• Golden Curry “Tomokazu”

    April 13th, 2008mr meanerasian food, recipes, vegan stuff

    Mr Meaner’s mantra about restaurant food is “If they can make it, so can YOU!”. And the corollary is often “BETTER”. Here’s an example of creating a dish from scratch with nothing but the taste memory of some truly outstanding airport food.

    Golden Curry

    On a recent trip back to LA from wine country, we happened to hang around in SFO for an hour or so while waiting to board. The post-vineyard pangs of hunger began to set in, so I was wandering between Baja Fresh, Subway and a minimalist food court in Terminal 3 when I happened upon “Tomokazu Japanese Food”. An unassuming little place with two very helpful Japanese serving ladies who were only too happy to explain that the only “non meat” thing on the menu was Curry a with a choice of Chicken, Beef or Tofu.

    Moving on from the “non meat” Chicken or Beef curry, I focused on the Tofu option asking if it had anything animal-derived in it (chicken stock, cream, milk powder… The usual questions). One of the servers pulled out a flip book with the ingredients listed, and showed it to me. Indeed, it had nothing remotely animal in it, so I went ahead and ordered the dish.

    Two minutes later I was eating one of the most satisfying tofu/sauce/rice bowls I’d ever come across. It was spicy, yet very flavorful and the bed of rice (which the sauce soaked into) was absolutely divine. After boarding my flight back I spent quite a while thinking about how to emulate the feast.

    Two DAYS later, I was eating almost the exact same dish at home, but with the welcome addition of steamed broccoli. Here’s how you too can have Golden Tomokazu Curry in about 15 minutes.

    First, the ingredients are kinda flexible. Below is a safe place to start, and then you can adjust stuff to taste. That’s the great thing about Asian cooking – the recipes are intended to be interpreted, so if you have a hankering for some extra garlic, or spicing things up a little more – just go right ahead, There are no strict rules here.


    S&B Golden Curry Sauce Mix (hot)
    Pack of Extra Firm Tofu
    Huy Fong Chili Garlic Sauce
    Lee Kum Kee Black Bean and Garlic sauce
    Frozen peas


    Cooking the rice takes the longest, so start that first and follow your favorite method – preferably with a rice cooker (and if you won’t have one you really should – they’re about $20 in Target so there’s no excuse). Remember to rinse the rice really well before you cook it. I never used to bother, but if you do the end result is much more like restaurant rice and not the gooey, starchy slush you get without rinsing.

    Next, put about five cups of water in a pot and bring it to the boil. Once it’s bubbling, open the curry sauce and break the solid blocks into small bits with your fingers and put them in the hot water. Stir constantly or you’ll get a treacley mass on the base of the pot, and clear water around it.

    Once all the solids have dissolved, drop the heat down to just above a simmer, and add 2-3 Tbsp of Black Bean and Garlic Sauce, and the same amount of Chili Garlic Sauce.

    Cut the tofu into 1/2” cubes, throw them into the pot, add a cup or two of frozen peas then bring the back to the boil, simmer for 7 minutes, turn off the heat, pop on a lid and it’ll stay warm ready to be served.

    To serve, put some rice in the bottom of a deep bowl, and pour on plenty of sauce and Tofu. Garnish with steamed broccoli and hot sauces. ENJOY!

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