There are people out there who think they don’t like curry.

I know this for a fact because one of them gave birth to me.  And another donated a whole bunch of genes and chromosomes to the one who gave birth to me.

(I use the term donated loosely because I have a feeling it wasn’t an entirely selfless act.  If you know what I’m saying.  Hubba hubba.)


Well, fear no more.

Stop the presses and drop whatever you’re doing because I have found it.

The gateway drug of curries.  The marijuana of the narcotics world.

(Although, I should clarify for my mother who may or may not be reading this and who has a tendency to manipulate just about everything anyone says to suit her own purposes (selective hearing at its finest).  Curry is NOT a controlled substance.  There are NO government regulations regarding it’s sale and/or production.  And yes, President Obama is STILL a US citizen.  No matter what FOX news or Rush Limbaugh has to say about it.


The thing about Japanese curry, you see, is that it is not really curry.

Really. Deep down. Beneath all of that misguided youth clothing.  The pierced eyebrows.  The studded belts.  The Silly Bandz shaped like the chemical structures of hallucinogenic drugs.

It is really just a stew.  A hearty, thick, utterly delicious stew.  Perfect for your average meat-and-potatoes American, except of course, if you are my brother who is possibly the only meat-and-potatoes American who doesn’t actually like meat-and-potatoes.  At least not in stew form.

It tastes surprisingly like the stew that your momma used to make, but with a little hint of something…extra.  Something unexpected.  Something utterly hypnotic that, try as though you might, you just can’t place.

That would be the garam masala, people.  And I know I said it wasn’t a narcotic.

But damn. Is it ever addictive.


If you like what you see here at Eats Well With Others, please head on over to Foodbuzz and vote for me to be the next Project Food Blog Star!  You can find my entry to challenge #2 here.  Remember, you have 200 votes for this round, so I would really appreciate it if you would make Eats Well With Others one of them!


Japanese Chicken Curry
serves 4, adapted from [No Recipes]

For the Roux
3 tbsp butter
1/4 cup flour
2 tbsp garam masala
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
fresh ground black pepper
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp worcestershire sauce (or tonkatsu sauce if you can find it!)

For the Curry
2 tsp oil
2 large onions, sliced thin
1 1/2 lb chicken thighs, cut into large chunks (beef, shrimp, or tofu can also be used!)
2 carrots, chunked
4 cups water
about 1 1/2 lb blue potatoes, chunked (although Yukon gold are recommended.  I found these at the Farmer’s Market and couldn’t restrain myself)
1 small apple, peeled, cored, and pureed or grated
2 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp garam masala
1/2 cup peas (I used frozen)

1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Add the onions and cook on medium heat until brown and caramelized, about 30 minutes.  Turn up the heat to high and add the chicken to brown it.

2. Add in the carrots and water and bring to a boil.  Once the water is boiling, add the potato chunks, apple, salt, and garam masala and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes.

3. While that is simmering, make your roux.  In a small nonreactive saucepan, melt the butter on medium heat.  Add in the flour and garam masala, stirring until you have a thick paste.  Add in the cayenne and black pepper and incorporate it into the roux.  Add the tomato paste and worcestershire sauce and mix.  Cook until the paste starts to crumble and it seems like most of the liquid is dissolved.  Remove from the heat and set aside until the meat and veggies are ready.

4.  When there are 2-3 minutes left for the meat to simmer, remove two cups of water from the pot and pour it into the pan with the roux, whisking until all (or most) of the roux has dissolved.  Pour this back into the pot with the meat and stir until the sauce thickens.  Add in the peas and stir until heated through.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

This is my entry to Regional Recipes: JAPAN which you should submit an entry to!  Email it to me by September 30th!  It is also going to Deb over at Kahakai Kitchen for Souper Sundays and to Hearth ‘n Soul!


You are reading this post on Eats Well With Others at https://joanne-eatswellwithothers.com. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author and or owner of Eats Well With Others. All rights reserved by Joanne Bruno.
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99 Responses to Japanese Chicken Curry – Regional Recipes: Japan

  1. This looks so comforting and delicious! Yes, the culinary world changed for me the day I discovered garam masala…I use it in so many dishes! I push it on my neighbors or anyone I find who has never heard of it!

