Japanese Curry

Japanese Curry is surprisingly easy to make and delicious served over basmati rice.

Japanese Curry

When my youngest daughter was still in high school, my girls and I often spent the better part of our Saturday mornings during the warmer months at a local farmer’s market.

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Well, a local market at least. The market located in the parking lot of the Cherry Creek Mall is a bit too chic to really be called a farmers market; it was easier to find perennials, artisan breads, buffalo, local wines and homemade chocolates and pasta than to actually locate a stand that was put up by a real farmer.

Still we loved it and would peruse the stalls each week for something fun to eat or to put into our garden.

One of our favorite food finds was a booth that served Japanese Curry on rice. Nothing fancy really, just a scoop of rice ladled with pork, potatoes and carrots in a thick, sweet curry sauce.

Curry is unmistakably in the dish, but I think less so than in Indian curry dishes. I won’t say we ran straight to that vendor each and every week but it was the one constant during the 6 months of the market that we always enjoyed.

Japanese Curry

Then one year, the fellows who owned that booth weren’t there. After some moments of being totally verklempt I knew it was on me to do some research and recreate the dish at home.

Truth is, it was easy to make and even better? It tasted so very much like what we had come to know from our experience at the Cherry Creek Farmers Market.

I think we benefited from the get go in that I was able to source a good curry mix at our local Savory Spice Shop. Their Medium Curry and Penzey’s Sweet Curry have both worked well.

The truth though is that this is not a very pretty dish and never will be. But it’s good; so good.

I’ve served it over Japanese short rice but like it best when I use basmati…that slight nuttiness only adds to the overall flavor. Don’t let this ugly duckling fool you; make this dish!

Japanese Curry

Japanese Curry

Creative Culinary
No ratings yet
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 20 minutes
Servings 4 -6


  • 1.5 lb meat cubed pork, beef or chicken
  • 1 large or 2 small onions
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 small potatoes
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • Vegetable oil
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 1-2 tsp salt to taste

For the Curry roux:

  • 4 Tbsp Vegetable Oil
  • 8 Tbsp Flour
  • 2.5 Tbsp curry spices


  • Dice potatoes, carrot, and meat. Slice onions.
  • Sauté onions, carrots, pork and garlic.
  • Add broth, let it simmer for 1 hour until the meat is tender.
  • Skim the broth, add potatoes.

To make the roux:

  • In different pan, heat the oil over low heat; add the flour and cook until brown.
  • Remove from heat and add the curry spices.
  • You can find pre-made roux at Asian stores, but this is easy.
  • Add 1/2 cup of the broth to this mixture and stir; it should be like a paste.
  • Adding 1/4 cup at a time, stir the curry roux into the meat and vegetable mixture. Add salt, let it simmer for 30 min or until it thickens.
  • Serve over Japanese short style white rice.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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  1. Thank you for the recipe! I made it today in the crockpot w/o the oil…it was soooo good! I also added some celery. It is definitely a keeper for me. 🙂

    1. We just love it…that sort of sweet, sort of spicy type food is my favorite and it’s so easy too.

  2. I’m not quite sure why, yet again, notification of this post didn’t make it to my inbox. I’m not sure that the internet gods realize how important it is that great recipes like this reach me. It just so happens I have a lot of basmati rice that needs a purpose. Thanks for doing he research for use and coming up with this recipe.

  3. I think a notch has just been removed from my ‘food loving’ badge since I’ve never heard of Japanese curry. Initially, I thought…’wow, what a great fusion’, not realizing this is a common dish in Japan and, well, India ‘is’ in Asia. I’m going to have to try this. Ugly food is usually the best tasting, in my experience, albeit the hardest to photograph.

    1. I had never heard of it either and thought these guys had made something extraordinary. Lucky for me it is more common and I could find some recipes to use for inspiration (BFB – Before Food Blogging!). 🙂

    1. It’s easy too…one of those things that I think when the end result makes you think the effort was much greater than it really is. The perfect meal in other words. 🙂

  4. What spice blend do you use? I’m assuming you’re referring to Savory Spice 🙂

    I loved the curry at our fave Japanese place back in Missouri, but I’ve never tried to recreate it. This looks just like it!

    1. Hmm, think it’s just called Medium Curry; I also use a Lemon Thai based blend for other dishes but both from Savory Spice Shop.

      Where in Missouri…it’s my home state! I grew up in a suburb of St. Louis.

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