If you’ve never had Japanese curry, let’s just make sure you’re prepared for what you’re getting into here. The Japanese style is roux-based, thicker and generally a little more mild in terms of flavor.
What you find in Asian grocery stores, while quick and easy and satisfying, is usually full of preservatives. The good news is that making your own homemade version is easy — maybe just not quite as quick.
The key to getting good textures in this curry is being mindful about how you cut your veggies. Unless you’re using whole baby carrots, cut your carrot pieces into different lengths so they all cook evenly with the potatoes.
Ingredients for the roux
4 tbsp all-purpose flour
4 tbsp vegan butter
1 tbsp curry powder
1 ½ tsp garam masala
½ tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp paprika
Ingredients for the curry
2 tbsp oil
2 potatoes, peeled and cut into 1” chunks
1 large onion, diced
2 carrots, peeled and chopped.
2 tbsp dark-chocolate chips (optional)
1 apple, peeled, cored and shredded
4 cups of water
Salt and pepper to taste
First make the roux: Melt the butter over medium low heat in a nonstick skillet.
Once the butter is melted, add the butter. Stir continuously for approximately 10 minutes until the roux has darkened. You’re looking for a light brown, a little after the “blond” stage. The cooking process can obviously be sped up with more heat, but it also carries the risk of burning the mixture and being forced to start over.
Add the curry powder, garam masala and paprika and stir. Remove the skillet from the heat and continue to stir until all spices have been well incorporated.
Remove curry roux from the skillet with silicone spatula and set aside (get as much of it as you can!)
In a large dutch oven or soup pot, add oil over medium high heat.
Once oil is shimmering, add in onions, potatoes and carrots. As noted above, try to make sure the vegetables are cut so they cook evenly.
Season veggies with salt and pepper and stir occasionally for approximately five minutes or until you see some browning on the vegetables.
Add the water to the pot and bring the mix to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover and allow to cook for about 10 minutes.
Once potatoes are just about fork tender, add the curry roux and mix, mix, mix. Make sure to stir in and break up all big dollops. It will take a minute or so for the roux to work its thickening magic on the entire pot.
Once roux is well distributed, add shredded apple and dark chocolate chips. The apple adds natural sweetener, and the chocolate is one of those “I can’t put my finger on it” ingredients that gives the curry a wonderfully smooth finish.
Turn off the heat and serve curry over steamed rice, tofu katsu, croquettes, seitan katsu, deep-fried gyoza — anything.
Refrigerated leftovers will last three or four days.
Take your tastebuds to Flavortown A good black bean burger is about achieving the right texture and a balance of flavors.
These quarter-pound patties are pan fried to get crispy and finished in the oven. A little bit of salt, some umami and smoky undertones from smoked paprika add complexity while the addition of soy sauce-sauteed baby bellas add a healthy dose of savory flavor that’s as delicious as it is full of plant-based goodness.
4 quarter-pound patties
1 tsp canola oil
¼ cup baby bella mushrooms, chopped
Soy sauce to taste
1 cup black beans, rinsed and patted dry
1 cup garbanzo beans, rinsed and patted dry
½ tsp salt
½ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp tapioca powder
1 tbsp nutritional yeast
¼ cup oats
¼ cup corn kernels
1 tbsp coconut oil
Preheat oven to 350º F (177º C)
Preheat a small nonstick skillet over medium heat and add canola oil.
Add mushrooms and soy sauce and saute until all liquid is absorbed. Set aside.
Add all ingredients, including mushrooms, except for corn into blender jar.
Pulse the mixture a couple times and scrape down the sides with a rubber spatula if necessary.
If mixture is too crumbly, add water 1 tablespoon at a time.
Continue pulsing until the mixture can hold together into a ball. You should still be able to see the different ingredients in the blender jar (so we’re not looking for refried beans consistency here), but soft enough to stay together. Add corn in last and mix by hand.
