Homemade Japanese Curry Rice

Japanese Curry Rice
Japanese curry is thicker and sweeter than Indian curry and is always served with a bed of rice.

In a country where you can get everything from hamburgers to underwear out of a vending machine, it’s no surprise that home cooks have many instant options that make “cooking” a meal as simple as slice and bake cookies. For some dishes like カレーライス (karei raisu), it’s become the accepted norm to combine a brick of flavouring with some meat and veggies, and preparing them from scratch is almost unheard of.

Like many foods in Japan (tempura is actually Portuguese), curry is a dish that was imported from another part of the world (presumably India). Typically the mix comes in segmented bars like chocolate that you break off and add to a pot of meat, veggies and water. Japanese curry is sweeter, milder and thicker than Indian curries and used to be one of my favourite dishes growing up.

I haven’t made Japanese curry since I started blogging since using packaged food is against the very ethos of this blog. Last night, I fixed that by figuring out how to make it from scratch. For those that love the packaged curry, the taste and texture are similar, but the flavours are brighter and more intense. It has an almost creamy quality about it that the packaged kind just doesn’t have.

For those that have never had Japanese curry, this dish is chock full of big tender chunks of meat and potatoes, all covered in a slightly sweet sauce that’s redolent of caramelized onions, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, and nutmeg.

The best part is that this requires only a little more effort than using the packaged variety and almost no extra time (since you make the roux while the veggies and meat are cooking).

For vegetarians, just double the amount of caramelized onions and replace some of the meat with firm tofu. In my hunger, I totally forgot to add the peas, so you’ll just have to imagine how great this dish looks with little bubbles of green popping out of the dark sauce.

Equipment you'll need:

Japanese Curry Rice

for the roux
3 Tbs butter
1/4 C flour
2 Tbs garam masala (or curry powder)
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (add less if you want it mild or more if you want it spicy)
fresh ground black pepper
1 Tbs ketchup (or tomato paste)
1 Tbs tonkatsu sauce (or worcestershire sauce)

for the curry
2 tsp oil
2 large onions sliced thin
2 lbs chicken thighs cleaned and cut into chunks (you could also use beef, shrimp, or tofu)
2 carrots cut into chunks
4 C water
2 large yukon gold potatoes cut into large chunks
1 small apple peeled cored and pureed (I use a microplane)
2 tsp kosher salt (use less if you use regular salt)
1 tsp garam masala
1/2 C peas

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium low heat and add the onions. Saute the onions until they are golden brown and caramelized (about 30 minutes). Turn up the heat to high, add the chicken and brown.

Add the carrots, and the water, and then cover and bring to a boil. Skim off any foam or oil that accumulates at the surface then lower heat to medium and add the potatoes, pureed apple, salt and garam masala. Cover and simmer for about 30 minutes or until you can pass a fork through the carrots and potatoes and the meat is tender.

For the roux, add the butter and flour to a small saucepan over medium low heat. Cook until the flour starts to brown and the mixture smells like baking bread.

Add the garam masala, and stir until fragrant. Add the cayenne pepper and some fresh ground black pepper and incorporate into the roux. Add the ketchup and tonkatsu sauce and combine. Remove from heat and set aside until the meat and veggies are ready.

To make the curry, just laddle about 2 cups of liquid into the roux then whisk until it’s smooth. Pour this mixture back into the other pot and gently stir until thickened. Add the peas and heat through.

Serve over rice or noodles.

  • http://eatingclubvancouver.blogspot.com/ [eatingclub vancouver] js

    Thanks for the recipe, Marc. I’ve been wanting to make Japanese curry for the longest time now, but have been unable to find a recipe. If there are any, they’re in Japanese! I’ve been resisting the call of the packaged Glico curry pastes, and I don’t know how long I could have lasted with a family member asking for Japanese curry.

  • http://eatingclubvancouver.blogspot.com [eatingclub vancouver] js

    Thanks for the recipe, Marc. I’ve been wanting to make Japanese curry for the longest time now, but have been unable to find a recipe. If there are any, they’re in Japanese! I’ve been resisting the call of the packaged Glico curry pastes, and I don’t know how long I could have lasted with a family member asking for Japanese curry.

  • http://www.practicallydone.com/ helen

    Now that I think of it, Japanese (Glico) curry and frozen tonkatsu ramen are the only “packaged food” I eat. Easy meals, easy flavours. Kudos to you for going the extra mile.

  • http://www.practicallydone.com helen

    Now that I think of it, Japanese (Glico) curry and frozen tonkatsu ramen are the only “packaged food” I eat. Easy meals, easy flavours. Kudos to you for going the extra mile.

  • http://www.souvlakiforthesoul.com/ Peter G

    Great to see a recipe for this! When I was in Japan I often indulged in a “katsu curry” (I think thats right) and I do remember the sweetness associated with it. That, along with all the other wonderful foods I indulged in will always be remembered. Can’t wait to actually give this a go. Cheers Marc.

  • http://www.souvlakiforthesoul.com Peter G

    Great to see a recipe for this! When I was in Japan I often indulged in a “katsu curry” (I think thats right) and I do remember the sweetness associated with it. That, along with all the other wonderful foods I indulged in will always be remembered. Can’t wait to actually give this a go. Cheers Marc.

  • http://manggy.blogspot.com/ Manggy

    I LOVE Japanese curry. Looks great! I didn’t know it was so easy to make from scratch. Could I make the curry dark brown by further cooking the roux or will the water wash the color down anyway?

  • http://manggy.blogspot.com manggy

    I LOVE Japanese curry. Looks great! I didn’t know it was so easy to make from scratch. Could I make the curry dark brown by further cooking the roux or will the water wash the color down anyway?

  • http://www.noblepig.com/ noble pig

    Wow, I bet it’s just delicious…love it.

  • http://www.noblepig.com/ noble pig

    Wow, I bet it’s just delicious…love it.

  • http://www.sugarbar.org/ diva

    YAY! marc i’m so happy you posted this! no matter how much i love Japanese curry, I always feel very guilty making it by breaking off those japanese gold ‘chocolate bars’ but now that i’ve got this recipe i shd be alright. cheers! x

  • http://www.sugarbar.org diva

    YAY! marc i’m so happy you posted this! no matter how much i love Japanese curry, I always feel very guilty making it by breaking off those japanese gold ‘chocolate bars’ but now that i’ve got this recipe i shd be alright. cheers! x

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  • http://www.weareneverfull.com/ We Are Never Full

    fabulous! the first time i saw curry as an option on our local Japanese restaurant menu I was like, HUH??? then i did a bit of investigating and found out exactly what you discussed here. thanks so much for the recipe.

  • http://www.weareneverfull.com We Are Never Full

    fabulous! the first time i saw curry as an option on our local Japanese restaurant menu I was like, HUH??? then i did a bit of investigating and found out exactly what you discussed here. thanks so much for the recipe.

  • http://allthingsnice.typepad.com/ syrie

    I love the packet Japanese Curry but I’ve always worried about the preservatives in it. I will definitely be trying out your fantastic looking homemade version.

  • http://allthingsnice.typepad.com syrie

    I love the packet Japanese Curry but I’ve always worried about the preservatives in it. I will definitely be trying out your fantastic looking homemade version.

  • http://voodoolily.blogspot.com/ Heather

    Haha, I get the curry udon packs from Fubonn and they’re so good! It’s like curried gravy on udon. The first time I had Japanese curry it freaked me out a little – I thought they’d mixed curry powder with cream of mushroom soup. :P But now I like it. I have some of the cubes, but I still tend to make it from scratch too.

  • http://voodoolily.blogspot.com Heather

    Haha, I get the curry udon packs from Fubonn and they’re so good! It’s like curried gravy on udon. The first time I had Japanese curry it freaked me out a little – I thought they’d mixed curry powder with cream of mushroom soup. :P But now I like it. I have some of the cubes, but I still tend to make it from scratch too.

  • http://closetcooking.blogspot.com/ Kevin

    Japanese curry is my favorite and this looks good!

  • http://closetcooking.blogspot.com/ Kevin

    Japanese curry is my favorite and this looks good!

  • http://www.kyotofoodie.com/ Peko Peko

    This is great! I have been eating a lot of Japanese curry rice lately. I have just been buying it take out from Yoshinoya and at home add a whole lot of cooked and raw veggies. It is not too bad. (Half fast food, half healthy garden veggies, kind of a weird combo.) So, I have been thinking that I want to get some new and yummy recipes for curry and make up a big batch and just freeze it. We’ll refer to your recipe. Thanks!
    KyotoFoodie?Peko

  • http://www.kyotofoodie.com Peko Peko

    This is great! I have been eating a lot of Japanese curry rice lately. I have just been buying it take out from Yoshinoya and at home add a whole lot of cooked and raw veggies. It is not too bad. (Half fast food, half healthy garden veggies, kind of a weird combo.) So, I have been thinking that I want to get some new and yummy recipes for curry and make up a big batch and just freeze it. We’ll refer to your recipe. Thanks!
    KyotoFoodie?Peko

  • Marc

    eatingclub vancouver, to be honest, I didn’t even bother looking for a recipe because no-one in japan makes curry from scratch.

    helen, yea I still haven’t gotten the stock for tonkotsu soup down yet. Even with a pressure cooker I just can’t make it as white and creamy as the packaged kinds.

