Introduction: Easy Authentic Japanese Curry

Picture of Easy Authentic Japanese Curry

My wife and I have been in love with the Asian culture for a while. One of our favorite places to eat has the best curry recipe we have found to day, and we have worked for years to replicate the flavor and improve it. This recipe is super easy, and if you love Japanese curry as much as we do I invite you to try making it if you have an hour for the cooking process (yes good food takes time). This is my first -ible so I invite comments and recommendations.
That being said, let's begin!

To start, we need some good curry ingredients that will make our stew more appetizing and hearty.
Traditional Japanese curry is usually with beef but we love chicken, too. Any meat can be used so experiment and try things out, it's a great way to make recipes your own. This -ible is based on a traditional "family recipe" style curry, but it is very easy to make it uniquely your own.

1/2 - 1 pound Beef, Chicken or your favorite meat, cubed into stew sized chunks
2-3 cloves Garlic, minced
2 peeled Onions, cut in quarters then sliced into 1/4 to 1/2 inch slices
2 peeled Carrots, cut randomly into bite-sized pieces (next step)
2-3 peeled Potatoes, cut into just larger than bite sized 1/4 to 1/8 of the potato (mine are kind of big so I'm opting for a slightly smaller cube, this doesn't affect flavor but some people like bigger potatoes)
1 package Curry Sauce roux ( you can buy this at any super market or your local Asian market)

Extras and add in's (These are optional - include or ignore at will. I find these enhance the flavor, and help to balance the end result):
1 Tbs Tomato Ketchup
1 Tbs Worcestershire Sauce
1 Tbs Soy Sauce
1 Tbs Apricot Jam/ Preserves
1 Tbs Curry powder (what else would go better with curry but more curry!)

Step 1: Clean and Cut Veggies and Meat

Picture of Clean and Cut Veggies and Meat

View the pictures it you have questions, but this is fairly straight forward. Wash 'em, clean 'em, cut 'em.

Step 2: Cook the Meat

Picture of Cook the Meat

You'll want to use a pot that has a lid, a wooden spoon and a pair of tongs.

Heat pot with 1 Tbs vegetable oil on medium-high heat.
Make sure pot is HOT before adding meat, the goal here is to sear, NOT to cook through. So with that in mind, brown the outside of the meat. If your pot is small add a little at a time so that the juice doesn't leak out and make the meat soggy. Again use the pictures for reference. After the meat is just browned remove it from the pot, keeping the heat on.

Step 3: Cook the Veggies

Picture of Cook the Veggies

Add garlic and onions. Cook until they are caramelized, soft and smelling a little sweet.

Add in potatoes and carrots, cook for another few minutes, about 5 will do - this isn't too important, it's just to get the pot back up to temperature.

Add the meat into the veggies.

Add in water according to the curry sauce directions; the pack I'm using says 3 cups per 4 bricks, but you may need more or less (the more that you use the thinner it will be, therefore vice versa on the less you use. We also enjoy using low-sodium chicken broth instead of water to give it more flavor, but it is entirely up to you).

Bring stew to a boil then simmer for 45 minutes. This is a good time to get your side dishes in order - I'm also steaming some rice so serve with my curry, but you can do some chicken katsu, tempura veggies, or miso if that's your fancy.

Step 4: Finishing the Curry

Picture of Finishing the Curry

After your stew is done it's time to add the cubes. Remove the pot from the heat and drop in the cubes, then stir until they dissolve. Now comes the interesting part...

The optional add -ins:
Worcestershire Sauce
Soy Sauce
Apricot Jam/ preserves

These help to enhance the curry's natural flavors and to sweeten it some (by using the jam)...they are totally optional, if you want them then go ahead and mix them in now; if not, feel free to skip to the end you stick in the mud you! Either way you need to cook your now curried broth an additional 10 - 15 minutes, to allow to thicken.

Curry powder is an add-in I would strongly recommend if you have it handy. If you love curry as much as we do then this is a must, just make sure you add it right before serving and give the pot a few extra stirs!

Step 5: Serve!

