Cooking is a great passion of mine. I am constantly on the lookout for new recipes. Of course, every now and then Japanese specialties are on the daily menu, even if they sometimes have to be improvised due to a lack of ingredients. Cooking also plays a central role in Kevin’s and my relationship. We started cooking together even before we became a couple, and I had the original goal of teaching Kevin, who until then had mostly eaten convenience foods and cafeteria food, how to cook. In the process, Kevin turned me on to a dish that has since become one of both of our favorites: Japanese curry. I actually ate my first Japanese curry at my mother-in-law’s house. Kevin had previously shown her a YouTube video explaining how to make it. Of course, he also showed me the video shortly thereafter, so I also cooked it for the first time a little bit later. This article is now of course not to compare the curry cooking skills of my mother in law and me 😉
Instead, Kevin and I have, next to our standard recipe based on said YouTube video, recently cooked through alternative recipes for the preparation of Japanese curry and now want to compare them.
1. The YouTube-Curry from KSM Anime
This curry recipe is our classic and the unbeaten winner of this ranking. Compared to the other curries, it is quick to prepare and scores points especially in that you make the curry spice yourself in the form of a roux. The most exotic ingredient is probably the garam masala, which you can get in pretty much any supermarket these days. The most expensive is the beef, but with meat clearly count quality and origin, so of course we are willing to pay the few euros extra for organic beef. Especially the grated apple fits great in the dish. If you want to try Japanese curry, I would clearly recommend trying this recipe.
2. Leblanc Curry from Persona 5
Kevin is a huge fan of the Persona game series. In the fifth part, there was the so-called Leblanc Curry, which was named after the café where the protagonist lived and worked. In the game Persona 5 Strikers, which is based on it, the recipe was finally revealed as an encore in a version of the game and of course it didn’t take long until the recipe was also available online: https://www.gameinformer.com/2021/02/19/making-leblanc-curry-from-persona-5.
What makes this recipe special are the ingredients: In addition to red wine, which gives the whole thing a certain noble touch and of course makes the meat nice and tender, instant coffee and dark chocolate are also added to the curry. Of course, we did not miss the opportunity to try this variant.
The recipe was the most elaborate of the three. The spice mixture was completely homemade in an additional pan, similar to the roux in the KSM YouTube curry. The curry itself then has to simmer for another 1 1/2 – 2 hours, but this also makes the meat really tender. In general, this curry was the best in terms of meat. The reason that this curry is only in second place is, in addition to the long and elaborate preparation, the taste. While it tasted good in itself, it had a slightly bitter aftertaste from the coffee and chocolate that unfortunately couldn’t quite keep up with the curry flavor explosion of other recipes. You can definitely give this recipe a try, but I don’t know if I would want to cook it again.
3. Pokemon Instant-Curry
Admittedly, it is a bit unfair to let a ready-made curry compete against the homemade curries. In addition, this curry falls a bit out of the rating, since it is the only one that is not prepared with beef but with pork. Nevertheless, we were tempted by Pikachu in the Asian store and decided to give it a try. We didn’t follow the recipe on the packaging, but instead consulted a YouTube video in which a chef who lived in Japan for a while upgraded an instant curry:
In terms of effort, this curry is actually more elaborate than our winner, even if it is less elaborate than the Leblanc curry. The reason is again the long time that it must cook so that the meat is nice and tender. And yes, the pork definitely gets tender here, too. Since for us, half an apple always has to go into the curry, we added it to the recipe accordingly. The curry was very tasty, even though it had one obvious weakness and that was the instant product. Compared to the other two curries, this one seemed more like a stew in terms of taste. It wasn’t bad by any means, but it also wasn’t how we love our curry. So, we can summarize that the Pokemon curry in the version shown in the video definitely tasted good to us, but it can’t compete with the other two recipes.