Interested in creating the best authentic Japanese curry recipe, then we have a great easy Japanese curry recipe for you. We will also look at what you need for a delicious Japanese curry rice recipe, and where you can get an authentic Japanese curry powder recipe.

Not Sushi

Sushi is perhaps the first thing that comes to mind when one reflects about Japanese cuisine. If you were to ask someone to list a few Japanese dishes, many would most likely come up with some more popular dishes such as Udon, Tempura, and Ramen. 

However, what many people don’t know is that Japanese cuisine is actually incredibly diverse, not only with its national dishes but also on a local level. Each area in Japan comes with their own delicacies, dishes that would not have been able to survive modernisation within other countries.

A Road Less Travelled

Throughout the years, Japanese people have been travelling abroad, many having worked or studied outside Japan. When abroad, Japanese people tend to enjoy exploring exotic local cuisines with many taking up apprenticeships within restaurants or hospitality industries. Upon returning home, these individuals bring back with them the expertise they gained and in many cases go on to further refine their skills. 

Newly minted chefs who have just returned from abroad also don’t necessarily have to settle for a job within top restaurants. This is because Japan has one of the highest numbers of restaurants in the world, the reason being Japanese people tend to buy or rent smaller houses so they end up spending more money eating out. 

Therefore, it is viable to open small, specialist restaurants which can lead to more diversity and experimentation. Japan is unique when it comes to both the number and quality of its restaurants, some big, others quite modest, but many displaying a diversity of culinary experiences. Tokyo can be seen as a prime example due to it having more Michelin-star restaurants than anywhere else.

Nations Favorite Dish

However it may surprise you to know that Japan’s favourite dish is actually curry with rice and they have adapted the dish to make their very own Japanese curry. There are a number of different varieties of Japanese curry recipes around and after numerous surveys it was found to be one of the most popular dishes served at restaurants throughout Japan.

To many visiting from abroad, this may be surprising as Japan is not traditionally known for its spices, often preferring more delicate tastes and avoiding spicy food. However it is worth noting that Japanese curry rice recipe is actually not as hot or spicy when compared to more traditional western curry.

So how come the most popular dish in Japan isn’t actually sushi, as most people would assume, but curry?

If you were to ask most Japanese people about the roots of their favourite Japanese curry or their favorite Japanese curry rice recipe or how long it has been around in Japan, you are likely to get a faint answer, usually just guesses. One of the more reasonable guesses that you might come across is that curry for their Japanese curry recipe first arrived in Japan along with the introduction of Buddhism from India, around 500 AD. However this isn’t really the case as some of Japan’s oldest residents claim that it actually arrived more recently.

Cultural Crossover

It all began thirty years after the Meiji restoration in which Japan underwent a quick and hasty modernisation, having until that moment, been a relatively isolated land ruled by a Shogun and local samurai on behalf of the Emperor. In a very short period Japan had managed to transition into a recognisably modern, westernised state. 

In fact, this modernisation had been so successful, that Japan, Great Britain, and Ireland got together and signed off the Anglo-Japanese alliance. The alliance was renewed a few times until the 1920s. During that time, the UK worked closely with Japan, in particular, there was considerable cooperation between the two countries’ respective workers.

A major part of Japan’s modernisation effort focused on building up its military forces, mainly to prevent colonisation by the world’s major powers, such as America, France, and in particular Russia, to whom Japan had fought a critical war prior to their alliance with Britain.

When building up their forces, Japan needed to recruit lots of young men. However one of the major problems that the Japanese military experienced, was that its recruits where suffering from a disease known as Beriberi, which can cause a number of debilitating neurological disorders. A Japanese naval doctor by the name of Takaki Kanehiro was able to determine that the cause of the disease was a lack of vitamin B1 due to the recruits diet consisting of almost nothing but highly processed white rice. 

To ensure that recruits were receiving the adequate amount of vitamin B1, the government used wheat grain as a cheap and easily available source. However Japanese sailors from poor rural areas didn’t want to eat bread since it was seen as a snack food and they didn’t want cereals added to their rice as it was too reminiscent of the food that was regarded as the rural peasant food that farmers would eat back home. The authorities now needed to find a way to disguise the presence of wheat in the rice.