    Peter G, katsu curry is definitely one of my favourite meals.

    Manggy, You could try that, honestly this was my first attempt so I’m sure i’ll be doing some refining, let me know if browing the roux works for you.

    Thanks Noble Pig, it was;-)

    diva, yea I’ve always thought it was a bit unnatural cooking with bricks of solid chocolate like sauce.

    We Are Never Full, yea it is a bit odd when taken out of context, but I think most japanese food you get in restaurants here was imported from another country (tempura, fried rice, gyoza, ramen, etc)…. kind of ironic if you think about it.

    Syrie, give it a try and play around with the ingredients. I think the key to make it taste “japanese” is the caramelized onion, some kind of fruit to sweeten it and a roux to thicken it.

    Heather, I just made some curry udon from the leftovers tonight and it was awesome, thanks for the idea:-)

    Thanks Kevin.

    Peko Peko, I’ve never been to Yoshinoya despite the fact that all the japanese expats I know rave about the place. Curry is great to freeze and have around. If I had a bigger freezer I’d totally freeze batches to have over Tonkatsu, omurice, etc.

  • Marc

    eatingclub vancouver, to be honest, I didn’t even bother looking for a recipe because no-one in japan makes curry from scratch.

    helen, yea I still haven’t gotten the stock for tonkotsu soup down yet. Even with a pressure cooker I just can’t make it as white and creamy as the packaged kinds.

    Peter G, katsu curry is definitely one of my favourite meals.

    Manggy, You could try that, honestly this was my first attempt so I’m sure i’ll be doing some refining, let me know if browing the roux works for you.

    Thanks Noble Pig, it was;-)

    diva, yea I’ve always thought it was a bit unnatural cooking with bricks of solid chocolate like sauce.

    We Are Never Full, yea it is a bit odd when taken out of context, but I think most japanese food you get in restaurants here was imported from another country (tempura, fried rice, gyoza, ramen, etc)…. kind of ironic if you think about it.

    Syrie, give it a try and play around with the ingredients. I think the key to make it taste “japanese” is the caramelized onion, some kind of fruit to sweeten it and a roux to thicken it.

    Heather, I just made some curry udon from the leftovers tonight and it was awesome, thanks for the idea:-)

    Thanks Kevin.

    Peko Peko, I’ve never been to Yoshinoya despite the fact that all the japanese expats I know rave about the place. Curry is great to freeze and have around. If I had a bigger freezer I’d totally freeze batches to have over Tonkatsu, omurice, etc.

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  • graham

    I luv Japanese Curry esp mixed with tonkatsu! yummers!
    http://japansugoi.com/wordpress/hungry-for-some-japanese-curry/

  • graham

    I luv Japanese Curry esp mixed with tonkatsu! yummers!
    http://japansugoi.com/wordpress/hungry-for-some-japanese-curry/

  • http://www.spanishskype.com/ Spanish Lessons Skype

    I follow your blog for quite a long time and should tell that your articles always prove to be of a high value and quality for readers.

  • http://www.spanishskype.com Spanish Lessons Skype

    I follow your blog for quite a long time and should tell that your articles always prove to be of a high value and quality for readers.

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  • http://kitchenocd.wordpress.com/ Tiffany

    FANTASTIC!!! It is sitting in my family’s very happy stomachs as we speak. I am going to take a page from your book though and try a few tweaks!

  • http://kitchenocd.wordpress.com Tiffany

    FANTASTIC!!! It is sitting in my family’s very happy stomachs as we speak. I am going to take a page from your book though and try a few tweaks!

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  • seha

    what is japanese curry called in japan ?

  • seha

    what is japanese curry called in japan ?

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  • Clare

    I believe the origin is British rather than Indian. The roux technique with flour and butter is definitely European not used in Indian curries. The sauce is more of a British stew with Indian spices and was the British version of curry in the days of the Raj.

  • http://abbylidiastephanie.blogspot.com Abby

    i just made this and thought it was pretty close to what I have had in Japanese restaurants. The only thing I had to do different to the recipe was add extra water to get the roux to a nice gravy like consistency. Thanks!

  • Allene

    This is fantastic! I've made it twice now – sans apple and peas, and using a jumbo sweet onion – and it's just as good the next day (cooking for two people, I end up with leftovers for the week).

  • http://twitter.com/xHelloAngelx Ellen M. E. Weisteen

    it's just called curry, only they say it in a japanese way (: At least that is what I have heard them say.

  • Jim

    The blocks of curry may be easy, but they have unbelievable amounts of sodium, MSG, and other chemicals. They usually come in packages of 10 or 12 chunks. Each chunk is considered one serving, but a good plateful of rice smothered in curry uses at least two chunks. Two chunks puts you over the daily requirement of sodium. My blood pressure goes up considerably after eating it. That’s why I’m trying to find a good recipe with waaaay less salt.

    • Anonymous

      Hi Jim, if salt is your main concern you could just omit adding any
      additional salt to my recipe. There will still be some salt from the
      ketchup and tonkatsu sauce, but significantly less than what you’ll
      get in the curry blocks.

  • Tonkatus101_2010

    This recipe looks great and I can’t wait to try it!! The only thing is that I’ve always used the packaged curry and never used any curry powder before.. is there any particular kind of curry powder that I should use for this recipe? I don’t like the flavor of Indian or Thai curry, and want to make sure that I get the right kind of curry powder for this Japanese curry… Also, do you know where I can buy the curry powder in New Jersey? Thanks!!

    • Anonymous

      I actually use indian garam masala for my japanese curry. It’s really just a
      blend of spices and doesn’t have as much to do with the finished curry as
      the preparation does. Indian curry uses other aromatics like cloves, mustard
      seeds, garlic, and ginger, and it does not include a roux (to make it
      thick), or any sweet elements like fruit puree.

      If you go to Mitsuwa in Edgewater, NJ, you’ll be able to find Japanese curry
      powder, but you can really use most curry powders(from a grocery store) or
      garam masalas(from indian markets) and get a similar result. I hope that
      helps.

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  • Koibito07

    I love curry, it’s the best winter staple! But I was surprised that fuluba (fenugreek) was not among your list of spices for the roux. I guess it’s not a well known in the West, but I’ve always used it and can’t imagine a curry without it. You may want to look into it.

    • Anonymous

      Thanks for your comment, I’m familiar with fenugreek and it’s actually
      in my garam masala. One of these days I’ll get around to posting a
      list of the spices that go into it.

  • Monika

    I have been looking for a Japanese curry recipe for a long time and am so glad I found this! (I almost had it figured out, but not quite.) I don’t like the boxed stuff, so high in sodium. Thank you, it is delicious!

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  • Pghtboi

    Instead of the apple, I used apple butter (about 1/4c), whose main spices are cinnamon, ginger, clove and nutmeg. It was my own homemade apple butter, but I’m sure a good farmer’s market apple butter would also work well.

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  • Janet NZ

    Oh, I am SO glad I found your site. I was diagnosed with celiac disease in December 2009 and have since had to cook Japanese food at home, because our favourite restaurant uses soy sauce with wheat in. I used to love the curry roux from a packet and thought I would never be able to eat it again – now – thanks to you – I can :-) (I will just thicken it with cornflour instead of the flour roux) Thank You xxx

  • Kat

    Can you tell me what rice and how to make the rice, Japanese style? sticky?

    • http://norecipes.com Marc Matsumoto

      You can use any rice you want, but it’s traditionally made with Japanese
      rice. It’s short grain rice that’s stickier than basmati or jasmine rice,
      but it’s not the same as sticky rice (used to make mochi).

      • Kat

        Thank you! Making this today!

  • Evey

    Can I use canola oil instead of butter in this recipe? I just found out I don’t like the taste of “cooked” butter… It always tastes a little sour for me..
    Thanks :)

    • http://norecipes.com Marc Matsumoto

      Yep that should work fine, though butter shouldnt taste sour. Are you using
      cultured butter? Which brand do you use?

      • Evey

        I used Land O’Lakes butter. It might not be the butter, it might be me. . I didn’t grow up eating butter, so that’s probably why I think it has a “strange/sour” taste when I use it to cook food. When my mom cooked she always used a neutral flavor oil.
        I like butter on bread though, :D

  • ray

    thanks for the recipe dude…. it do help me……

  • shakejunt

    I have to make curry for Japanese class. What do you recommend is the easiest and quickest way to make a good curry??

    • Que_bonita_00

      Buy Japanese curry bricks and dissolve them in water. They can be found at any Asian Grocery Store.

  • http://www.atigerinthekitchen.com A Tiger in the Kitchen

    This looks so good! Thanks for mentioning your curry recipe. I’m trying it very soon…can’t wait!

  • Spike.

    OK, this is a great alternative to the sodium bricks sold in stores, now how about a home made alternative to tonkatsu sauce that doesn’t have all the chemical additives?

  • http://profiles.google.com/charissa.pomrehn Charissa Pomrehn

    Nice. Just tried this and it’s simpler than the recipe I had been using – and just as yummy! Bringing a batch to our friends from church who just had a baby. Thanks!

