Karē (Japanese Curry)

Karē (Japanese Curry)

Karē (カレー), or Japanese curry is a thicker, sweeter and milder take on curry. Curry is one of the most popular foods in Japan. It can be made with different types of meat such as beef, pork or chicken. The most commonlused vegetables are onions, carrots and potatoes. It is normally served on Japanese style short grained rice.

Japanese curry is one of my all time favorite meals! I have tried it at various local Japanese restaurants and even at a few in Japan when I was there on vacation. It was one of the meals that started me off along my adventures in culinary discovery. I have made Japanese curry many times and each time I try something different. This version is my favorite one so far. This one contains sweet potatoes, apples and some honey to enhance the sweetness. I find that the sweetness goes really well with the spicy flavours of the curry. The sweet potato and apples are grated as they are there for flavour rather than texture. They will pretty much dissolve in the sauce anyways. Of course I prefer to braise the beef until it is fall apart in your mouth tender if I have the time. I also really enjoyed a chicken and broccoli version. The possibilities are nearly endless.

A while ago Katie of A Thyme for Cooking hosted and event called Skeletons in the Pantry. When I heard about the event I immediately though about Japanese curry as it is made with a store bought roux. Since I started this blog I have been trying to make as much as I can myself but I am still using store bought curry roux. I have tried several times to reproduce the curry without using the store bought roux but I have not been successful. I even tried using the curry powder blend that one of the companies that sells the roux makes. Even though the curry powder smells right the curry made with it just does not turn out right.

My favorite Japanese curry roux is the House Java Curry. You should be able to find it at your local Asian grocery store and I have even seen it in the Asian section of local grocery stores.

Japanese Curry Roux

When I make Japanese curry I generally make a lot of it. That way I can enjoy the leftover curry for lunches during the week and for dinners at night. The curry only gets better with time and reheating so the more you make the better it gets. The leftover curry can also be used to create other dishes.

And so starts the week of curry! :)

Ingredients:
1 tablespoon oil
1 pound beef (cut into bite sized pieces)
2 onions (chopped)
1 sweet potato (grated)
* beef broth (or water)
2 carrots (cut into bite sized pieces)
2 potatoes (cut into bite sized pieces)
1 sweet apple (grated)
1 tablespoon honey
1 box Japanese curry roux

Directions:
1. Heat the oil in a large pot.
2. Add the beef and brown the beef on all sides.
3. Set the beef aside.
4. Add the onions and saute until soft.
5. Add the beef and cover in beef stock.
6. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer, covered, until the beef is fall apart tender, about 2-3 hours.
7. Add the carrots, potatoes, apple, honey and curry roux.
8. Cover in beef stock.
9. Stir until the curry roux is fully dissolved.
10. Bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes.

Similar Recipes:
Katsu Karē (Pork Cutlet with Curry Sauce)
Karē Udon (Curry Udon Soup)
Karē Gyoza (Curry Potstickers)
Karē Pan (Curry Bread)
Nikujaga (Japanese Beef Stew)

92 comments:

eliza said...

i'm curious to know if the name Java meant anything to the curry? (with possible connection to the Java island in Indonesia?)

Steph said...

I've never had curry, but it sounds really good!

Peter M said...

Kevin, your Asian food affinity makes sense now that I know you were in Japan.

The inspiration shows in your Asian dishes.

Proud Italian Cook said...

Now I have a curiosity with curry!Beautiful photo!

SteamyKitchen said...

i loooove j-curry! I have a couple of packets in the pantry.

Cafe Johnsonia said...

We had an exchange student from Japan who lived with us when I was a kid. She would make this for us all the time and I loved it! I forgot all about this...can't wait to make it again!

Jaime said...

i love the idea of having apples and sweet potatoes in a curry - yum!

Ferdzy said...

I've been hearing a lot about Japanese curries lately. I'll have to check them out. They sound very interesting. Like the carrots, sweet potatoes and apples!

Mochachocolata Rita said...

this looks gorgeous....and I am Javanese hehe...agree with all, i love the idea of apples and sweet potatoes in a curry.

Cookie baker Lynn said...

I'd never even heard of a Japanese curry. Thanks for enlightening me!

Flanboyant Eats said...

curry that looks our carne con papa! how yum! i love your dish... it makes me feel like i'm eating one of my own. and i love love curry..

tigerfish said...

House Java Curry - not sure if I can find it here. I usually go for S&B Golden Curry. Not too bad. They have the spicy version that I like.

I enjoy Jap curries when I want milder curries because they are not at all spicy!

Jessica said...

That looks tasty. I add sweet potatoes to my curries as well. I absolutely love the combination of sweet and spicy (or salty). I'll be trying out your recipe, thanks!

Kitt said...

I didn't know there was such a thing as Japanese curry. That it's milder is appealing. I'll look for that mix now. Thanks!

