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Bokuchan's (and Japanese Curry)

Bokuchan's (and Japanese Curry)
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  • Bokuchan's (and Japanese Curry)

    Post #1 - September 21st, 2020, 9:44 am
    Post #1 - September 21st, 2020, 9:44 am Post #1 - September 21st, 2020, 9:44 am
    Shin Thompson and Līga Sigal have soft opened Bokuchan's, a Japanese curry house in a virtual kitchen in Avondale. It is currently available to be ordered through the Toast platform for take out and delivery.

    Menu: https://www.toasttab.com/bokuchans/v3
    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/bokuchans/

    Bokuchan's
    3517 N Spaulding Ave
    Kitchen 136
    Chicago, IL 60618
    (773) 562-8440
  • Post #2 - September 21st, 2020, 12:06 pm
    Post #2 - September 21st, 2020, 12:06 pm Post #2 - September 21st, 2020, 12:06 pm
    lodasi wrote:Shin Thompson and Līga Sigal have soft opened Bokuchan's, a Japanese curry house in a virtual kitchen in Avondale. It is currently available to be ordered through the Toast platform for take out and delivery.

    Menu: https://www.toasttab.com/bokuchans/v3
    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/bokuchans/

    Bokuchan's
    3517 N Spaulding Ave
    Kitchen 136
    Chicago, IL 60618
    (773) 562-8440

    I wasn't aware that the Japanese were into curry, is it similar to Indian curry?
  • Post #3 - September 21st, 2020, 12:24 pm
    Post #3 - September 21st, 2020, 12:24 pm Post #3 - September 21st, 2020, 12:24 pm
    Brushman4 wrote:I wasn't aware that the Japanese were into curry, is it similar to Indian curry?

    Tejal Rao wrote a nice article on Japanese curry bricks. Here's the recipe. You can find commercial curry bricks in many Asian markets (Joong Boo for example).
  • Post #4 - September 21st, 2020, 12:30 pm
    Post #4 - September 21st, 2020, 12:30 pm Post #4 - September 21st, 2020, 12:30 pm
    Brushman4 wrote:I wasn't aware that the Japanese were into curry, is it similar to Indian curry?

    The Japanese are crazy about curry! It’s similar to Indian, with some key differences: thicker (most contain roux), generally not hot at all (many are even sweetened), and with a fairly standard mix of spices (Indian curries can be quite different from each other, whereas any two Japanese curries should be pretty similar in taste).

    Edit: Oops, too slow. Rene G’s link is more informative.
  • Post #5 - September 21st, 2020, 1:01 pm
    Post #5 - September 21st, 2020, 1:01 pm Post #5 - September 21st, 2020, 1:01 pm
    cilantro wrote:The Japanese are crazy about curry! It’s similar to Indian, with some key differences: thicker (most contain roux), generally not hot at all (many are even sweetened), and with a fairly standard mix of spices (Indian curries can be quite different from each other, whereas any two Japanese curries should be pretty similar in taste.

    You're certainly correct about the heat (or lack of) and sweetness of Japanese curry. But S&B sells at least four heat levels: mild, medium hot, hot and extra hot. Their website has an interesting section, "Explore Japanese Curry" (I really need to make a batch of those patented curry doughnuts, but there's no recipe!). I've only used the S&B powder that comes in a can (quite mild though very tasty), but I need to explore other heat levels. What does "extra hot" mean to a Japanese company? I also need to make my own bricks. I'm happy this question came up because it reminded me about something I had planned to do many months ago. Has anyone tried Tejal Rao's (actually Sonoko Sakai's) recipe?

    Edited to properly attribute the recipe.
    Last edited by Rene G on September 22nd, 2020, 4:06 am, edited 1 time in total.
  • Post #6 - September 21st, 2020, 7:16 pm
    Post #6 - September 21st, 2020, 7:16 pm Post #6 - September 21st, 2020, 7:16 pm
    Rene G wrote:You're certainly correct about the heat (or lack of) and sweetness of Japanese curry. But S&B sells at least four heat levels: mild, medium hot, hot and extra hot. Their website has an interesting section, "Explore Japanese Curry" (I really need to make a batch of those patented curry doughnuts, but there's no recipe!). I've only used the S&B powder that comes in a can (quite mild though very tasty), but I need to explore other heat levels. What does "extra hot" mean to a Japanese company? I also need to make my own bricks. I'm happy this question came up because it reminded me about something I had planned to do many months ago. Has anyone tried Tejal Rao's recipe?

    Although there are chili oils and spicy condiments in Japanese cuisine, I've found the heat in Japanese curry to be mostly black pepper. The blocks of curry roux have a lot of strange ingredients, including cheese and apple.
    The can of S&B curry powder I've had for years lists turmeric, coriander, fenugreek, cumin, orange peel, pepper, chili pepper, cinnamon, fennel, ginger, star anise, thyme, Bay leaves, cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon. Stirred into roux with some broth and chopped root veg, it tastes a lot like the curry you get in the boxed version.
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #7 - September 21st, 2020, 9:31 pm
    Post #7 - September 21st, 2020, 9:31 pm Post #7 - September 21st, 2020, 9:31 pm
    JoelF wrote:Although there are chili oils and spicy condiments in Japanese cuisine, I've found the heat in Japanese curry to be mostly black pepper. The blocks of curry roux have a lot of strange ingredients, including cheese and apple.

