If you think about it, a hamburger is essentially a meatloaf for one, and vis a vis, a meatloaf is just a GIANT HAMBURGER.
Thus, the base of this meatloaf comes from my recipe for Japanese Hamburgers, which is actually the first dish I ever learned to make. My aunt would make them whenever she visited from Japan, and I remember writing the recipe down in this old notebook back when I was a kid thinking, “ONE DAY THIS WILL BE FILLED WITH RECIPES AND I WILL BE AWESOME.”
That was the only recipe I ever wrote down, so FAIL.
But anyway, this recipe essentially combines Japanese Hamburgers with Curry Pan, which is a popular bread in Japanese bakeries that’s essentially a bun filled with curry, crusted in panko, and fried; a curry donut if you will. Some variations of the curry bun have a cube of mozzarella in the center, and it’s AWESOME. So I figure, mix cubes of mozzarella into the meatloaf itself, and envelop the whole thing in a curry panko crust. Yeah, yeah, yeah?
SO LET’S BEGIN.
This is the best meatloaf I have ever made. This is also the best meatloaf I have ever eaten. This can't even be put into the same boring category as every other meatloaf that has ever been made, period. Tim's instinct to make a Japanese hamburger into a meatloaf, and then add the curry sauce and then, of all things, mozzarella, is simply inspired. This is a crunchy little flavor bomb. It's simply a great fusion of Japanese flavors and down-home country-comfort cooking. I had a great time making it, and though the ingredients needed may not be in every chef's pantry, it's worth tracking them down to not only cook this dish but to open up new flavor profiles for those who don't cook with mirin, dashi, and Japanese curry every day. A+, and well done. Note: S&B curry is the most well-known "oriental curry powder", apparently. Finding instant curry roux was easy in NYC, but I might include the "from scratch" method as well (making the roux from flour, curry, butter, etc.) for those who don't have access to Japanese grocers. I assumed that Tim was cooking with liquid dashi, but his use of instant curry roux almost had me thinking of using instant (powdered) dashi as well. If the recipe were to be revised a bit I'd explain what dashi he used, and/or how you can make it from scratch (which is what I did, since I had konbu and bonito on hand already) vs. buying the instant version. Overall, I loved it. And I will be cooking his recipes again. - lechef —The Editors