Everyone knows that Hokkaido is home to some of Japan’s best sushi and seafood, and given it is just a hop, skip and a halfpipe away from Siberia, some of the country’s best skiing. But what they might not know is that it is also the home of a killer curry, served as soup and packed with chicken and vegetables.
The ultimate comfort food after a day of skiing, the hearty, spicy and frankly addictive soup curry is a traditional Hokkaido dish and the polar opposite of the lean and clean Japanese cuisine most people know and love.
Most soup curries star a roasted chicken leg and are boldly accessorised with a rainbow of roasted or deep-fried vegetables including chilies, lotus root, pumpkin, eggplant, and potatoes bathed in a spicy golden soup, the more fiery the better.
Eaten with a side of rice, it became one of Raffles’ go to dishes at Hoshino Resorts TOMAMU after a day of powdery action. In fact, the kid would wallow in bowls of it to warm up his frosty insides.
So, it is hardly surprising that as the weather turns a little cooler down under, his mind (which is located somewhere in the vicinity of his gut) has been wandering back to Hokkaido and a bowl of the sensational soup.
Here’s our take on the tasty treat, Hokkaido Soup Curry
- 4 potatoes, peeled and quartered
- 2 carrots, peeled and quartered
- 1 Chinese eggplant, cut into thick wedges
- 8 shitaki mushrooms, whole
- 2 zucchinis, cut into thick wedges
- 1 red capsicum, cut into 5cm strips
- 150 grams frozen sliced lotus root
- 3 Birdseye chilies
- 2 tbsp. vegetable oil
- 4 tbsp. Japanese curry powder
- 4 chicken thighs, skin removed
- 1 red onion, finely chopped
- 1 tsp. garlic, finely chopped
- 2 tbsp grated ginger
- 2 bay leaves
- 1.5 litres chicken stock
- Basil, to serve
- Japanese Rice to serve
- Heat oven to 200 degrees celsius.
- Toss the vegetables in a tablespoon of the oil and place on a baking tray lined with baking paper, then bake for 25 minutes.
- Fry the chicken thighs in a little oil in a large pot until golden, then set them aside.
- Add the onion, garlic and ginger to the pot and fry until transparent. Add the curry powder and cook for a further minute, stirring constantly.
- Add the bay leaf, chicken stock and chillies and bring to a simmer, skimming the surface for scum and excess oil regularly.
- Place the chicken into the curry and simmer for a further 30 minutes, until the chicken is tender.
- Add the roasted vegetables.
- Top with a handful of torn basil leaves and serve in soup bowls with a side of rice.