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This recipe is best nice and hot; serve with hot steamed rice, with chicken katsu, or however you like!
The perfect cold day food when it's rainy and you don't want to go outside, or maybe when you're feeling a little down and need a pick me up comfort food style.

Step 6: Extra Credit: Homemade Curry Sauce

Picture of Extra Credit: Homemade Curry Sauce

So some people have mentioned in the comments an interest in having a from scratch version of this recipe. So because I love this recipe so much, and this 'ible is my fist I figured I would keep everyone up to date.

Step 7: Ingredients (take Two)

Picture of Ingredients (take Two)

The essentials:
3 Tbs S&B curry powder, this is a little more pricy than your garden variety curry but well worth it.
1 Tbs granulated sugar
2 Bay leaves
3 Star anise pods
1 Tbs tonkastu sauce (not pictured)
Beef broth
Apple sauce - a single apple rough chopped and blended is plenty, about a cup of you prefer store bought

Recommended (based on how spicy you like it):
1/4 tsp Paprika
1/4 tsp Cayenne
1 tsp Ginger powder
1 tsp Aleppo Chili flakes - a little easier to find online, this is a Syrian spice and since the country is in conflict could be a little hard to come by.

Step 8: The Roux

Picture of The Roux

This will depend on if you want a meat based or vegitarian sauce. if you want a meat sauce then brown the meat first as before and then cook the rest along with the other steps. This part starts the same as the original 'ible. Brown the onion and garlic, be sure to start with minced onion and garlic, it'll melt away in the sauce. After the onion is caramelized add in 2 Tbs of butter, mix in the spices until you reach a paste consistency.

After this is done add your apple sauce, the pectin is a natural thickening agent, so you can cut back on your starch later.

Step 9: Add Broth

Picture of Add Broth

Add the Bay leaves and the Anise pods. cook for five minutes or so the add 3/4 of the broth. If you are adding in potatoes and carrots add them as well, make sure that the stew is covering the veggies. If you are doing a meat sauceal add it back to your pot. cook for 30 minutes to 60 minutes.

Step 10: Thickening

Picture of Thickening

The tonkastu sauce will be added at this point, to keep things similar I stayed with the same add ins I used in the first 'ible. Katchup, soy sauce, worstishire, jam, but also included is a 1/2 tsp of corn starch and 1 Tbs or tonkastu. Cook for another 10 minutes. Enjoy!


dishvazquez1 (author)2017-03-20

I made the curry after school with my friends and it was delicious.Thanks for sharing this!

KijonaiaArt (author)2016-11-11

I bought S&B Golden Curry and it turned out greenish-brown instead of reddish-brown like yours? Did I do something wrong?

miketguitar (author)KijonaiaArt2016-11-15

also the mild is more green, medium will be slightly more brown, hot will be darker still.

miketguitar (author)KijonaiaArt2016-11-11

I don't think it went wrong, I've had it come out more green too. You can try using more curry blocks depending on your tastes, or more curry powder, this recipe is ment to be made your own. But by definition Japanese curry is green curry.

ΟρφέαςΑ (author)2016-04-13

Can I use curry powder instead of the curry sauce thing?

Start with step seven, that is the from scratch version, using a curry roux rather than the blocks, I will warn you tho its not as flavorful.

JulianaR8 (author)2016-01-26

I made it today and it was amazing!!! Great recipe!!

miketguitar (author)JulianaR82016-01-26

Glad you liked it!

miketguitar (author)2014-12-03

I added the homemade from scratch version, enjoy!

miketguitar (author)2014-05-21

4 bricks is half the pack

miketguitar (author)miketguitar2014-06-13

That is the amount of roux I would recommend for the recipe this size.

ttofu (author)2014-06-13

next time my mother lets me cook i have to try this recipe out ^^

searched for this for such a long time... at last! :D

miketguitar (author)ttofu2014-06-13

Glad I could make it easy to find, cheers!

SneakyZephyr7 (author)2014-05-02

Okay! I tried this recipe again. This time I used the mild curry roux, for my mother's sake.. and she loved it! So glad that she liked it. (: AMAZING RECIPE!

