Katsu curry – A match made in heaven

I sometimes find myself really wanting to eat curry that uses Japanese roux. The “Katsu Curry” in the title is a dish that combines tonkatsu pork cutlets with curry rice. And it’s not just tonkatsu (pork) that you can use, but also chicken katsu cutlets and menchi katsu fried cutlets of minced meat.

After the recent ramen boom dies down it seems like it’s set to be katsu carry that becomes the next big thing in London. Of course it has been long featured on the menus of Japanese food establishments, but it also seems like the name of “Katsu Curry” itself might finally be getting some recognition.

From a while ago some supermarkets have been stocking something called “Chicken Katsu Curry” in a box that you just microwave and in one bakery chain they even sell small “Katsu Curry Pies”! Unfortunately, it seems that they haven’t quite grasped what katsu curry actually is and in many of these products there are no actual katsu cutlets to speak of, just chicken…

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In addition you can now find Japanese curry roux in many of the UK’s major supermarkets and not just in Japanese and Asian food stores as was once the case. The roux at the front of the photo is what I bought at the supermarket the other day. It even says “perfect for an authentic katsu curry”, words I thought I’d never see here!!

Although I think it’s normal to add vegetables like potatoes, onions, and carrots, as well as meat, to curry rice at home, in the katsu curry sauce you find in restaurants there are no ingredients that you can see. The onions and such have most likely been simmered down and melted into the sauce to give it a rich flavour.

In my house when we make curry with Japanese roux it is always a vegetable curry with lots of chunks! We’ve never made katsu curry where you can’t see any of the ingredients used. I wonder what it would be like… Looking at this curry box really makes me want to eat katsu curry right now.

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The method for making curry that uses this roux is explained clearly on the box. For how to make the tonkatsu element of this dish, check out the recipes below.

Unfortunately I can’t get fukujinzuke here, essential for finishing up the perfect Japanese curry, so I serve my curry with gherkin and red onion pickles. Curry is often also accompanied by Japanese rakkyo leek, but as I can’t get hold of that here either, I replaced them with some easy to find pickled onions.

How about making some katsu curry at home?