From Scratch: Authentic Japanese Curry Recipe

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Craving a warm, flavorful, and satisfying dish? Look no further than Japanese curry! This comforting dish is a staple in Japanese households and a favorite around the world. Unlike Indian curries, Japanese curries are known for their rich, savory flavors with a touch of sweetness. The best part? You can easily create this restaurant-quality curry at home.

This recipe ditches the store-bought roux and guides you through making a delicious curry from scratch. Don’t be intimidated by the ingredient list; most items are pantry staples, and the process is surprisingly simple.

Homemade Japanese Curry Sauce ⋆  Days of Real Food
Homemade Japanese Curry Sauce ⋆ Days of Real Food


1 tablespoon vegetable oil

  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pound (450g) boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces (can be substituted with other proteins like pork or tofu)
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 tablespoon grated ginger
  • 2 tablespoons curry powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional, for a touch of heat)
  • 4 cups (1 liter) low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon honey or brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch mixed with 2 tablespoons water (slurry)
  • Cooked rice, for serving
  • Instructions:

    1. Sauté the aromatics: In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat vegetable oil over medium heat. Add the diced onion and cook until softened and translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in the minced garlic and cook for an additional minute, until fragrant.

    2. Brown the meat: Add the chicken pieces to the pot and cook until browned on all sides. Remove the chicken from the pot and set aside.

    3. Sauté the vegetables: Add the diced carrots and celery to the pot with the remaining oil from the chicken. Cook for 5-7 minutes, or until slightly softened.

    4. Add the spices: Stir in the grated ginger, curry powder, cumin, coriander, turmeric, and cayenne pepper (if using). Cook for 1 minute, allowing the spices to release their aroma.

    5. Deglaze and simmer: Pour in the chicken broth, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pot. Add the diced tomatoes, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and honey or brown sugar. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes.

    6. Thicken the curry: Return the browned chicken to the pot. In a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch slurry. Slowly add the slurry to the simmering curry, whisking constantly, until the sauce thickens to your desired consistency.

    7. Serve and enjoy: Serve the Japanese curry over cooked rice. Garnish with chopped fresh parsley or cilantro, if desired.

    Nutrition Facts (per serving)

    This is an approximate nutritional breakdown and may vary depending on the specific ingredients used.

    Calories: 500

  • Fat: 20g
  • Saturated Fat: 5g
  • Cholesterol: 80mg
  • Sodium: 800mg (adjust based on your preferred soy sauce)
  • Carbohydrates: 50g
  • Fiber: 5g
  • Sugar: 10g
  • Protein: 30g
  • Conclusion

    Japanese curry is a versatile dish that can be easily customized to your liking. Feel free to adjust the spice level, add other vegetables like potatoes or green beans, or swap the protein for tofu or lentils. With its rich flavors and satisfying comfort, this homemade curry is sure to become a weeknight favorite.

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

    1. Can I use pre-cut vegetables to save time?

    Absolutely! Using pre-cut vegetables can significantly reduce prep time.

    2. What can I substitute for chicken?

    This recipe works well with various proteins. You can use pork shoulder cut into bite-sized pieces, cubed tofu, or even chickpeas for a vegetarian option.

    3. My curry turned out too thin. How can I thicken it?

    If your curry lacks thickness, you can add another cornstarch slurry or a tablespoon of flour mixed with water. Make sure to whisk constantly while adding these thickening agents to avoid lumps.

    4. How long will leftover curry last?