Chef Caroline Ishii, co-creator of Zen Kitchen, is taking part in the Chinatown Remixed arts festival this weekend by creating a curry with 100 ingredients added by 100 people.

Japanese-inspired Curry by Chef Caroline Ishii Ottawa D is for Dinner

This Japanese-inspired curry has 10 ingredients and takes 10 steps to make. (Caroline Ishii)

That's a little labour intensive, so for All in a Day's D is for Dinner with guest host Amanda Putz, Ishii submitted a 10-ingredient curry that takes just 10 steps to make.

If you want to be one of the 100 people adding ingredients for Ishii's stone soup project, drop by Shanghai Restaurant on Saturday at 3 p.m.

There will be 100 ingredients available to choose from. Participants will sign up and select what they want to put into the soup, then come up to the pot on their turn, make a happy wish, and put their ingredient in. After 100 people have come through, Ishii will finish the soup and get it ready for serving with the help of volunteers. By 4:30 p.m., 100 small bowls of rice with curry on top should be ready for eating by the 100 people who participated.

The month-long Chinatown Remixed arts festival has been running for six years. Organizers pair up artists with about 35 businesses in Chinatown to show art in unexpected places. It starts on Saturday at 1:30 p.m. with events planned throughout the neighbourhood, with artists standing by to answer questions and talk about their work.

Japanese-inspired curry by chef Caroline Ishii (serves 4-6 people)


  • 2 onions, halved lengthwise, thinly sliced
  • 3 tbsp. garam masala 
  • 1 tsp. cayenne pepper (less if you want it mild, more if you want it spicy)
  • 3 tbsp. rice flour
  • 2 tbsp. tomato paste
  • 2 carrots, medium diced
  • 4 cups stock
  • 2 potatoes, medium diced
  • 1 apple peeled, cored, small diced
  • 1 ½ cups dried red lentils, rinsed, drained


  1. Heat vegetable oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Saute the onions until they are golden brown and caramelized, around 20-30 minutes. 
  3. Add the garam masala and cayenne pepper, stirring for a few minutes. 
  4. Add the rice flour, stirring for a few minutes. 
  5. Stir in the tomato paste, combining with other ingredients.
  6. Add the carrots, potatoes, apple and red lentils. 
  7. Cover with the stock and bring to a boil. 
  8. Simmer for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the lentils and vegetables are tender. 
  9. Season with sea salt and freshly ground pepper. Adjust seasonings to taste.
  10. Serve over rice.