    I’m sure your brother would love this meal!

    Another great post Joanne!

  2. Katerina says:

    Joanne once again your post is hilarious. I love your Japanese dish and I love the way you chose to present it! I’ve already voted for you. Good luck!

  3. Simply Life says:

    wow, you are so impressive! Oh and I happily vote for you! 🙂

  4. I’m addicted to Jap curry, I cook it almost once a week! Not from scratch of course, the instant cubes – simple and so tasty!

  5. shannon says:

    I want to eat this right now!

    You crack me up.

    Oh, and I voted for you.

  6. Mmm, this looks good! I could eat it for breakfast and be perfectly content. And of course, just voted for ya 🙂

  7. Sounds like I’d better buy some garam masala. The stew does look amazing. Fun placemat. I just voted. Good luck!

  8. Little Inbox says:

    Hey, I just vote for you on Foodbuzz. All the best to you!

  9. I do enjoy a good curry once in a while since my daughte rmakes a dynamite vegetarian one. Love this Japanese style one too.

  10. Amy says:

    Garam masala is so so good. This isn’t anything like an Indian or Thai curry, and yet I probably still couldn’t sell my parents on it either. Is that a generational thing? My Dad also doesn’t like Mexican food. One would think he has nothing to do with my DNA, except his sweet tooth proves otherwise.

    I voted for you yesterday my dear. I hate waiting for the results. I also hate waiting to see my fat turn to muscle. But such is life.

  11. This sounds delicious and safe enough, even for the curry-phobes out there!

  12. elra says:

    I used the same recipe from Mark. I couldn’t find the tonkatsu though, I should have know better by substitute it with worcestershire sauce. Next time …

    Yours look amazing!

  13. Kristin says:

    The Mr is always weary when I say we are having curry. I have been slowly introducing him to curry and so far so good. I will have to give this recipe a try.

  14. gotnomilk says:

    Mmm. Can’t wait to try this one. Great photos, too!

  15. Vivienne says:

    I haven’t the chance to make the korma you posted the other day and now you’ve posted something else I want to make! 🙂 Only had jap curry from cubes before…so delish but I can imagine this would be better.

    Just voted for you 🙂

  16. Thanks for sharing this recipe! I’ve also only had Japanese curry from those cube thingies–this looks much healthier and probably better tasting. =)

  17. RamblingTart says:

    What a fantastic, hearty dish, Joanne! 🙂 As soon as I’m back home in cold, rainy, Autumny Washington, I can’t wait to start making stews and curries. Mmmm. 🙂

  18. SE says:

    thanks for sharing..something different yet known !!

  19. Satya says:

    wow japanese chicken curry looks very delicious …all the best dear ..i will surely vote for u


  20. That just looks so full of flavor! I love the pop of the green peas too.

  21. janet says:

    I am scared of curries too.. but I know I like garam masala, so this would be a keeper.

    The one meal I couldn’t finish in Japan was a curry.. but it was SUPER spicy. There was a bit more than garam masala in that dish.

    Can’t wait to try this. 🙂

  22. girlichef says:

    LOL, this is a gateway drug that would I endorse fully (I may or may not endorse the other one.) 😉 Looks so perfect and comforting…must have a bowl…feeling antsy…perhaps I can feel its effects through my screen…oh my!! Ha! Thanks for sharing it with the hearth and soul hop, Jo =)

  23. This does look like a stew my mom used to make… looks more like a gravy than a curry. No doubt this tastes wonderful and is something you’ll want to make on a cold winter day.

  24. aipi says:

    Flavorful chicken curry..you’ve my vote!

    US Masala

  25. Shannon says:

    i bet that garam masala i just made would work wonderfully in this!

  26. Lovely curry dish. Some amazing flavors at work. Great photos as well.

    Two thumbs way up!

  27. Joanna says:

    That looks fricking ridiculously good. I love curries of all types, so I’ll definitely try this!

  28. Eliana says:

    I have never had Japanese Curry but just because you said so, I know I would dig it!

