I placed the small serving bowl filled with S&B Golden Curry at the center of the table. Beside it was a pot of steaming sticky rice. Side dishes of sliced cheddar cheese, dill pickles, and corn chips sat around the curry. Four of us sat down at the table, Daughter #2 was already in her highchair. We were ready to eat our favorite comfort food, S&B Golden Curry with beef and onions. Unfortunately for my Hubby, this would not be a regular meal.
The Attack of the Curry Monster
For several years, this particular dish had been our family favorite. Although the meal is based on a store-bought mix, over the years, we had adapted the meal with our own selection of spices and sides (e.g. cayenne, garam masala, curry powder, corn chips, dill pickles, and cheddar cheese).
We knew that one pack of curry mix would feed the entire family. In fact, there was always enough for dear Hubby to have seconds.
Well, on this particular evening that all ended. When the serving bowls were passed around, Son #1, took a larger portion of sticky rice than usual. Hubby looked on with concern. Then, when Son #1 had the curry bowl in his hands, he scooped an enormous portion of the curry sauce and covered the mound of rice from end-to-end.
I could see Hubby’s jaw drop and then tighten. I could read his every thought. And his every thought was right. When the serving bowls finally got to him, there was barely enough to feed our parakeet Elijah. – There would be no seconds for Hubby tonight!
It was a little boy who had come to the table that day and it was a full-fledged Curry Monster that walked away.
S&B Golden Curry – What You Need to Know
A special thanks to Hubby for doing the background research for this section.
A couple of points up front. The soon-to-be-world-famous Serendipity Farmhouse Test Kitchen is not sponsored by any commercial entity. The Test Kitchen gets nothing for recommending any product. – You can be sure if we say something good about a product, we mean it.
We have two reasons for publishing this post.
- First, we never gave you our full, official Test Kitchen recipe before. We feel it would be a great service to our almost-huge audience to do so.
- Second, this year, S&B Foods is celebrating its 100th anniversary. S&B Golden Curry has been the basic ingredient for literally hundreds of our family meals for almost half of that 100 years. We think that it’s only fitting for Serendipity Farmhouse to celebrate along with the folks at S&B.
今年で エスビー食品100周年！- A Little History
Curry spice did not come to Japan directly from India. Rather, it was introduced to Japan in its European form by the British during the Meiji Era (1868–1912)
In 1923, just a bit before Serendipity Farmhouse was built, Yamazaki Minejiro (山崎峯次郎), created Japan’s first domestic version of curry powder. The success of the spice blend, a “culinary masterpiece of its time”, led Yamazaki to found the Higashiya Company, which was rebranded S&B Foods Co. Ltd. in 1949.
S&B Golden curry was introduced into our household in the early 1970’s. It is now the SFH-TK Golden Standard.
What’s inside the S&B Golden Curry Package?
Inside the S&B Golden Curry package you will find 3.2 oz. of curry mix. The ingredients include: Wheat flour, Vegetable oils (Palm oil, Rapeseed oil), Salt, Sugar, Curry powder, Monosodium glutamate, Caramel color, Malic acid, Pepper, Chili pepper, Garlic, Disodium guanylate, Disodium inosinate, Celery seed, Mustard. – We’ll let you be the judge if any of these ingredients do not fit your dietary preferences.
What the mix does not contain is any form of meat or fish. This means it can be used with no concerns as the base for a meatless meal.
Is There an Alternative to the Mix?
Perhaps you want to experiment and prepare your curry a little more from scratch. Or, perhaps you want to avoid some of the ingredients in the Golden Curry mix. Well, the alternative is quite simple. Use the original spice blend created by Yamazaki Minejiro.
You will find that the names of the ingredients are all pronounceable. Here’s what’s in the container: Turmeric, Coriander, Fenugreek, Cumin, Orange Peel, Pepper, Chili Pepper, Cinnamon, Fennel, Ginger, Star Anise, Thyme, Bay Leaves, Cloves, Nutmeg, Sage, Cardamom.
S&B Golden Curry Mix is Versatile
I don’t mean to go on-and-on, but there’s so much our family has done with this curry mix. The recipe at the end of this article will give you our most frequent rendition. However, there have been times when we have had to make wild changes to our recipe. For example, Son-in-law #1 is not on speaking terms with most known vegetables, especially onions. Consequently, when we introduced him to our traditional family meal, we substituted onions and beef with mushrooms and shrimp. – He’s been eating S&B Golden curry on a regular basis ever since.
Our three children each have their own particular version of curry. But each version is based on S&B Golden curry mix. – We have heard anecdotes from our children that the spawning of the Curry Monster in 1981 was not a singular incident. – Beware! There are Curry Monsters everywhere!
(We have referred the recent uptick in Curry Monster sightings to the world-renowned kaiju researcher, the Toku Professor. See some of his most classified studies here. Perhaps he can determine to what extent the world’s curry supply is threatened.)
By the way, this product’s versatility is complimented by its variety. S&B Golden Curry mix is sold in three levels of spiciness, mild, medium, and hot. We almost always use the medium and add cayenne and other curry powders to increase the heat.
Is S&B Golden Curry Mix Affordable?
There’s no need to discuss inflation here, but it’s always important to keep meal preparation costs down. S&B Golden Curry Mix can be found in many major grocery chains. Here are links to current prices at Walmart (here) and Amazon (here). Do your own homework – it’s up to you.
Now you have some basic knowledge of S&B Golden Curry and how it is intertwined with our family history. The Serendipity Farmhouse Test Kitchen continually experiments and tinkers with variations. We’ll keep you informed on our adventures with this product and with other secrets we brought back with us from our years in Japan.
If you would like to see a Japanese perspective on S&B Golden Curry, watch this YouTube video from Kenji’s Kitchen (here). You’ll see that the SFH-TK is not alone in it’s appreciation of this curry mix.
S&B Golden Curry - Our Way
- Large, deep skillet
- 1 lb. Beef, cut into cubes Chicken, Lamb, Shrimp are optional
- 1 Medium Onion, chopped
- 1 Tbsp Olive oil
- 2⅓ Cups Water Beef or chicken broth optional
- 1 pack S&B Golden Curry Sauce Mix
- 2 Cloves Garlic, minced
- 1 Tsp Ginger, minced
- 1 Tsp Garam masala spice mix Commercial or home-mixed
- 1 Pinch Cayenne pepper
- 1 Tsp Other types of curry powder
- Stir-fry beef with olive oil, garlic, ginger, and other spices in a large skillet on medium heat for approx. 5 min.
- Add water (or broth) and bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until ingredients are tender, approx. 15min.
- Turn down the heat, break S&B Golden Curry Sauce Mix into pieces and add them to the skillet. Stir until sauce mixes are completely melted. Simmer approx. 5 min., stirring continually.
- Serve hot over Japanese-style sticky rice. (Our dear friend Reiko insisted that Calrose Rice was the best.)