Homemade Japanese Curry

When we went to Japan over the summer, one of my favorite meals was Japanese curry. I’d never had (or even heard of) Japanese curry before this trip and oh. my. goodness, was it YUMMY!

One of the things I loved about Japan was the wide variety of traditional foods we got to try. I thought we’d be sick of sushi by the end of the week, but that could not have been further from the truth.

Here’s what it looked like…

Japanese Curry on 100 Days of Real Food

So I set out to make a homemade version of this yummy dish with more veggies and less deep frying. I tried it all different ways and even consulted our cooking teacher from when we were there (via email—thanks Keiko!).

Here’s the final version I came up with… very similar to what we remember! I did use chicken stock when testing, but I think subbing beef stock would make the sauce even darker in color like the original. I love how this comes together quickly enough to be a one-dish weeknight dinner. Enjoy. :)

Homemade Japanese Curry on 100 Days of Real Food
Homemade Japanese Curry on 100 Days of Real Food

Homemade Japanese Curry

When we went to Japan, one of my favorite meals was Japanese Curry. Here's my homemade recipe for this yummy dish with more veggies and less deep frying.
4.9 from 8 votes
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 1 hr
Total Time: 1 hr 10 mins
Print Recipe
Servings: 6 people


For the meat and veggies

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 onion minced
  • 6 medium carrots peeled and cut into small dice
  • 1 Yukon Gold potato cut into small dice (no need to peel)
  • 1 1/3 pounds pork tenderloin or boneless, skinless chicken thighs cut into 1″ cubes
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger minced
  • salt to taste
  • pepper to taste

For the sauce

For serving


To make the meat and veggies

  • Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook the onion, carrots, and potato while stirring until the onions begin to turn translucent, about 5 minutes. 
  • Season the pork with salt and pepper to taste and then add to the pan along with the garlic and ginger. Cook while stirring until the meat is cooked all the way through (no longer pink in the middle) and the veggies are soft when pierced with a fork, 5 to 10 minutes.

To make the sauce

  • In a medium saute pan, melt the butter over low heat. Whisk in the flour and continually stir until the mixture darkens in color but does not burn, 4 to 5 minutes. Whisk in the spices until well combined.
  • Pour in the broth/stock and whisk vigorously until the sauce comes together. Turn the heat up to medium and lightly simmer while whisking occasionally until the sauce thickens to the consistency of a gravy.
  • Whisk in the soy sauce and simmer for another couple minutes to regain the thick consistency. If needed, salt to taste.

To serve

  • Evenly distribute the brown rice in bowls (or on plates), spoon a serving of the meat and veggie mixture next to it, pour the sauce over top, and serve warm.


We recommend organic ingredients when feasible.
Nutrition Facts
Nutrition Facts
Homemade Japanese Curry
Amount Per Serving
Calories 146 Calories from Fat 99
% Daily Value*
Fat 11g17%
Saturated Fat 4g25%
Cholesterol 15mg5%
Sodium 987mg43%
Potassium 267mg8%
Carbohydrates 10g3%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 3g6%
Vitamin A 200IU4%
Vitamin C 12.8mg16%
Calcium 33mg3%
Iron 1.8mg10%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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14 thoughts on “Homemade Japanese Curry”

  1. The most well-known ones stewed alongside curry are onions, carrots, and potatoes. You could even include some cut apples. Root vegetables are habitually stewed with the curry, and you could consider utilizing variations like sweet potato or squash, kabu, daikon, and so on.

  2. What are your best suggestions for a single person doing this. I freeze portions, etc but cooking so much for one can get old.

  3. 5 stars
    I made this for dinner this week using chicken thighs and added some raw broccoli to the carrots, onions, and potatoes. It is a delicious dinner and also reheats beautifully as well.

  4. 5 stars
    This looks delicious. Japanese curries get forgotten too often, they are such a unique flavour! Interesting that they often use the crispy chicken as well, I don’t know any other cuisines that do that with curries.

  5. I use arrowroot powder to thicken sauces and it’s gluten free. Just mix with water and form a paste and stir in at the end rather than at the beginning. Sauce should be simmering when you add the mixture and it will thicken very quickly.

    1. 5 stars
      I was taught by a Japanese friend to make a curry just like this (full of veggies) when I lived in Japan 30 years ago. We used potato starch or cornstarch when making the curry sauce.

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