Cooking up a storm!
Mrs Potter has been running a Manga club at lunchtimes for students who are interested in the art form, and in all things Japanese. As part of their studies, Mrs Potter asked Mr Bridgeman to run a katsu curry cooking lesson after school. Here are her reflections.
“Wowsers, that was amazing. One of the loveliest things I’ve been to at Aylsham. It had a lovely atmosphere”.
I have to agree with Mrs Lester’s sentiment. From my perspective of never having organised a cooking event at school, it proceeded with a kind of chaotic harmony. The chaos was really on my side as I flitted about the room. Everyone actually doing the cooking did so harmoniously. They checked the recipe, prepared ingredients, commenced cooking, and asked questions with a confidence which is testament of the quality of the cooking instruction they receive at Aylsham High school. I was extremely impressed with their interest and proud of their effort and dedication.
Perhaps, most rewarding to see during the session was a room full of students working and communicating together. Year groups dissolved and friendship groups did not matter as everyone helped each other out. And I could not help but smile to see, when it came to clearing and tidying up, students sneaking a few mouthfuls of their delicious katsu curry that they had boxed up to take home.
The main aim of the session was to try cooking a new dish and have fun at the same time. As we certainly achieved that, I think I will see if Mr Bridgeman is game for one more cooking session next term.
If you were unable to come but would like to try cooking Katsu curry at home, the recipe is below. For any Japanophiles who might like to try other Japanese recipes, please check out the quirky ‘Cooking with Dog’ videos on youtube.
Katsu curry - recipe and instructions
Ingredients - serves 4
● 4 chicken breast
● 150ml sunflower oil
● 1 large egg
● 1tbsp soy sauce
● 100g panko bread crumbs
● 25g plain flour
● 300g sticky rice, cooked, to serve
● 6 spring onions, thinly sliced, to serve
For the curry sauce
● 1tbsp sunflower oil
● 1 onion, finely chopped
● 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
● 1 thumb-sized bit of ginger, peeled and finely chopped
● 1tbsp curry powder
● 1tsp ground turmeric
● ¼ tsp chilli powder (Optional)
● 1tbsp tomato puree
● 500mls chicken stock
● 1tsp cornflour
● 2tsp rice wine vinegar
● 1tbsp honey
● 1tbsp soy sauce
- First make the sauce. Heat the oil in a pan over a medium heat, add onion and fry for 6 minutes. Stir in the garlic and ginger; fry 1-2 mins. Sprinkle in curry powder, turmeric, chilli powder (if using) and tomato puree and stir.
- Pour in the chicken stock and bring to a simmer. Cook for 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, then mix 2tbsp of cornflour in a bowl with 2tbsp of water until smooth. Pour the cornflower mixture into your pan along with the rice wine vinegar, honey and soy sauce. Cook for a further 3 mins until the sauce thickens, remove from the heat, and blitz with a blender until smooth.
- Put chicken breast on a chopping board, place a piece of parchment paper on top and, using a rolling pin, bash the breasts to flatten them to the thickness of 2-3cm.
- Heat the oil in a large frying pan over a medium to high heat. Whisk together egg and soy sauce in a wide shallow bowl; put the breadcrumbs and plain flour in separate bowls with some seasoning. Dip each chicken breast in the flour and then in the egg mixture and finally in the breadcrumbs
- Fry the crumbed chicken in the oil for 8 minutes before turning over and frying for another 5 minutes, until golden brown and cooked through. Remove with a large slotted spoon and transfer to a plate lined with kitchen paper.
- Slice the chicken and serve with the cooked rice, spring onion and the curry sauce.