Curry To The Rescue

Around this time, Japanese naval officers would be enjoying numerous liaison dinners with their British counterparts, as both navies would frequently exchange tactics and technological knowhow to strengthen their new alliance. One of the foods that would be served aboard ship was a type of curry that the British had adopted from India, which had been a major British colony for more than a century. 

Whilst British education and administration systems had been imposed on the subcontinent of India, the British had been the recipient of a number of Indian customs including elements of Indian cuisine, prime among which, was a taste for curry.

It was then that Japanese officers quickly realised that a Japanese curry powder recipe could be the answer they had been looking for and so a variation of the British recipe was made, mixed with wheat and ultimately served with rice to the men. They quickly developed a taste for this Japanese curry powder recipe and upon returning home, retained their affection for the dish which eventually end up spreading throughout Japan, making it the popular dish it is today.

Too Hot To Handle

Although curry remains a great favorite within the UK, the British have greatly altered its taste over the years in order to satisfy their preference for hotter and spicier dishes. Most curry served in the UK is now much hotter than traditional Indian curry and several of these extremely hot dishes developed in the UK such as vindaloo curry have now been exported back to India.

If you are looking to compare British curry with a modern Japanese curry rice recipe, you can find a recipe for old style British curry in the incredibly popular British cookbook titled Mrs Beeton’s Book of Household Management.

Today you can find hotter curries in the many Thai and Indian restaurants than anything Japan has to offer as well as in many other types of restaurants and bars, many of which serve an incredible variety of dishes from all around the world. So it would appear that the Japanese curry powder recipe is by far the nation’s favourite dish and is most likely to remain so for many years to come.

The Review

Kokumaro Medium Hot Japanese Curry

This rich, luscious and easy Japanese curry recipe is without a doubt, one of the best. Its only drawback is its high levels of salt, but frankly, you’re going to have that issue with pretty much any product of this type. Upon opening the cardboard packaging, you’ll be presented with two plastic containers and within each individually sealed container is a block of four cubes.

These curry cubes contain a large amount of salt, however that’s what makes them taste so good. Not to mention, this curry utilizes a wide variety of different ingredients so it isn’t really something you’re going to make yourself at home. When it comes to preparing your curry, you’ll want to first break the cubes into a pan with a bit of oil and heat them until they dissolve. Make sure that it isn’t too hot as you don’t want them to burn. Once a roux forms, be sure to add water and mix. From there. you will want to increase the heat so that the sauce thickens. Now you should have a delicious curry sauce to enjoy.

HOUSE Curry Sauce

HOUSE Curry Sauce KOKUMARO Medium Hot (8 servings) from JAPAN.

S&B Golden Medium Hot Curry Sauce

S&B Golden Curry mix uses a rich aroma of herbs and spices to make an easy Japanese curry recipe and comes in three varieties, those being mild, medium and hot. Not only is it incredibly easy to cook, but it also has the potential to transform quickly any mundane stew into a delicious curry once added into the mixture.

S&B Golden Curry also provides special vegetarian curry sauces that don’t contain meat derived ingredients, garlic, helping you make a super easy Japanese curry recipe taste amazing. Golden Curry can be found and purchased from either Asian supermarkets or on line in places like Amazon.

S&B Golden Curry Sauce

Contains golden curry sauce with vegetables 8.1 ounce in each of 5 boxes.

John Hashimoto
Born in Chiba, Japan, but raised in Austin, Texas, John is a very active promoter of Asian culture in the United States, particularly the rich Japanese culture, which he is very passionate about. He is here to guide you about the best products in the market and provide honest-to-goodness reviews and information about commercially available products in the market today. John is a Computer Science graduate from the University of Texas in Austin, but his passion for Japanese culture, particularly its food and unique culture that has taken over the international scene, is one of the things that excites him the most.

John will help you to assess Japanese products, especially when it comes to commercial Japanese food and how to find the authentic ones. His father once told him that he seems to have been born out of ramen, and as an adult, it really shows because John knows this dish like the back of his hand.