I think I’m in a Japanese phase at the moment. I didn’t realise it but after sequentially making Japanese cold tofu, Japanese beef stew, Japanese cauliflower rice inari and now Japanese curry mussels I suspect that my subconscious is embracing the land of the rising sun.
I remember growing up learning to eat Japanese food. In the 80s Singapore started to see an influx of Japanese tourists (the Japanese Yen was strong and the Japanese tourist was king) and suddenly Japanese restaurants started to pop up everywhere. I started off eating tempura – now that I liked – it’s hard not to like fried and battered seafood! But it was only much later that I got inducted into the world of sushi and sashimi and Japanese cuisine became one of my favourite cuisines. I’ve always found the food gentle and subtle on the palate and I adore how they take other national dishes and infuse it with the Japanese aesthetic. For example Japanese hamburger is a beautiful conversion of the hearty American meat patty to a juicier and somehow more flavourful umami version.
My kids of course had a different exposure – they have always loved Japanese food and when they were little and nobody could agree what they wanted to eat for Sunday lunch, Japanese was an easy option that bridged both kids’ very different tastebuds. I remember kid#1’s primary school actually had a Japanese food stall in the canteen and my friends were commenting that only that particular school that was well known to have a lot of kids with well-heeled parents would actually have Japanese food for recess. It was definitely not typical of most school canteens that usually serve staples of local noodles or chicken rice!
So I’ve been really really busy of late, and I haven’t had much time in the kitchen. But the times I do step into the kitchen, it is really nice to have all my Japanese condiments like the SB curry powder or other seasonings at hand. I love that the Instant Pot can do mussels literally in a minute…not that it takes very long to do mussels on the stove either but again I like the idea of throwing things into a pot and walking away. I hope this busy season will ease after a while but in the meantime here’s my instant formula for Japanese happiness – a 1 minute recipe for a quick happy Japanese meal.
Instant Pot Japanese Curry Mussels
- 300g packet of frozen mussels, thawed and drained
- 1/2 onion, finely diced
- 2 tsp Japanese Curry powder
- 1 cup chicken or vegetable stock
- 1/2 cup coconut milk
- 2 tbsp chopped parsley
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- Put the Instant Pot on sauté mode and heat up the olive oil.
- Add the onions and gently sauté for 1 minute with the curry powder, then add the chicken stock and mussels.
- Turn off the sauté mode and close the pot, putting the valve into sealed position.
- Put on manual high pressure for 1 minute.
- When done, do quick pressure release. Add the coconut milk and parsley and stir through.
- Serve immediately.