  • Eleni

    Thank you very much for sharing this recipe! It’s so flavourful and satisfying.  We stopped eating the S&B blocks due to the palm oil used in it (not to mention all the other equally scary ingredients), and your version is so much better than those blocks in terms of taste and health & environmental impact :) Definitely something we eat weekly, and now it’s winter in Australia, may have to consider it eating it twice a week ;) We are vegetarian, so instead of having it with tofu like you suggested we just either have it just with the veggies or add some pan friend seitan. We’ve served this to guests, and it seems to have turned into the dish they most remember. Thanks again for sharing :)

  • Thypacific

    how many servings does that make? and what’s the total time spent? I’ve never made the sauce myself so I’m very uncertain if the taste will come out right

    • http://norecipes.com Marc Matsumoto

      It’s enough to feed 4-6 people. Total time spent will depend on the cut of
      meat you use and how big you cut your vegetables, but it usually takes me
      about an hour with chicken.

  • Ryan

    I love this dish, I’ve been making it for a few years now. My recipe is slightly different then yours (I’ve added mushrooms and peppers, which are great by the way, also, I’d recommend serving with green onions) I like the idea with the peas though. I might try that next time.
    I’ve been looking for a good recipe to make the sauce from scratch though. I’m definatly going to try this yours!

  • Karuarcdemon

    i live in indonesia, and this country also have dish called curry. indonesian curry and curry rice explained above are very different. i cant find the right curry powder to make this dish.. :(

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  • Queenmalika

    what does laddle about 2 cups of liquid into the roux mean?

    • http://norecipes.com Marc Matsumoto

      Take about 2 cups of liquid from the chicken and pour it into the roux with a large spoon.

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  • Brokeback Hogwarts

    I make this almost complete by heart. It’s great. But is there anyway to preserve the roux?

    • http://norecipes.com Marc Matsumoto

      You should be able to freeze it, maybe in ice cube trays so it’s easy to divide up like the store bought blocks.

  • Alexbrinker95

    if i wanted to put ginger and garlic in this dish how much would i put

    • http://norecipes.com Marc Matsumoto

      Add them in when you saute the onions.

  • http://twitter.com/_milktea Lilian

    What would you recommend substituting for the apple? I’m horribly allergic to apple, but I assume it’s a key ingredient in Japanese curry =(. By the way, your blog is fantastic!

    • http://norecipes.com Marc Matsumoto

      Thanks! You could substitute just about any fruit that has a fairly neutral flavor. Peaches, pear, and tomatoes would all work:-)

      • http://twitter.com/_milktea Lilian

        I made your curry recipe last night and it was phenomenal..so good I’m going to design a PDF version of the recipe so I don’t have to stupidly rewatch your YT video over and over again when I miss steps LOL. The tomato substitute worked perfectly by the way!

  • Dave

    Curry came to Japan from the UK believe it or not!

    • s

      no it didn’t it came from China and came from India to China.

      • http://norecipes.com Marc Matsumoto

        While I welcome a good discussion about the history of food, it would be awesome if you guys could provide some citations or background that explains your thinking. Otherwise you’re just expressing an opinion that doesn’t move the discussion forward.

        • CallMeIshmael

          Curry was introduced to Japan during the Meiji era (1868–1912) by the British, at a time when India was under their administration.
          The dish became popular and available for purchase in supermarkets and
          restaurants in the late 1960s. It has been adapted since its
          introduction to Japan, and is so widely consumed that it can be called a
          national dish.[1] (from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_curry)

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  • Fadia Dewanda

    Thank you!! This is just what I need!! I love it ^^

  • Kristy

    I love this recipe. I’ve been making it for over a year and a half now and it is sublime. Blissful, exquisite, perfect…enter any adjective here. How on earth did you figure this out? 

    • http://norecipes.com Marc Matsumoto

      Glad to hear you like it:-) I think I figured it out one day when I was making curry and got all the way up to the step of adding the roux and realized I didn’t have any packaged roux in the cupboard.

  • Eatingganesh

    I love Japanese curry…i discovered it in Denver at a wonderful place called Kokoro. It took forever to figure out there recipe, but I used to live on the stuff. Recently, I discovered that I am intolerant of wheat, onions, and apples. Do you have any suggestions for substitutions? I can use cornstarch,of course, but I am at a loss over the opinions and apples. Any ideas?

    • Eatingganesh

      That’s what I get for posting from my iPad!

      There = there
      Opinions = onions

      LOL

      • Eatingganesh

        And now I see that tomato would be a good substitute from below. Ok… How bout onions?

        • Frank Badura

          Onions and related plants contain sulfur compounds that are rather unique to them. You could try shallot or green onion but i doubt that they wouldn’t trigger your medical condition,

    • http://norecipes.com Marc Matsumoto

      Hmm I’m assuming that means you’re intolerant to all members of the Allium genus (garlic, shallots, leeks, scallions, etc?). If so, I can’t think of anything that will substitute in for onions. You could try to add in a couple different kinds of tomatoes (stewed, tomato paste, and sun dried) which should taste good, but it’s obviously not going to give it the same flavor.

  • Anna Maria

    Mmm! I am eating this right now… sort of. My little boy asked me to replicate a Tofu Curry Don recipe that we love eating when we’re in town. I took your recipe, added 1c vegie broth to the roux, substituted tofu for chicken (skipped the apple), added a little curry powder instead of garam masala and once it was simmering nicely, I turned up the heat and poured in the egg. Et voila…. Tofu Curry Don. My little man says it tastes just like the restaurant one. Yay! Mummy suceeds. 

    I am looking forward to making your recipe as is during the week sometime (still with tofu though as we are vegie). Thanks so much.  I just found your site and am looking forward to perusing the rest of it tonight :).

  • Grace Leung

    I have literally been searching for a recipe like this for years after our favorite Japanese restaurant who served amazing curry noodles closed down.  I looked all over the web and in bookstores and nothing ever came close.

    I made this last night for my husband and I and we thought it was absolutely delicious.  Our search is finally over.  Thank you!!

  • Jessica Webb

    I just saw the video on you tube of this recipe and I cannot wait to make it for dinner tonight!  My husband and I currently live in Japan and we’re terrified that when we leave we won’t be able to find our favorite Japanese foods so I’m thrilled to learn to make this from ingredients you can find in any country!  THANK YOU!

  • Storyhunter

    I made this, and it was great. I’m never using store-bought curry roux again.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=748319243 Alicia Jean Smith

    I always wanted to try Japanese curry  and this recipe looks so freiking Delicious!! But is it possible to switch out the pureed apple for something else because I do not have the abillity to puree!

    • http://norecipes.com Marc Matsumoto

      Do you have a cheese grater? If so just grate it as small as possible. Otherwise you can dice up the apple and throw it in when you sautee the onions.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/B7MLCHN4TLQ3A7MPW4RKG3WHJ4 big b

         What about organic apple sauce with no sugar? Yes matter of fact I do have a cheese greater and I did not think of that thank you!

        • http://norecipes.com Marc Matsumoto

          Yep unsweetened apple sauce would be perfect!

  • Shane_charleson

    I just made this recipe (minus the apples) and my lords, was it tasty.

  • TSuisei

    I too grew up loving a big bowl of hot Japanese-style curry — But now I just can’t abide the fat content of the ready-made roux blocks.  Tonight I made some from scratch and it was close but missing something.  I searched and found your recipe. The only ingredients I was missing were the ketchup, worcestershire, and apple. I look forward to trying it again! Thank you!

  • http://www.facebook.com/kat.donnellycoode Kat Oxley

    how many servings did this make?

    I’m cooking for six in a few nights and I can’t remember if this recipe did my husband and I for one night or two last time i made it :?

    • http://norecipes.com Marc Matsumoto

      This will comfortably feed 4, it may feed 6 if they have smaller appetites (or there are other dishes).

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Fidan-Kasimova/1483697484 Fidan Kasimova

    Finally, I can make the curry from a scratch! All the other recipes I found used the granules, which are impossible to buy in my country… I love you!

  • http://twitter.com/laTiina Tina Michelle

    i made this tonight & it was soo good! i was going to leave out the apple since i didn’t have any, but then i remember i had a big bottle of no sugar added apple sauce, so i used that instead. beef instead of chicken, Worcestershire, s&b oriental curry powder (japanese curry powder), & no peas (didn’t have any). topped on basamati rice. i will make this again instead of the almost $4 s&b instant curry sauce mix.

  • Joey Franklin

    Gotta add a few tablespoons of worcestershire sauce, a few shots of okonomiyaki sauce, and substitute broth for the water.

  • Adrien

    Hi Mark!
    Thanks a lot for this recipe!
    I had not butter in my fridge (I try to avoid dairy products).
    So I used oil instead (I heard that is what cajuns do to make their roux).
    I turned out a blit floury, not like a thick liquid.
    I mean you could feel some little crispy grains of flour or curry.
    Any advice?
    Thanks again!

