Chicken “Katsu” Curry Ramen
This has become my standard method as of late of upgrading cheap watery Top Romen soup into something that feels more like a full hardy meal. I recently came upon a seemingly endless bag of friend chicken patties, and I wanted to figure out creative ways to get rid of them while hiding their flavorless processed sponge anatomy.
A little inspired by runnyrunny999’s curry soba recipe, one could opt to simply toss one of those curry cubes to thicken and flavor typical ramen broth, or pre-make a large batch of thick curry sauce and add a bit of it to a bowl near the end, but the method that follows is probably the best for quick single servings.
- Toss chicken patty in the toaster, it usually takes at least 10-15 minutes to go from frozen to crispy so it’s best to start this first.
- Cut some bacon into bite sized pieces, I go for 2 or 3 strips, along with one crushed garlic clove, and fry in a small sauce pan over medium high heat until most of the fat renders out. I like to pepper the bacon at this point too. If you’re not into bacon, start with a tablespoon of butter or olive oil instead.
- Mix an equal amount of flour to the fat, slightly more if you want your sauce extra thick, and stir constantly until it no longer looks dry (add extra oil if necessarily for this) and it begins to turn slightly golden in color.
- Take the pan off the heat and pour in a teaspoon of curry spice mix. Any generic can of “curry powder” will do, I’ve found the one they sell at Trader Joe’s is pretty good. While continuing to stir quickly, gradually pour in the recommended amount of water for ramen broth.
- Return the pan to medium heat, toss in the ramen flavor packet (any flavor is good for this, beef or oriental might be best but in the end it only makes a subtle difference) as well as the noodles, and stir occasionally while gently letting it come to a boil. By the time the sauce thickens the noodles should be done too.
- Bowl it all up, and while it cools thinly slice one green onion to garnish, take out the hot crispy chicken and chop into strips, laying them on top of the noodles and sauce which should be just thick enough to barely support their weight.
Like all ramen dishes, the best part getting to customize it with extra ingredients, toppings and condiments to your liking. Here are just a few suggested extras I feel would go best with this dish:
- To spice things up, I know most will opt to go for the tried and true Sriracha, and that’s good and all, but some alternative options I feel better compliment the flavors here are shichimi (added on top while serving), cayenne powder (added with the curry powder), or my most favorite recent discovery gochujang, Korean red pepper paste, a heaping tablespoon of which tossed in the pan just before pouring in the water.
- Various sauces to top the chicken with, such as tonkatsu sauce obviously. I drizzled some spicy peanut vinaigrette (pictured) and it complimented everything surprisingly well.
- Mayonnaise. cuz they sometimes top curry with mayo, right? (they mentioned it on Nichijou, thats good enough for me)
- Sesame seeds, the darker the better
- Diced bell peppers, onions, carrots, and tomatoes
- Chopped herbs such as cilantro, parsley, or thai basil.
- cabbage, or kimchi if you’re into that.