Sapporo Soup Curry

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Originated in Sapporo, Hokkaido, a northernmost island of Japan, Soup Curry is a light curry flavored soup served with fall-off-the-bone chicken and colorful vegetables that are flash fried to give the vibrant colors.  It's relatively a new addition to the popular Japanese curry scene.

Sapporo Soup Curry

INGREDIENTS

For Steamed Rice

For Soup Curry

  • 1 onion
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 package shimeji mushrooms
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 knob ginger
  • 2.5 lb bone-in skin-on chicken thighs (6 pieces)
  • 1 tsp kosher/sea salt (I use Diamond Crystal; use half for table salt) (for chicken)
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • ¼ tsp kosher/sea salt (I use Diamond Crystal; use half for table salt) (for onion)
  • 3 cups chicken stock/broth
  • 1 Tbsp dry basil
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp kosher/sea salt (I use Diamond Crystal; use half for table salt) (to taste)
  • 1 tsp soy sauce

Seasonings

  • 1 piece Japanese curry roux (1 small square block)
  • 1 Tbsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 1 ½ Tbsp mango chutney

For Additional Vegetables


INSTRUCTIONS
 

To Make Steamed Rice

  • Rinse rice and drain well. Place rice and water in the inner pot of the cooker. Close the lid.
  • Select [Rice] using [MENU] button and set the steam time to 8 minutes. Press [COOK] button. When cooking is completed, warming will start. Fluff up the rice with a rice scooper. Tip: Adjust cooking time and water according to personal taste.

To Prepare Ingredients

  • Gather all the ingredients. Once we start cooking, we don't have time to measure, so make sure to prepare the seasonings ahead of time (1 piece Japanese curry roux, 1 Tbsp curry powder, 1 tsp garam masala, 1 Tbsp tomato paste, 1 ½ Tbsp mango chutney, and 1 Tbsp honey).
  • Dice the onion (It doesn’t have to be perfect).
  • Cut the carrot into small pieces. I recommend using the "rangiri" Japanese cutting method to increase the surface. It’ll help cooking evenly and faster⅔, and absorbing more flavors.
  • Mince the garlic and grate the ginger.
  • Discard the bottom of the shimeji mushroom stem. Roughly separate the mushrooms.
  • Pat dry the chicken with paper towel to remove any moisture. Season the chicken with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.

To Stir Fry

  • Set cooker to [BROWNING FRY, level 6] for 30 minutes (you can add more minutes later on if you need extra time).
  • Heat 1 Tbsp oil and brown the chicken, skin side down, for 5 minutes each side, or until golden brown. Don’t crowd the pot and brown the chicken in batches, if necessary.
  • After the bottom side is nicely brown, flip to cook the other side. Then transfer the chicken to a plate and continue with the next batch. Set aside.
  • Add the diced onion and 1 Tbsp unsalted butter. Sauté until translucent, about 7-8 minutes.
  • Add the garlic and ginger and mix all together.
  • Add 1 piece Japanese curry roux, 1 Tbsp curry powder, and 1 tsp garam masala. Give it a quick stir.
  • Add 1 Tbsp tomato paste and sauté until fragrant.
  • Add 1 Tbsp honey and 1 ½ Tbsp mango chutney and mix all together.
  • Gradually add half the chicken broth, scraping the brown bits on the bottom of the pot. Transfer the chicken back to the pot.
  • Add the carrots, shimeji mushrooms, and the rest of chicken broth.
  • Add 1 Tbsp dry basil and 1 bay leaf. Gently mix all together.

To Pressure Cook

  • Close the lid and set cooker to [MULTI COOK, level 9] for 35 minutes. For Instant Pot directions, see Notes.
  • Once the pressure cooking is done, open the lid and stir.  Add 1 tsp kosher salt and 1 tsp soy sauce.
  • Taste and adjust the flavor.

To Deep Fry Vegetables (Optional)

  • Lotus root: Slice thinly and soak in water (or ideally 2 cups water + 1 tsp of rice vinegar) for 10 minutes.
  • Bell pepper: Remove the seeds and cut into 4 wedges.
  • Okra: Remove the hard corners and cut in half lengthwise.
  • Kabocha: Thinly slice the kabocha (cut in half if it’s too big). If the kabocha is too hard to cut, microwave for 30 seconds or more if it’s still hard.
  • Potato: Cut into 6 to 8 wedges and soak in water to remove starch for 10 minutes.
  • Eggplant: Right before deep frying (otherwise it’ll change color), cut the eggplants in half and cut the skin side in criss-cross pattern. This creates a nice design and helps to absorb more flavors.
  • Make sure to remove moisture from all the vegetables with paper towel or kitchen towel before frying.
  • Add 1 cup of oil in a frying pan (I used a cast iron pan) or pot. Deep/shallow fry the vegetables at 350ºF (175ºC) and drain the excess oil on a paper towel or a wire rack.

To Serve

  • Serve the steamed rice in a small bowl or plate and the soup curry in a bowl. Top the soup curry with deep-fried vegetables. When you eat, pick up some rice with a spoon, and scoop soup curry. Enjoy!
    Soup Curry 28

To Store

  • You can keep the leftovers in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days and in the freezer for a month.

NOTES

Instant Pot users: Use [Saute] mode to brown the chicken.  Then for pressure cooking, set to [Manual, High Pressure] for 15 minutes. Make sure the steam release handle points at “sealing” and not “venting”. Expect pressure cooking takes 10-15 minutes to reach pressure before the cooking program starts, and another 15-25 minutes to naturally release pressure. When the pot is ⅔ of the way full, I highly recommend natural release.

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