This is Oliver. He's the eleven year old boy-genius son of my friends Mary and Nikki, and on a warm evening last October, he debuted the world's first* Curry Calzone™.
Sometimes great ideas come in dreams, and sometimes they come in showers, but they rarely come when you're looking for them. I'm certain this came to Oliver when he was least expecting it, but it came with force and precision. And it said, "Make a Japanese beef curry and stuff it into calzone dough with mozzarella."
Mary prepared the curry, and the the rest was in Oliver's hands, including making dough from scratch. Were they good? No. They were great. They were the perfect combination of crisp, chewy, light, cheesy, rich, and spicy. And since that night, I have been haunted by the hunger for Japanese Curry Rice, or Karē Risu as it's known in Japan.
Since Oliver's Curry Calzone debut, I have been obsessed with making Japanese beef curry, without actually making it. Once a week I'd compare recipes across the internet, write the ingredients on my shopping list, but something always got in the way.
Finally, the perfect cold, wretched February day arrived. My stew meat from Carman Ranch had thawed, I had secured a jar of S&B Oriental Curry Powder from the Korean market (I am that kind person who usually makes a curry blend from scratch, but I wanted to achieve a familiar flavor).
I relied heavily on thisNYT recipe, substituting beef for chicken, and of course Bobbie's Boat Sauce for tonkatsu sauce. Japanese curry always contains tomato, either in the form of ketchup, tonkatsu sauce, or paste. What better excuse to substitute Bobbie's Boat Sauce?
Though not cloaked in calzone dough and oozing with cheese, this curry did exactly what I needed it to do: warm me, body and soul. Recipe can be found here.