Things you never want to see in a recipe

This looked like a reasonable introduction to Japanese-style curry, until I hit this “basic tip”:

Scoop lye on the surface.

I guess I wasn’t paying attention during those school field trips to Mostly Faithful Recreation Of How People Used To Live Town, because the only things that come to mind when I hear the word lye are “harsh soap” and “drain cleaner”. As a way of finishing off your curry, it strikes me as a way of finishing off your guests.