How To Make Authentic, Tasty Japanese Curry At Home

One of my favorite memories of attending elementary school was sharing the homemade curry lunches some parents would bring their kids during the afternoon. Half the school, including myself, was a part of the Japanese Bilingual Bicultural Program which meant we learned both the Japanese language and was immersed in Japanese culture.

Since then, I’ve always loved Japanese food and after making curry with the typical boxed roux countless times, I decided to try my hand at making it completely from scratch! The packaged roux, while extremely tasty, usually includes additives and MSG, so doing it myself eliminates that!

Japanese curry over rice is the ultimate comfort food. It’s savory, rich in flavor, and leaves you fully satisfied. The combination of potatoes, carrots, onions and juicy chunks of chicken in the thick curry sauce topped on a soft bed of fresh rice is unbeatable.

For meat, I used Perdue Harvestland Organic Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts Pack which was delicious and tender in chunks in the curry.

This recipe is pretty easy to make and can be made in one giant pot. Any recipe that requires little clean up is a win in my book!

How To Make Japanese Curry Roux

This roux is super simple and requires only five ingredients: butter, flour, curry powder, garam masala and cayenne pepper. It is, however, a little time consuming as you need to continually stir the roux for about 15-20 minutes to make sure it doesn’t burn. Once you melt your butter, you add flour and continue to stir until it comes together. It will be bubbling and swelling, so be sure to keep things moving! Then you add your spices, stir it up for 30 seconds and there you have your roux.

This recipe makes enough for one pot of curry that requires four cups of liquid. Feel free to double the recipe if you’re not sure how much curry you plan on making. More roux will make your curry thicker. You can also freeze it for 3-4 months!

Read on for the step-by-step directions for authentic Japanese curry!

Authentic Japanese Curry

Authentic Japanese Curry

Japanese curry over rice is the ultimate comfort food. It's savory, rich in flavor, and leaves you fully satisfied. The combination of potatoes, carrots, onions and juicy chunks of chicken in the thick curry sauce topped on a soft bed of fresh rice is unbeatable.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Course Main Course
Cuisine Japanese
Servings 8


  • 3 tbsp Unsalted butter
  • 4 tbsp Flour
  • 1 tbsp Curry powder
  • 1 tbsp Garam masala
  • 1/4 tbsp Cayenne pepper

Japanese Curry

  • 2 lbs Perdue Harvestland Organic Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 sticks Carrots
  • 2 Potatos
  • 1/2 tbsp Grated ginger
  • 2 cloves Garlic
  • 4 cups Chicken Broth
  • 1 Apple
  • 1 1/2 tbsp Soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp Ketchup
  • Homemade roux


Curry Roux

  • In a small saucepan, melt the butter over low heat. When the butter is melted, add flour. Stir to combine. Keep stirring to keep the roux from burning. Cook for 15-20 minutes. The roux will turn light brown.
  • Add the garam masala, curry powder and cayenne pepper. Cook for 30 more seconds and remove from heat. Set aside. It should have the consistency of a thick paste.

Japanese Curry

  • Peel and cut the carrot and cut the onions in wedges. Cut the potatoes into 1.5 inch pieces and soak in water for 15 minutes to remove excess starch. Grate the ginger and crush the garlic.
  • Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat and sauté the onions until they become translucent. Add the ginger and garlic. Add the chicken and cook until the chicken changes color. Add the carrot and mix.
  • Add the chicken broth and bring to a boil.
  • Peel the apple and grate it (the more you add, the sweeter).
  • Add the honey and salt and simmer uncovered for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Add the potatoes and cook for 15 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender, and turn off the heat. Meanwhile you can make homemade curry roux.
  • When the potatoes are ready, add the curry. Add a ladleful or two of cooking liquid from the stock and mix into the curry paste. Add more cooking liquid if necessary and mix well until it’s smooth.
  • Add the roux paste back into the stock in the large pot and stir to combine.
  • Add soy sauce and ketchup. Simmer uncovered on low heat, stirring occasionally, until the curry becomes thick. Add a little cornstarch to make thicker if needed.


Original recipe by Just One Cook Book.
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Keyword Curry, Japanese Curry

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Chelsea is a San Francisco-based journalist whose passion revolves around exploring the world, immersing herself in foreign cultures, and of course, eating and drinking everything delicious.

Her work can be found in TravelPulse, Forbes, INSIDER, SF Gate and more. She covers all things food, drink and travel and is always up for an adventure, whether that means an adrenaline-pumping excursion or trying a new cuisine.

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