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Tag: chicken

Poached Chicken

Poached Chicken

In theory I get the appeal of meal prepping. In practice though the idea of making a big batch of say, chicken and rice, on a Sunday and then eating that same chicken and rice on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday is my personal read more

Oyakodon

Oyakodon

In the realm of Japanese cuisine, few dishes evoke the same sense of warmth and nostalgia as Oyakodon. Even its name, where the literal translation is parent and child rice bowl, conjures comfort. The parent and child actually refers to the juicy morsels of chicken read more

8 Treasure Rice

8 Treasure Rice

Lunar New Year starts on February 10th this year. It is a 2 week celebration that is one of the most (raucously!) celebrated holidays of the year for the more than 1.5 billion people worldwide that celebrate. Think fireworks, parades, elaborate decorations, gifts, new festive outfits, and of course special foods. Dishes that symbolize luck and prosperity, long life, and family are especially popular. This 8 Treasure Rice is another classic Lunar New Year dish. Not to be confused with the dessert rice dish of the same name, this is super savory and packed with luxurious ingredients fit for a royal celebration. Juicy chicken thighs, scallops, dried shrimp, and shiitakes mingle with other goodies like roasted chestnuts, lotus root and crispy shallots. The eight treasures get quickly stir fried and then mixed into perfectly steamed rice. This is a feast for the senses, so let’s get into it!

ingredients for 8 treasure rice

Dried ingredients are usually more intense than fresh. Sun dried tomatoes, dried porcinis, dried herbs…they all lend a deeper flavor than their fresh counterparts. I make use of that in my 8 Treasure Rice with dried scallops, shrimp, and shiitakes. So I start this recipe by soaking them. (The rich soaking liquid will be used later on.)

 

Make sure to remember to save the soaking water!

Then I get the rice started so that it’s piping hot when everything else is ready. (If you need a refresher on making perfect rice, start here.) Traditionally, this dish is made with sticky rice and then wrapped in Ti leaves and steamed. This is a simpler version but if you feel inclined to soak and steam some sticky rice, that is a great option.

Once the rice is begun, I get everything prepped. I peel and dice the lotus root. It also gets soaked in water right until I start cooking because otherwise, like a potato, it will discolor.

sliced lotus 8 treasure

carrot diced rice

chicken 8 treasure rice

When everything is prepped I gather it all within reach; it will be quickly stir fried. Closeup shot of all 8 of our treasures:

I also have the sauce ingredients at the ready as the sauce gets made directly in the pan while cooking.

chicken onions 8 treasure rice

soy sauce rice

shrimp treasure

Taste and add more salt or white pepper as needed. Now the only thing left do is to transfer the 8 Treasure Rice to a serving platter and garnish with the minced scallions.

If you want to round out your Lunar New Year meal try serving 8 Treasure Rice with Shanghai Bok Choy and Almond Cookies. Hopefully this becomes part of your family’s treasured traditions too. Let me know in the comments what you think, and tag us in your pics @funkyasiankitchen, we love hearing from you!

 

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recipe closeup 8 treasure rice

8 Treasure Rice

  • Author: Funky Asian Kitchen
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: serves 4
  • Category: appetizer
  • Cuisine: Chinese

Ingredients

Scale
  • 8 ounces boneless skinless chicken thigh, diced small
  • ½ large onion, diced small
  • 1 small carrot, diced small
  • lotus root, peeled, diced small, and soaking in water to prevent discoloration
  • 3 dried shiitake mushrooms
  • 6 dried scallops
  • 3 Tablespoons dried shrimp
  • ¼ cup cooked shelled edamame soy beans
  • ½ cup roasted and peeled chestnuts, about 8 pieces
  • 2 Tablespoons crispy shallots
  • 2 Scallions, trimmed and minced
  • 2 Tablespoons neutral oil
  • 4 Cups freshly cooked rice

Sauce:

  • 2 Tablespoons Oyster Sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons Shaoxing Wine
  • 1 Tablespoon Sesame Oil
  • A couple dashes Ground White Pepper

Instructions

  1. Soak the shiitake mushrooms, dried shrimp, and dried scallops in 2 cups of warm water for 20-30 minutes in a medium bowl (put something like a small dish on top of the ingredients to keep them submerged). Pour the soaking liquid into a separate container and save (You need 1 cup. If you don’t have enough soaking liquid, add a little water so you have 1 cup). Set the ingredients aside.
  2. If you haven’t started making the rice yet, start it now. You want to use freshly steamed rice that is piping hot for this dish. 
  3. Trim and discard the shiitake stem. Slice the mushrooms thinly and set aside.
  4. Drain the lotus root just before starting to cook.
  5. Heat a large pan over medium high heat and add the oil and chicken.
  6. Let the chicken cook for 1 minute untouched and then break it up and stir fry for another minute. 
  7. Add the onions and carrots and continue stir frying for another minute. Add the drained lotus root and shiitake mushrooms and stir fry for another couple minutes.
  8. Add the sauce ingredients to the pan: Oyster sauce, soy sauce, shaoxing wine, and 1 cup of the reserved soaking liquid. 
  9. Bring the pan to a  simmer and add the dried shrimp and the scallops. Stir the ingredients together. 
  10. Add a couple dashes of the white pepper, stir, and lower the heat to medium. Cook for 4-6 minutes until the sauce has reduced by half.
  11. Turn off the heat and wait for the rice to finish cooking.
  12. Once the rice is ready, transfer it to a large bowl. Add the saucy ingredients, edamame, and chestnuts and gently combine the ingredients together using a slight chopping motion to prevent the rice from being crushed.
  13. Add the sesame oil and crispy shallots and mix again.
  14. Taste and adjust seasonings with a little salt and ground pepper as needed.
  15. Transfer to a platter and garnish with the minced scallions.
  16. Serve immediately.

