Japanese Curry

Rich and savory Japanese curry with tender pieces of chicken served over your rice of choice. This curry recipe is easy to make and perfect for any day of the week!

Out of all the curries around the world, I have to say that Japanese curry is my favorite. It has the perfect balance of flavors, not overpowering but still full of that bold curry taste we all love. 

This Japanese curry recipe gives you the option of pairing it with cauliflower rice, which is a healthier low carb option. But if you prefer, it also goes perfectly with traditional white rice as well. 

Japanese curry served over a bed of cauliflower rice in a white plate, top down shot.

What is Japanese Curry?

Japanese curry, also known as Kare Raisu (curry rice), is a staple dish in most Japanese households and is served in countless restaurants across Japan. 

Made with traditional Japanese curry blocks simmered with pan-fried chicken pieces, various vegetables, then served over a bed of rice. 

It is typically thicker and tastes milder in flavor with a slight sweetness to it compared to Indian curries, which are runnier in consistency and bolder in spice and flavor. 

How do you make Japanese Curry? 

  • In a large dutch oven, boil water.
  • Saute chicken with salt and pepper until golden brown.
  • Add chicken (and any optional root vegetables) to boiling water along with curry blocks.
  • Stir until dissolved and well combined.
  • Simmer for 10-15 minutes or until the curry sauce mix thickens stirring frequently to prevent burning at the bottom.
  • Add optional grated apple, stir and serve over a bed of rice. 
  • Note – If you prefer to make the curry from scratch using curry powder, here is a recipe for that. 

What kind of meat should I use to make Japanese curry?

  • Chicken Thigh (preferred)
  • Chicken Breast 
  • Chuck Beef (Beef Stew cubes)
  • Tofu (vegetarian option)

What vegetables can I add to Japanese curry?

  • Carrots (not low carb)
  • Onions (not low carb)
  • Russet Potatoes (if you want to keep it low carb, you can substitute with kabocha, or Japanese pumpkin squash) 
  • Green Peas
  • Edamame

Japanese curry served over a bed of rice in a white plate being picked up by a wooden spoon.

What are secret ingredients you can add into curry?

Some popular ingredients people add are:

  • 1/4 Cup Grated Apple (sweetener, not low carb)
  • 1 tbsp Maple Syrup (sweetener, not low carb)
  • 1 tbsp Honey (sweetener, not low carb)
  • 1/2 tbsp Grated Garlic
  • 1/4 tsp Chili Oil
  • 1 tbsp Butter
  • 1 tbsp Grated Ginger

Note – if adding a sweetener, only add 1 of them otherwise it will be too sweet.

What brand of Japanese curry roux do you recommend?

I prefer using House Foods Vermont Curry when I’m feeling like a lighter curry and House Food Java Curry when I want a bolder flavor.

S&B curry is the other popular brand of curry block that can also be found in most Asian supermarkets. 

The curry roux some in different levels of spiciness such as mild, medium or hot, the choice is yours. You can find Japanese curry blocks at most Asian grocery stores or on Amazon.

Why use cauliflower rice over traditional steamed white rice for Japanese curry?

Cauliflower rice is grain-free, low carb alternative to white rice. It is made entirely from grated cauliflower and is a perfect healthier rice substitute with Japanese Curry.

But if prefer, you can use traditional steamed white rice or brown rice instead.  Just note to skip step 7) if that is the case.

What is the nutritional fact for this recipe?

  • 241 Calories
  • 15g Carbohydrates
  • 6g Fiber
  • 6g Protein
  • 19g Fat 
  • 1mg Cholesterol 
  • 742mg Sodium
  • 753mg Potassium
  • 58mg Calcium
  • 116mg Vitamin C 

Tips and tricks on making Japanese Curry?

  • Cauliflower rice can be microwaved if preferred. Just cover it with a wet paper towel and microwave for 3-4 minutes.
  • You can add Japanese kabocha squash in place of traditional potatoes.
  • For a bolder taste, use less water or more curry roux.
  • Make sure to stir often as curry does tend to stick to the bottom of the pan.
  • Enjoy with a side of Japanese daikon pickles (fukujinzuke).

Japanese curry served over a bed of rice in a white plate, top down shot.

Did you have other traditional Japanese recipes I can try?

Now if you’re ready, let’s get making this Japanese Curry recipe!

  • Prepping Time 5M
  • Cook Time 15M
  • Total Time 20M
  • Net Carb/Serv ~12g
  • Servings 2

Ingredients

Curry

  • 1 1/2 Cups Water
  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 3/4 lbs Boneless Chicken Thighs
  • 1/8 tsp Salt
  • 2 Blocks of Curry Mix
  • 1 Cubed Potato (optional)
  • 1 Chopped Carrot (optional)
  • 1/4 Cup Sliced Onion (optional)
  • 1/4 Cup Grated Apple (optional)

Cauliflower Rice

  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 3 Cups Cauliflower Rice (or rice of choice)

Directions

1) Gather all the ingredients.

Japanese Curry with Cauliflower Rice Recipe (9)

2) In a stove top pot or dutch oven pot, boil water.

3) Meanwhile, cut chicken into bite-size cube pieces.

Japanese Curry with Cauliflower Rice Recipe (3)

4) Heat olive oil in a fry pan.

Japanese Curry with Cauliflower Rice Recipe (4)

5) Once the oil is heated and starts to lightly smoke, reduce heat medium and place chicken in fry pan.  Sprinkle some salt in and cook for 5-7 minutes stirring frequently until chicken turns golden brown.

