Monday, October 17, 2005

Pumpkin Season - Part III: Curry Spaghetti

I love left-overs because they make handy lunches and become easy starting points for future dinners. I recycle my left-overs until it is all gone. Recycling (or reusing) left-overs is one of my greatest culinary skills...

After my Ducky Autumn Roll dinner with pumpkin couscous, I combined the two dishes into a very deliciously tasty soup that I enjoyed for lunch. I made the soup by boiling the duck bones in shiitake broth into a sort of fancy ramen-like broth. To prevent the soup from being too boring, I added yuba (tofu skin) to increase the texture quotient with that wonderful mouth-watering silky-smoothness of yuba. I also added the pumpkin couscous to the soup for added complexity and layered flavor. This duck-pumpkin soup was absolutely satisfying with subtle sweetness and multiple umami flavors working together.

But I didn't finish there. Although the soup was fine for lunch, it wasn't enough to be a dinner, so with the left-over soup, I went one-step further. I turned the pot of soup into my favorite weeknight meal - Japanese curry. I thinned the soup some with vegetable broth to prevent the curry from being too salty before adding carrots, potatoes, and onions along with an assortment of spices like tumeric, cloves, cardamon, and garam masala. As those vegetables got softer, I threw in some edamame as my protein source for the evening. Just before serving, the boxed Japanese curry roux was melted into the soup and voila! My duck-pumpkin curry was done!

The yuba in the curry was excellent. Just excellent. I think yuba is going to be a routine addition into my Japanese curries from now on. I've always loved yuba, but I didn't know it would work SO well in curry. I can almost feel that silky, sexy, seductive glide of yuba rolling around on my tongue, resisting slightly as I bite into it - the resistance generating more of that absolutely pleasurable glide.

Edamame is another non-traditional component of Japanese curry, but it is one of my absolute favorite curry ingredients. Edamame do not disintegrate like carrots and potatoes under my preparation, so it provides a satisfying firmness to the otherwise mushy mixture. The onions and carrots provide a backdrop of sweetness, a welcome change in pace from the heat and spice, while the disintegrating potates give the curry its viscosity.

Since I had a craving for spaghetti and its playful texture, I decided to serve the curry over spaghetti to create what we Japanese would call "Curry Spa" or "Kare- Spa". The modern Japanese palate is used to these crazy 'fusion' concepts, so matching curry with spaghetti seem like just another convenient way for us to combine the foods we love. The combination of this duck-pumpkin curry with spaghetti was right on - not to toot my own horn or anything, but this was one of my best super-fast weeknight meals made from twice-recycled left-overs!

curry spa

How I love my noodles!


The Papa Bear said...

You're the Empress of recycling left-overs; I've never seen anyone get so creative with left-overs that completely new meals are made out of them. Most of my left-overs usually find their way down the drain, once they start to go bad in the fridge, since I can't "waste" food by throwing it away right after meal, but I never (used to)eat the left-overs, either.

courtney said...

This is the COOLEST, most colorful crazy-fusion dish I have seen in eons.
I just showed it to a couple of the others here at Naughty Curry-- we love your site! We would love to feature this dish someday at NC, only we're unfamiliar with some of your ingredients. Maybe we can work something out...

Alice said...

Papa, yes, I notived how yuo never eat left overs unless I recycle them...

Thanks, Courtney! Feel free to email me with any questions! Most of these ingredients you can get online these days too. Just drop me a note!