Japan is a vast country, ranging through diverse climates from north to south. So that regional cuisine varies widely depending on the local food sources available. Nowhere is this more exemplified than in Japan’s regional curries.
Curry in Japan is similar to Western-style curries. It is so mild that it’s often the meal of choice for children. People make Japanese curry with a roux, a sauce made by frying curry, flour and oil together with other ingredients. At times, Japanese curry also incorporates sweet ingredients, like fruit.
Hokkaido Shika Deer Curry
Hokkaido deer curry is not a staple like other regional curries. Still, it is an excellent example of chefs taking advantage of prevalent fauna in the region.
Echizen Ika Curry
Chewy and somewhat sweet, ika can be boiled, fried, smoked, or used in sushi. And it is a crucial element of Echizen’s signature curry.
Tottori Pear Curry
To the southwest, in the Tottori prefecture, the region is especially famous for its nashi pears, which are widely used in everything from soy sauce to jam and even curry. It recommends eating this curry with bread or with salad as a dressing because of its sweetness.
Hiroshima Oyster Curry
Hiroshima, meanwhile, is famous for being an oyster mecca in Japan. A unique dish is Hiroshima oyster curry. It incorporates milk, butter, and coconut into a sauce that’s much creamier than the standard Japanese curry.
Okinawa Bitter Melon Curry
Popular in the southern islands of Okinawa, Japanese bitter melon is a green, oblong vegetable, also known as goya. It can be eaten by itself but is often used in stir-fries, as well as curry. Because goya tastes extremely bitter, the curry also features pineapple and brown sugar (kokuto).
In Japanese homes, curry sauce is most commonly made from instant curry roux, which is available in block and powder forms. It contains curry powder, flour, oils, and various flavorings.
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