Notes

*This dish is delicious hot, warm, or room temperature.

*Cover and store any leftovers in the refrigerator. Gently microwave for several  minutes before serving.

*You can substitute any of the ingredients if they are difficult to source or you don’t want to bother. The idea is to keep the ingredients special. So you can use fresh shrimp and scallops instead of the dried, adding them in right after the sauce ingrdients. Use other vegetables such as diced snap/snow peas, wild mushrooms, or zucchini. And if you’re vegetarian, use tofu or a meat substitute for the protein along with a vegetarian oyster sauce or hoisin sauce instead of regular oyster sauce.

Keywords: lunar new year, chinese new year, rice

Thai Chicken Fried Rice

Thai Chicken Fried Rice

Hard to believe but summer is already winding down to a close, with lots of kids heading back to school next week. To ease you back into the daily grind, I’m sharing one of my easiest and fastest meals, Thai Chicken Fried Rice. It makes read more

Chicken Pho

Chicken Pho

Pho is a labor of love. It can take hours, sometimes even a couple of days to create the famously flavorful broth. But this Chicken Pho can be on the table in under 2 hours! I have a couple tricks to coax maximum flavor with read more

Japanese Chicken Curry

Japanese Chicken Curry

I love curries of all kind, but Japanese curry holds a special place in my heart. I especially love this Japanese Chicken Curry. While there’s no shame in using Japan’s famous packaged curry blocks, like in this Beef Curry, I realize not everyone has access to them and I thought it would be fun to make it from scratch. And the results were mind-blowing! If you stay away from curries because you worry they will be too spicy, Japanese curries are the way to go. They have a rich and complex flavor with a touch of sweetness, but not a fiery heat. This recipe might be a little longer than most of my others, but it’s straightforward and can be made ahead; it’s even better the next day!

Japanese curry is probably one of the most common foods made at home. There are plenty of Japanese Curry Houses to dine at in Japan, and each restaurant has a secret blend to create their signature flavor. But Japanese curry is so beloved, easy to make, and economical, that it’s probably one of the most popular dishes to make at home. It’s essentially a stew that is thickened and flavored with a roux. Thicker and less intense than Indian curry, Japanese curry has more of a gravy texture.

Most people use roux blocks to make Japanese curry because of the convenience and ease. There are very decent brands on the market plus let’s be real, curry requires A LOT of ingredients to make. So I usually end up blending two different brands and adding a couple of different ingredients to give my curry that twist. But making curry from scratch is healthier, can be customized for any dietary restrictions, and allows you the freedom to include whatever you like in your curry. Roll up your sleeves and let’s get started!

japanese chicken curry ingredients

Japanese Chicken Curry Roux

Japanese curry is flavored using a roux which is a combination of butter and flour. We’re making a medium roux. It’s not as dark as say roux for gumbo, but it’s definitely not a pale roux either. Cooking the roux to a medium color gives it a toasty, butterscotch flavor that will add significantly to the curry flavor profile. This takes a little time, so don’t rush it. Roux tends to burn if you’re not paying attention, so park yourself in front of the stove and keep a close watch.

Once the roux is done, we add the spices and stir them in to flavor the roux. The heat and fat from the roux also perk up the spices and bring out their flavor. I start by using a standard mild curry powder because it’s the easiest to find. But a Japanese brand of curry powder like S&B would be even better. But that’s not all. An amazing Japanese Curry requires more than just curry powder, which by itself can be a little one dimensional. So in addition to the curry, we add garam masala, an Indian spice blend to give it a boost, some bay leaves for earthiness, more ground black pepper, and some unconventional ingredients that you probably wouldn’t expect: cocoa powder and instant coffee.

So I know you’re thinking- what? why? But hear me out. Have you ever had mole? It’s an amazingly complex and intense Mexican sauce that’s like a curry in that it blends a bunch of different spices together. One of the ingredients is dark chocolate. You don’t notice it, it just adds depth and richness. And that’s what it does here too. Likewise with the coffee. You’re not including huge amounts of these ingredients, but I wouldn’t skip them.

melt butter japanese chicken curry

japanese chicken curry roux 15

The roux starts out like a thick paste but it gets thinner as it cooks. Keep stirring the roux while cooking so it doesn’t stick to the pan or burn.

spices roux japanese chicken curry

When it’s combined I remove the roux (which will smell AMAZING!) from the heat and set it aside.

