Happy Thanksgiving! Hopefully all your sides are prepped and ready and your turkey is already spatchcocked. Thanksgiving is not a day for rushing around so I hope that all of your preplanning worked out and you’re now just chilling and enjoying family time and the parade on TV. Or maybe you’re watching the parade on the internet? This is 2017 after all. Anyway, whatever you may be doing, I wish you lots and lots and lots of food. It’s the one time of year that food comas are accepted, nay, wished for, so enjoy it while you can!
And, tomorrow, when you wake up with your turkey hangover, maybe you’ll make some turkey curry?! I’m a huge fan of Japanese curry. It’s creamy (without actually having cream in it), comforting, and oh so delicious. One of my favorite ways to enjoy curry is with udon. Curry udon is incredibly popular in Japan. Not as popular as curry rice, but if I had to choose between udon and rice, udon would always win because I’m all about that noodle life.
Here I went the easy route and used leftover turkey and some Japanese curry roux cubes. Those are those little rectangular packages that you see at Japanese grocery store. The roux cubes are made of curry powder, flour, some sort of fat and a bunch of additives that you probably don’t want to know about. You could of course, make your own curry roux but Japanese curry from a package was one of the first meals I ever made Mike so I’m still a little nostalgic about it.
It’s actually a hilarious story because the first Japanese curry I made Mike he didn’t actually like. See, Japanese curry is not really like any other curry. Sure, it has curry powder in it, but that’s where the similarities between Japanese curry and other curries start and end. Curry was introduced to Japan by the British, which is already one culture removed from India, so it’s not surprising that the Japanese put their own twist on it. Japanese curry is slightly sweeter, thicker, and very much like a stew with not too much meat, carrots, and potatoes. Typically, it’s not very spicy which is probably why Mike didn’t really like the first curry I made. Mike’s a spicy fiend and now that we buy the extra hot variety of curry roux cubes, he loves the stuff.
A couple of tips for making Japanese curry roux taste good: caramelize some onions, add carrots and potatoes, and instead of using water like the package suggests, use dashi or stock. Usually you’d use beef or chicken and fry it up, but here I used the leftover meat found on the bones from our carved up spatchcock turkey.
I was taking a look at the bones after we used them to make stock and there was so much meat leftover! I used my hands and really dug into it and was surprised at how much meat there was. When I was a kid, my mom always used to yell at me for leaving meat on my drumstick bones so now I’m very peculiar about not wasting any meat on bones. It feels good to be using every possible part of something – I’m all about not wasting things.
Anyway, Happy Thanksgiving!
stuffing and potatoes (because that’s the good stuff),
Turkey Curry Udon Recipe
prep time: 10 minutes
cook time: 30 minutes
total time: 40 minutes
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 carrot, peeled and cut into 1 inch chunks
- 2 potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 inch chunks
- leftover turkey, about 3 cups chopped
- 1 package Japanese curry roux
- 2.5 cups turkey stock or dashi
- roasted seaweed to garnish, if desired
In a large pot, add a bit of oil to the pan. Over medium heat, cook the onions, stirring, until brown and slightly caramelized. Add the carrots and potatoes and cook slightly until a light crust forms. (this helps them stay together instead of disintegrating into the curry). Add the turkey as well as the appropriate amount of stock, usually 2.5 cups, but double check on your curry package. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and cook for 20 minutes or until the potatoes and carrots are tender.
Stir in the curry roux cubes until completely incorporated. Let simmer on low heat while you cook the udon according to the package. Drain the udon well and serve the curry over the udon noodles and enjoy!
Notes: They sell many varieties of curry roux at most Asian grocery stores. If you go to a Japanese store, they sell even more! We like S&B Brand, as well as Lee Curry. I always use frozen sanuki udon, which you’ll find in the freezer section. The udon is firm, chewy, and way better than the udon you find in shrink wrapped packages.