  29. Ann says:

    Whoa, the Japanese use GARAM MASALA? Thats news to me. Curry for President!

  30. This looks so delightful – yum! I love curry curry, and Japanese curry, as well as garam masala. Looks right up my alley!


  31. Tracy says:

    This looks amazing! Perfect for a cold rainy day, too!

  32. Victoria K. says:

    Joanne, you crack me up!!! I’ve had Japanese curry once in LA and I remember thinking it was pretty awesome at the time. I honestly forgot about it until this moment, but you’ve inspired me! I wonder where I can find some in NY (other than in your kitchen… where you will surly be inviting me next time you make this, hint hint).

  33. This meal is wonderfully comforting, japanese or not! I love anything that has the word curry afixed to it; I could eat this almost every day, well, at least for a week, every day.

  34. Jo Jo! I have a lovely jar of japanese curry powder that you are completely correct about. It is NOTHING like Thai curry or Indian curry. It is so much simpler and less spicey but still warming and good! I wanted to eat my screen when I saw your bowl of stew with the bread dipped in the gravy! meanie! I need to eat lunch before visiting you. I am also laughing because I think your mom and my mom must share some genes! 😉 Hugs and thanks for sharing on the hearth and soul hop! [email protected]

  35. Ameena says:

    I had the best curries in Japan earlier this year! I had no idea that curry was eaten anywhere other than India – shows you my ignorance.

    Love this recipe Joanne! Garam Masala is definitely addicting – I drop it in everything I make.

  36. I have someone in my very own household who thinks that they don’t like curries, but eats them up quite readily if I make up some silly name like “spiced SE asian stew.” I’m not below such trickery 😉 Thank you for sharing with the Hearth and Soul hop.

  37. Monet says:

    Japanese curry. Perfect. I know a few people who swear they don’t like curries or Indian food. You better believe I’m always sneaking in some curry powder when they come over for dinner. I know they will love it if they just give it a try! This looks delicious. Thanks for sharing love.

  38. Swathi says:

    Japanese curry looks delicious. Poor garam masla, see how it got misunderstood. Voted

  39. Martha (MM) says:

    This looks wonderful Joanne and so perfect for the fall and winter months.

    Of course you know I’ll be voting for you over at Foodbuzz! 🙂

  40. That Girl says:

    Honestly, no matter what the country of origin – Japan, Thailand, India, Vietnam…all curries are really nothing more than stews. It’s the seasoning and flavors that set them apart from each other.

  41. Faith says:

    I’m kicking myself that I didn’t read this post before I went to the market! I’ll just have to go back for chicken thighs (the only ingredient I’m missing!). 😉

  42. Elizabeth says:

    I won’t ever roux the day I found this site. Outrageously fine recipe, Joanne. I want to make the Tofu version. Divine.

  43. Lisa says:

    Yum. I love Japanese curry. We usually just use the curry block that comes out of a box but I’ve always wanted to know if it was possible to make it from scratch. I’ll have to try your recipe.

  44. this is amazing curry, I love the japanese had them created! 🙂

  45. This sounds delicious! I bet even my boyfriend, who “doesn’t like” curry, would like this. He is definitely a meat and potatoes kind of guy!

  46. This looks so good! It’s the perfect recipe for a chilly evening- love it!

  47. Christy says:

    Ah, a gateway curry drug – just what is needed in this golden arches world. Thanks for linking to the hearth and soul hop. (I so voted for you!)

  48. Reeni says:

    I never knew they made curry – or used garam masala! Who would of thought? I love this – and I could trick my family into eating curry. Looks are deceiving. You pick the best regional recipes!

  49. Pam says:

    I am loving this one… curry is a new love for me. What a bowl full of goodness!

    I love your Obama & Fox News comment… that is so my mother!

  50. Natalie says:

    bookmarked this, i’m always looking for ways to use garam masala!

    and i voted for you! keep it up!

  51. That looks amazing – I’ve never tried Japanese curry, but I’ve bookmarked this one.

  52. Kristen says:

    So many cultures have curries and all of them are different. It’s so hard to keep up.

