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  • Writer's pictureCulinary Cam

Japanese Curry Rice for a Date Night #FoodieReads

I read voraciously. Admittedly it's not always good literature. I recently blazed through the first three books in the Poppy Perkins mysteries series by Jasmine Webb. Reading is a way for me to unwind and relax at the end of the day.

Poppy Perkins is the main character in this series. Earlier this year I read the six Charlotte Gibson Mysteries by Jasmine Webb. Apparently I am still just a girl who loves female detective stories. When I was a kid I devoured every single Nancy Drew book there was! Then I moved on to the Hardy Boys series, but I adored the ones when Nancy Drew collaborated with Frank and Joe Hardy.

You can read my thoughts about Jasmine Webb's Charlotte Gibson books in Double Starch, Pineapple on Pizza, and Passionfruit Panna Cotta.

The first three Poppy Perkins books are: Booked for Murder, Read Between the Lies, and On the Slayed Page. I just recently downloaded the fourth book onto my Kindle. Stay tuned for my thoughts on Put Pen to Perpetrator which is only available on the Kindle platform at the moment.

On the Page

Poppy Perkins is a twenty-something who lives in San Francisco. Despite the legacy of her family's legal prowess - both parents and all her sisters are successful lawyers - Poppy is struggling to make it as an author whilc she works in a donut shop.

Over the course of the three books that I have read, Poppy lands a publishing deal and solves three murders. She also leaves the donut shop and becomes a partner in an investigative firm.

You can imagine that there are a lot of donuts mentioned in these books. Even after Poppy leaves the donut shop, she remains roommates with the new owner. And she does help out when needed.

"I washed my hands in the industrial sink at the back, grabbed the tray of prepared crème brulée donuts, and brought them out into the retail side of the store...".

The old owner comes to the revamped storefront and is disgruntled by the changes.

"'I don’t like it,' Elana snapped. 'I don’t like any of this. What’s this donut here? Lemon meringue? Ridiculous. You can’t have a lemon meringue donut. It will be far too sour.' 'Yes, famously disgusting dessert that no one likes, lemon meringue,' I chimed in, and Elana glared at me. 'No one was talking to you'."

Poppy also lives above a local coffee shop and spends time writing at a secluded table. So, there are also lots of mentions of coffee and the pastries that Laura Belle serves, including beignets.

In the Bowl

But it was Poppy's date with investigative journalist Nick that sent me into the kitchen. Her two favorite neighborhood eats: "plate lunch from L&L Hawaiian Barbeque down the street or a Japanese curry from Muracci’s."

Nick went up to the counter and returned with two steaming plates of thick Japanese curry poured over a generous portion of sticky rice, topped with katsu pork, carrots, and potatoes.

I skipped the katsu pork and swapped in tofu and other veggies. Japanese curry usually comes in three forms. One: over rice, which is this version; two: in soup, usually with udon noodles; and three: wrapped in pastry, called curry bread. I have made Curry Udon before. I will have to try the latter soon!

I have one of those hammered spice tins with everything you need to make delicious, beautiful curries. And I enjoy playing with different combinations of flavors. But for a mid-week dinner, sometimes I cheat and use a pre-blended curry powder. No need to measure tiny amounts of ground coriander, cumin, turmeric, ginger, mustard, black pepper, cinnamon, and cardamom. This is curry in a hurry. Also, because Jake is plant-based during the week, this is a curry made with tofu and vegetables instead of chicken or another meat.


  • 1 package extra firm tofu, cut into bite-sized cubes

  • 6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 2 Tablespoon-sized chunks

  • 1 large onion, peeled and diced (approximately 1-1/2 cups)

  • 1 Tablespoon grated ginger (you can omit, if you don't have any, but we love the fresh ginger in this)

  • 3 garlic cloves, minced

  • 1 cup zucchini or squash, diced

  • 1 cup carrots, chopped

  • 1 cup celery, chopped

  • 1 cup bell peppers, diced (I used a red and a green bell pepper)

  • salt and pepper

  • 2 Tablespoons curry powder, divided

  • 3-inch stick cinnamon

  • 1 cup tomato sauce

  • 1 cup vegetable stock (you can use chicken stock if you're not trying to be plant-based)

  • 1 cup organic coconut milk

  • cooked rice for serving

  • fresh cilantro for serving


Place the tofu in a large pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil and cook for 3 minutes. Drain it and set aside.

In a large pot, add a splash of oil and 3 Tablespoons butter. Add in the onions, carrots, celery, and bell peppers until the carrots are fork tender, approximately 15 minutes. Stir in the zucchini. Add in the remaining butter and melt. Stir in the curry powder and add cinnamon stick. Cook until fragrant.

Add the tofu and turn to coat with the seasonings. Pour in the tomato sauce and vegetable stock. Whisk to combine. Simmer for 10 to 15 minutes - until the sauce is beginning to thicken. Pour in the coconut milk, whisk to combine, and simmer until that it thickened to your liking.

Serve garnished with cilantro over cooked rice. Enjoy!

I am linking this post to the November round-up for #FoodieReads. Find that here.

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3 commentaires

Margaret Wuestenenk
Margaret Wuestenenk
28 nov. 2023

We like a Japanese curry but I haven't made one for a while. I might add it to next week's menu list!


Wendy Klik
Wendy Klik
02 nov. 2023

I was a huge Nancy Drew fan too and have bought the entire series for the Angel Face.

Camilla M. Mann
Camilla M. Mann
02 nov. 2023
En réponse à

I probably would have done that if I had girls. Maybe one day I'll have granddaughters. It was hard enough to get my boys to read ANY kind of fiction at all. They love to read...but always scientific books or tech magazines.

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