    • http://norecipes.com Marc Matsumoto

      Hi Adrien, substituting oil for butter will effect flavor but it should not effect the texture of the roux. Based on your description I’m guessing one of 2 things happend. The first could be that you didn’t fry the roux long enough. Try frying it a little bit longer. The second possibility is that your roux didn’t incorporate into the liquid before the flour in it cooked so you ended up with little roux dumplings instead of a smooth curry. The avoid this, it’s important to ladle some of the liquid from the meat and veggies into the roux and whisking it together until it’s smooth. Once the roux is smooth and doesn’t have any lumps you can pour it into the pot with the meat and veggies and stir to incorporate. 

  • Greed

    thanks for this awesome recipe! I didn;t realize it was so easy! 

    A cheese grater works great for the apples; the shreds dissolve in ~20 minutes. 

    A few shakes of curry powder makes the flavor complete IMO, but it doesn’t need it. 

  • justme

    Thanks for posting! I tried this recipe out, but substituted the flour for cornstarch, as I am gluten intolerant. It wasn’t too bad tonight, but it did taste a little different than the Japanese curry I was used to before my diagnosis, so I doctored it up a little. ;)  As I made it for my coworkers, I’m letting it sit overnight so all the flavors soak up into the tofu and veggies – it’s one of those foods that’s better the next day.

    • justme

      I was looking at the bottle of curry powder I used and realized it was missing allspice, oregeno, and cocoa (a few ingredients in Japanese curry powder). Added just a smidgen of those – voila! It was just what it needed. :)

      • s

        hey it’s not from scratch if you use a pre-made curry powder you gotta do that yourself

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  • Akapavious

    And no MSG (presuming there’s none in the tempura sauce). Going to have to try this as it’s a great dish, but the MSG makes me fall asleep very quickly.

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  • Narry Borman

    Have you ever had Japanese oxtail curry? I want to make it. I think the only variation from this recipe would be to cook the oxtail for a few hours in water with onions (and bay leaf?) which will then be discarded. Thoughts?

    • http://norecipes.com Marc Matsumoto

      HI Narry, I haven’t had Japanese curry with oxtail, but it sounds delicious. Yep, you should be able to just extend the cooking time with the onions, add whatever spices you like, then when the tail starts getting tender, add the veggies, and finally the roux.

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  • Suzy

    How many servings will this make?

    • http://norecipes.com Marc Matsumoto

      It depends on how hungry your diners are, but it should feed 4-6.

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  • DR

    I’m so excited to find this! I have been avoiding the chemical-laden package but wanting to eat this at home…thank you!

  • Sodamoeba

    Just wanted to let you know how amazing this turned out. I’m new to cooking; I’m a rising senior at college and got sick of the meal plan stuff they feed us. I’m preparing for living in an apartment with its own kitchen during my senior year. Of the 7 or 8 dishes I’ve prepared so far (mostly big pots of soup), this one is by far the best! And it looks like it will make great leftovers, too! You’ve certainly gained a follower in me.

    • http://norecipes.com Marc Matsumoto

      Glad to hear it! Good luck with your final year!

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  • http://www.facebook.com/kathleen.zevallos Kathleen Zevallos

    Will omitting tonkatsu or Worcestershire make a big difference?

    • http://norecipes.com Marc Matsumoto

      It will make it less spicy (not chili pepper spicy, but spice spicy) and less sweet. You could substitute extra ketchup in its place.

      • http://www.facebook.com/kathleen.zevallos Kathleen Zevallos

        Thank you so much for the advice. The curry was to die for! I finally made it today and it was a huge hit!

  • http://www.facebook.com/kikielise1710 Elise Moten

    i watch alot of Japanese shows. and they always make curry i wanted to try

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  • JDM

    This recipe is awesome! I Love it. Spent four years in Japan, this reminds me of those days.. ;-)

  • Aloha Mom

    I just made this awesome curry and I can’t get enough of it! I will never buy the instant curry block ever again! LOL- My husband wants to leave work early so he can taste it. I can’t wait to try your other recipes! Mahalo!

  • southeastasia

    I tweaked your recipe a little (read-forgot some stuff and added some others) and I find that daikon (my version) taste a little too sweet and doesn’t blend too well with the curry. Overall, my curry seems ok but I’d prefer to have a slightly thicker sauce. I tried adding a little corn starch solution to it but didn’t help much. Any suggestions?

    • http://norecipes.com Marc Matsumoto

      To make the sauce thicker you can either reduce the amount of water you add at the beginning or increase the amount of roux. Just double the amount of roux you make and add about half of it, then add a little at a time until it’s the thickness you want.

  • Frank Badura

    I’m a rather contentious hs junior and i really enjoyed this recipe. I did make a few tweaks however. I substituted shallot for the apple and used a dashi made of smoked trout bones/skin, katsuo, and kombu. I also added kale,moyashi and corn to the curry instead of the carrot. (I’m adverse to carrot.) Finally, i used skate instead of chicken and used rosemary and juniper infused coconut milk mixed with shoyu as a substitute for the ketchup. Overall, it’s a great article and it’s nice that there is room for each person to adjust the recipe to their individual taste.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001585755816 Jason Smith

    Mark I am a big fan of yours and I just wanted to post this for all the readers here. Also to get your imput on this reciepe. There is another way to make curry if you want to make it in the crok pot you just trough it in and 4 hours later its done. Its helpful if you don’t have time after work to cook becase it’s place and go. i put minced garlic in the bottom of the pot then place my chicken about 2 to 3 lbs. then I put a tablespoon of ginger on the chicken. Follow that with 2 tbls. of curry powder, 1 lager white onion, 1 can of coconut milk. 1 bag of frozen red and green peppers or you can go fresh peppers your choice and let it cook while your at work or on the go. After about 4 to 6 hours of cook time stir in 2 tbls. of flour or corn starch again your choice and 1 tbls of ketchup and it’s done. Its just a way to do it if you are too busy to stand in front of the stove.

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  • mikimoto

    Hi Marc! I’m a big fan of curry and i was just wondering how many people does this serve? And is this considered an expensive meal to make? Thanks! I can’t wait to make it!

    • http://norecipes.com Marc Matsumoto

      It depends on everyone’s appetite, but this should serve 4-6 people. As for “expensive” that depends on what you consider expensive and the cost of ingredients where you live. In Japan, curry is considered a cheap family meal.

  • Charles

    tonkatsu or Worcestershire…this ingredient is expensive in my country, any substitute for it?
    And..apple puree….what is it for?
    I’m looking for nice japanese curry recipe :) and wish to develop it as bread filler too. Thanks

    • http://norecipes.com Marc Matsumoto

      You could make your own tonkatsu sauce, but I don’t have a recipe for it, try searching Google. As for the apple puree it adds sweetness and a fruity flavor to the curry. You could substitute with another fruit if you’d like.
      If you’re making this to fill bread, I would make this with extra roux so the curry is thick enough to be scooped into the dough before shaping your bun. If it’s too loose it will be hard to form the bun and could leak out when you bake it.

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  • Nicole

    Made this last night. It was so delicious, we over ate and went to bed thanksgiving full.

  • Jackie Choe

    I can’t wait to try this! Always wanted to know how to make Japanese curry.

  • http://www.facebook.com/HarusamiSoul2Soul Harusami Is

    Looking forward to trying a gluten-free version of this. I was raised on the S & B bricks but now am avoiding anything with unhealthy processed ingredients. Perhaps using brown rice flour and/or kuzu as thickener? Thanks for your great recipes Mark!

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  • Cindy Tripi

    This was awesome!!! It is one of my favorite dishes from pinterest!

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  • http://www.facebook.com/tanya.warren.37 Tanya Warren

    With Celiac issues, is it possible to use rice flour in place of white/wheat flour and still have the same consistency for the roux?

    • http://norecipes.com Marc Matsumoto

      I’ve never tried it, but I don’t see why it wouldn’t work. Though you may need to adjust quantities to achieve the same thickness. If you do try it out, it would be great if you could post your results so other people on a gluten-free diet can benefit from your experience:-)

    • http://twitter.com/echotecture the unibrow champ

      I use Millet Flour when making gumbo roux. it’s really fine, browns well and is gluten free.

    • http://www.facebook.com/katarzyna.smirnov Katarzyna Smirnov

      You could try using garbanzo flour just toast until it has the consistency of peanut butter and starts to smell like popcorn. I use this flour when making gluten-free gravy.

  • kimoechan

    Hi, this recipe inspired me to try making kare raisu from scratch. I was looking on how to substitute the commercial curry block, then I found it here. Thanks for sharing.

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  • Meaghan

    I made this for dinner tonight, and it was amazing! I’ve tried making Japanese curry rice before and was disappointed, but this turned out better than when I’ve used the packaged roux. Thanks so much for the recipe!

  • http://www.facebook.com/kazuki.ren.3 Hamidah Dolhadi

    I’ve been learning on how to make curry rice, and its said that i need to use curry paste , is it other optional to replacing garam masala or both are just same ?

    • http://norecipes.com Marc Matsumoto

      Curry paste has a lot of meanings so I’m not really sure which one you’re referring to. In Japan, curry is typically made from roux blocks, but I’m not a big fan of them as they tend to be filled
      with unnecessary additives. You can substitute curry powder for garam masala if it is not available in your area.

