Relishes that Enhance the Flavors and Nutrition of Japanese Curry Rice
In the previous issue, I introduced the ideal drinks to accompany Japanese curry rice. But beverages are not the only sidekick to curry. In Japan, we always put “yakumi” (relish or condiments) on the side of a curry plate, and eat it alternately with the curry. This time, I’d like to talk about the yakumi that’s inseparable from Japanese curry.
Fukujinzuke & Rakkyo
The two most common yakumi are “fukujinzuke” (foo-koo-jin-zoo-kay) and “rakkyo” (rock-yoh). The former refers to a sweet and savory marinated daikon radish, and the latter is a bulb of a shallot-like vegetable pickled in a sweet and sour brine. Both are great palate cleansers and add a nice, crunchy accent to curry dishes. In Go! Go! Curry!, we carry them as toppings. Our curry is always served with shredded cabbage as well, so you have that crunchiness without adding those toppings. However, fukujinzuke and rakkyo have a unique umami and sweetness which make curry dishes more complex, flavorful, and enjoyable. If you haven’t tried them yet, you can’t truly declare yourself a Japanese curry enthusiast!
Another topping I’d like to highlight here is “natto”, a fermented soybean with a strong smell and sticky texture. It’s not a conventional yakumi for curry, but it’s becoming more and more popular as a topping. Rich in fiber and protein and easy to digest, natto has tremendous health benefits. The enzyme it contains, “Nattokinase”, is known to help improve the immune system. So, if you get natto with your curry rice – which is already nutritious and energizing by itself – it’s possible to boost your stamina. If you feel that your energy is low or your immune system is weakened, you might crave curry rice. If that happens, you should listen to the voice of your body!
Next time, I’d like to illustrate more aspects of the Japanese curry business and its market size by bringing some data to the table. Until then, eat healthy and stay genki!
Would you like to explore opportunities to own a fast casual Asian food franchise? If so, Go! Go! Curry! is a good partner. With ample restaurant franchising experience, we can walk through the steps with you until you achieve your goal.
About The Author:
Tomoko Omori was born and raised in Japan. She came to the USA alone to become an actress, where she received an AA degree from college majoring in Drama. She received a scholarship to study music at the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in NYC.
After working for TV broadcasting and a publishing company, today, Tomoko is the CEO of Go! Go! Curry! America, a grab-and-go Japanese comfort food restaurant franchise. There are over 75 locations in Japan, and 11 in the USA. She says, “Our mission is to serve our tasty curry nationwide in the USA and Canada to enrich the lives of our customers, employees, franchise owners and the communities we serve. Our vision is to create millions of satisfied customers, contented tummies and miles and miles of smiles for everyone!” Tomoko received the Nikkei BP Woman of the year award in 2015.