Glad that you could find a way to make it your own, hope you continue to enjoy!

SneakyZephyr7 (author)2014-04-21

I just made this for dinner, it was SO AMAZING. My dad doesn't like the texture of onions, and to my surprise, the onions mashed up along with the potatoes. So there was no onion texture. (: best curry ever. the only bad part was how "spicy" it was, I loved the spice, but my mum did not. :/ she barely ate any.

If spice is an issue you could do a few things - the roux I suggested is a medium hot style, but there is also a mild version and a "Vermont" version that is made by another company (made with apple and honey). These are not quite as hot/ spicy. You could also omit the additional curry so that the flavors don't compound. Personally I like hotter curry so that's why I use the medium hot (it goes all the way to extra hot btw).

Growing up mom made curry a lot(4th gen Japanese American in So Cal) and she used any thing on hand from ground beef to left over turkey, the best was ox tail. One popular addition is katsu sauce(granted its like a thicker sweeter Worcestershire sauce), either towards the end of cooking or after its been served.

I'll have to try it out with the katsu sauce - I'd say its kind of like a sweet steak sauce.

Almost forgot garnishes like japanese pickled scallions and/or fukujinzuke among other pickles. Also curry udon is a great way to serve leftover curry(I make huge batches because I learn how to cook from my mom), it is typical to thin out the curry with bonito broth. The soup base that comes with the udon noodles should work, Kikkoman Memmi noodle soup base has gotten easy to find in Asian food section would work also.
Need to get working on my curry instructable one of these days, everyone makes curry differently and it fun to see how they make it

I was going to post a Curry Udon Recipe but I ate all my curry - maybe next time. Isn't dashi common too?

Basically that's what one type of dashi is, bonito broth. The 3 other main basic types are Kombu, Shitake, and Niboshi(dried sardine). Instead of just throwing it away, I use the udon soup packet(properly diluted of course) broth sometimes.

Made curry tonight, forgot to take pictures. Funnily enough I used chicken and I realized I haven't made chicken curry for my son before. He like many children prefers House Vermont Curry. It came out good and was great with Hawaiian style Kimchi.

Ok, thanks for the clarification!

NickIQ (author)2014-03-27

It's interesting, the Imperial Japanese Navy adopted curry from the British Royal Navy, and now the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force's Friday menu is curry rice. Japan didn't pick up curry from India, like one might think, but from Britan, who picked it up in India during the Raj. Neat little food history tidbit.

miketguitar (author)NickIQ2014-03-27

Cool, I didn't know that.

Check out Japanese Soul Cooking by Tadashi Ono and Harris Salat. It has info like that and other japanese curry recipes and ramen and tonkatsu and more

egrant7 (author)2014-03-31

Here's a link to a curry roux recipe.

miketguitar (author)egrant72014-03-31

3 Tbsp. unsalted butter 4 Tbsp. all purpose flour 1 Tbsp. curry powder 1 Tbsp. garam masala 1/4 tsp.+ cayenne pepper combined like any roux heated butter with incoperation or flour first then other ingredients. if using with my recipe above its about double this - i'd jave to play with it to see how much it needs. I can add this to the -ible if you all like.

kimmelmd (author)2014-03-28

i cant wait to try it. When i was stationed in Japan with the Navy, I used to go to CoCo Ichiban......One of the best Curry House Ive ever been too

miketguitar (author)kimmelmd2014-03-28

I'd love to visit someday, it's one of my all-time dreams to go to Japan for the sakura festival.

znesta (author)2014-03-28

I can't wait to try making this. It looks amazing

miketguitar (author)znesta2014-03-28

Thanks, have fun and show us your results!

Mielameri (author)2014-03-27

Mmmm I love japanese curry; it's the best! This is a really nice i'ble; well done!

miketguitar (author)Mielameri2014-03-27

Thanks! I hope you try it out soon.

lnesh (author)2014-03-27

i wanttttt.....

Penolopy Bulnick (author)2014-03-26

That looks delicious!

Just as tasty to eat as to look at!

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