  • Maria

    Would it be alright to make the roux ahead of time and freeze/refrigerate it or will the butter not be ok?

    • http://norecipes.com Marc Matsumoto

      Yep that should be fine. You could even do a large batch and freeze the roux in an ice cube tray so you have easy to use blocks. Unlike to do this with the caramelized onions too to speed things up.

  • http://www.facebook.com/cursed.wings Callum Payne

    I’ve made this three times now and every time I have promised to leave some for my father-in-law, but it’s impossible! This is the best curry I have ever eaten! Perfect in every way! I’ve even woke up in the middle of the night craving it like an addiction :-) Now I try everything with the sauce ha ha

  • http://www.facebook.com/nghiem.huynh.9 Nghiem Huynh

    Thank you for the recipe. I made the curry using this recipe and it actually turned out pretty good, seeing how it was my first time making this.
    I used Indian Masala, is there a difference between Garam Masala and Indian Masala or are they the same? I tried to find Garam Masala in my local super market but was not able to find it, so I used Indian Masala instead.

    • http://norecipes.com Marc Matsumoto

      I’ve never heard of Indian Masala, but the term “Masala” just means mixture of spices. There’s no set recipe for Garam Masala, so depending on where you are in India it includes different ingredients. As long as you were happy with the results, I’m sure the blend you’re using is fine, otherwise you can try finding a different blend.

  • curry_fan101

    i was just wondering how long it takes to cook and prepare???

  • John

    Hi, I would like to know if flour can be replaced with corn starch and can the cayenne pepper be left out? Thank you.

  • http://www.facebook.com/brandon.giles.104 Brandon Giles

    Hey Marc, I just really wanted to thank you for this great recipe. I’ve made it twice to rave reviews. I’m no cooking expert, but your directions were very easy to follow and I couldn’t be happier with the results! I can’t wait to try more of your recipes!

    • http://norecipes.com Marc Matsumoto

      Glad to hear you liked it!

  • Rohafizan

    I will definitely try this recipe, looks a lot more simple than the curry that we have in Malaysia

    One distinct differences between Japanese curry and Malaysian curry is, for the gravy Japanese only use plain water while Malaysian curry use coconut milk. definitely healthier choice for me since i am very wary about fat intake.
    Thanks! :)

  • Marc

    I just made this and it turned out incredible! Only minor change: I’m not a huge fan of using ketchup (makes everything taste like ketchup!) so I used tomato paste and worcestershire, and to compensate for the missing sugar (which would be in the ketchup) I used 2 apples and a little oyster sauce.

    Thank you for this recipe :) I plan to start playing with deviations like use of coffee and chocolate, very exciting!

  • http://www.facebook.com/jojo.mccolley JoJo McColley

    I have two questions…can I replace garam marsala in the curry part with curry powder as well and can I use russet potatoes?

    • http://norecipes.com Marc Matsumoto

      Yep curry powder would be fine, as would russet potatoes.

    • http://www.facebook.com/AlvinKoh Alvin Koh

      I tried this recipe yesterday using russet potatoes. By the time I served the dish the russets had disintegrated. I’ll try with Holland potatoes next time.

      The other variation I made was adding 1 Tbsp of honey as I did not have any apples.

      • http://norecipes.com Marc Matsumoto

        Russets should work fine, they’ll melt a little bit around the edges but this is normal. If they disolved completely, you may need to cut them into larger pieces (I usually quarter them) or put them in later in the cooking process.

  • Rob Allen

    Made this tonight (curry powder instead of garam masala, and about 2 tsp of cayenne pepper) and it came out absolutely terrific. Will be saving this one. I made curry with blocks about once a week when I lived in Japan and it was good, but I always wondered how to do it from scratch.

  • Ms. Mifune

    Thank you for posting this recipe! I grew up on S&B curry and now am trying to avoid MSG in my diet. I’ve made this twice already. The first time my curry looked a little grey so I added 1tsp of Tumeric to the roux to get that yellow color. I also halfed the cayenne bc last time was a little too karakuchi (spicy) for me! Also added about a tablespoon of honey and some garlic. Was sooooooo good!

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  • MrProsser

    I made some homemade curry powder last night and I might try to do something like this tomorrow instead of my normal curry. A bit of ketchup or tomato paste and worcestershire sauce might be a nice change from my usual curry.

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  • Huril

    Hello, Mr Marc, I would like to know is it okay if i dont add the worcestershire sauce ? I would be glad if you reply me soon. Thhank you.

    • http://norecipes.com Marc Matsumoto

      It’s not as important as the ketchup, but will effect the color and taste if you don’t add it. If you can’t find it in your area, try adding a little extra ketchup.

      • PegLegMeg

        I am allergic to apple, tomatoes and soy so had to find a way around the apple, ketchup and worstershire: I use apricot nectar instead of water in the curry, and a different fruit jam (often blackberry) in the roux. It’s AMAZING.

  • Allene Lowrey

    I’ve been making (and loving!) this for a while, minus the peas and pureed apple (DH is averse). Any ideas, though, how I might adapt this for the CrockPot? It’d be great to be able to make this over the summer without heating up the whole place.

    • http://norecipes.com Marc Matsumoto

      Hi Allene, you could do the simmering in a crockpot, but you’ll need to brown the chicken and caramelize the onions in a regular pot as its the browning process (maillard reaction) that gives the curry its good flavor. I always keep a stash of caramelized onions in the freezer ( http://norecipes.com/blog/caramelized-onions-recipe/) but you’ll still need to brown the chicken, still, having caramelize onions on hand will save you a lot of time (and heat) in summer.

      • Allene Lowrey

        Thanks! I was actually more worried about how the roux would work, but it sounds like I shouldn’t have been. Guess I’ll give it a try soon.

        Tried to follow the link you gave just now, but I keep getting a 404 error. I remember seeing that post before, though.

  • Jessica

    So, I was wanting to make this for my dad, sister, brother and me but I wanted to know about how many servings it makes. I personally think I’d love it so I’ll probably eat A LOT of it. Please respond soon!

    • http://norecipes.com Marc Matsumoto

      It depends on how much each person eats, but it should comfortably feed 4 people, 6 people if you’re light eaters.

  • louise banton

    im a filipino.. and i like your recipes.. :) and my family likes it too..thanks

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  • Des

    If you cannot find garam masala(which I don’t know a lot about except that I read that it is spicey) in any of your local grocery stores do you think that using curry powder would work?

    • http://norecipes.com Marc Matsumoto

      That would be fine. Garam masala is a spice blend that’s the Indian equivalent of curry powder (which is a british spice blend). It tends to have a different blend of spices, but curry powder will work.

  • Des

    If you cannot find garam masala(which I don’t know a lot about except that I read that it is spicey) in any of your local grocery stores do you think that using curry powder would work?

  • moonclaw

    I really reallly want to cook this does it matter what kind of potatoes you use?

    • http://norecipes.com Marc Matsumoto

      Yep, any potatoes will work, but I like using Yukon Golds or plain ole Russets.

  • Hannah Faed

    OMG thank you so much for this recipe! We love Japanese curry but haven’t made it in years because of the high use of Palm Oil in all brands of the prepackaged flavour blocks. This is on the menu tonight at our house once again, thanks to you.

  • Elaine Bohlz

    I made this with both an Indian blend curry powder I maade at home and regular curry powder. It was so wonderful both ways! My aunt got me hooked on the Indian version of curry about two years ago. I was completely out of coconut milk and anything I could substitute but had some chicken thighs and a craving. I looked for a recipe without coconut milk, but only found ones that substituted cream(we were so poor that week we didn’t have that either!) I remember a friend ordering curry at our local Chinese restaurant (support the mom and pop ones, the best we’ve been to are family run!) There was no way it could have coconut milk in it with the color it had… I decided to try looking for a Japanese recipe first, however, since I keep more Japanese ingredients around. This was the first one I came across. Not only did I luck out enough to have everything I needed for this one except potatoes (we substituted sweet potatoes instead, cutting back on apple to compensate for the sweetness ) it was also very simple looking. Best curry I have ever had. I made it following the recipe closer the second time, with regular Idahos. Still amazing, though I prefer sweet potatoes as well, which is similar to the Thai version a woman sold at a stall in our grocery store, but didn’t make it often because it made more than she could sell in the day her stall was open. This is a wonderful and cheap recipe. Thank you so much for sharing!

  • Carlos V

    Hi I’m a guy that enjoys good food and am a fan of asian food specially jap. In my country there was this one little restorant where the owner was the cook and she was jap/italian mix and she made delicious curry, giozas and katsudon (thees where my favorite plates) for some reason she had to close shop and I havent been able to find any other place that could compare in favor to her cooking.

    I have found recepies for the curry and katsudon in your site the sound exactly like what i tasted and even the presentation is similar.

    Im not a chef, i will say maybe a beginner cook, but i will risk doing this recipes to see whats what.

