2 tablespoons neutral vegetable oil
2 boneless chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces
2 onions, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, chopped
3cm fresh ginger, chopped
1 stick celery, finely chopped
1 carrot, grated
1 apple, finely chopped or grated
3 tablespoons curry powder
240ml (8 fl oz) crushed tomatoes
4 tablespoons plain flour
600ml dashi (see recipe), chicken stock or dashi shojin
2 potatoes, peeled and quartered
1 tablespoon Worcestershire or tonkatsu sauce
1 tablespoon malted or nutritional yeast
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2–3 teaspoons salt
½ eggplant (aubergine)
½ zucchini (courgette)
½ capsicum (pepper)
8 green beans
oil, for frying
cooked rice for 4 people
DASHI makes 1 litre (4 cups) dashi / preparation 5 mins / cook 15 mins / rest 40 mins - overnight
1 litre (4 cups) water
10g dried kombu, cut in half
10g katsuobushi (dried bonito flakes)


There is nothing better than home-made dashi. The recipe may seem complicated at first, but it is actually simpler to make than western stocks. Powdered or liquid versions of dashi concentrate are available in Asian stores, but they are often enriched with glutamate, amino acids and all kinds of artificial flavour enhancers.

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1.Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a deep frying pan over medium heat.
2.Place the chicken pieces in, skin-side down, and cook for 1 minute each side. Remove the chicken.
3.Add 1 tablespoon oil to the frying pan with the chicken fat and fry the onion, garlic and ginger until they are nicely golden, almost caramelised.
4.Add the celery, carrot and apple and cook for 10 minutes.
5.Remove from the heat, stir in the curry powder and mix well.
6.Return to the heat, stir in the tomatoes and simmer for 2 minutes.
7.Remove from the heat and stir in the flour. Return to medium heat and stir for 1 to 2 minutes. Gradually pour in the dashi or stock.
8.Add in the chicken, potato and all the seasoning ingredients, then leave to simmer for 20 minutes over medium-low heat.
9.Cut the eggplant into large cubes, the zucchini into 1cm slices and the capsicum into strips.
10.Cut the wide end off the beans (keep the end with the pointy tip).
11.Heat 3cm of frying oil to 180°C in a frying pan and fry the vegetables until they are golden brown.
12.Divide the rice among four plates, add the curry and serve the vegetables on top.
13.GOURMET VERSION Serve the curry with tonkatsu pork instead of the chicken.
14.VEGAN VERSION Remove the chicken thighs.
16.Pour the water into a saucepan and soak the kombu for at least 30 minutes (or overnight).
17.Then heat the water for about 15 minutes over low heat until it is simmering.
18.Remove the kombu just before boiling (to avoid the overly salty taste of the kombu in the dashi) and add the katsuobushi.
19.Cook for 1 minute and turn off the heat. Leave to infuse for 10 minutes.
20.Filter the dashi into a large bowl using a strainer.
21.Press gently to extract as much dashi as possible.
22.Dashi will keep for 3 days in the refrigerator and 1 month in the freezer.

Recipes and images extracted
from Japanese Home
Cooking by Maori Murota.
Photography by Akiko Ida.
RRP $55. Out now.