LisaRene said...

Love Thai and Indian curry, but have never had Japanese curry. It does look much more thick and gravy-like. The combination of fruit, veggies and spices is so delicious.

giz said...

the Japanese curry looks so luscious. Now that we know you were in Japan - we want to see you dressed up in kaboke theatre garb and painted white face :)
What a trip that would have been

Anthony said...

This would go down so well with a Sapporo beer!

flyingfork said...

Japanese curry is a weird one. for me I have it about once every couple of years or so (at the Wagamama restaurant chain) and always end up, well, slightly disappointed. Maybe your version can rectify the situation?

Bellini Valli said...

I will have to keep a lookout for this. I learn something new everyday:D

Nina's Kitchen (Nina Timm) said...

I am so amazed. because here in SA we make a sweet curry and I always thought it was authentic to our way of cooking, only to find out now that the Japanese has a similar recipe. It looks divine...

Sylvia said...

I saw a lot of kind of curries in grocery, but i don't know exactly the difference between Japanese curry and
Indian curry. Your dish looks o tasty i love he idea to combine apples and sweets potatoes

cakewardrobe said...

Gosh, I've missed so many of your great recipes due to internet connection failure! :*( I LOVE japanese curry!!!

Deborah said...

I so wish my husband liked curries, because I would love to make this!! I might just have to force him to like it!

Christine said...

I love curry and this looks delicious! Hitting the Asian store this week!

Indigo said...

I love curry, and I love anything Japanese, so this is my sort of post! (there's a lot of love in the room) Looks great ^__^

Gloria said...

Kevin I never made curry how this but looks wonderful I would like to try! Gloria

Cakespy said...

This sounds like a curry different than any other I've tried--looks tasty!

maybahay said...

doesn't matter if you bought the curry roux, you still weaved your magic using all the other wonderful ingredients. this sounds lovely.

Jenn said...

I absolutely love curry! I can't handle the spice as much as I would want, but I still really enjoy curry dishes, especially in the winter.

Vicki said...

Japanese curry is one of those things I keep meaning to try, but haven't gotten to yet. Yours looks delicious, and since the spices come ready-mixed, I think I have to bump it up on the to-do list.

Tarah said...

Oh wow! This looks delicious! I love Japanese curry. It's just so delicious. Defers from other curries in my opinion :]

Looks great!

Anthony said...

Kevin: Do you have a suggestion as to what cut of beef/pork should be used for curry? I have everything but the meat, but I'm not sure what to use..

Thanks! :]

Kevin said...

Anthony: I normally just get the pre-cubed beef that is labeled as stewing beef. Since you have the option to braise the meat until it is nice and tender you go not really need to get an expensive cut of beef.

Lelith said...

Hey,

I love Japanese curry, and make it quite often, but I only ever make as much as I want for the meal.

You said you made large batches, how well does it keep? Do you freeze it or put it in the fridge? Also, is it just the curry sauce that you make in large batches, or is that the veg in it too?

Would appreciate any help you can give. =)

Kevin said...

Lelith: I generally keep it in the fridge with everything including the vegetables and meat. It keeps really well in the fridge. In fact it gets better with age. You can just keep it in the pot and reheat it or separate it into containers with enough for a single serving. I usually finish the curry in the fridge within a week or two at most. I often take some of the sauce without the vegetables or meat and freeze it for use with tonkatsu some time later. The sauce keep well in the freezer.

Anonymous said...

i like japanese curry but the store bought curry blocks are chock full of msg

Susan said...

When I think curry, I immediately go to India, the Caribbean and Southeast Asia. I need to think again. Thanks for the tip! You know I have to investigate now. : )

K.Eckerle said...

I love curry -- could eat it 3 meals a day. Nearly all of the African and Asian countries serve SOME kind of curry and I never tire of it. This is great and I agree on this curry Roux. I use it too and it's great. Cauliflower and garbanzo beans are also great in a veggie curry.

Elliott said...

You have a nice collection of recipes here. Might even inspire the cook in me to come out again (he's been in hiatus for quite a while now).

Anonymous said...

Do you think it'd be good if I put some tomatoes?

Jenn Sutherland said...

Mmmmm...I really miss eating Japanese Kare - friends of ours got us hooked on the stuff many years ago, but when I went gluten-free, discovered that the Kare mixes are not, and I have not been able to perfect this style of curry on my own. I guess this gives me new inspiration to take a crack at it again!

Cow said...

Kevin, Thank you very much for introducing Japanese curry to the world!!

serdadoedapoer said...

Nice photo

but..

Japanese Curry with the wrong name (JAVA CURRY) really weird don't you?
Alot of different ingredient between Javanese Kare with japanese kare, you should find it.

Err...no matter, it just a product name.

Suzer said...

yum yum yum

culinspiration said...