Prep the Rest of the Japanese Chicken Curry Ingredients

Japanese Chicken Curry is a one pot meal, with veggies simmered along with the chicken and curry gravy. I get everything prepped before starting to cook. I show a couple of different cutting techniques below but the most important point is to keep your ingredients around the same size so everything cooks evenly and finishes cooking around the same time.

 

carrots roll cut

cut potatoes japanese chicken curry

Then I cut the chicken and I’m ready to put it all together!

Cooking Japanese Chicken Curry

When the chicken is nicely browned on both sides, I remove it from the pan and set it aside. We sauté the thin cut onions, letting then cook and soften. The onions will pick up all of the cooked chicken juices which are stuck to the bottom of the pan. This fond will give your curry a ton of flavor so make sure you get it all. These cooked onions will essentially melt into your curry, giving it body and depth.

Now it’s time to incorporate the curry roux that we made!

roux curry

Then the Japanese Chicken Curry gets gently simmered until the chicken is cooked through and the curry is a thick gravy consistency, about 15 minutes. This curry is wonderful served with steamed rice, and is even better the next day. I can’t wait for you try it and let me know what you think! And don’t forget to tag us in your pics @funkyasiankitchen, we love seeing your creations.

 

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Japanese Chicken Curry

  • Author: Funky Asian Kitchen
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 60 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Yield: serves 8
  • Category: Main
  • Cuisine: Japanese

Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 2 Tablespoons oil
  • 2 large carrots
  • 2 large onions
  • 1 pound boiling potatoes (any kind you like yukon gold, red bliss)
  • 6 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 Tablespoon peeled minced ginger
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 Tablespoons Ketchup
  • 2 Tablespoons Japanese worcestershire sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon Brown Sugar
  • 5 Cups Chicken Stock
  • Salt and pepper to taste (I added 2 teaspoons)

For the Curry Roux:

  • 8 Tablespoons Butter (1 Stick)
  • 3 ounces flour
  • 4 Tablespoons Japanese Curry Powder
  • 2 Tablespoons Garam Masala
  • 1 Tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon instant coffee 
  • 1 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper

For Serving:

  • Steamed Rice

Instructions

Make the Roux:

  1. Put a medium heavy bottomed pot over medium heat and add the butter.
  2. When the butter is melted, add the flour.
  3. Cook the butter flour for approximately 15 minutes, turning down the heat to medium low after the first 5 minutes.
  4. Stir regularly with a spoon or whisk (the roux will burn if don’t watch it closely), until the roux is a medium brown color.
  5. Add the curry powder, garam masala, cocoa powder, instant coffee, ground black pepper, and cayenne powder.
  6. Stir until the spices are thoroughly mixed and then add the garlic, ginger, and bay leaves.
  7. Stir to combine.
  8. Turn off the heat and set aside.

Prep the ingredients:

  1. Trim and peel the onions. Cut the onions in half.
  2. Then cut one onion into thin slices and the other into thick slices.
  3. Peel and trim the carrots.
  4. Roll cut the carrots into 1 ½ inch wedges by cutting on an angle, then rolling and cutting.
  5. Wash the potatoes. You can either peel the potatoes or leave the skins on.
  6. Cut the potatoes into a large dice. 
  7. Cut the chicken into large 2 inch pieces.

Make the Curry:

  1. Heat a large heavy bottom pot or dutch oven over medium high heat. Add the oil and swirl the pot to coat the bottom of the pan.
  2. Add the chicken in a single layer and sprinkle lightly with sea salt.
  3. Let the chicken cook untouched for two minutes to brown it, and then flip the pieces and brown the other side for another 2 minutes. 
  4. Remove the chicken from the pot and add the onions and a sprinkle of salt. Add another Tablespoon of oil if the pot seems dry.
  5. Let the onion cook for 5-6 minutes, stirring occasionally so it caramelizes.
  6. Add carrots, potato, and chicken stock to the pot.
  7. Bring the pot to a simmer over high heat and skim the surface for impurities.
  8. Lower the heat to medium and cover the pot with a lid.
  9. Continue skimming a couple times while the curry cooks.
  10. Cook for 15-20 minutes until the potatoes are tender. Use a skewer or the tip of a knife to check. 
  11. Turn the heat off of the pot and gently ladle ½ cup of the hot liquid into the roux. 
  12. Whisk the roux until it is smooth and then pour the roux into the pot, whisking as you pour it.
  13. Add the ketchup, worcestershire sauce, and brown sugar.
  14. Add the chicken and any accumulated juices to the pot.
  15. Turn the heat back to medium and gently simmer until the chicken is cooked through, about 15 minutes.
  16. The curry should be the consistency of gravy. Add a little more chicken stock or water if it seems thick.
  17. Taste the curry and adjust the seasoning with a little salt or soy sauce as needed.
  18. Simmer for 5 additional minutes on medium heat.
  19. Ladle Japanese Chicken Curry over hot rice and serve immediately.

Notes

*Curry is better the second day. Reheat curry covered with a lid over medium-low heat gently to keep it from burning or microwave on medium heat for several minutes. It also freezes extremely well. Freeze individual servings. Defrost before heating. 

 

Keywords: curry, japanese, chicken, comfort food, dinner,