Coco Ichibanya is a Japanese chain of curry houses that is very popular all over Japan. Curry is ordered by number - 1 being the most mild (for children, according to the menu) to 7 which is extremely hot; actually the curry can be ordered up to 10, but a disclaimer must be signed to order it. Coco’s signature curry sauce is standard, but the add-on ingredients in the curry vary – vegetables of all kinds as well as seafood, meats, and chicken. One of the most popular versions of Japanese curry is the tonkatsu curry where a pork cutlet is pounded flat, breaded with panko crumbs, fried, and covered with curry sauce (very time consuming and messy when done at home). Chicken katsu curry, using chicken breast instead of pork cutlet, is also very popular. For those unlucky souls who are unfamiliar with Japanese curry, please note that it is totally different from both Indian and Thai curries; it is unique and definitely worth a try.
Since Japanese curry sauce mix is readily available at Asian groceries and many larger grocery stores, and is very good, anyone can make Japanese curry at home in very little hands-on time. Coco’s sets out small condiment jars full of Japanese pickles to eat with the curry; these pickles are also available at the Asian grocery. Shortcut Japanese Chicken Katsu Curry can be made in less than 30 minutes, and since the packaged sauce is available in mild, medium, or hot, can be adapted to anyone’s palate.
While tonkatsu and chicken katsu are delicious, but time consuming, cooks in a hurry (that means most of us) can purchase frozen high-quality breaded chicken tenders which heat in the oven while the rice and curry sauce are cooking.
1 cup short grain rice
2 cups water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 12 oz. package chicken breast tenders
1 cup chopped onion
1 medium carrot, peeled and sliced
3 cups water
3 1/2 ounces curry sauce mix
- Preheat oven to 425°.
- Place the rice, 2 cups water, salt, and vegetable oil in the rice cooker, turn to the plain rice setting, and start (or cook on stovetop according to package directions).
- Arrange the chicken breast tenders on a baking sheet; set aside until the oven has heated.
- Place the chicken tenders in the oven and heat according to package directions (12-15 minutes).
- Measure the onion, carrot, and 3 cups water in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil and cook about 5 minutes or until the carrots are beginning to soften.
- Break the curry sauce mix cubes into the mixture and whisk until smooth.
- Turn down to a simmer and let cook until thickened.
- To serve: Divide the rice between four serving plates. Cover with a quarter of the sauce and a quarter of the chicken tenders. Serve immediately with Japanese pickles.
Amount Per Serving
Calories 566 Calories from Fat 222
Percent Total Calories From: Fat 39% Protein 11% Carb. 49%
Nutrient Amount per Serving
Total Fat 25 g
Saturated Fat 7 g
Cholesterol 15 mg
Sodium 1787 mg
Total Carbohydrate 70 g
Dietary Fiber 3 g
Sugars 4 g
Protein 16 g
Vitamin A 0% Vitamin C 4% Calcium 0% Iron 12%