Japanese Curry

by Suzanne on September 18, 2013

in Chicken, Savory

Japanese Curry | www.you-made-that.comJapanese curry is different than most other Asian curries, I think that Japanese curry is the best probably because it was the first type that I tried. I was in college and I had a roommate from Japan, she was a wonderful cook and she cooked daily, unlike the rest of us. One of the first things I remember her making was this curry dish and I tried it and loved it. The flavors are warm, complex, and earthy I never knew how she made it but I remembered how it tasted, one of those foods your palate never forgets. Believe it or not that was over 25 years ago and ever since then I have been willing to try any type of curry but I never had that same taste that I vividly remembered.  I had Thai curry  and it’s very good, but didn’t taste  like what I was looking for, Indian curry is good also but more bold than Japanese curry. One day my friend Nami from Just One Cookbook blog posted this recipe and I thought I have got to make this and see if it’s the taste I’ve been looking for. The recipe had an ingredient I didn’t have called garam masala but for the most part the recipe looked doable for me. After buying the spice I needed I set out to make it. In the past my experience trying to make something curry turned out too hot or spicy, I was a little concerned that it would go that direction this time and my family couldn’t eat it. I made the recipe almost exactly as she directed.  Finally, the dish was complete and I put my spoon in the pot for a taste…you guessed it, it was spot on just like I remembered!

Japanese Curry | www.you-made-that.comI was thrilled to finally have found the dish my taste buds had been looking for :). Nami says this is one of those go to dishes that she can make in a hurry or can count on. I think I have to agree now that I have made it twice because it’s rather simple to make but taste like it’s been simmering for hours. Curry can be made with chicken, shrimp, beef or pork even just vegetables so don’t feel like this is the only way to make it. The first time I made it I added a bell pepper to the veggies and used chicken breast both times instead of thighs. Thigh meat is much more tender and would produce a more tender curry. I didn’t have the availability to buy ready made curry roux so I followed Nami’s simple directions to make my own. If you have ever made a roux for gravy it’s very similar except the spices added here.  I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I have, it will be made over and over again at my house.  Thank you Nami, for this wonderful recipe. 🙂

Japanese Curry

1 pound of boneless skinless chicken thighs or breasts cut into bite size chunks
salt and pepper
2 carrots peeled and sliced
2 onions cut into wedges
1 large or 2 small potatoes cut into 1.5 pieces
1 tablespoon of grated ginger
2 cloves of garlic pressed
1 qt. chicken broth or water
1 apple peeled and grated
1 tablespoon of honey
2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon ketchup

Curry Roux:
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 tablespoon garam masala powder
1 tablespoon curry powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper(optional for heat)

Step 1: Rinse chicken and pat dry with paper towel, trim fat, and cut into bite size pieces. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and set aside.
Step 2: Peel and cut carrots. Peel onion and cut in half and into wedges. Peel potato and cut into 1. 5 inch pieces and set in a bowl and over with water to take out the starch.
Step 3: Peel about a thumb size piece of fresh ginger and grate so it equals 1 tablespoon. Peel garlic and pressed.
Step 4: Turn on a large stock pot to medium high and pour about a tablespoon of vegetable oil let get hot and add the onions and cook until translucent, then add the ginger and garlic. Now add the chicken and cook until it changes color and it not pink any longer.
Step 5: Add the carrots, chicken broth or water and let it come to a boil. Skim the fat or scum that comes to the top.
Step 6: Peel the apple and grate it into the pot. Turn down the heat and add the honey and salt. Let it come to a simmer uncovered about about 20 minutes.
Step 7: Add the potatoes and cook for 15 minutes. While the potatoes cook make the curry roux.

Making the Roux:
Step 1: In a small saucepan melt the butter, when it’s completely melted add the flour. Stir the flour around until the butter is absorbed into the flour. Keep stirring the flour butter mixture for about 15-20 minutes.
Step 2: Add the curry powder, masala powder and cayenne pepper stir and cook for 30 seconds. Take off heat.
Step 3:  Ladle some of the broth from the stock pot  into the saucepan and stir well.  Now add this to the stock pot and stir well. Add the soy sauce and ketchup and stir, let the curry cook on low until it thickens.
Serve with hot rice and garnish with green onions.


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1 Paula September 18, 2013 at 10:38 pm

We had some Japanese exchange students that made something that looked just like this. It was so fresh and tasty. I always wanted to make it myself. Now I can’t wait to try your recipe.Thanks so much for posting it.

2 Suzanne September 19, 2013 at 12:28 am

Awe your welcome Paula, Nami’s recipe is fantastic! Hope you enjoy as much like I did.