    I want to say 2 things: 1st Thank you for posting this recipes and 2nd do you hace a recipe for that stiky rice, its kind of a signatre thing in jap dishes and I know the texture will not be the same with regular rice

    thanks again

    • http://norecipes.com Marc Matsumoto

      Hi Carlos, the rice served with japanese food, is a type of short grain rice. It’s unique to Japanese and Korean cuisine and is often sold in other countries as “sushi rice”. I’m assuming you live in Italy? I don’t know of any Japanese markets there, but ask around and you should be able to find some place that carries it. You can also try checking online. Also, I’m sure you meant no offense, but the term “Jap” is a derogatory racial slur where I come from akin to using the “n” word to refer to black people.

      • Carlos V

        Hi Marc, so sorry for the misunderstanding, it was not my intentiion, it was a case of laziness of writing the complete word.

        Im actually from Panama (central america) if you are ever arroun, let me know.

        Now regarding rice, i know wher eto find “sushi rice” is there any particular methos to the cooking of this specific kind of rice or the same as regular white rice aplies?

        • http://norecipes.com Marc Matsumoto

          No worries, I figured it was something like that. Weight out 325 grams of rice. Wash the rice until the water runs almost clear. Add the drained rice to a pot with 400 ml of water. Bring it to a boil, then turn down the heat and cover with a lid. Cook for 15 mintues, turn off the heat and let it steam undisturbed for 10 minutes. Fluff the rice and serve.

  • Hannah

    Ohhh, i made this today and boy was it yummy. The sauce was unbelievably creamy and had so much flavour. I made a few changes here and there but ultimately this recipe is a winner, tastes a bit like the packaged stuff but is much more flavoursome and without the preservatives etc. Thanks and i cant wait to try some of your other recipes :)

  • Yvette

    I really love making this. When I first tried it I couldn’t find garam masala and I personally don’t care for the turmeric in the store bought curry powder so I found using a search engine that there are some very simple mixes for garam masala that work really well. Very easy to find the individual spices in a regular supermarket and mix your own.

  • Chris

    Hi Marc! Awesome-sauce recipe! I watched your video on youtube and noticed that a couple of your steps are not in this document – - which i think would help your readers greatly:

    +++++++++++++++++
    Overall
    Serves 4-6

    Curry
    1. Cover Pot when brining onion, carrot, chicken (meat) mix.
    2. Cover Pot when simmering all ingredients (potato, carrot, chicken, apple sauce, meat, etc).

    Note: Covering the pot keeps a little more moisture in, some readers might think to leave the pot off and they’ll loose some liquid on evaporating (you show the lid on in your YouTube video).

    Roux
    1. Put butter and flour in pot and stir as butter melts and fully mixes with flour.
    2. Once butter and flour are mixed, add spices
    3. Add tonkotsu + ketchup (tomato sauce)
    4. Stir until mix starts to crumble

    This worked much better than melting the butter on its own (also in your YouTube video)!
    +++++++++++++++++

    For my personal preference, I prefer the creamier/smoother curry, so I threw the caramelized onions (only the onions) into the food processor to make it more like a sauce!

    Overall, I loved your recipe! I’m a huge fan of making things from scratch so the steps for making roux made for an awesome adventure!

    • http://norecipes.com Marc Matsumoto

      Hi Chris, thanks for the suggestions. I made the video after this post, so I guess you could say the video supersedes this recipe. I’ve left this up mainly for the list of ingredients. Will update the instructions as you suggested.

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  • Sylvia

    I just made the dish tonight, with some Painted Hills ground beef, pink lady apple, 2tbs garam masala + 1tsp curry powder. I, too, also forgot to add peas at the end. None the less, curry came out scrumptious! This recipe is a keeper. Thank you Marc!

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  • Marcella

    Hi, I’m new to your blog, and I just tried this recipe. I don’t know what I did, but mine taste only a bit like the instant block curry, BUT SOMEHOW…it is still good, I actually like it better than the instant one hahaha It taste rather light too. I ate it today for lunch, and it’s one of the BEST lunch break I’ve ever had. Thanks for the recipe lol

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  • sheila

    whats the serving size for this recipe?

    • http://norecipes.com Marc Matsumoto

      Hi Sheila, the serving size is up to you and how hungry the people you’re feeding are.

  • Dude

    Made this today (minus the apples) and it tasted awesome! will definitely be making it again. I kinda went overboard with the garam masala though, i’ll be putting in less next time. still good though!

  • baboyizm

    I tried your curry recipe when I made katsu last year. I did not have the correct curry powder, so it wasnt as tasty as the boxed bricks. I tried it again a month ago using S&B curry powder and its so much better. It tastes just like the boxed curry minus all the msg. The base for your roux recipe is fantastic and have used it many times this month. It goes good with veggies and potatoes, hamburger, and my all time favorite katsu curry. Now I dont feel bad guilty eating boxed curry and just use this. Thank you so much!

  • baboyizm

    Any chance you can duplicate the recipe for the curry at Coco Ichibanya? I’ve been on my search for their recipe and have never been able to come close.

    • http://norecipes.com Marc Matsumoto

      Hi Baboyizm, I’m glad to hear you enjoyed the curry. I’ve never eaten at Coco Ichiban, so I’ll have to eat there first before giving it a go.

  • Chris Her

    Hi there, I live in New Zealand and our local Sushi place makes this for me (well sells it) and I am soo addicted to it but it costs $10 each time, and my lunches are starting to get really expensive, so I googled Japanese Curry online and saw your picture and it looks like the one I buy. I also remember the owner saying they use a roux…which you do too. I cant wait to try and make this, thank you so much for sharing this with all of us!!!!

    • Mike

      The whole point of this recipe is to not use roux. He’s making the part where normally roux is used from scratch.

      • Arsh

        Mike is incorrect.
        The point is not to use the pre-packaged bricks of Curry you can buy from a store.

        A roux is merely the base for the sauce made from flour and butter. Look roux up on Wikipedia if you need more information. You can make many sauces out of a roux. This is how you make a Curry sauce from one.

        I also make Curry from scratch (as above) but I just want to add that I’ve never used ketchup or Tonkatsu sauce. (Tho I am surprised the author compared Tonkatsu sauce to Worchestershire sauce. To me, Yakisoba is Worchestershire, but Tonkatsu sauce? Not so much.)

        For curry sauce just use a roux and add as much curry as you like along with cayenne if you want to add some heat. I never use cayenne in mine. I like mild curry. It’s just a matter of taste.
        More curry than 2TBS will make the curry flavor stronger, which I prefer. And you can add a little curry powder to your meat and veg as you’re cooking them also for extra flavor. I always cook my meat with a little olive oil and a little curry powder. Also, I use pork for mine which wasn’t added to the list of potential meats.

        Pork curry with carrots and potatoes is a staple in my house. It’s delicious over rice, but be sure you’re serving a good Japanese styled rice and not the Western crap like Minute Rice. That stuff isn’t worthy of Curry. ;)

        • http://norecipes.com Marc Matsumoto

          Actually you’re both right. In the western definition of the word “roux” it’s a general purpose mixture of flour cooked in a fat, but in Japan “roux” is synonymous with the prepackaged blocks used for curry. As for tonkatsu vs worcester sauce, I usually say a reasonable substitute for tonkatsu sauce is a mixture of ketchup and worcestershire. I didn’t mention it since the recipe already calls for ketchup. The reason why I add it is for sweetness and depth.

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  • Carolyna Espinoza

    Hi, this is my first time making curry. It taste great but the sauce came out too thin. Is there any tips you can give me?

    • http://norecipes.com Marc Matsumoto

      Hi Carolyna, either there was too much water or not enough roux (the flour, butter, curry mixture). Try reducing the amount of water you add next time, or make more roux.

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  • From Brazil:

    Thanks, man, your recipe kicks ass. Did It yesterday and it was a total success.

  • Lynette

    I just wanted to say thank you for posting your recipe. I used curry powder instead of the garam masala, other than that I followed your recipe to the tee. As I was eating the curry I had a big smile because it was exactly what I had been craving since leaving Japan 1 1/2 ago. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!!!!

  • Levi del Valle

    I want to thank you for this recipe, I never had curry before and I found this to be quite delightful.

  • Emily

    This was great! I have tried a variety of Japanese curry recipes over the past year… trying to phase out the boxed mixes/cubes and this is the best I’ve tried yet. Mine turned out super thick… I actually had to water it down a bit, but that is probably because I used a pot with a lid that doesn’t fit tight! Delicious, thank you for sharing!

    • http://norecipes.com Marc Matsumoto

      Glad to hear you enjoyed it! Keep in mind you don’t need to use all the roux if it looks like it’s getting too thick.

  • London

    Thank you for the authentic recipe with no preservatives that I can make gluten free. Fed 8 people tonight and it turned out wonderfully. You have a cooking talent! Thank you, thank you. Oh, and the video was super helpful for a novice like me.

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  • misty

    I love the idea of making my own roux. I have perfected my curry (hubby was stationed in Oki) and ate at CoCos about 3 or more times a week. He says mine tastes just like it. But I was hoping not to have to use a base anymore. I am going to have to try my recipie with this and I will let you know. If it comes out betted than mine, I will let you know!

    • Mitchell Williams

      Misty I would love to get a copy of your curry! I was stationed in Oki and I miss it terribly!

  • Ricky-Tikki-Tavi

    I want to make this for my girlfriend for our anniversary. Judging from how much I was salivating from just reading the directions, I may end up going back for seconds. About how many servings does this recipe make?

