I’m a Korean-American girl. I grew up eating a mixture of home cooked Korean meals and restaurant-bought or homemade Midwestern, American meals (at friends’ houses) along with processed American food. I think I’m adventurous and pretty open-minded about flavors. But something that trips me up sometimes is fusion food. Especially a fusion of the Asian and American flavors. Sometimes it works well like korritos (Korean burritos). Flavorful meat with kimchi instead of salsa…that works for me. Kimchi pasta? It was strange at first but I’ve since come around. But putting white, Asian sticky rice with cheese on it, I have a harder time reconciling those flavors. To me, white rice and cheese don’t really go together! But I saw this recipe for curry doria and I was thoroughly intrigued. My family LOVES Japanese style curry. It’s their ultimate comfort food. In fact, after holiday meals, they often want a simple bowl of curry rice the next day, as if to cleanse their palates. I was feeling a bit adventurous one day and didn’t want to make the same ol’ curry rice and came across this recipe. I thought at the very least, maybe the family would like it, even if I didn’t like it. But we all loved this dish! It was warm, comforting and familiar…but the cheesy topping reminded me of a casserole or baked pasta. Not what I’d pair with the white rice underneath but they really did complement each other!
Whenever we have some kind of curry leftover, I always have to beg the kids to please NOT take it to lunch but to instead wait until the following evening to eat the leftovers. Their mouths and stomachs want it so badly but I know the smell of a curry lunch at school could cause lots of unwelcome comments and/or wrinkled noses!! I tell them even if THEY don’t care, we should still be conscious of other people eating their lunch. As an elementary school student I would never have dreamed of taking something so “exotic” to my school for lunch. I’m glad my kids live in an area where it wouldn’t cause bullying or ridicule, just some comments about stinkiness and pungent smells! I hope you give this a try. Even if it seems a bit of an unlikely pairing, it’s quite delicious!
recipe from Just One Cookbook, minor tweaks by me
- 3 cups short grain rice
- ½ large onion
- 1 celery stalk
- 1 small carrot
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/2 lb ground beef
- Salt and pepper
- 1 Tbsp. curry powder
- 1 ½ cups chicken or vegetable broth
- 2 Tbsp. Tonkatsu sauce
- 2 Tbsp. ketchup
- 1 Tbsp. butter
- ½ cup Mozzarella cheese
- ½ cup Romano cheese
- 2 Tbsp. panko breadcrumbs
- Preheat oven to the broil setting.
- Cook rice. I use short grain and cook it in the rice cooker!
- Mince the onion, celery, and carrot into even, small pieces.
- Heat olive oil over medium heat and add garlic and the bay leaf.
- Saute minced onion and celery over medium high heat until they are almost translucent.
- Add carrot and cook until tender.
- Add the meat and break it up, stirring occasionally. Cook until the meat is no longer pink. Season dish with salt and pepper, to taste.
- Add the curry powder and broth. If the liquid doesn’t cover the ingredients, you will need to add more broth or water.
- Cover with the lid and bring to a boil. Once boiling, uncover and skim off the scum from the top, if any. Reduce the heat to medium low and cook for 5 minutes.
- Add the tonkatsu sauce, ketchup and 1 Tbsp. of the butter. The meat mixture may be a bit on saltier side but you’ll put putting it over rice, so make sure it’s well seasoned. Cook and reduce the sauce until you see the bottom of the pan, about 10 minutes, and turn off the heat.
- Use butter or cooking spray to grease the sides and bottom of the baking dish. Place the steamed rice on bottom of the dish and then layer the meat on top of the rice. Top with both cheeses and sprinkle panko on top.
- Broil for 2-3 minutes until the cheese has melted and you see nice char on top.