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Japanese-style onion pickles with crumbed pork and curry

Recipe for Japanese-style onion pickles with crumbed pork and curry.

By Alice Storey
  • Serves 4
  • 45 mins preparation
  • 30 mins cooking plus fermenting, marinating
Japanese-style onion pickles with crumbed pork and curry
Japanese-style onion pickles with crumbed pork and curry

Curry, or "kare", is a big favourite in Japan. This combination of curry, fried golden pork and punchy pickles hits the spot - just add cold beer. Start this recipe at least 10 days ahead to make the pickles.


  • 2 garlic cloves, grated
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp mirin
  • 350 gm pork shoulder, thinly sliced
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 200 gm (2 cups) panko crumbs
Japanese-style onion pickles
  • 10 salad onions, trimmed and halved
  • 25 gm sea salt flakes
  • 200 ml white wine vinegar
  • 200 gm caster sugar
  • 1 long red chilli, split lengthways
Japanese curry
  • 2 tbsp peanut oil
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp finely grated ginger
  • 5 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1½ tbsp curry powder
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • 600 ml chicken stock
  • 40 ml soy sauce
  • ½ tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tsp rice wine vinegar
  • ½ tsp garam masala


  • 1
    For pickles, toss onions and salt in a bowl. Transfer to a container that holds them snugly, cover with baking paper, then weight with a heavy plate and set aside for 24 hours to release some of their juice. Remove weight and set aside covered with a lid to ferment (3-5 days), stirring once each day. Onions will be fermented when translucent and slightly softened. Rinse briefly under cold running water and pat dry with paper towels. Combine vinegar, 400ml water, sugar and chilli in a saucepan over medium heat, stir until sugar dissolves and set aside to cool. Layer onions into a 1-litre jar, pour liquid over, seal and refrigerate for 5 days to infuse. Pickled onions will keep refrigerated for 6 weeks.
  • 2
    For pork, combine garlic, soy and mirin in a bowl, add pork and toss to coat. Transfer to a container and marinate for 8 hours or overnight. Dust pork in seasoned flour, dip in egg, then press into panko crumbs to coat both sides, shaking off excess in between each dipping. Place on a tray lined with baking paper, cover and refrigerate until required.
  • 3
    For curry, heat peanut oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat and sauté onion until tender (5-7 minutes), then add ginger and garlic and sauté until soft (1-2 minutes). Add curry powder, stir until fragrant, then stir in flour and cook until sand-coloured (1-2 minutes). Gradually whisk in stock, then add soy sauce and sugar, and simmer, whisking occasionally, for flavours to develop (8-10 minutes). Stir in vinegar and garam masala, and keep warm.
  • 4
    Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat to 180C. Fry crumbed pork in batches, turning occasionally, until cooked through (2-3 minutes). Drain on paper towels and serve with curry, rice, carrots, peas and onion pickles.


Drink Suggestion: The yeasty, briny tang of a good fino Sherry. Drink suggestion by Max Allen