    • Ricky-Tikki-Tavi

      Nevermind. I scrolled down and saw a helpful comment. SERVES 4-6!

      Thanks for this, I can’t wait.

  • sim

    absolutely brilliant recipe. i was sceptical that it would turn out better than those commercial curry blocks. how wrong i was!

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  • Jean

    Hi Marc, Instead of using regular flour can I use wheat flour?

    Thanks

    • http://norecipes.com Marc Matsumoto

      Hi Jean, I’m not sure what regular flour is where you live, but in the US, flour is made from wheat so provided your wheat flour is similar to all-purpose flour found in the US it should work.

  • Brittany

    Great recipe, my go-to when I want to impress somebody. I don’t like pureeing the apple with a microplane, though, as it’s time consuming and I fear for my fingers. Instead, I like to quarter and core an apple, skin it with a knife, and then slice each piece into razor-thin slices. They cook down to nothing as if they had been pureed in the first place, without all the fuss.

  • maesaysdoit

    Thanks you for the recipe. After living in Hamamatsu I really miss Japanese Curry. I’ve purchased the rue block here, but have always wanted to learn to make my own fresh. I also want to thank you for your Yaki Soba recipe.

  • Bryan Montford

    I really like this! The idea of making instead of buying pre-packaged. Oddly though, when I was working over 60 hours a week and raising four kids while still doing all the things an active father and homeowner has to do, I was also cooking all of our meals, and used the exact opposite system. I would buy good quality foods that were mostly pre-cooked and packaged, but then combine them into dishes, so I could go from stovetop to table in 30 min or less and have healthy delicious food, fast. It was mostly being careful and choosy about brands and watching content, then maximising raw and fresh prep, and creating clever solutions to make culinary delights ASAP for those four hungry kids and we adults – things we could all enjoy and eat healthy.

    • Bryan Montford

      PS. At least a third of the dishes were Asian styled and inspired.

  • Kate

    I found your YouTube video nearly 2 years ago and I just got around to trying the recipe. I waited so long because I thought it would take too long to make for a quick dinner. I shouldn’t have waited, it was delicious! I used ground beef in place of the chicken. It worked like a charm. Thank you.

  • Ain

    I tried this last night and it worked perfectly! I didn’t have tonkatsu sauce, so I used yakisoba sauce instead — still, it was so yummy. I’m glad I won’t need to spend money on those curry cubes anymore.

  • Lynn

    Great recipe! “Brighter” is definitely the right word for the result. My Japanophile partner agreed this curry was tastier than the brand name brick we normally use. In the spirit of keeping it “instant”, I didn’t bother to wait until the onions were caramelized, although I’m sure it would taste great that way. Just gave them a quick fry in the pan, then the meat, then the veg, and a couple cloves worth of minced garlic + knob of ginger for good measure. As for the apple, I tossed it peeled and cored into the blender with the water before adding it to the pot with everything else. I’m now considering making the roux in volume and storing in the freezer.

    • http://norecipes.com Marc Matsumoto

      Hi Lynn, glad to hear you enjoyed it. In Japan they say that a good curry depends almost entirely on how well you caramelize the onions. Give it a shot next time, it will make a big difference. I usually make a huge batch and then freeze them in a large ice cub tray (1 cube equals about 1 onion). Great idea on freezing the roux!

  • Kerry

    Thank you! I tried the curry at a Japanese restaurant a few months ago and have become kinda obsessed. Now I can try making it for myself!!

  • DatMama

    This has now become my Husbands FAVORITE meal!! Love it! This is my go to recipe for Japanese curry!!

  • Amber Ayers

    Is it necessary to use water or can it be substituted with beef broth?

    • http://norecipes.com Marc Matsumoto

      Yep, you can certainly use beef or chicken broth, but it’s not necessary as you get a lot of flavor from the meat and vegetables that go into it.

  • Jason

    Having never tried Japanese Curry before, I tried my hand at making it using the recipe here http://justonecookbook.com/how-to/how-to-make-curry-roux/ . I used the S&B curry powder in the tin. I found my curry sauce tasteless – I mostly tasted the butter from the roux and only a hint of the curry spices. I had to add A LOT of ketchup and Worcestershire sauce to add some depth and flavor to it.

    Could it be because I added the chicken stock to the roux instead of the other way around? I made a big pot of chicken stock using the bones and mirepoix, wanting to save it for soup. Help!

    • http://norecipes.com Marc Matsumoto

      Approve—
      Sent from Mailbox for iPhone

    • http://norecipes.com Marc Matsumoto

      Hi Jason, I can’t really comment on someone else’s recipe, but I don’t think the order in which you mix things should make that big of a difference in flavor. What will make a difference is how much you caramelize the onions (more is better) and what you cook with the water and caramelized onions (meat, carrots, etc). Japanese curry should be thick like gravy, sweet, and mildly spicy, but if your comparing it to Indian/thai curry, it will be much milder as it’s a family food that children love in Japan.— Sent from Mailbox for iPhone

  • Katherine Kato

    Hi!

    Have a quick question about the roux… can it be refrigerated or frozen and used at a later date? i.e. make a recipe’s worth and use half now (for kare raisu or tonkatsu kare) and freeze the rest to use later.

    I’m interested in trying this recipe, but since it will just be my husband and I eating it, we can’t eat 4 cups worth of curry in two sittings, so if it can be frozen or at least refrigerated, then that would be perfect.

    Thanks! ^u^

    • A. Ryan

      Coincidentally I was trying this tonight actually. Last time I made the recipe, I made a double batch of roux and froze half of it before adding the 2 cups of liquid. I think it came out fine, so unless the chef comes on and says don’t do it I think it’s worth a try.

      Also, I have frozen the complete recipe before as well, thawing it out before I want to eat it, and that works well too. I just wanted to try freezing just the roux and adding it in after cooking the vegetables at a different date.

      • http://norecipes.com Marc Matsumoto

        I don’t usually freeze the finished curry because freezing changes the texture of the potatoes and carrots, but freezing the roux is a great idea. I also freeze large batches of caramelized onions, which is another way you can save a ton of time.

        • Katherine Kato

          Hi!

          I was only wanting to make the roux, divide it into half recipe portions and then put them into the freezer so that I can use it at a later time to make karei raisu or katsu curry.

          I can get the pre-made S&B brand roux blocks here in London (they don’t sell the Glico type that I was raised on in Vancouver), but I find that they can be a little bit on the pricey side (200g box is USD $6/box!!!!) and the one main place where I can get it is a bit out of my way to get to, so being able to make my own roux at home would be very helpful (my husband is Hakujin and <3 katsu curry).

          By the way, thanks for all of your work on this site… a lot of your recipes bring back memories of watching my Bachan and my Mom cooking when I was a child.

  • asyrop

    Hello Marc I need to ask something important. Can I mke the roux without spices (only fat and flour) and just add the spices/garam masala in the meat stew? Thank you I will try to open a kare house in my city (we don’t have that here) so I will make as tasty a curry as possible. And how do you create the dark brown color? Is dark roux sufficient?

    • http://norecipes.com Marc Matsumoto

      You could do it that way, but toasting the spices with the roux brings out more flavor. As for the color if you want it to be very dark you need a dark roux and I often add things like coffee or chocolate.

      • asyrop

        Ok mister. One last question (this might be a bit blasphemous, I don’t know), is it possible to eliminate the roux and use slurry cornstarch as thickening agent? I mean, if the difference with other curry is the thickness and the sweetness (which can be attained by onion caramel and other thngs) then can I use cornstarch to create the thickness? (Might not last long though only a day maybe)

        • http://norecipes.com Marc Matsumoto

          It’s not blasphemous, but it’s not how Japanese curry is made. Cornstarch will give you a different texture than a roux will. You’re also using a lot less fat, which is healthier, but will come at the cost of richness.

          • asyrop

            Thankyou very much. I will try to make a mild,sweet and thick curry any other way. Just need to create that richness, need to be creative here LOL.

          • http://norecipes.com Marc Matsumoto

            If you tell me a bit more about what you’re trying to achieve perhaps I can help with alternatives. Do you want to make it lower fat? Are you trying to make it gluten-free?

  • mushroom

    Hello!

    I have a couple questions and i’ve scanned the post to make sure it’s not been mentioned or what not. but if it has my apologies for asking >__<
    1) how many is the recipe to serve?
    2) what type of flour do i use?

    • http://norecipes.com Marc Matsumoto

      Hi Mushroom, this should serve about 4-6 people depending on how much the people you’re feeding can eat. As for the flour, I use regular all-purpose flour, but you could probably substitute other types of flour if it has similar properties to AP flour.

      • D

        Hey Marc, it would had have been useful if you said that somewhere in your blog text. I live alone and I did not know for how many people that was. So I just used half of the ingredients but it were still too much for me to handle x_X. (well, I continued eating it the next day, but you know… it was Overkill as I always tend to eat everything up and cook it fresh whenever I want to eat something. Don’t like to put stuff into fridge)

  • Sajindaj

    Tried this today and came out pretty well! One question though… I had to use a bit more oil to keep the onions from blackening… Is there any other way to do that? I don’t like using a lot of oil haha

    • http://norecipes.com Marc Matsumoto

      HI Sajindaj, if the onions were blackening your heat was probably up to high. It’s fine starting them off over medium heat, but you want to turn the heat down as the water evaporates to keep the caramelization even. Check out this post for more details: http://norecipes.com/recipe/caramelized-onions-recipe/

      • Sajindaj

        Thanks!