This is great! Love the blog. Did you catch the recent article on Katsu curry in the NYT?

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/26/magazine/26food-t.html?partner=permalink&exprod=permalink

I ordered katsu recently at a little Japanese restaurant here in D.C., (Sakana) and really enjoyed it. It reminds me a lot of pork schnitzel with curry ketchup, a big Austrian/German thing.

Keep up the good blogging! I do some experimental cooking of my own over at www.culinspiration.com

-ChristinaM

Anonymous said...

In college I had many Japanese friends. One friend would always ask me what I'd like to eat and he'd always make this curry. It is so delicious. It would be nice if the recipe for making this curry from scratch was available. I avoid manufactured foods as much is possible. Perhaps in our healthier lifestyle a healthy version would come out.

Tracey said...

I'm living in Nagasaki now, and on Tuesdays a Japanese friend comes over for dinner. This week's was Japanese curry. YUM. Junko also adds でみぐらす(demi-glace?) sauce to her recipe, and it was really tasty.
Are Japanese curry packs easy to find in the US and Canada? (I'm beginning to forget what "regular" food is in the grocery stores in North America!)

Kevin said...

Tracey: At first I could only find the curry packages in specialty import food stores but now I have been seeing them in larger regular grocery stores. I like the sound of addin demi-glace to the curry.

Indian Curry Recipes said...

Japanese curry though very different from Indian curry is also very delicious. I make Japanese curry using S&B Curry Powder and it turns out very delicious. You can use roasted flour to make the curry sauce thicker if you desire.

Anonymous said...

How much beef broth am i suppose to add?

Kevin said...

Anonymous: Just enough to cover the meat and vegetables in the pot.

Anonymous said...

Throw in a finely chopped, ripe mango at the same time as the apple, and this recipe is an absolute keeper. Yeah, I know, mango in Japanese curry? Not my idea (kudos to this restaurant, just around the corner from me: http://www.waraku.com.sg/docs/menu/curry/lnk/index.html), but it works really well with this recipe.

Kevin, keep up the good work. Gambarimasho!

Michelle said...

Thanks for recipe. I thought the sweetness in Japanese curry came from tomato ketchup. Tasty, but a little too ketchupy. Now I'll try apple, honey, and sweet potato. Keep up the food blogging!

Kevin said...

Anonymous: I like the sound of adding mango. Look at all of the different kinds of curries on that menu. Thanks for the link. I am going to have to try making some of those.

Anonymous said...

Hi Kevin, i'm going to try and make this tonight. If i want to make a lot(approximately 10-12 servings?), how much more ingredients should i add? Like 3 times more from what you posted or is that too much?

Thanks

Kevin said...

Anonymous: I usually get 4-6 servings as seen in the picture from one batch so I would do 3 time the recipe to be on the safe side. Besides the leftovers only taste better with age and they make great lunches. The leftover also freeze well.

Melvin said...

About the onions, is it better to chop them up finely or leave them in bigger pieces? I have cooked Japanese curry with the onions in bite size pieces for some people and they said that they would prefer if it was smaller. Does it make any difference?

Kevin said...

Melvin: I enjoy it both with the onions chopped up really small and in large pieces. It depends on what mood that I am in when I am making the curry.

Anonymous said...

Is it possible to replace the beef & broth with other meats because a friend of mine can't eat beef?

Kevin said...

Anonymous: Yes you can replace the beef and beef broth with other things. I have done it with chicken and chicken stock and an all vegetable version with vegetable stock.

SexyNinjaMonkey said...

Just spent the arvo prepping and cooking this, followed your recipe and... OMFG it is awesome. Not to difficult to make and tastes so good. I've just added a new meal to my repertoire. Thanks for the great directions, i'm gonna sit down and finish eating now.

SexyNinjaMonkey said...

Oh and Kevin, you are so right on it being even better as leftovers. Had it for lunch today at work & diner tonight, plus i've still got enough left for one more meal. Definately making this again.

Curry Love said...

Kevin, don't give up on the idea of home made Roux. Due to the various ingredients used in the ready made store Roux, I can't use it :-(. I need to make my own. I tried to make my own Japanse Roux/Curry sauce but they don't come out well. The only site I found that contains curry roux recipe is http://japanesefood.about.com/od/curry/r/curryroux.htm Can you further investigate and see if home made Roux is feasible?

Anonymous said...

Never heard of sweet things on Kare before.

Meaghan said...

I love Japanese curry, too, but really want to learn to make it without the packaged roux. We have tried, but it just doesn't taste right. I also put sweet potato and apples in mine. But I leave the apples in chunks and add them near the end so they don't dissolve. Instant curry is also VERY popular in South Korea, and is often served with apple. Yum! Love your blog.

TSAdvanced said...

Love IT!!!

Inner Health and Wealth A.E. ~ No YoYo said...