Turn mixture onto a lightly floured surface, split into 4 pieces, and roll into balls.
Shape balls into about 1” thick patties. (It’s OK if there is flour on the surface of the patties.)
Preheat a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat with the coconut oil.
Fry the patties on both sides until golden brown.
Transfer to a lightly greased baking tray and bake for 20 minutes, flipping halfway through.
Serve with classic burger accoutrements or get fancy.
Vegan food is more than nutritional yeast. Create a wonderful depth of flavor in a single, satisfying entree: Earthiness from the mushroom, piquant sweet from a balsamic reduction and a clean, sharp finish from roasted tomato.
If you can, take the time to make the gnocchi at home. It does extend the prep time to this recipe, obviously, but having gnocchi that aren’t the texture of pencil erasers elevates this dish beyond.
A quick thing before we get into the details: This recipe also calls for a balsamic vinegar reduction. If you do not have any on hand, all it takes is gently simmering balsamic vinegar until it’s reduced to about half its original volume. The reduction is anything but single use, too. Drizzle it on salad, bread, granita or sandwiches as a fantastic way to give your other dishes a little extra flavor.
2 tbsp vegan butter (or olive oil)
2 cups mushrooms, sliced
1 medium onion, diced
2 medium cloves garlic, minced
½ lb vegan sausage, sliced (optional)
1 tsp soy sauce/tamari (optional)
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar reduction
½ tsp unrefined/organic granulated sugar
1 ½ cup vegetable broth
Black pepper to taste
For Roasted Tomatoes
4 Roma tomatoes, sliced in half
1 tbsp olive oil
Salt to taste
Preheat oven to 425º F (218º C)
Coat halved Romas in olive oil and place cut-side up on foil-lined baking tray
Sprinkle tomatoes with salt and place in oven for about 25 minutes or until desired.
While tomatoes are roasting, melt vegan butter in large saute pan over medium high heat.
Add onion and garlic.
Add mushrooms once onions sweat and garlic becomes fragrant, about 2 minutes.
Pour soy sauce/tamari over mixture.
Add vegan sausage, if using.
Once sausage is browned, add flour and stir to coat.
Pour balsamic reduction over all ingredients in the pan.
Pour stock in slowly while stirring mixture.
Once all stock is incorporated and you have a thick sauce, add sugar and black pepper to taste.
Reduce heat to low and cover.
Cook gnocchi according to recipe/package directions and plate.
Spoon or ladle sauce on top of gnocchi and top with two Roma tomato halves.
Drizzle more balsamic reduction if desired. Serve immediately.
Thick, hearty and perfect on mashed potatoes and biscuits (with the addition of some vegan sausage bits), this gravy is super quick and a great recipe to keep in your repertoire.
This gravy uses the same process as, say, a Thanksgiving gravy, but with zero animal products. Use it on vegan bangers and mash, a holiday meatless roast or anything that needs a hit of salt and savory to really round out.
Since it doesn’t rely on fat from animal products, we start with a mini portion of roux and slowly add stock/broth in to give it taste and consistency. A roux is basically a base — equal parts fat and flour — that is used for thicker sauces and soup. If you’ve never made roux, take your time and use lower heat. It’s more important that the flour gets broken down and mixed in so you don’t have any lumps.
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
2 tbsp vegan butter
1 1/2 cup vegetable stock, cooled
Pepper to taste
½ lb vegan sausage, chopped (optional)
Chop sausage and brown in a large fry pan over medium heat. Set aside. Leave brown bits (fond) at bottom of pan.
Add butter to pan and melt entirely, making sure to coat entire pan. Do not allow butter to brown.
Add flour to melted butter and whisk to fully incorporate. You should have a small amount of “blond” roux on the pan.
Add stock slowly into the pan, continuing to whisk. Make sure to scrape up any fond on the bottom.
The small amount of roux will be enough to thicken the entire 1 ½ cup of stock.
If you prefer a super thick gravy, only add 1 cup.