Traditional recipes

Japanese Curry and Rice

Japanese Curry and Rice


  • 6 cups water
  • 4 russet potatoes
  • 3 large carrots
  • 6 cubes Japanese curry
  • 1 1/2 pound boneless chicken thigh or chicken breast
  • Boiled white rice, for serving


Boil the water in a large pot. Meanwhile, peel and cut the potatoes into large, 1-inch chunks. Peel and cut carrots into 1-inch pieces.

Once the water comes to a roiling boil, add potatoes and boil for 10 minutes. Then add carrots and boil until soft.

Drop the curry cubes into the boiling water and mix until it all dissolves. Taste and add more cubes if you want more flavor.

Cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces. Drop into the boiling curry and stir; bring to a boil, making sure that the chicken is cooked through, at least 5 minutes. Serve over white rice (or, on bread).

Japanese chicken curry – curry rice

Japanese chicken curry is not like curry from anywhere else. It takes Indian flavours and makes it uniquely Japanese. Familiar. But not the same. Delicious.

It has Indian ingredients. But somehow they come together in a different way. I don’t know why but I’ve loved it since the first time I tried it.

Seafood curry & rice

Hull shell and devein shrimps. Slice the onion and garlic cloves thinly.

Step 2:

Heat the butter in a frying pan. Fry the onions until they turn a brownish color. Remove from pan.

Step 3:

Put the salad oil in the pan. Add the sliced garlic, shrimps and scallops. Sprinkle a little salt and pepper on top, and pour in the white wine. Mix and fry until the shrimps and scallops are cooked.

Step 4:

Add the water and bring to a boil. Add the onions (Step 2) .

Step 5:

Split the solid curry blocks and add. Simmer for 5 minutes over a low flame. Stir until well mixed.

Serve over the steamed rice.


The curry sauce suits the seafood very well, and this dish tastes very good.

Japanese Recipe Adventures: Dry Curry Rice Omelette

Japan may be in a state of emergency, but that doesn’t mean your kitchen needs to be. If you’ve found the last few weeks to be a constant culinary challenge, there’s nothing like being stuck at home to force you to learn. Yes, it’s time to break up that instant noodle monotony.

Hungry and inspired, I scoured through the pages of the internet in search of something to whip up, mash up, or screw up and decided on this dry curry rice omelette. Joy was sparked, and after following the recipe to the letter the first time around, ideas for improvement were flared. It only took some minor adjustments to elevate this simple recipe to the “I’d Make That Again” club.


Thankfully, everything on this list is easy to find or has probably laid dormant in your pantry for the last year. The recipe serves two.

  • 180ml short-grain rice
  • 200ml chicken stock
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 120g ground pork
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp ginger, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp garlic, finely chopped
  • ½ cup sake
  • 2 tbsp sushi vinegar
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 3-4 shiso leaves, cut into thin strips

For the curry seasoning

  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper powder
  • ⅓ tsp salt

For the omelette

  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 4 pinches of salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • black pepper

A few notes on some of the ingredients

If you don’t have garam masala laying around and instead happen to have ground versions of cumin, coriander seeds, cardamom, black pepper, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg… then you can make your own!

Sushi vinegar is a basic pre-mixed vinegar commonly used for seasoning rice in, you guessed it, sushi. If you don’t have this in stock, combine rice vinegar, sugar, and salt for the same effect.

The shiso leaves are used as a garnish in this recipe and don’t have any profound impact on the overall flavor of the dish. I’m not saying to leave them out, but you won’t be missing out if you omit them.

Here is the step-by-step guide on how to prepare the Japanese curry.

Caramelized the onion

One of the most important aspects of making Japanese curry is to sauté the onions until they are caramelized, which can take up to 20 minutes. Most of the curries from Asian countries are prepared by sautéing the onion until translucent only.

The onions should be cut into thin slices so that they can caramelize quickly. The caramelization will render the unique flavor to the curry that sets it apart from other curries.

