Japanese Curry with Pan Fried Pork Cutlet

Japanese Curry is another favourite dish of mine because it is easy to cook and freeze, budget friendly, and scrumptious. I use the medium hot curry roux cubes from Vermont Curry and pan fry some kind of protein to go with it (beef, pork, chicken, even tofu). This version is with pork cutlets—hope you enjoy!

Japanese Curry with Pork Cutlets Bento Lunch

Japanese Curry with Pork Cutlet, Bento Lunch Edition

Japanese Curry with Pork Cutlet

Japanese Curry with Pork Cutlet, Dinner Edition

Japanese Curry with Pan Fried Pork Cutlet

Ingredients, makes 4 portions
0.5 lb thin pork cutlets, fat trimmed off and sliced into rectangles
cornflour
1 egg, beaten
panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
salt and black pepper
vegetable oil

~110 g, Japanese curry roux cubes
1 potato, diced into bite-sized cubes
1 medium carrot, as above
1 medium yellow onion, as above
1 zucchini, as above
water
1 teaspoon, Worcestershire sauce, optional
0.5 teaspoon, runny honey, optional

Method
1. Dice vegetables into bite-sized pieces.
2. Set up separate dishes for the egg wash, the cornflour, and the panko.
3. Heat wok with 1 tablespoon vegetable oil on medium heat. Cook onions and carrots until fragrant. Then add potato and zucchini, cook for about 2-5 minutes.
4. As the vegetables are slowly cooking, prepare the pork cutlets. Marinate with salt and black pepper. Rub each piece with a thin layer of cornflour, then dip in egg wash, and then finally cover in panko.
5. When vegetables have softened, add 3.5 cups of water to wok and boil. After water has reached boil, lower heat so that mixture is just simmering and cover wok with lid.
6. Heat separate fry pan with 1.5 tablespoons of oil on medium heat. Fry pork cutlets by cooking on each side until nicely brown (about 5 minutes each side), then flip over. Add extra oil once you flip the cutlets so that both sides brown properly—the panko will char otherwise.
7. As cutlets are cooking, check on vegetables. When the potatoes are cooked through, stir in curry roux to the mixture. Optional—add Worcestershire sauce and honey for extra flavour. Simmer for another minute and then switch off heat, cover.
8. Serve pork cutlets with curry and short grain rice.

Ginger Pork Cutlet

(edited and re-published) This Ginger Pork Cutlet really hits the spot when I’m craving for something salty and fragrant to go with rice.

Cooking cutlets is for me a little more involved. There’s the trimming of fat, the thinning of the meat to cutlet-thickness, and the pan-frying followed by sauce-making. But is it worth it? YES. Enjoy!

Homemade ginger pork cutlets

Homemade ginger pork cutlets

Ginger Pork Cutlet

Ingredients
6-8 pork cutlets, fat trimmed off (you can buy pork chops then slice them in half to as close to 1/4 inch thickness)
ginger,* 3-5 thin slices
light soy sauce, 2 teaspoons
rice wine, 2 teaspoons
rock sugar, 2 teaspoons
salt
cornflour
vegetable oil, 1 tablespoon

*A nice variation would be substitution of ginger with a trio of minced garlic, red chilli, and spring onion

Method
1. Mix soy sauce, rice wine, and rock sugar together. Add ginger slices to infuse. Set aside
2. Marinate pork cutlets lightly with salt, and then a thin layer of cornflour, for at least 15 minutes.
3. Heat oil in frying pain on medium heat.
4. Pan fry pork cutlets. When nicely browned on one side, flip, and add soy sauce mixture including ginger slices over cutlets, caramelizing the meat.
5. When other side is brown, flip cutlets back to cook away any juices that may have oozed from the meat. Pork needs to be cooked thoroughly before consumption.
6. Serve with white rice, or a light salad with sesame dressing.

Oyakodon (Japanese Chicken and Egg Rice Bowl)

Sometimes when I’m feeling lazy after work I like to just make a ‘one pot’ dish for minimal cooking and washing up. Oyakodon is one of these, if you don’t count the rice cooker!

I like oyakodon for its simple ‘clear’ flavours; traditionally it is cooked by simmering chicken in dashi, a kind of fish stock made from bonito flakes, yellow onion and spring onions, with lightly beaten egg added to the mixture, before being transferred onto a bowl of hot steaming rice.

The past few times I’ve cooked oyakodon, I lightly pan-fried the chicken before simmering it in hot water and dashi. Just a preference – it gives the chicken a little more colour. I also like chopping dried seaweed and adding it as a garnish but I’ve run out of dried seaweed! Dried seaweed is a great addition I think because it adds to the Japanese flavours and lends more texture to the otherwise soft, subtle ingredients. However this time around, I lacked a lot of the traditional ingredients so I had to make do without yellow onion (substituting with red), spring onions, and seaweed. It still worked though!

