What vegetables can I try in Japanese Curry to replace potatoes?
July 7, 2009 1:14 PM   Subscribe

What vegetables can I try in Japanese Curry? We usually make it with chicken, carrots, potatoes, and green pepper. I am looking for a way to cut the carbohydrates so would like to replace the potatoes with a lower-carb option. Please only make suggestions that you have tried and tasted good, no idle speculation.
posted by matildaben to Food & Drink (23 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
Turnips go very nicely in Japanese curry.
posted by Faint of Butt at 1:20 PM on July 7, 2009

Lotus root, taro, eggplant.
posted by kanuck at 1:25 PM on July 7, 2009

If you can get any at your local markets, lotus root is wonderful in Japanese curry. Vegetables that I know some people don't like, categorically, and so probably wouldn't like in curry, either, but if you like them: Eggplant is really good -- cut it up and pan-fry or roast it before simmering in the curry, though. Sweet potato and winter squash are not LOW carb, but they're also good.

I've seen people mention putting cauliflower in, too, but I've never tried it myself.
posted by redfoxtail at 1:27 PM on July 7, 2009

Parsnips! They're very hard, though, so you'll need to pre-cook.
posted by Polychrome at 1:29 PM on July 7, 2009

I have yet to find a vegetable that doesn't work in Japanese curry. Eggplant, peppers (yellow, green, red), tomatoes (in big chunks), broccoli all work. Anything that you might put in a stew or stir fry will be fine.
posted by zippy at 1:35 PM on July 7, 2009

Bok choi?
posted by Danf at 1:35 PM on July 7, 2009

Broccoli is good. If you order Japanese curry in Japan a popular option is okra (sliced) which is a little slimy but very tasty.
posted by Gortuk at 1:36 PM on July 7, 2009

BUTTERNUT SQUASH, just don't over cook it or it'll be puree. Also, it's a starch but very very nutrient dense: sweet potatoes. And yes I've used both in Japanese curry (Glico hot, which I make hotter with lashings of sambal oelek).
posted by ethnomethodologist at 1:40 PM on July 7, 2009

I always use cauliflower, and eggplant if I have it (and I don't pre-cook it, but I do let it simmer quite some time in the curry until it's pretty much textureless). I've also used green beans, mushrooms, broccoli (which gets scraggly-looking in curry, not pretty but tastes fine), leftover already-cooked lentils, and canned chickpeas.
posted by Lyn Never at 1:42 PM on July 7, 2009

Just made some myself. I cut out the potato and added mushrooms. And, well, onions instead of green peppers (looking back at the OP)
posted by indiebass at 1:44 PM on July 7, 2009

I'm a big fan of broccoli, just make sure you don't add it too early or it kind of dissolves into the curry, which is nutritious but not as tasty.
posted by wuzandfuzz at 2:18 PM on July 7, 2009

Oh, and cabbage! I like to just barely steam it, shredded, on the side and keep the curry fairly wet to pour over it.
posted by Lyn Never at 2:19 PM on July 7, 2009

Cauliflower is the standard replacement for spuds among low-carbers. Full disclosure, I haven't had it in Japanese curry, but - I've had Japanese curry, and I've had cauliflower, and the combination sounds wonderful to me.
posted by chez shoes at 2:28 PM on July 7, 2009

beetroot! Also spinach (shredded), spring onion, pumpkin, tomato. Raisins, apple, pineapple. Banana is not so good.
posted by mjg123 at 2:50 PM on July 7, 2009

I usually use whatever green I have: Bok choy, shiso, holy basil, lambs quarters, spinach, kale (I am a frequent customer at Asian markets). If you are using a strong herb like basil though you have to adjust other flavors. I also sometimes like seaweeds, particularly arame and wakame, but I realize that these are acquired tastes. A common standard of mine is kale, arame, sesame oil, soy sauce, ginger, a few chili flakes, and whatever protein like chicken or tofu. Another fav is beef + bok choy + cute little mushrooms like the enoki.
posted by melissam at 3:04 PM on July 7, 2009

Tofu. Try regular tofu; I usually use the hard one, cut into 1/4 - 1/2 inch cubes. It's easier to stir in without breaking. or even fried tofu. Also, peas and garbanzo beans.

As mentioned earlier, cauliflower, as well as mushrooms - try a shiitake or portabello cap, sliced into strips.
posted by jabberjaw at 3:21 PM on July 7, 2009

Pumpkin goes very well indeed. As do tofu and mushrooms and broccoli. Gonna have me some for lunch.
posted by tim_in_oz at 3:43 PM on July 7, 2009

Not a vegetable exactly, but a suggestion from a creative Japanese housewife I know -- add a spoonful of salsa to your curry!
posted by Rash at 6:06 PM on July 7, 2009

Kabocha has some similar qualities to butternut (and is quite nice in curry), but doesn't turn into mush so easily.
posted by Lexica at 6:17 PM on July 7, 2009

Definitely kabocha if you can find it. People here (Japan) think "pumpkin" is the English equivalent word, so maybe cooking pumpkin would work, too, although the flavor isn't the same.

I'm surprised you didn't list onion, I thought that was a curry given.

Mushrooms can work, too, they have a nice chewy texture and absorb delicious curry flavor.
posted by that girl at 7:08 PM on July 7, 2009

I love kabocha and/or butternut squash in Japanese curry, but really - why bother replacing it? Curries, in general, aren't that specific. Use any vegetables you want, and just don't use potatoes.
posted by insectosaurus at 8:11 PM on July 7, 2009

Response by poster: I do use onions, cut chunky, I just forgot to mention it because it is so obvious.
posted by matildaben at 9:12 PM on July 7, 2009

I'm totally late to the game with this, but I usually subsitute daikon or sweet potato in Japanese curries for potatoes. The daikon in particular tends to take on the flavor of the curry.
posted by so much modern time at 12:08 PM on August 11, 2009

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