Marinate and pan-fried the chicken

Chicken, beef, and pork are all suitable for cooking Japanese curry. I am using chicken in this recipe. You can substitute it with other meat to cook by following the same method in this article.

I prefer to marinate the chicken with some salt, although this method is not typical in preparing the Japanese curry. I find that marinate the meat can enhance the flavor substantially. Since the meat is in bite-size, marinate for half an hour should be enough.

I also like to pan fried the chicken until it turns to light brown before cooking it with water. Pan frying creates another layer of flavor to the curry through Maillard reaction, which will not happen by simmering the chicken.

Cooking the curry

  • Place the caramelized onions, the pan-fried chicken, carrots, potatoes and water in a pot.
  • Bring it to a boil and then simmer for fifteen minutes.

So far, the process is quite common to other curry dishes. Now we want to add a few items that are unique to the Japanese curry.

  • Tonkatsu sauce. It tastes similar to Worcestershire sauce. You can use Worcestershire sauce as the substitute.
  • Tomato ketchup. It changes the color of the curry to slightly reddish. You can also use tomato puree or paste as the substitute.
  • Fuji apple. Grate half a Fufu apple into the pot. Apples provide a unique sweetness to the curry. Some people like add a small of honey for the same purpose.

Two ways to make the roux

There are two ways to proceed from here.

1. Use the store-bought curry roux mix

The easiest way is to get the store-bought Japanese curry roux cubes. It is widely available is most of the grocery shops in many countries. The mix contains the roux (oil and flour) and the curry spices.

It is easy to use the Japanese curry roux for preparing the curry. This method saves you time, but you have less control over the taste than make from scratch. The curry roux comes with different level of spiciness. I usually use the S&B brand that is moderately spicy.

Add the roux cubes to the pot of curry, keep stirring until the cubes are entirely disintegrated and thicken the liquid. Do a taste test as these roux cubes also contain some salt and sugar. You may want to add some curry powder and salt to adjust the taste.

2. Make Japanese curry from scratch

Alternatively, you can make the roux by following the steps below.

  • Heat 60g of butter over low heat in a pan.
  • Add the equal amount of wheat flour and stir constantly. Let the butter combine with the flour, and cook over low heat for about 15 minutes until it turns to medium brown, which is the characteristic color of Japanese curry. Keep stirring so that the roux will not stick to the pan. Keep the heat low so that the butter will not turn into smoke and get burn.
  • Add some chili powder if you want a spicier curry.
  • Add three tablespoons of Japanese curry powder (or more if you want a stronger curry taste) and mix it well until it forms a thick paste.

This roux making process is similar to making to preparing the brown sauce. Making your roux has the advantage of you controlling the level of spiciness and the proportion of various spices used.

Once it is ready, add the roux to the pot and cook until it thickens the curry.

Final tasting

Add some salt to the curry until you get the desired level of saltiness. It is better to adjust the taste now because the saltiness depends on how much the curry had been reduced. Also, store-bought roux cubes contain salt (and coloring and monosodium glutamate), so it is safer not to add too much salt at the earlier stages.

For the same reason, you need to add more salt if you are making your roux. You may also need to add more curry powder, sugar, and chili powder to get the flavor you want.

Once you have adjusted the taste, add some frozen green peas to the curry. Wait until it boils again and is ready to serve.

The Japanese curry is best to serve with steamed rice and is also good to use to prepare Japanese curry ramen.

If you like this Japanese curry recipe, you may also interested to try other related curry recipes. our Malaysian Chicken curry with gravy, Indonesian beef minang which is a dry curry, and Kapitan chicken which is a famous Nyonya cuisine.

Secret tips for Japanese curry

Surprising secret ingredients

Using only curry roux cubes makes great curry for sure, but using secret ingredients with roux cubes make pro curry and rice.