Oyakodon

Oyakodon

I think I still have a tendency to not add enough boiling water to the chicken when simmering it; the more liquidy the dish, the better :).

Oyakodon (Japanese Chicken and Egg Rice Bowl)

Ingredients, for 4 portions
500 grams, chicken thighs, diced into small pieces (not quite bite sized though)
1/2  onion, sliced
3 eggs, beaten lightly
3 stalks spring onion, sliced diagonally into 1 inch pieces

200 ml dashi stock/boiling water mixed with 2 tablespoons dashi powder
1 1/2 tablespoons, light soy sauce for marinating
white sugar, 1/2 tablespoon, for marinating
salt, 1/2 teaspoon, for marinating
2 tablespoon mirin
optional – 1 piece dried seaweed (nori), sliced into thin strips for garnish

Method
1. Marinate chicken in light soy sauce, salt, and a little sugar. Set aside for at least 15 minutes.
2. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in large frying pan/skillet on medium heat
3. Pan fry marinated chicken, lightly browning on each side before turning. Add mirin to chicken as it is cooking.
4. When both sides of chicken are slightly coloured, add dashi stock to pan, turning heat to medium-low heat. Add onions.
5. Cover pan with lid and let chicken and onions simmer.
6. After chicken is fully cooked, add spring onions and swirl egg into chicken mixture. Cover pan with lid.
7. When egg is cooked, switch off heat. Serve on top of white rice, with seaweed garnish if using.

Pan Fried Chicken with Garlic Sauce – thanks to Kanzensakura

My take on Kanzensakura’s Pan Fried Chicken with Garlic Sauce

If there is one thing I need to have in my kitchen cupboard, it’s garlic. Take the onion, tomatoes and whatnot, but please, leave the garlic! It’s the smell of home, redolent of hearty dinners and simple suppers, of good times cooking and eating. I even love it when I catch the faint scent of garlic wafting from my hands after cooking.

My love of garlic led me to Kanzensakura’s post on ‘Chicken with Garlic Sauce’. I stumbled on the post two weeks ago and since then, wasn’t able to get it out of mind. The dish sounded easy, incredibly tasty, and also different: I’m used to stir-frying but this one called for browned, pan fried chicken. Yum. I could taste the caramelised garlic already. Click here for the recipe!

NB I didn’t stick to the measurements very closely (not having a tablespoon or teaspoon…), nor did I add sake because I don’t have any, but dinner still turned out amazing :D. It’s really important to let the chicken brown on each side before turning it, and also, to half cover the pan so that the chicken doesn’t dry out. Don’t worry about adding the sauce mixture much later too; it’s supposed to be more of a glaze, rather than a sauce.

Sigh, this definitely can be filed under my list of comfort food recipes… and it’s given me ideas on how I could do this with many other sauces… ginger, miso, black bean! Pan fried beef with black pepper, anyone?

Karaage Chicken (Japanese Style Fried Chicken)

Japanese-style deep fried chicken!

Karaage – Fried Chicken, Japanese Style!

Karaage is surprisingly easy; I always use pre-packaged seasoning to marinate the chicken pieces. I recommend the Nisshin brand (the powder is called ‘Nisshin karaage ko’), which is more than enough batter for about 1.5 kg of chicken.

Method

1. Chop 1.5 kg of chicken breasts or thighs into bite-sized pieces. You can also use chicken wings or drumsticks but I prefer ‘popcorn chicken’ without all of the bones.
2. In a large ceramic tray or bowl, coat chicken in karaage seasoning powder.
3. Let marinate for half an hour. In the meantime, set up a wire rack or baking dish lined with paper towels – you will put your fried chicken on this later!
4. Heat a wok of oil or deep bottomed pot. Oil will have to be at least 5cm deep in the wok/pot. Use low-medium heat.
5. When the oil starts to shimmer (you’ll be able to smell it once it gets very hot), carefully use wooden spoons or tongs to gently drop in the chicken. *The oil is VERY hot at this point so you need to take care not to make any splashes. Use wooden utensils that you are comfortable with as these will not conduct the heat as much!
6. Deep fry the chicken in batches. Because the chicken is in bite-sized pieces, it will not take very long to cook – when it turns a lovely golden brown colour and is firm if you press against it with tongs/chopsticks, it is probably cooked. Take one out and slice through it if you want to test it.
7. Put cooked chicken pieces on your paper towel-lined trays so that the paper absorbs excess oil. Let this cool for a good 15 minutes.
8. Karaage is fantastic served with just about anything! I love it with mayonnaise and a dash of lemon! Other ideas: Thousand Island dressing (just mix mayonnaise with ketchup!), tartar sauce, barbeque sauce, mmmmmm. 🙂

Enjoy!