  • Liz

    Hi there! Would coconut oil be a sub for the butter? Or should I use tapioca starch instead if the roux? I am trying to make a vegan option :)
    Thanks!

    • http://norecipes.com Marc Matsumoto

      Hi Liz, coconut oil will work, you may also want to add a bit of nutritional yeast into the curry (with the veggies) to give the curry some umami since you’ll be leaving out the meat. Also you may want to consider using veggie stock instead of water.

  • Mike

    Would this work for the Tonkatsu recipe? Since I don’t want it black.

    • http://norecipes.com Marc Matsumoto

      If you’re asking if you could pour this on tonkatsu, then yep, it’s pretty common here in Japan to pour curry sauce on top of tonkatsu.

  • Digatron

    Hi Marc! Thanks for the recipe.

    My wife doesn’t like to cook with butter. Is there anything else I can substitute for the roux, or a way to make it a ‘low-fat’ curry?

    • http://norecipes.com Marc Matsumoto

      Hi Digitron, it won’t change the fat content, but you can use vegetable oil for the roux. Otherwise you could skip the roux and use other thickeners like cornstarch, but it won’t be a Japanese curry.

      • Digatron

        I understand. Thanks for the reply! I’ve convinced her to suck it up and use the butter. Looking forward to trying it!

  • Cherry

    Your recipes are all delicious, and your pictures fantastic. Please keep uploading great recipes to share with us… Don’t ever close your blog, I love to use your posts in my own cooking.

  • Benjamin Evans

    I had a blast making this with my dad today! Ended up putting in too much salt and garam masala though so it got ruined.. I’ll just have to try it with curry powder next time haha!
    Thanks for the recipe!

  • Andrea

    Made this today because I was didn’t have the boxed curry I usually use to make curry. I will never use boxed curry sauce again. This recipe was fantastic! My husband is half Japanese and he loves his curry. He said I had outdone myself! Woohoo!! Had to make a few substitutions – didn’t have the garam masala, so I used curry powder. Also, I didn’t have the worcestershire sauce, so I substituted with 1/2 tbsp soy sauce. Excellent recipe. Thank you for posting. Definitely a keeper for me!

  • Mark

    Hi Marc, just wanted to say thanks – this is an awesome recipe and the whole family loves it – kids too! I’m a recent convert to Japanese curry rice since meeting my (Japanese) partner a few year back, but lately can’t use the manufactured roux due to the fact that wheat flour and I don’t get on at all well…. so I substituted in a gluten free flour (and gf garam masala) and it was all good….. and it’s amazing how the potatoes absorb the flavour from the masala too. With winter coming this dish will become a regular meal for sure.

    Anyway, you’ve got a new fan base in NZ. Many thanks!

    • http://norecipes.com Marc Matsumoto

      Glad to hear you enjoyed it and thanks for sharing your technique for making it gluten-free!

  • DanzaFantasma

    Can another type of flour, say coconut or rice flour be used in place of the wheat flour for someone who is gluten intolerant?

    • http://norecipes.com Marc Matsumoto

      Rice flour should work, but I’ve never tried it so I can’t guarantee it. I do not think coconut flour will work since it’s not a starch.

    • Mark too

      I’m using a combination gluten free flour which includes maize starch, rice flour and soya flour – the roux has turned out really well and also mixes in well and smoothly with the other roux ingredients (i.e. no lumps or weird separation is seen). If you’re particularly sensitive to wheat flour check that your garam marsala or curry powder does not contain wheat flour too…

  • FeedmeFood

    Hello Mark! I tried making this last night and it came out really wrong..I used curry powder in place of marsala garam. Could that be the reason?

    • FeedmeFood

      Also, you instructed to “laddle about 2 cups of liquid into the roux”. What liquid are you talking about?

      • http://norecipes.com Marc Matsumoto

        Hi FeedmeFood, while different brands tend to have different flavors, in general curry powder should work. Can you be a little more descriptive in what you felt was wrong? As for the liquid it’s the liquid the meat and veggies are cooking in. You add it to melt the roux before transferring it back so you don’t end up with lumps of roux in your curry.

        • FeedmeFood

          The curry was bitter and not sweet besides the flavor of the carrots. It did not taste like Japanese curry.

          • http://norecipes.com Marc Matsumoto

            There’s a couple possibility on the bitterness. The first is that the curry powder you used includes too much turmeric (which has a bitter taste). Try tasting the curry powder straight, it will taste a little bitter, but if it tastes very bitter, that could be the culprit. Because there’s so much variation in the spices used in curry powder (and garam masala), it’s hard to give recommendations, but if you want one that will definitely work, try looking for S&B brand curry powder which is a Japanese curry powder. The other possibility on the bitterness is that the curry powder got burnt in the roux. If you think this might be possibility, next time, try incorporating the curry powder and other spices after you take the roux off the heat as the residual heat should be more than enough to toast the spices.

            As for the sweetness, did you include ketchup, tonkatsu sauce and a sweet apple? If so and you felt it needs to be even more sweet, try adding more apple.

  • Benjamin Zuckerman

    I made this again last night – my second try. The first time it came out well, but last night I stuck closer to the instructions and it came out PERFECT. Everyone loved it, and it was the “hit” of the evening. This is the best “Japanese Curry from Scratch” recipe I have tried. I think that the apple is essential. Thanks so much for sharing this!

  • MixedUpInVegas

    I want to make this to serve over tonkasu pork. Can I substitute chicken broth for the water and omit the chicken thighs? It seems redundant to have two kinds of meat when I only want the sauce for the pork.

    • http://norecipes.com Marc Matsumoto

      Hi MixedUpInVegas, you could do that, but be sure you’re using good quality chicken stock. The other thing you could do is use ground pork.

      • MixedUpInVegas

        Dang, good call, Chef! I never thought of that. As it happens, I made it per my original plan. Husband, who is a curry freak, went crazy. Ate 3 big helpings all the while raving about what a delicate curry it was. Unfortunately, it was just too licorice-y for me. Guess it was the particular blend of garam masala. Either way, it was a good learning experience and the pork was killer. Maybe I’ll tonkatsu pork donburi with it. Thanks so much for your kind reply

  • Nad Px

    Hi!
    Thanks for sharing this recipe! I grew up knowing only Indian/Malay/Indonesian curries but when I visited Japan a few years ago, I absolutely love the sweet, mild curry I had there.

    Had a craving for it today and so I googled and found your recipe. Apples in curry are completely unheard of where I come from but I followed the recipe anyway.

    What do I know. The curry tastes wonderful! I love how thick it is. It’s very similar to the ones I had in Japan. My curry still has a hint of spiciness, though, as the curry powder and garam masala I have are meant for authentic Indian curry. But that’s perfectly fine with me.

    Thanks again!

  • Jennifer Simon Reffner

    Hi Marc! Thank you for posting this. I am half Japanese and prego and had a hankering for kare rice but as I was cutting my veggies, I realized I didn’t have any of the instant packs! This tasted pretty close. I omitted the apple and ended up adding sugar. It was still good.

    • Curry Fanatic

      Hi Jen! You really should try it with the apple, it’s the single most important ingredient in my opinion. If you want it to taste closer to the brick Curry that you’re used you, you’ll have to add MSG or other sodium-rich flavorings. Try a pinch of chicken bouillon or ramen packet and it will bring the saltiness closer to what you’re used to. Happy cooking!

  • Donald

    The recipe is nice and easy, I’m not American but I speak English the problem is in the last paragraph I don’t understand the part of ” just Laddle two cups of liquid into the roux…”, two questions 1: what does laddle means? 2: what liquid am I going to put into the roux? If someone could help me please I will be very grateful for it. Again thanks for the recipe, greetings Donald Reyes from Dominican Republic.

    • http://norecipes.com Marc Matsumoto

      Hi Donald, 1) ladle is a kind of large spoon used to serve soup. When used as a verb it means to use a ladle to pour something. 2) The liquid is the liquid from the meat and vegetables.

  • Spenja

    It sounds great and I plan to prepare it tomorrow but i have two questions :
    1. How many servings is it ?
    2. When should I add the tofu when I use it instead of the chicken ?

    Thank you :) your blog is amazing btw.

    • http://norecipes.com Marc Matsumoto

      Hi Spenja, the number of servings will depend on how hungry the people you’re serving are. For me, this makes about 6 servings. As for adding the tofu, you’d still caramelize the onions, and then add then add the tofu with the potatoes. If you’re using tofu, you may want to substitute vegetable stock for the water.

  • Kimi

    I made this with an Asian pear apple. Turned out really good! I’ll be saving this recipe! Thank you!

Welcome!

I'm Marc, and I want to teach you some basic techniques and give you the confidence and inspiration so that you can cook without recipes too!