    If you look at the ingredients of S&B Golden Curry Mix Mild, you'll see it contains only "pepper" (presumably black). Both Golden Curry Mix Medium Hot and Golden Curry Mix Hot add chili pepper. The Golden Curry Mix Extra Hot contains chili pepper extract as well. So the basic mild curry indeed seems to be heated mostly by black pepper (probably the "curry powder" ingredient contains some chili), but the hotter renditions likely derive much of their heat from capsaicin. Looks like you have to add your own cheese and apple. I'm really looking forward to trying some of the hotter bricks.

    Mild: Wheat flour, Vegetable oils (Palm oil, Rapeseed oil), Sugar, Salt, Curry powder, Monosodium glutamate, Caramel color, Pepper, Malic acid, Garlic, Disodium guanylate, Disodium inosinate, Celery seed, Mustard.

    Medium: Wheat flour, Vegetable oils (Palm oil, Rapeseed oil), Salt, Sugar, Curry powder, Monosodium glutamate, Caramel color, Malic acid, Pepper, Chili pepper, Garlic, Disodium guanylate, Disodium inosinate, Celery seed, Mustard.

    Hot: Wheat flour, Vegetable oils (Palm oil, Rapeseed oil), Salt, Curry powder, Sugar, Monosodium glutamate, Caramel color, Pepper, Malic acid, Chili pepper, Garlic, Disodium guanylate, Disodium inosinate, Celery seed, Mustard.

    Extra Hot: Wheat flour, Vegetable oils (Palm oil, Rapeseed oil), Salt, Curry powder, Sugar, Monosodium glutamate, Caramel color, Chili pepper, Pepper, Malic acid, Garlic, Disodium guanylate, Disodium inosinate, Chili pepper extract, Celery seed, Mustard.
  • Post #8 - September 22nd, 2020, 12:15 am
    Post #8 - September 22nd, 2020, 12:15 am Post #8 - September 22nd, 2020, 12:15 am
    I forget the name of this resto, but it was on the Gold Coast and I would often see the proprietess shopping at the farmer's market outside her store. Around the corner from where I would run into Ditka at the Jewels shopping with his wife. They (the Japanese hole in the wall) were (similar to the venerable restaurant in Andersonville... ...a Japanese American old school Chicago punk ... ...think Medusa's hipped me to that one when I moved to the city) one of the last bastions of homestyle Japanese diner fare in Chicago over twenty years ago. This is where I learned about Japanese brick curry traditions with chicken katsu, etc. And, discovered there was another world to Japanese cuisines(than sashimi/nigiri/fucking asinine white people maki). Of course there was! Foolish boy! I used to make it at home. More like a sweeter roast beef/mashed potato gravy than what I originally understood as an Asian curry.
    Being gauche rocks, stun the bourgeoisie
  • Post #9 - September 22nd, 2020, 7:11 am
    Post #9 - September 22nd, 2020, 7:11 am Post #9 - September 22nd, 2020, 7:11 am
    Rene G wrote:
    JoelF wrote:...The blocks of curry roux have a lot of strange ingredients, including cheese and apple.

    If you look at the ingredients of S&B Golden Curry Mix Mild, you'll see it contains only "pepper" (presumably black). Both Golden Curry Mix Medium Hot and Golden Curry Mix Hot add chili pepper. The Golden Curry Mix Extra Hot contains chili pepper extract as well... Looks like you have to add your own cheese and apple.

    Serious Eats did a taste test and from the descriptions, it was probably Torukeru brand I'd seen before. They were rather unimpressed with the S&B.
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #10 - September 22nd, 2020, 1:30 pm
    Post #10 - September 22nd, 2020, 1:30 pm Post #10 - September 22nd, 2020, 1:30 pm
    Christopher Gordon wrote:I forget the name of this resto, but it was on the Gold Coast and I would often see the proprietess shopping at the farmer's market outside her store. Around the corner from where I would run into Ditka at the Jewels shopping with his wife. They (the Japanese hole in the wall) were (similar to the venerable restaurant in Andersonville...

    That was New Japan Inn, 45 W Division, discussed here in a thread you started some 16 years ago. As you mention, similar in some ways to Sunshine Cafe in Andersonville. New Japan Inn is also discussed in the thread on its sibling, New Japan in Evanston.

    Here's another nice article on Japanese curry. Coincidentally, it's been sitting unread-until-now in my email inbox since last week. I'm on Diaspora's excellent mailing list and hadn't gotten around to reading their latest. Diaspora is a very interesting company selling top-quality single-source spices from India. Have you ever wondered who grows your turmeric or coriander? Probably not, but if you buy from Diaspora you'll know. They now sell curry brick kits (currently sold out) in collaboration with Sonoko Sakai, the chef and teacher Tejal Rao wrote about in NYT.

    JoelF wrote:Serious Eats did a taste test and from the descriptions, it was probably Torukeru brand I'd seen before. They were rather unimpressed with the S&B.

    That's a good review, thanks. I'm certainly going to try at least one of the S&B bricks since I'm a fan of their classic powder (they've been selling it for almost 100 years). But I hope I'm able to find other brands too (I think I recall Joong Boo having a decent variety), especially Vermont. How can you pass up a seasoning that contains cheddar and Gouda and apples and bananas?
  • Post #11 - September 22nd, 2020, 4:09 pm
    Post #11 - September 22nd, 2020, 4:09 pm Post #11 - September 22nd, 2020, 4:09 pm
    In terms of other places where you can get Japanese curry in Chicago, I have enjoyed it from these restaurants:

    Ajida
    201 N Wells St Unit C
    Chicago, IL 60606
    https://www.ajidaramen.com/

    Futatsuki Ramen
    4621 N Broadway
    Chicago, IL 60640
    https://www.facebook.com/futatsukiramen

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