Sunday, March 27, 2011

Deal of the Day - Japanese Curry Sauce with Beef and Vegetables

I've had spicy red Thai curry sweetened with coconut and complexly spiced India curry. By contrast, this month's Deal of the Day is creamy Japanese Curry Sauce with Beef and Vegetables from Kikkoman. The well-known purveyor of bottled soy sauce is branching out to curry in a can -- and with this recipe, they did a decent job.

My go-to meal at my favorite cheapie Japanese restaurant is a panko-crusted fried pork cutlet over rice (my recipe is here), or a hearty bowl of soba noodles. So when I happened upon this can of Japanese- style curry at my local 99c only Store, I had to try it out. The selections are beef, chicken or pork. I bought beef for this tasting test.

Japanese-style curry is a comfort food, like biscuits and sausage gravy from the South. Unlike the liquid-y India or Thai curries, this is thicker, almost like Texas chili. But the pleasing flavor is the familiar cumin and garam masala, with a slight chile heat that faintly lingers. It is a tasty sauce.

This bargain dish's only shortcoming is typical of packaged or canned fare -- meager meat and veggies. The chunks of beef I ran across are tender chuck, but the carrot and potato are indistinguishable from each other, from being cooked in the sauce too long. Larger pieces might have helped.

I cooked up half a cup of white rice to go with the curry, making it a filling meal. I don't think you will want to eat it unadorned like a soup. I was pleased overall, but took off a couple of points for the skimpy veggies and meat. So on a 1 to 9 scale, 9 being best, I give Kikkoman's Curry Sauce with Beef and Vegetables a strong 7 !  Next, I'm curious to try the chicken and pork.


Rick said...

I am a fiend for curries from all corners of the world. You are right, the Japanese have elevated curry to a comfort food with a roux based sauce.

My favorite is S&B powder, (not the blocks) cooked up like a gravy with chicken broth and coconut milk (50/50). Unfortunately I've never found it at my 99 cent store.

I gotta admit, you've shed a different light on my 99 cent store Chef. Thanks!

99 Cent Chef said...

Yeah Rick, it's funny how Japanese curry is just cumin flavored thick gravy.

paizley said...

S&B curry powder ingredients: Turmeric, coriander, fenugreek, cumin, red pepper, black pepper, cinnamon, ginger, star anise, cloves, cardamon, fennel, nutmeg, laurel leaves, allspice, garlic.

@billy Vasquez, I'm Japanese and it's not cumin flavored gravy. My mother used to make hers from scratch and used a dry roux. This Kikkoman crap doesn't do Japanese curry any justice.

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