My Style of Japanese Curry after 10 years.
1. Add 1 pc grated/smashed so finely ripe sweet banana
2. Add Italian spices
3. Bay Leaf here would be optional.
The banana makes the curry thicker and on the sweeter side. sort of complext taste with the italian spices. ( That i use in italian cooking)

poindexter said...

Awesome. Google led me to your blog and I am the better for it. Here's the meal this post inspired: http://madphysics.onsugar.com/5123971

Anonymous said...

This was a great recipe. Thank you for posting it, omitted the grated sweet potatoes (wasn't available,) bought the same JAVA curry but only used half the pack (1/2 pack with 3 cups of water), followed the same amount of meat and veg. I did add more cayenne pepper and ground cinnamon at the end. yummy!

Skye said...

I had this today, and later made curry bread from it. My family loved it. My dad asked, "why don't you make this every week?" It was very good, although I think I'll put less honey in it next time.

Ericka said...

I *love* japanese curry. But whenever I make mine...it doesn't taste right. It doesn't even look right. I can't remember the brand right now. But do you add the whole box of curry roux?

Kevin said...

Ericka: I have made it with both half and the full 7.8 ounce package and it works both ways. I often use the full package for a more intense flavour experience.

Anonymous said...

http://bettywho.wordpress.com/2009/03/04/japanese-curry/#comment-114

this blogger took your curry pic... and posted on her blog... maybe you wanna ask her to take it down...

Anonymous said...

Anyways... the blogger gave you credit for 'your curry pic' (ONLY after about a yr from her date of post).

Hmmmm she did almost immediately that after I left a comment stating she is kinda unethical to use ya pic. Thus she immediately posted she used ya curry pic cos she forgot to take her own curry pic...

Lame!

Phil said...

Kev - I love your blog and have used a lot of your recipes. I discovered Japanese curry some years ago and I love it too. But...wow, have you ever checked out the sodium content of the roux? One package has over 4000mg of sodium! I still love it, but it's become a very occasional treat now.

Mr said...

For those wanting to try making their own curry roux, try the recipe here: http://www.eatdrinkonewoman.com/2007/03/wafuu_curry.php

Nao-chan said...

Can I use curry pasta instead of curry roux?

Kevin said...

Nao-chan: Do you mean curry paste? A quick search of the web revealed that some stores call the curry roux a curry paste.

Nao-chan said...

Aww, that's great!
I was just uncertain, because the recipes mention box, and the curry paste I saw in the shop was not a box...
Anyway thanks!:)

Anonymous said...

I recently returned from a study abroad trip in Japan and found myself missing the traditional Japanese Curry. I've tried several different recipes but none of them really lived up to the kind I had in Japan. Happily though after trying your I stand corrected! This curry is just as good, if not better, as the kind I know and love! Thanks!

rock_chick said...

i never thought of beef stock.i only used water.but i think that's a really good idea. to make it tastier

Anonymous said...

There's also another great brand called "Golden Curry"

Momps said...

is Japanese Kare different than Philipeno Kare. When it says Java on the package it means that it's from the island of Java.

kubeen81 said...

Looks fantastic! I tried making it too! Here's my post about it. I'm going to try yours though, because yours looks better than mine!

http://kubeen81.blogspot.com/2011/06/curry-rice-shortcut-version.html

You are from Toronto? I am from Victoria! I've followed your blog now! Looking forward to more!

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for this recipee I've been looking for this for a long time! defenitely gonna make it now.

joe said...

wow that's nice, we have curry also here in Philippines and I am curious about the curry of Japan, it looks so yummy.

Lastly said...

Just so you know, the word you used, 'カレ' [彼 kare] means 'boyfriend' or the pronoun 'he'. Curry is 'カレー' [karee or karē].

Cheers mate.

Kevin said...

Lastly: Thanks!

Anonymous said...

I just found your blog.

House JAVA Curry Hot, my most favorite too! Yeah curry is definitely one of the national dish of Japan. I think we need to tell people around the world the fact that true Japanese national dish are curry, ramen and gyoza, not sushi, tempra and sukiyaki. These are also popular in Japan though.

Not related to you post, but I was so surporised that I found House was making Tofu when I moved to the US. For us House means curry and nothing else.

I love your curry pan too!

Love's Child said...

I don't trust that the store packets don't have anything unsafe in them but Java was good the one time I tried it!
I make it from scratch, and make the curry roux myself - there are great websites out there and it's only ten minutes of extra work, all told!

Kendall Allen said...

My room-mate was an exchange student from Japan, and she taught me how to make curry like this! She used Vermont Curry, but I have started using Golden Curry, as our market no longer sells the Vermont brand.

She and I used leftover grilled chicken for the meat, and I've made Tofu Curry as well. I made some last night, so today, I think I'll make some curry udon! ♥

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