Guest Photographer! – Japanese Curry

The photos are here and its finally time to post about my evening with Yelp Elite reviewer and student food photographer Mary Colleran! First, a little background, Mary is one of my fellow LMU MBAers.  She recently graduated and expressed an interest in learning how to cook.  I, on the other hand, have been wondering how to get some better pics of my cooking.  I LOVE my little Canon Elph but it’s not really up to the task of really great up close food pics.  So Mary and I decided to do a collaboration.  I cook, she watches/learns and takes photos.  Problem solved!  I wanted to cook her something she really likes since she’s taking the time to drive to my place and wait around while I put everything together so when she said she was really loving Japanese curry at the moment I thought “why not?  I’ve never tried that before!”.  I found a recipe from the Japanese Food Report.  I wanted it to be as authentic as it could be coming from a “white girl’s” kitchen.   So here it is!

IMG_1346 (2)All photos are styled, shot and chosen by Mary Colleran.

IMG_1359 (2)10.5 oz beef brisket (you can also try short ribs or other cuts but I used brisket), cut into bite-sized cubes

Salt and pepper for the beef

2 1/2 tablespoons butter

14 oz onions, sliced as thin as possible

2 teaspoons ginger, finely grated

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 large carrot, peeled and cut into wedges, ringiri style (I had to Google this one.  See photo)

1 large apple, peeled and coarsely grated

5 cups beef stock

1 tablespoon salt (I used half this)

10.5 oz new potatoes, peeled and cut into bite-sized pieces


4 tablespoons butter

7 tablespoons flour (I wanted to use whole wheat but there was an unfortunate mishap the prevented it.  White flour was fine)

2 tablespoons curry powder (Japanese preferred but I used Madras and it worked well)

2 tablespoons garam masala

1. Season the beef with salt and pepper.

2. Melt the butter in a stock pot large enough to hold 5 quarts of liquid, over medium heat.

IMG_1365 (2)Add the onions, ginger, garlic, carrots and beef.

IMG_1373 (2)Stir and cook for about 5 minutes until the onions become translucent and the beef browned.

IMG_1377 (2)Add the apple, beef stock and salt, and simmer uncovered for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

IMG_13783. Meanwhile make the roux.  In a skillet, melt the butter over medium heat

IMG_1381and add the flour.

IMG_1383Stir, stir, stir, stir, stir until the butter and flour fuse and swell.

IMG_1384Don’t stop stirring or the roux will burn!

IMG_1386After about 20 minutes or so, the roux will become the “color of a fox” as the say in Japan, or a deep tan color.


At this point, add the curry and garam masala, and cook and stir for 30 seconds, until the spices release their aroma.  Turn off the heat, add a ladlefull or two of cooking liquid from the stock and mix into the paste.

IMG_14014. Add the roux paste into the stock pot and stir to combine.  Add the potatoes.

IMG_1409Simmer uncovered on low heat, stirring occasionally.  Cook for about 1 hour, or until the beef becomes tender and the curry thick.  Serve the curry with Japanese short grained rice (I used brown to be healthy) on the side.

IMG_1423I have to give a big thanks to Chef Nobuko-san from the Japanese Food Report.  I don’t often brag about the food I make but I honestly think this is the best thing I have ever made.  It was so delicious that after Mary had gone for the evening, I stood over the pot on the stove eating spoonfuls of the stuff.  It really turned out well.  I hope it does for you too!  A huge thank you to Mary!  Happy cooking!


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