Saturday, November 24, 2012
Seven Sad Samurai
(Geoff takes a bite.)
"This is the best Japanese curry I've ever had."
(Second bite. Puts down fork.)
"It might be the best dinner you made since we moved to Texas."
(Picks fork up again.)
"People would pay for this."
(Doesn't say anything else until his plate is clean.)
I tried my first Japanese curry in May at a second-floor restaurant in LA over the karaoke room we were about to occupy for five straight hours. If you haven't had it, this curry shares very little with its Indian cousin. The basis is a nice, dark roux that gets sweetness from a grated apple and spice from garam masala. I started with this basic recipe from serious eats and added edamame and more carrots for some vegetables. This would certainly be a satisfying vegetarian meal, but I have a serious weakness for pork tonkatsu. It's just boneless pork cutlets dredged in flour, egg, and panko bread crumbs before lightly pan frying. It's fantastic with this sauce, but just about anything would be.
The meal was served alongside Akira Kurosawa's Seven Samurai, just the sort of cultural touchstone that I've felt left out on. And I'll continue to. I didn't want to admit this, but I turned it off less than an hour in. It was just a bunch of people being mean to old Japanese men and I wasn't in the mood for three hours of crying. I would be a terrible movie critic, but life is too short! So my recommendation? Make this curry, pull up some youtube videos, and karaoke at home. You may even want to start with the Bare Naked Ladies, who probably didn't really watch Seven Samurai either.