JeJu

All-Purpose Curry

In food on 02/26/2009 at 7:49 pm

We can all agree that Iron Chef America pales in comparison to the original Japanese version. What is kitchen stadium without the hilarious dubs and voice-overs, not to mention the mind-blowing culinary showdowns of international cuisines amongst Japanese-only chefs? Recently, the states version added wacky sound effects to the chairman’s head twitches and pedantic interviews in the opening segment; alas, it is still  not the same.

Thankfully, the best iron chef of all time, Masaharu Morimoto, was poached from the original series and makes an occasional showing on the American version. The man is a genius. This is a fact we can all agree upon. His creativity and caliber of fusion expertise is unmatched. Battle Curry: Tyson Wong Ophaso vs. Morimoto was the most recent one featuring his artistry. During this battle, Morimoto elegantly plated and presented:

Tempura curry trio – crabmeat croquet, squid and eel tempura
Curry Waffles with curry -glazed pineapple with Coconut Ice Cream
Curry Dashi Chawanmushi – agar agar green curry ravioli, egg flan on the bottom
Salt-baked curry cod – European classic salt mound technique
Beef curry and fried curry wrapped pork sushi – classic Japanese comfort dish
Thai Curry Naan Pizza – CPK taken up a notch

I’ve recently taken up curry-making from scratch and discovered the flavor we associate with curry is really a combination of just 5 spices: cumin, coriander, ginger, cinnamon and turmeric for color. Along with your heat tolerance level with the chili pepper you like, this is a flavor profile you can add to any dish to make it an all-purpose curry. This represents the classic Indian blend, and the derivative Japanese ‘cakes’ of curry you can melt for convenience.

For the Thai and Malay style curries that are green or red and milky, all they add is coconut milk to cut the heat, and green or red chiles. Usually there’s also an additional ‘fishy’ taste, which can come from fish or shrimp sauce.

So there you have it. Collect all the above spices in your pantry and you can make your own blend of curry. Adding more of one spice will spotlight that flavor. Today, I added these spices to my rice cooker before boiling the rice, and invented a new carb-on-carb dish in the vein of the Korean predilection for eating rice and noodles in oxtail soup. I had some leftover oatmeal that had been soaking for my easy cook method, and just added that after the rice was cooked. I put the cover back on to steam for 5 minutes, then fluffed everything together. Don’t forget the salt and pepper at the end. The oatmeal added a lovely crunch and chew to the meal. I highly recommend it!

so fake and delicious

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