Japanese Eggplant and Tomato Curry

by momen

Japanese curry roux mix is such a helpful pre-made ingredient when I’m not in the mood for cooking. Because all I need to do is boil some meat and leftover vegetables in the fridge (must be included a onion) with the curry roux. Also, curry tastes even better on the second day. So I always make a big batch of it. It’s also freezable up to a month. If you like udon, only blending dashi soup with defrosted curry then boil, delicious curry udon will be ready in a few minutes.

Japanese curry is widely popular in all generations. I would say it’s the same position as sushi or ramen noodles. As for my family, curry roux mix is our pantry staple and eat almost once a month. Also, there are many Japanese curry restaurants in Japan: the most famous one is Coco Ichibanya (English page). I enjoy both eating at home and eat out Japanese curry.

About Japanese curry roux mix /sauce.

A variety of curry roux mix is available at every grocery stores. But I can’t find any differences of the instruction of cooking. Even the taste has not distinct difference, in my opinion. I think that the only point you should pay attention is hot levels. Generally there are 3 levels of spicy: mild, medium and hot. Mild is sweet like children could handle it. Even the hot one is not as spicy as Indian / Thai curry. The curry roux mix looks like chocolate cube and is packed 8 pieces. One serving is one cube (about 25 g / 0.9 oz), so one package covers 8 servings (200 g / 7 oz). But this is the one normally sold in Japan. It could be a half amount of it in your country or maybe not in block style. Check the amount of servings on the back of the package. Then adjust the amount of curry roux mix to the recipe you are going to follow.

Arrangement of Japanese Curry.

Japanese curry is perfect dish for those who love food experiment. I guess each family has own version curry recipe. Also, many people have their “secret ingredients” to adjust the taste. For example, chocolate, coffee powder and grated apple. Trying new ingredients is one of the favorite things when cooking Japanese curry. This recipe, tomato and eggplant curry, is one of my selections. The reason why I made this curry is that I wanted to make it more nutritious. Tomato contains many carotene, lycopene and vitamin C. Lycopene is easily soluble in oil, and If you eat cooked tomato with oil, the absorption rate into the body will increase 4 times than eating fresh one. (according to this Japanese page abot lycopene.)

Except the nutrition reason, I like eggplant at all times. I topped with parsley, but it’s also nice with grated cheese or roasted sliced almonds. I hope you enjoy it in your style.

Japanese Eggplant and Tomato Curry

Servings: 4 servings

Ingredients

  • approx. 100 g (3.5 - 4 oz) Japanese curry roux / sauce mix for 4 servings
  • 300 g (10 oz) ground beef
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp minced ginger
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 large brown / yellow onion chopped
  • 3 large tomatoes ( beef tomato sized) / a few small sized quartered
  • 1 large eggplant (aubergine) / a few small sized cut in bite-sized
  • 1 cup diced potatoes optional
  • 1 cup diced carrots optional

Instructions

  • Place the eggplant into a large bowl with plenty of cold water to reduce the bitterness. Set aside.
  • Pour the olive oil and add the ginger and the garlic in a large pot / skillet over medium heat, then stir until fragrant. 
  • Add the onion and the ground beef and stir until both browned.
  • Drain the eggplant and add the remaining vegetable (including the eggplant) and stir for a few minutes.
  • Pour the 300 ml of water and bring to boil with a lid. Then reduce the heat to simmer and cook until all the vegetable cooked through and the eggplant becomes translucent. It will be taken about 15 minutes.
  • Get the lid open and mash the tomato with a wooden spatula.
  • Turn off the heat and add the curry roux / sauce mix and stir until completely dissolved.
  • Simmer for 5 - 10 minutes, stirring occasionally until thicken.

Notes

Taste it before serving, and add more water if you feel too salty.
Remaining curry roux mix can be kept in a fridge up to 3 months.

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