Japanese Curry with Cauliflower Rice Recipe (5)

6) Once the chicken is cooked, add into the boiling water from step 2) along with 2 blocks of Curry Mix and optional potatoes, carrots, and onions.  Stir blocks until they are fully dissolved, bring to a soft boil (medium-low heat) and reduce for 10-15 minutes until thickened.  Add in optional secret ingredient like grated apple after curry is thickened.  Note – occasionally give the curry a stir to prevent burning at the bottom of the stove top pot.

Japanese Curry with Cauliflower Rice Recipe (12)

Japanese Curry with Cauliflower Rice Recipe (7)

7) In a separate large fry pan, heat 1 tbsp of olive oil on medium-high heat and add cauliflower rice.  Cook for 3-5 minutes stirring frequently or until desired tenderness.  Note – skip this step if you are using traditional steamed rice and serve directly onto a serving plate.

Japanese Curry with Cauliflower Rice Recipe (2)

8) Transfer cooked cauliflower rice/rice of choice onto serving plates and pour curry on top.

Japanese Curry with Cauliflower Rice Recipe (13)

Hope you enjoy your Japanese Curry!

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More Recipes

Japanese curry served over a bed of rice in a white plate.

Japanese Curry

Rich, thick and savory Japanese curry with tender pieces of chicken served over cauliflower rice. This curry recipe is easy to make and perfect for any day of the week!
5 from 9 votes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Japanese
Keyword: Japanese curry recipe
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 2
Print Recipe
Calories: 241kcal

Ingredients

Curry

  • 1 1/2 Cups Water
  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 3/4 lbs Boneless Chicken Thighs
  • 1/8 tsp Salt
  • 2 Blocks Curry Mix
  • 1 Whole Cubed Potato optional, not low carb
  • 1 Whole Chopped Carrot optional, not low carb
  • 1/4 Cup Sliced Onion optional, not low carb
  • 1/4 Cup Grated Apple optional, not low carb

Cauliflower Rice

  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 3 Cups Cauliflower Rice or rice of choice

Instructions

  • Gather all the ingredients.
    Japanese Curry with Cauliflower Rice Recipe (9)
  • In a stove top pot or dutch oven pot, boil water.
    Japanese Curry with Cauliflower Rice Recipe (10)
  • Meanwhile, cut chicken into bite-size cube pieces.
    Japanese Curry with Cauliflower Rice Recipe (3)
  • Heat olive oil in a fry pan.
    Japanese Curry with Cauliflower Rice Recipe (4)
  • Once the oil is heated and starts to lightly smoke, reduce heat medium and place chicken in fry pan. Sprinkle some salt in and cook for 5-7 minutes stirring frequently until chicken turns golden brown.
    Japanese Curry with Cauliflower Rice Recipe (5)
  • Once the chicken is cooked, add into the boiling water from step 2) along with 2 blocks of Curry Mix and optional potatoes, carrots, and onions.  Stir blocks until they are fully dissolved, bring to a soft boil (medium-low heat) and reduce for 10-15 minutes until thickened.  Add in optional secret ingredient like grated apple after curry is thickened.  Note - occasionally give the curry a stir to prevent burning at the bottom of the stove top pot.
    Japanese Curry with Cauliflower Rice Recipe (7)
  • In a separate large fry pan, heat 1 tbsp of olive oil on medium-high heat and add cauliflower rice. Cook for 3-5 minutes stirring frequently or until desired tenderness. Note - skip this step if you are using traditional steamed rice and serve directly onto a serving plate.
    Japanese Curry with Cauliflower Rice Recipe (2)
  • Transfer cooked cauliflower rice/rice of choice onto serving plates and pour curry on top.
    Japanese Curry with Cauliflower Rice Recipe (13)

Video

Nutrition

Calories: 241kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 742mg | Potassium: 753mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin C: 116mg | Calcium: 58mg | Iron: 1mg
*Values Based Per Serving
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12 Comments

  1. I would like to pair this with your Tonkatsu recipe for “Katsu Kare”. Have you tried it yet? Do you have any advice on using fukujinzuke pickles (a match made in heaven!)? I think they are high in carbs? Thank you guys!

    • LowCarbingAsian

      Hey Tony! We haven’t tried it yet, but I am sure it will be very good! Can’t go wrong with Katsu Curry! Yes, we agree that fukijinzuke and curry pair very well together, but given it’s daikon (root vegetable) marinated in sugar/mirin, the carb count are pretty high on them (7g per 1oz). You could try takuan instead (0-2 net carbs depending on the brand), but they aren’t as sweet as fukijinzuke.

  2. I am so happy I came across your blog! As a recovering carb bing eater, I have been seeking out the flavors of the glory days. Specifically Japanese curry with the dark, luscious sauce. Mmmhmmm. I thought it was a high carb meal and turned away. I got a box of S&B 🙁

    Thanks to the panicked shoppers here in AK, there is not much of a selection. Thanks for your post. You saved my sanity.

    • LowCarbingAsian

      Hey Rosie! Glad you found us and welcome to LCA! As for the empty stocks on the shelves, it’ll get better in time. You always also can order on Amazon too. Hope you stay safe and well during these crazy times!

  3. Do you know what your 2 blocks of curry mix were in grams or approximate serving of the Java? I’m using S&B and the blocks are quite large depending on the size of the package so I’d rather go by weight. Thanks!

  4. To reduce the carb count even further, I made my own roux with 3 tbsp unsalted butter, 1 tbsp coconut flour, 2 tbsp curry powder and 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper. Came out delicious. I used to make my own Japanese curry roux, until I discovered the Vermont curry cubes (thanks to Chef Morimoto). But once I started doing keto, I’m always looking for ways to reduce carbs.

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