate saucepan over medium heat. Add flour and stir constantly until mixture forms a smooth paste, but do not allow to brown. Add reduced beef stock a little at a time, stirring constantly until sauce begins to thicken. Remove from heat and stir in curry powder, cumin, garlic powder, cinnamon, cloves, soy sauce and brown sugar. Return to heat and simmer, stirring constantly until sauce thickens into a rich gravy.

Tonkatsu:

4 boneless pork chops, sliced or pounded ½ inch thin 1 egg, lightly beaten 1 cup panko (fine Japanese bread crumbs) Vegetable oil for frying

Place beaten egg and panko in two shallow bowls. Dredge pork chops in egg, then in panko. Heat about ½ inch of cooking oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Do not overheat oil or panko will brown too quickly before the pork gets done all the way through. Fry pork chops until golden brown on both sides, turning occasionally to ensure even browning, about 3 to 5 minutes per side. Drain on paper towels. Transfer pork chops to a cutting board and slice into ½ inch strips. Serve with curry sauce over steamed white rice. Serves 4.

Cook’s Note: In Japan, the curry sauce for this dish is usually made with commercially packaged blocks of curry concentrate that are added to boiling water. However, the commercial mix contains MSG, which gives the sauce a deep, rich flavor, but may cause an allergic reaction. If you are not allergic to MSG, the packaged mix offers a more authentic Japanese curry, however, this version is about as close as you can get without adding MSG to the sauce. Also note: Katsu-kare may be made with boneless chicken breasts prepared according to the same instructions.