japanese curry with chicken curry rice from scratch

Ultimate Japanese Curry with Chicken | Curry Rice from Scratch

Today we’re making Japanese curry with chicken. From scratch. And, we’ll do it in less than 45 minutes! If you’ve never had Japanese curry before, it’s slightly spicy and slightly sweet with plenty of flavor to satisfy any curry lover.  All you need to make this a complete meal is a side of rice!

japanese curry with chicken curry rice from scratch


Japanese Curry Rice (カレーライス)

Yes, you can buy the little boxed curry mixes.

Yes, it will taste good.

But making this curry from scratch will taste even better! (insert mind- blown emoji!!)

If you love curry, you may very well also love Japanese style curry.

It’s a soul-warming dish that you can easily modify to your liking.

You may be most familiar with curry rice, but did you know there are many other ways to eat Japanese style curry?

Though we’re talking curry rice today, other curry preparations include- baked goods like bread, soups, and with noodles too!

Wow tell me more!


In order to make Japanese curry at home, there is one ingredient you cannot substitute – Japanese curry powder.

The most common curry powder is the S&B brand, which if you can’t find at your local grocery is available on Amazon.

That’s the key ingredient.

If you use a different curry powder, it won’t taste right. And that’s your choice!

Just letting you know since I know how cooking goes…

I’ve many times found myself in a situation where there’s one ingredient missing.

And I end up substituting…

This is one ingredient with which you should not do that.

Okay. Enough of the curry powder.

Want to know what you can put in it?

Japanese Curry with Chicken all day i eat like a shark

What to put in the curry?

Classic Japanese curry rice ingredients include: carrots, onions and potatoes.

For the meat, you can use whatever you like, but chicken, beef and pork are probably the most common.

As for other ingredients, the vegetables, you can use whatever you want really.

Curry has a strong flavor on it’s own so it works well with many different ingredients.

If you want to keep it seasonal, some ideas for the summer are: tomatoes, bell peppers, eggplant, zucchini, corn or okra.

In the winter, maybe I’ll substitute some potato with kabocha (Japanese pumpkin), add in some renkon (lotus root), green beans, and maybe even peas!

If you’re like me and like to eat vegetables it’s easy to get carried away and add too much.

Just watch your volumes.

Otherwise, you’ll dilute your curry with too many vegetables.

And yes, that’s a bad thing since there won’t be any flavor!

What to eat with curry?

Ready for a brain dump? Dumping…

White rice is the classic accompaniment for curry.

However, I sometimes substitute with brown rice.

Want more protein?

Throw on chicken katsu or tonkatsu (fried pork cutlet) to make katsu curry (カツカレー).

Alternatively, add chicken karaage (唐揚げ-fried seasoned chicken) or korokke (コロッケ-croquette made with potatoes, cream, meat + more!).

I love eating my curry with fukujinzuke (福神漬 pickled vegetables similar to relish, though not as sweet).

And freshly chopped green onions.

Both toppings enhance the flavor by adding a tart/sour contrast via pickling and the green onions are just fresh and sharp.

Rakkyo is another popular topping you’ll see at curry restaurants, but I actually don’t like it. So I don’t add it!

You can also serve with a hard boiled egg too.

I think that was everything I could think of.

There are many different variations of Japanese curry, but this is one that keeps things simple.

The flavors are in line with the classic Japanese curry you may have tasted either at your local restaurant or in Japan.

Though I like spicy foods, this curry is not too spicy and has a slightly sweet character.

This is comfort food at it’s best.

Even better is how it tastes the next day as the flavors further integrate with the ingredients you’ve added.

Ready to make Japanese curry !?! 

PS Today’s episode (#11) is the season finale, so I’m going to be taking a little break.

Make sure to subscribe to my Youtube channel if you haven’t yet, I’ll continue to publish one video each Wednesday!


Japanese Curry with Chicken 🐓 | (Curry rice from scratch)

japanese curry with chicken curry rice from scratch

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Today we’re making Japanese curry with chicken. From scratch. And, we’ll do it in less than 45 minutes! If you’ve never had Japanese curry before, it’s slightly spicy and slightly sweet with plenty of flavor to satisfy any curry lover.  All you need to make this a complete meal is a side of rice!

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 4 people 1x
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Cuisine: Japanese



curry ingredients

  • 1 large Onion (chopped)
  • 34 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp garlic
  • 1 Tbsp Ginger
  • 34 pieces chicken thighs (1lb roughly)
  • 1.25 cups potatoes chopped
  • 2 whole carrots (peeled, sliced 1/4 thick)
  • 1 Tbsp sugar ((optional))
  • 6 cups water
  • 2 whole tomatoes (chopped)
  • 2 tsp chicken broth powder/bouillon (i use better than bouillon)
  • 2 bay leaves

curry roux

  • 6 Tbsps flour
  • 6 Tbsps butter
  • 5 Tbsps curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • black or white pepper (to taste)
  • fukujinzuke (for serving)
  • green onions (for serving)
  • rakkyo (for serving)


For the curry base

  1. Chop all vegetables and grate the garlic and ginger. Cut the chicken into bite size pieces.
  2. Heat 3-4 Tbsp olive oil in a large pot or dutch oven and sauté the onion. When the onion turns translucent, add the ginger and garlic and cook for 10 seconds before adding in the chicken. Cook chicken and allow to brown slightly.
  3. Meanwhile, microwave potatoes and carrots 4-6 minutes until cooked through (easily pierce with a chopstick).
  4. Add sugar, water, tomatoes, cooked potatoes, carrots, and bay leaves to the pot and bring to a simmer.

For the roux

  1. Using a small-medium pan on medium heat, add the butter and melt.
  2. After butter has melted, add flour and cook until the flour has turned a light brown. Stir and adjust flame to avoid burning.
  3. After the color has changed (dark tan), add in curry powder and stir for a few seconds and turn off heat.
  4. Take a few ladles of hot liquid from the pot and add to the pan to dissolve the roux.


  1. Add the roux to the pot and mix to dissolve completely. Taste and add salt and fresh cracked pepper or white pepper to taste.
  2. Simmer for at least 15 minutes before serving.
  3. Serve with fukujinzuke, rakkyo and or chopped green onions.
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Konnichiwa! (Hello!) I'm Pat Tokuyama, a Japanese tofu cookbook author, who travels for music, food, and adventure. If you like Japanese tea, checkout some of the newestorganic japanese tea, matcha bowls and noren and more!

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