Red Curry Loco Moco
I read some time ago that we were entering a period during which the term fusion would no longer be sufficient to describe the combinations of techniques and cuisines showing up on restaurant menus. This article said that we were entering an era of food chaos. This recipe, while I would still just call it fusion, might lean a touch toward chaos.
Loco Moco itself, like most Hawaiian cuisine, is a fusion dish (recipe for an original Loco Moco here). In this recipe I wanted to take it a few steps further. This dish is inspired not only by the obvious Thai red curry and loco moco, but also by Japanese kare. Kare is a Japanese sauce which toes the line between curry and gravy. It is savory and thickened like a gravy, but the backbone of curry powder creates a unique and wonderful dish. It is a perfect cool-weather meal and is one of my absolute favorite easy dinners on the road. You can buy cubes of the stuff and all you have to do to produce a fantastic meal is toss them in a pot with some meat, vegetables and water for a few minutes.
In this recipe, loco moco, Thai red curry, and kare are blended into one semi-chaotic dish that I think is absolutely to die for. The burger is made with ground chicken seasoned with fish sauce, scallion, basil, and jalapeno. It is served over a bed of rice, smothered in a roux-based Thai red curry gravy, and topped with a fried egg. If that doesn’t sound like a top-notch brunch to you, I think you might need to get your head checked.
Thai Red Curry Loco Moco
1 lb. ground chicken
2 tbsp jalapeno, finely diced
2 tbsp scallions, finely chopped
2 tbsp basil, finely chopped
1 tbsp fish sauce
2 tbsp oil or butter
2 tbsp flour
½ medium yellow onion, diced
1 tbsp red curry paste
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup coconut milk
1 tsp sugar
½ tsp rice vinegar
4 cups cooked rice
4 fried eggs
Mix together the ground chicken, jalapeno, scallions, basil, and fish sauce, and divide into four thin, even patties. Bring a large skillet to medium-high heat and cook the burgers until just done through (it’s easy to overcook chicken, but browning them nicely on both sides should do it). Remove the burgers to a plate.
Next add the butter to the pan. When melted, add in the chopped onions followed by the flour. Stir this together and cook until the flour on the onions browns at the edges.
Add the broth to the pan and scrape up any fond. Then add the curry paste and stir until it is well-incorporated. Next, add the coconut milk, again stirring until the gravy is uniform. Stir in the sugar until dissolved and remove from heat. Add the rice vinegar and taste. Adjust salt and sugar as desired.
Serve each burger over a bed of rice, smothered with gravy, and topped with a fried egg. Garnish with finely chopped scallions, jalapenos, and a bit of sriracha, if you like.