Although this dish is not really gourmet or fancy, I thought I would share it with you since you can whip it up in under an hour, it will easily feed a family of four, and it can be adapted to an infinite number of flavor combinations to suit your taste. Why is this such a quick and easy meal? Well because it uses Golden Curry of course!
You say you have never heard of Golden Curry? Well, I was also ignorant to the wonders of this Japanese product until about a year ago. I was having dinner at my good friend Ana's place, and while she was cooking, these fragrant aromas were wafting through the apartment. "Wow!" I said, "That smells amazing!" Since Ana is a pretty great home cook, I assumed she had concocted a mixture of spices to use for her curry and that those were the smells that were delighting my senses. I asked her what she had used, and she just laughed and said, "Golden Curry, it is awesome!"
I tasted it, and I was shocked that something so delicious had come from a box. Typically, I think many of us associate food made from a box with Duncan Hines chocolate cakes, Kraft macaroni and cheese, or Top Ramen noodles. All good in their own respect, but not something I would want to eat every day. (At least not since ramen-noodle college days.) Many times in the past I have tried to make gravies or other sauces from a packet or pre-packaged mix, and I was sorely disappointed and they did not live up to my standards.
Enter Golden Curry: the taste is more than appealing, the fragrance while cooking is intoxicating, it is easy to use, and you can divide the package into individual portions for later use without problem. Score! I couldn't believe that something so great existed! Do the Japanese know something that we don't? (Probably, but for now lets just talk about curry.) Golden Curry is basically a pre-made roux that contains curry powder, oils, flour and other flavorings depending on the type. It can be sold in either block or powder form (the one I am showing here is block) and the most popular distributors are House Foods and S&B foods. I prefer the one from S&B foods, and you can get it in a whole range of flavors from mild to hot, and it just costs a few dollars. Or, if you really love it, you could buy a costco-sized portion and make curry every night!
I think I like using this so much for four main reasons:
1. It is cheap. Usually under $3 for a package.
2. It is always at the ready in my cabinet for whenever I need a meal and don't want to have a dinner of cereal or chips and salsa.
3. I can mix in almost anything: I have made this with eggplant and beef, bell peppers and potatoes, tofu and beans... the possibilities are endless.
4. Combined with rice or couscous, it makes a lot of food. This means you can feed a family of four with leftovers, or, feed a lone Cilantropist for 4 meals.
On the particular evening I made this, I knew I had some cubed lean pork, some cooked couscous, and an onion. Not a lot, I know. But then I turned it into something wonderful when I remembered I had some Golden Curry to save me. I stopped at the store on the way home, picked up some plums and cashews, and voila! A well-rounded and delicious meal in well under an hour. So what are you waiting for? If you are a Golden Curry newbie, head to your grocery store and pick up some, you can find it in the Asian foods aisle. In fact, go to the store and buy two; then keep one in the cabinet to use when you are feeling imaginative or need an emergency meal, and use the other to make this Plum Pork Curry in a jiffy. If you are already a Golden Curry connoisseur, then you probably already have some in your cabinet. Get cooking!
Easy Weeknight Plum Pork Curry
Each package of Golden Curry comes with some indecipherable Japanese writing all over it, and then microwave instructions on one side of the box, and stove top instructions on the other. It is pretty simple, but I will still summarize what to do so it is super easy!
1-1 1/2 lbs lean pork, cut into 1-inch cubes
3-4 small plums, pitted and cut into roughly 1 inch pieces
1 medium sweet onion, cut into medium dice
1 tbsp olive oil
1 package Golden Curry, mild or medium depending on your preference
1/4-1/2 cup roughly chopped cashews (if you can find thai curry spiced cashews, use those)
Couscous for serving, cooked according to package instructions
Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add diced onions, and saute for just a few minutes, until beginning to soften but not cooked through. Add lean pork, and saute for a few more minutes, until it is browned and mostly cooked through. Add plums and approximately 2 cups water, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, and simmer for about 10 minutes. Remove skillet from heat and add all 4 cubes of Golden Curry. Stir until all the solid curry blocks are completely dissolved, then return the curry and meat to a simmer for about 5 more minutes; stir continuously as the curry sauce thickens. Serve with couscous or rice, sprinkled with chopped cashews.