3 Lisa {AuthenticSuburbanGourmet} September 19, 2013 at 2:12 am

When I was in my teens we had a Japanese exchange student stay with us. I wish she cooked for us, but she was certainly lovely. Nami makes some of the best recipes and this one certaily doesn’t disappoint. Delish!

4 Lora @cakeduchess September 19, 2013 at 9:49 am

That must have been fun having a Japanese roommate that cooked. I have garam masala on hand and can make this very soon and I will! Because I adore curries. Nami has such interesting recipes on her blog. Delicious, Suzanne!

5 Laura (Tutti Dolci) September 19, 2013 at 2:53 pm

I love curry and I’ve always wanted to try Nami’s recipe. Now you’ve just encouraged me! 🙂

6 Nami | Just One Cookbook September 20, 2013 at 12:06 am

I really enjoyed your story Suzanne! Thank you so much for linking back. I remember when I first came to the US, I went to a college which was far from Japanese supermarket. However, the nearest supermarket carried Japanese curry roux and I was so happy! Believe it or not, it’s one of the most popular school lunch in elementary school, and we cook it at camp ground because it’s so easy to cook (like mac and cheese I guess?). You can put all kinds of nutritious veggies, meat, seafood, and it’s just so easy, you know. I’m so glad you tried it! Homemade version is a bit spicier than Japanese curry roux “mild” so you and I are enjoy Japanese “mild” curry. 🙂 The roux box comes with mild, medium, hot. Hot is not spicy like Thai or Indian curry. 😀 Thank you again for trying this recipe and you made me so happy! Just shard on my fan page. xoxo

7 Suzanne September 28, 2013 at 7:58 pm

Nami, you are so welcome and thank you for sharing such wonderful recipes from your homeland 🙂

8 Maureen | Orgasmic Chef September 21, 2013 at 1:16 pm

I agree that Japanese curry is my favorite! I love this. I usually make beef but now I want your chicken curry!

9 The Café Sucre Farine September 22, 2013 at 1:10 am

I’ve never heard of Japanese Curry Suzanne but it certainly looks delicious!

10 Suzanne September 28, 2013 at 7:55 pm

Oh Chris, you will love Nami’s recipe and as much Asian inspired recipes as you like this will surely become a favorite.

11 Jen Laceda @ Tartine and Apron Strings September 22, 2013 at 3:39 pm

I love Japanese curry! I met some Japanese exchange students when I was in University, and one of them taught me how to make this! Of course, there is also the Glico curry cubes which are good, but perhaps not as good as a homemade one like this! Crazy delicious!

12 Suzanne September 28, 2013 at 7:54 pm

Thanks Jen, you’ll find the roux so easy to make that you won’t think to go buy the already prepared roux.

13 Vicki Bensinger September 24, 2013 at 11:24 am

Great recipe and I know if Nami shared the recipe it has to be good. I love curry, unfortunately my husband doesn’t so I avoid cooking with it and save it for when I eat out. I’ve been dying to make a dish I love that has curry and may just have to break down and make it even though he’s not a fan. Maybe I’ll make a second dish just for him. Nice recipe, I’ll be sure to save it for to make in the future.

14 CCU September 24, 2013 at 3:24 pm

I have never tried any curry except an Indian or Thai one so this looks even more exotic and delicious 😀


15 Suzanne September 28, 2013 at 7:52 pm

You are in for a treat if you make this recipe because Nami is a fabulous cook.

16 Patty September 26, 2013 at 7:44 pm

Hi Suzanne-I’m ready to make Japanese curry-it looks just delicious! Gorgeous pics 😉
Doesn’t Nami have a treasure trove of Japanese recipes on her site ?!? I think so and you’ve tried a beauty, thanks for sharing 😉

17 Suzanne September 28, 2013 at 7:51 pm

Thanks Patty, you are so right, Nami does have a treasure trove of lovely Japanese recipes.

18 Sophie September 27, 2013 at 10:12 am

I made your tasty dessert already 2 times & it was superb, Suzanne! Xxx

19 Sophie September 27, 2013 at 10:13 am

This curry looks so appetizing too, I must make this soon!!! MMMMMM!

20 Suzanne September 28, 2013 at 7:46 pm

Thanks Sophie, glad you like this recipe and thanks for telling me about your success of making the dessert of mine. Your always so sweet to come back and let me know 🙂

21 Jean (Lemons & Anchovies) September 30, 2013 at 8:16 pm

Japanese curry is so satisfying. I’ve yet to make it myself at home but it seems to be what I seek out when I go to our neighborhood Japanese restaurant and nothing else sounds appealing. This always hits the spot. You’ve encouraged me to give it a try at home. 🙂

22 Suzanne October 3, 2013 at 12:47 am

Jean, I’m sure you will love to make it at home even better than eating it out.

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