  53. Jess says:

    Ugh, I love Japanese curries. There’s a fantastic little Japanese restaurant down the road from my institute that has an amazing lunch menu and I usually end up getting something that has the curry like tonkatsu kare. And it comes with an amazing salad, mound of rice, miso soup, and whatever the side of the day is (usually gyoza or takoyaki, yum!).

    I haven’t made the curry at home though in aaaaaages. It was fantastic, but wow, it must’ve been like 2008 when I last made it. The shame, the shaaaame…

  54. Marisa says:

    This looks really really good. Seriously. I’ve never experimented with the curry side of Japanese food and now I’m wondering why the heck not.

    PS: I vowed not to vote in the whole Project Foodblog thing, but your enthusiasm is so infectious that I will hop on over and do the right thing. So, consider yourself voted for.

  55. I love curry and this looks especially provocative. The texture is so succulent and your photos are making my mouth water. You’ve got my vote!

  56. looks superb, wish i could have this with rice…

  57. MaryMoh says:

    Whether you call it curry or not, I love Japanese curry, especially the one with apples added. Even kids love it. Just so good with rice or bread…yum. Yours is perfectly done! Just voted for you. See you in the next challenge!

  58. Oh lala, it is about lunch time here and I would give anything to have a morsel of this bread dipped in your delectable curry! The 5th picture is looking SCRUMPTIOUS!

  59. How can you not like curry? These look fabulous. Curry is my favourite dish…gosh.

  60. tigerfish says:

    But I thought Japanese curry is a curry. But I do think it is not spicy as a curry. So stew it will be. I like this dish (curry or stew) anyway, over that rice. So good! Recently I just used the Jap curry base to make a chicken pie 🙂

  61. sra says:

    This dish looks so beautiful. But Japanese curry and garam masala in Japanese (is that your touch?) – is a revelation to me. And the roux makes it sound very Western, though it looks anything but.

  62. Big Dude says:

    I’ve tried to change, but remain one who is not a big fan of curry. Your stew looks and sounds like a winner and I’m putting it on my try this winter list.

  63. I have never understood the no-curry people either. A beautiful fall dish!

  64. I have not tried garam masala yet. I don’t know why, just haven’t done it. I think you may have convinced me.

    I gotta tell you, I have NO idea why, but I have this picture of your brother and I’m picturing the guy from 50 first dates, the brother, not Adam Sandler. You mention him often on your blog and that is just the mental image I get of him.

  65. Dan says:

    This looks great!

    Re: marketing as a stew – just tell your mom that you’re using allspice and don’t mention the garam masala.

    As a proof, my wife once made Welsh Cakes and used garam masala when we didn’t have allspice!

  66. Stella says:

    This ‘stew’ looks so delicious, Joanne. I’ve never seen anything like this come out of a Japanese kitchen though-that’s interesting (smile).
    Oh, and I took a little trip on my broom over to F.B. just now;)

  67. I’ve never met a curry I didn’t like–from the Indian ones requiring 27 (or so) different herbs and spices (which won my younger son kudos at elementary school for having the mom with the most herbs and spices on hand) to Thai curries. I didn’t know the Japanese made curries. This sounds delicious and just right for the on-coming nippy days.

    Who’s Rush Limbaugh?


  68. Raina says:

    I love beef stew, and I am totally intrigued by your Japanese style stew. I bet the flavors put this over the top. Looking forward to sopping this up with a nice loaf of crusty bread too:)

  69. Dawn says:

    I printed this out to make next week. Mmmmm….

  70. Well that’s funny bc garam masala is Indian…I thought? Is it really Japanese? Who knew!

    I made a very un-stew like stew last night myself and the secret ingredient that set it apart from mom’s stew was miso 🙂

  71. This is one of those dishes both the bf and I happen to love! He only knows how to make it from the box (though I admit it tastes great), but I like to do it from scratch and this looks like a great new recipe to try. Thanks, Joanne!

  72. pajamachef says:

    wow, this looks so flavorful! i bet shrimp would be delish in this! but i always use chicken in everything 🙂 it’s a bad habit.

