Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Big in Japan

From an American Hamburger Steak Lunch, we now move on to a favorite lunchbox country of ours, Japan.  I have expressed in previous entries my admiration of the entire bento culture of this highly modern country with still very old-school eating ways sticking to quality and simplicity of tastes and natural beauty of ingredients.  It is wonderful how they are able to merge the old with the new by using technology to preserve tastes and enhance textures of seemingly inane ingredients such as seaweed, vegetables, meat and what have you.  (Incidentally, I read somewhere that in the aftermath of the devastating tsunami, Japan is encouraging tourism by conducting a blogging contest where winners will be given free tickets to go visit their wonderful country.  I'm not particularly a contest-joining type but I might just (might being the operative word) make myself "unlazy" and join it.  Or.  I could let the boy join it.  :-))

So for lunch, I made a Katsu-Kare donburi or rice topping.  Katsu is a word for anything breaded and fried (Tonkatsu--breaded pork cutlet, Torikatsu--breaded chicken fillet, etc.) and Kare is curry which is pretty big in Japan.  They cook in curry nearly anything, beef, chicken, vegetables.  They even have Kare Pan or bread curry!  For this dish, I had a little help from these ubiquitous curry cubes you can find in the Japanese sections of most groceries.  God knows everyone needs a little help now and then and these curry cubes are very helpful indeed.  Of course, if you want to make it from scratch, by all means do so.  To tell you honestly, I don't know what stuff they put in the cubes as the entire package is in Nihonngo.  But last I checked, the Japanese are one of the healthiest people on earth.  So I suppose these cubes are alright.  :-)

Today's Lunchbox:  Katsu-Kare, Steamed Rice with Furikake


500 grams Pork Tenderloin Medallions (cut rounds from tenderloin and pound between 2 sheets of wax paper until thin, you may also use pork cutlets or chops or chicken fillet--which will then be called Torikatsu)
Flour for dredging (may be omitted for a lighter breading)
2 beaten eggs
Panko or Japanese bread crumbs (for final dredging)

  1. Season pounded pork medallions with salt and pepper.
  2. Dip in flour, beaten eggs, panko.  If omitting the flour, press the bread crumbs gently to stick more onto the surface of the meat.
  3. Deep fry in medium heat, drain in absorbent paper
Kare Sauce

2 Curry Paste Cubes
1 onion, sliced
1 carrot, cubed
1 potato, cubed
1 cup beef stock

  1. Saute onion until slightly translucent.  Add in potatoes and carrots, 2 curry cubes.  Mix around until the cubes have disintegrated.
  2. Pour in beef stock and wait until thickened.
  3. You may pour this on the Tonkatsu you have earlier made or serve it on the side ala Sally Albright.  Bon appetit!  :-)

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