In fact, did you know most restaurants serving curry rice do not actually make curry from scratch. They actually use roux cubes too! So what makes them special compared to home cooked curry? So the answer is secret ingredients.

I'll give you some ideas of secret ingredients that improve home cooked curry rice tastes. Using different secret ingredients every time and then see how's different from last time!

Caramelized onions

This is a pretty recent discovery for me. I always add onions to curry (despite hating onions myself haha) and I always thought that frying them until softened is enough. That is until I tried adding "caramelized onions" and it was a game changer!

Whether you have Japanese curry roux or not, caramelized onions will add a rich, gravy like taste to your curry as well as improve the colour. It's time consuming, but it's worth putting that time in to level up your curry. I've included steps on how to caramelize onions in the recipe below.

  • Timing: 40 mins
  • Amount: 1.5 - 2 onions
  • Recommended: Someone who wants depth of flavour
  • Effect: Richer more gravy like taste, deepens the brown colour


This one is kind of understandable, isn't it?

A small amount of chocolate will make the curry richer. It's a secret ingredient so don't put too much though!

  • Timing: After the roux has melted
  • Amount: 2-3g
  • Recommended: Someone who's not good with spice
  • Effect: Softening the spiciness

Instant coffee Powder

Whenever I make curry and rice with roux cubes, I make sure to add instant coffee.

It definitely contribute to richer taste!

  • Timing: After the roux has melted
  • Amount: 2 tsp
  • Recommended: Someone who wants deeper and richer taste
  • Effect: Richen the curry

Red wine

This is another secret ingredient that I use regularly.

It will add some nice punch too the roux and make it a little bit European taste.

  • Timing: Same time as water
  • Amount: Substitute 10% of water amount (so this recipe would be 720ml water 80ml wine)
  • Recommended: Someone who wants to add some sourness
  • Effect: Making it more refreshing, adds a touch of sourness

Soy sauce

I personally add a bit of soy sauce every time.

As you can guess, it will add a bit more Japanese taste to the curry!

  • Timing: Right before the roux cubes
  • Amount: 1 tbsp
  • Recommended: Someone who wants to add Japanese/Wafu taste
  • Effect: Making it more Japanesey

Tomato juice/puree/ketchup

This is a popular addition but I personally don't use it as I don't like curry being too sour.

But if you want to add tomato's sourness, you can add any of these tomato products. But be careful with tomato puree especially because it tends to become a bit more tomatoey than you might like it to be. (Speaking from my experience)

  • Timing: When you boil vegetables
  • Amount: 1 tbsp-3 tbsp
  • Recommended: Someone who wants to add sourness
  • Effect: Making it sour and tomatoey

When was Japanese curry invented?

British curry powder is an Anglo approximation of the saucy, spiced dishes of India and Sri Lanka, and it's that British curry powder that inspired the invention of Japanese curry.

British-style curry powder was introduced to Japan sometime between 1868 and 1912, during Japan's Meiji period, when a new Emperor opened the borders to trade after centuries of isolationism, and people were excited to try new types of Western food (via The Takeout).

Curry powder was one of these new imports, and kare raisu, or curry rice, was invented. The Japanese altered the British curry recipe to their tastes, making it sweeter, thicker, and less spicy than the Indian-inspired curry powder.

Even the pickiest of eaters will love these mashed potato cakes, known as korokke. They&rsquore a great grab-and-go snack, appetizer, or side dish.

Mix mashed potatoes with beef and onion and form them into balls.

Roll them in panko breadcrumbs and fry until they&rsquore golden brown. It&rsquos the perfect hand-held meal!

Once you fall in love with this version, you can start experimenting with other flavors like curry korokke or even pumpkin korokke. The possibilities are endless.

More vegan Japanese curry recipes:


If you recreate this Yaki Curry recipe let me know how you liked it by leaving a comment and rating below or by tagging me on Instagram @Okonomikitchen, I love seeing all of your tasty recreations!
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Watch the video: Boller i karry (January 2022).