Saturday, August 4, 2012

The Fanbaking Project: Kareh, or Japanese Curry (as seen in Kuroshitsuji)

So you are going to start this Fanbaking Project of yours by posting a recipe that doesn't even qualify as baking?
Why, yes. 
Get over it. 

There could be no better recipe to kick it into motion anyway, since - as any Kuroshitsuji fan will know - it is not only featured into both the manga and the anime, but was the pivotal plot element of a whole story arc. 

Kuroshitsuji belongs to Yana Toboso and Square Enix

Better still, it is really really good... so, without further ado, let's get started!

Here. You need this

Right, so we all know Agni would be horrified, but don't let his stern countenance affect you overmuch! Maybe you won't win a Royal Warrant with it but I assure you, this stuff will give you a perfectly yummy kareh!

You can buy it - or any other brand, since they are more or less equivalent - at your local Asian foodstore. It typically comes in Mild, Medium, and Hot flavour. I hear the Japanese mostly use the sweetest kind to make it more palatable for kids; I picked the Medium one as you can see, and it's still pretty bland, so no need to worry even if you're not into spicy food. 
Below you can see what it looks like. It's not a powder, but not really a paste either; it looks more like stock cubes, only - you know - curry instead of stock. 

You just need to follow the directions on the package... assuming, of course, that it has one of those handy translation stickers pasted to it. If not, don't panic and read on! It really is super-easy and foolproof!

I had about 1/2 Kg chicken meat left in the fridge. I used a common pair of (clean) scissors to get rid of the stringy bits and cut it randomly into strips, like this: 

By the time I was done I had about 350 g left, so I guess I could have used some more; anyway I was happy with the meat-to-veggies ratio in the end.

You could use beef instead, or lamb - I'm not sure about pork, but who knows - or even shrimps; or you could just skip the meat altogether and go for an all-vegetables kareh, maybe with a few bits of tofu thrown in. Your choice!

I melted a little butter in a large frying pan, cut a small onion into thin slices, and let them brown slightly. I threw in the meat until it colored, then added about 500 g frozen vegetables.

Yup, that was it! I didn't even bother thawing the vegetables (be careful, though, because the hot butter will spittle).

Finally I added water to the mix. The instructions on the package will give you a fair idea of how much you need. In my instance, 3 cups were the right amount.

As soon as the water boils, lower the flame, cover the pan and let your mixture simmer for 10-15 minutes. You want the liquid to reduce, but not completely... this. Almost done! At this point you can turn off the heat and add the curry paste to the hot mixture, stirring until it's completely dissolved. I didn't use the whole package, as I found three out of four blocks to be enough for me.
If you want to do things like Sebby and throw in some chocolate, now's the time to do it - only do yourself a favor and pick milk chocolate, not dark like he did. Just trust me on this, ok?

Don't go overboard with it. A small Kinder bar was more than enough for this batch.

Cover again and let your curry sit for five minutes or so. It might turn a bit dense; if so, add a little water. Proper kareh must be runny, almost soupy, yet you should still be able to tell apart the various veggies that are in it. 

Kuroshitsuji belongs to Yana Toboso and Square Enix

You can now pour it over steamed rice (white or brown), or boiled potatoes. Or you can take this one step further and turn it into kareh-pan, just like Sebastian did!

So guess what my next installment's going to be about?

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