Things You Need to Know about Japanese Curry

Japanese curry chain

If you're a Japanese food enthusiast, Japanese curry is a must-try. It is is a popular dish in Japan known for its consistency of a thick and rich sauce. Moreover, it is commonly served in three dishes: curry with rice, curry udon, and curry bread. Even though it originated from Indian cuisine, it has also developed its unique style and taste on its own over time. The dish is widely consumed all over Japan, making it a national dish. Japanese chicken curry and Japanese curry rice are some famous curry dishes.

Japanese Curry With Winter Squash and Mushrooms, Photograph By Isa Zapata

Japanese Curry Collections by Sugoi Mart

During the Meiji era (1868-1912), curry was first introduced to Japan. It was brought from India, which was under British colonial rule at that time. However, the ingredients were reinvented and adapted to Japanese cuisine to make it more suitable for Japanese tastes.

Fast forward to the 20th century, it became more popular when the Japanese Navy and Army adopted the dish. The fame the curry was getting paved the way so it would be available in supermarkets and restaurants for purchase. Today, ready-made sauces and curry dishes are available in every store for general users, thanks to domestically produced curry roux.

Japanese curry, Officer’s mess, Battleship Mikasa, c. 1906.

The popularity of the Japanese curry recipe has made it to the production of varieties of curry dishes that can be store-bought. While homemade Japanese curry is still the best, you can't also resist the curry-inspired instant goods. Not only do they have unique and delicious flavors, but they're also perfect if you don't have enough time to prepare a set of meals. Check our curry collections by Sugoi Mart and choose your favorite!

Sugoi Mart Survival Kit - Curry Edition

If you're into traveling and want some ready-made available survival goods wherever you go, Sugoi Mart Survival Kit of Japanese-style curry goods is the one for you. The box contains a variety of snacks and items with a touch of Japanese curry taste. With our survival kit, you'll get meal kits, instant ramen bowls, flavored rice curry kits, and more curry dishes. The survival kit is only available for a limited time, so make sure you don't miss it!

Sugoi Mart Survival Kit

Nissin Cup Noodle Cheese Curry

Everybody loves cup noodles! But this Nissin Japan curry ramen with cheese will take you to another flavorful instant noodles experience. The combination of curry roux mixes and cheese is surely something you shouldn't miss.

Nissin Cup Noodle Cheese Curry

Curry Meshi Instant Beef Curry Rice

This is called "kare raisu" in Japan, which is one popular way to serve curry. This instant curry rice recipe is another level of goodness with stewing beef and the thick curry sauce in a portable cup.

Curry Meshi Instant Beef Curry Rice

House Apple Curry Level 1

If you're into spicy, then this is for you. House is one of the most popular curry roux brands in Japan. This curry is made of special grated apple and honey flavor with level 1 of spiciness. It comes with meat and fillings of your choice, perfect to serve for the entire family.

House Apple Curry Level 1

Muji Butter Chicken Curry

Japanese chicken curry is also the favorite of many curry lovers. This Butter Chicken Curry from Muji is made of rich Japanese curry roux, chicken broth, grated ginger or pickled ginger, and more flavorful seasonings.

Muji Butter Chicken Curry

The Difference Between Indian and Japanese Curries: Japanese Curry Roux vs. Indian Curry Powder

As mentioned above, curry originated from Indian cuisine during British Empire. While most people often associate both as just the same, there are still many notable differences between Indian and Japanese curries. Indian curries sauce vary in their texture from thin to soup-like, thick sauce. Meanwhile, the Japanese one is way thicker and gravy-like due to the curry roux incorporated into the mixture.

When it comes to color, Indian curries use more spices, making the curry sauce look more yellow or orange, while Japanese curries are usually brown due to the method used in making them. When curry was brought to Japan, it was in powder form and adapted to fit the Japanese taste over time. Because of that, Japanese curry sauce is considered less spicy than Indian spice blend curries, which use spices like cumin, turmeric, garam masala, and paprika. Indian tend to use curry powder while the Japanese use curry roux cubes more.

There's also a notable difference in how Japanese and Indian serve their curries. While both use base ingredients like carrots and potatoes, the meat that complements the curry dish varies. Indian curries use more skinless chicken thighs or fish to go along with lentils. While Japanese curry recipes also use chicken and fish, they commonly use pork or beef to serve curries.

South Indian-Style Chicken Curry

Chicken Katsu Japanese Curry Rice Recipe

Katsu curry is one among the variety of Japanese homemade curry. Here's a quick and amazing recipe for your curry cravings!

Prepare the Japanese curry ingredients.

  • Ready-made store-bought curry roux (Vermont curry is the popular curry roux in Japan, but you can also use Java curry if you want medium heat flavor or Golden curry sauce mix for hotter flavor)

  • Cooked white rice

  • Onions, sliced into 1cm wide pieces

  • Potatoes, cut into cubes.

  • Carrots, sliced

  • Chicken cutlet

  • Fukujinzuke (a condiment used for curry recipe)

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • Worcestershire sauce (this is optional for additional flavor, but you can also add soy sauce if Worcestershire is not available)


  • Chicken Katsu


  1. Put oil in a large pot and saute onion until caramelized.

  2. Add potato and carrot pieces into caramelized onions.

  3. Add water (chicken stock if available) and bring to boil.

  4. Add curry cube or roux to medium-high heat mixture until thicker curry is achieved. Give it a good mix.

  5. Fry chicken cutlets and slice.

  6. On to plate, put cooked rice on one side and chicken cutlets next to the rice.

  7. Pour the curry generously next to the cutlets.

  8. To add some flavors, add a small amount of fukujinzuke on the plate and top with some kosher salt or tonkatsu sauce.

And there you go, enjoy your delicious curry meal!

Japanese Curry Famous Food Chains

Of course, this blog won't end without some famous food chains that serve the best curry recipes! Check them out below for your new food adventures!

  • Go! Go! Curry

Go! Go! Curry is your go-to curry restaurant if you're into Kanazawa curry. It is characterized by cutlet cuts on a generous amount of thick sauce. Kanazawa curry can go with chicken or pork katsu. It also comes with shredded cabbage and can be eaten with extra toppings of your liking. The famous curry involves 55 steps of preparation, simmered while stirring occasionally for up to 5 hours of cooking time to achieve the savory flavors.

  • Curry House CoCo Ichibanya

Also known as "Coco-Ichi," CoCo Ichibanya is one of Japan's most famous curry restaurants. The restaurant is popular because of the many choices to choose from during the ordering process. They allow customers to adjust rice portions, the spice level (if you like mild or medium hot), and what toppings to include. The variety of toppings includes vegetables like bell peppers, green peas, sweet potatoes, green beans, cheese, and many more.

Final Takeaways

The entire world indeed highly admires Japanese cuisine. Japanese own curry versions are one of the famous dishes that every Japanese pride themselves on, may it be their versions of Japanese chicken curry or more. Whether you are fond or just a beginner in exploring curry recipes, Sugoi Mart is the perfect place for you to get savory curry goods.

Our curry collections have a variety of instant goods ranging from curry spice mix, b golden curry, curry-flavored noodles, and many more. Visit the website and shop now and time to make Japanese curry on your own!

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