  73. Catherine says:

    This looks scrumptious Joanne! I could go for a bowl of it anytime!
    Perfect fall dish too!

  74. No Recipes is one of my favorite blogs to steal some deliciousness from too! And oh my does this look delicious. Must try!

  75. My bf is half Japanese and this is one of his favourites!

  76. Ben says:

    I’m one of those people who think they don’t like curry, but I guess I need to try this to rethink my curry likes/dislikes. Hehe.

  77. Julie says:

    once again you had me a soup. or stew? what’s the diff! i like big bowls of tasty goodness 🙂

  78. You have a delctable bolg here..glad to follow you….
    The curry looks awesome….bookmarked….

  79. wow awesome curry I need to try always cheat with Japanese and use the cubes lol

  80. polwig says:

    This looks amazing Joanne, and I am voting again and again for you… Now I am just wondering why is it called Japanese?

  81. theUngourmet says:

    I agree…curry is so addictive! I love your Japanese version!

  82. Beth says:

    I don’t know anything about Japanese food, but this looks delicious. I’m looking forward to trying it!

  83. newlywed says:

    This looks wonderful. I love anything with garam masala in it!

  84. Julie says:

    This looks delicious. My step son is in Japan as an exchange student this year. Wonderful to learn about the recipes.

  85. Kim says:

    Hubba hubba – I haven’t heard that phrase in years! I’m gonna have to work that line in one day.

    I’m gonna come right out and say it. I’ve never had garam masala – gasp! I know. It’s ridiculous and I need to rectify this situation immediately. I’m loving the looks of this stew, especially since I know that it’s seriously packing in the flavor department.

    P.S I voted for you yesterday. Good luck!

  86. Debinhawaii says:

    I love Japanese curry–there is a slightly spicy one here that serves it over ramen noodles–so good! Your curry looks addicting for sure–thanks for sending it to Souper Sundays! 😉

  87. Deborah says:

    My husband is one of those who doesn’t like curry. But maybe I could convert him with this!

  88. Anonymous says:

    Was a little spicy, but we loved it. Great recipe. Thank you.

  89. Rodney Trotter says:

    Well, I love curries, and this one looked and sounded great, so I made it yesterday.
    Tasted as good as I thought it might. Nice change, with the roux added afterwards. I used my favourite brand of curry powder instead of garam masala. Next time I’ll serve a nice chutney with it.

    I have no idea why this is called a “Japanese” curry, but I’m keeping this one! It’s mine. Mine, I say!

    Thanks for publishing,
    Rodney, The Netherlands.

  90. Chris says:

    I am proud to say I am no longer a curry virgin. I had some at our favorite Thai place this summer and can’t wait to make it at home.

    Your Japanese curry stew looks perfect for a cool fall afternoon, Joanne. When does voting open?

  91. Hello Joanne,
    Hopped on to your blog via Deb’s souper sunday…This curry looks absolutely divine with the perfect consistency, the perfect ingredients and I love everything about it.

  92. Kerstin says:

    Haha, my mom is the same way about curry – this looks like such a yummy dish!

  93. rachel says:

    Never heard of Japanese Curry before! Looks great though… like something you’d get in a pub in England!

  94. Tina L. says:

    I just made this and my husband really liked it!! He is not a huge fan of curries, and he knew this was a curry of some kind, but he did like it a lot. I will definitely make it again. The only adjustments I made was that I halved the cayenne and I substituted 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce for the grated apple because I had the applesauce.
    Almost all the other recipes I have seen for this use a kind of seasoning cube. I really appreciate the from scratch version!!

  95. Ooo great job with this Japanese curry! I must admit I’ve only had the one from a box.

  96. craudi says:

    Your caption for this on tastespotting is SO TRUE! Love me some Japanese Curry!!

  97. Anonymous says:

    Should Onions REALLY neads to be cooked for 30 minutes???

  98. thedentons says:

    A friend made japanese curry for me after my baby was born and I loved it! I just made this version and really liked it. I used 1/4 tsp. cayenne (maybe the curry powder I used is a little spicy?) and used 2 tsps of brown sugar since I didn’t have an apple. Thanks!

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