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OK, so it’s been awhile since I last did The Shit I Eat When I’m By Myself Series, and I thought today – the day I turn 35, the day when the oestrogen has officially left the party, the day when avocado becomes a face-cream instead of food – is a good time to rekindle (it’s called letting it go).  And also, because I got this lovely birthday present from you-know-who, I thought I will follow Tiffany and do a post entirely shot/edited by iPhone 6 only!  Initially, I thought it would be the most liberating thing ever, not having to carry a heavy and bulky camera while dripping sweat, not knowing whether it’s due to the heat from the kitchen or hot-flashes as early signs of menopause…  But actually, trying to go back and fourth VSCO Cam and Snapseed to edit photos on a phone-screen, made me feel that this is probably more of a thing for the twenty-something hipsters, than the thirty-something demographic born with severe technology-defects.  So I don’t know… until now, I still can’t decide if I like working this way…

Anyhow, this is No. 5 for The Shit I Eat When I’m By Myself.  Sticking to the tradition of being completely non-sense, it’s a mixture of minced beef, melted Japanese curry cubes (boosted by cocoa powder!) and shredded white cheddar that you can keep in the fridge, then when emergency hits (like the day you turn 150), it can be quickly melt into a spicy and intense grilled curry cheese in between 2 slices of crusty country loaf (balanced by an added sweetness from raspberry jam!).

So enjoy, I’ll see you on the other side.









Yield: 6 sandwiches


  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 3 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 5.3 oz (150 grams) ground beef
  • 1 tsp finely minced ginger
  • 2 garlic, finely minced
  • 2 tsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1.8 oz (50 grams) Japanese curry-cubes, cut into small pieces
  • Approx 1 3/4 cup (175 grams) shredded white cheddar
  • Slices of crusty country bread
  • Raspberry jam or other types you prefer
  • Unsalted butter for cooking


  1. TO MAKE THE FILLING: In a skillet over medium-high heat, melt the butter and cook the sliced shallots until deeply browned on the edges. Add the ground beef and cook until evenly browned. Add the minced ginger, minced garlic and curry powder, and cook for another 30 seconds. Transfer to a large bowl, and while still hot, add the cocoa powder, freshly ground black pepper, small pieces of Japanese curry-cubes, and mix until the cubes have melted. Let cool for 10 min, then mix evenly with shredded white cheddar. Can be made and kept in the fridge until needed.
  2. TO MAKE THE SANDWICH: Smear a very thin layer of raspberry jam on 1 side of the bread, pile the filling on top (not too thick because it's on the saltier side), then top it with another piece of bread. Butter both sides of the bread (about 1/2 tbsp for each side), then brown in a skillet over medium-high heat until golden browned on both sides. Serve immediately.


Japanese curry and unsweetened chocolate are good friends, and in this case, the unsweetened cocoa powder will also help adding complexity to the overall flavour.


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  • Magda

    April 20, 2015 at 12:38 AM Reply

    Happy Birthday Mandy! Love this all iphone post. I don’t know if I am ever gonna try this recipe but it certainly looks delish!

  • Romy

    April 20, 2015 at 1:44 AM Reply

    I am so down with this grilled cheese sandwich marking oestrogen decline. You don’t look even close to 25 let alone 35. Have a lovely birthday!

  • Mary P.

    April 20, 2015 at 1:45 AM Reply

    Oh my god this sounds delicious!! Definitely going to give this a go, thanks so much!

  • Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar

    April 20, 2015 at 3:52 AM Reply

    Big time grilled cheese crush on this. WHOA!

  • Maria

    April 20, 2015 at 9:06 AM Reply

    I want this stack of yumminess. Now.

  • Debra | The Saffron Girl

    April 20, 2015 at 9:28 AM Reply


    I missed reading your posts, not because you’ve been gone, but rather I have been lost. I just read your “new” The Flops and love it! And this post is sooo good, although I don’t eat bread (Paleo), I just want to dig in from the gorgeous pictures. AND you bring a smile to my soul every time I read your blog! Keep up the GREAT work. xo, Debra

  • Rebecca @ DisplacedHousewife

    April 20, 2015 at 9:42 AM Reply

    Cocoa and curry, I had no idea. I’m going to have to try. Love this series, btw.

    • tunie

      April 20, 2015 at 2:50 PM Reply

      I’LL say…sounds inspired !

  • Burcu

    April 20, 2015 at 5:37 PM Reply

    Hi Mandy, happy birthday! I really want to try this but Japanese curry is not available where I live. Any ideas on what I could use instead? Many thanks.

    • mandy@ladyandpups

      April 20, 2015 at 5:44 PM Reply

      Burcu, perhaps you could try increasing the curry powder and omitting the curry cubes. Or substituting with other types of curry past (southeast asian, or Indian, etc). Make sure you adjust the amount according to the saltiness of the paste.

  • Lynn | The Road to Honey

    April 20, 2015 at 6:14 PM Reply

    Well. . .happy birthday there, young lady. Whether it be by iPhone or bulky camera, your photos always come out on point. Perhaps the sweat is driven by the excitement and anticipation that comes along with eating such a lovely dish (let’s spin the story that way, shall we?). This looks divine and would make me yearn for solitary moments (shhh! don’t tell hubby).

  • Yized | novojun

    April 20, 2015 at 10:53 PM Reply

    That made my mouth water instantly! O_O

    Love seeing all your food creations!

  • Kelsey M

    April 21, 2015 at 12:10 AM Reply

    Happy belated birthday! This looks amazing, as always.


  • Sara @ Cake Over Steak

    April 21, 2015 at 3:48 AM Reply

    This is awesome! I loved Tiffany’s post shot all with her iphone, so I was super excited when I saw this in my bloglovin’ feed. They look great.

  • LIz @ Floating Kitchen

    April 21, 2015 at 4:58 AM Reply

    This is so awesome. Love it. And Happy Birthday!!

  • Sami

    April 21, 2015 at 11:53 AM Reply

    Happy, happy birthday! Can’t believe the iPhone shots… you are a master

  • Charlie (Chockywoky)

    April 22, 2015 at 10:03 PM Reply

    Happy birthday (again) Mandy! Many happy returns of the day :)

    Must say that it’s incredibly ingenious of you to combine beef + cocoa.

    Also, what filter (if any) did you use on VSCO?
    Thanks for sharing xx


    June 27, 2015 at 10:01 AM Reply

    Blessings of a great creativity and simple Love throughout your year. Happy Birthday! Your food is amazing to me. This is a fantastic sandwich! Thank you

  • KE

    March 9, 2022 at 9:48 AM Reply

    Hi! I am so interested to make this but am wondering if there is a substitute for the Japanese curry, or if there is another recipe I could use to make it from scratch. Can’t do the ingredients in the cubes. Thanks!

    • mandy@ladyandpups

      March 9, 2022 at 3:51 PM Reply

      KE, Japanese curry cubes are quite a product of its own kind and recreating it from scratch will take a lot of ingredients and time. I haven’t done it myself but you could try by reading the ingredients list on the box and reconstruct it backwards?

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