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Japanese Beef Curry

Updated: Feb 6, 2023

Check out my recipe for delicious Japanese Beef Curry with potatoes and carrots.

Very easy to prepare for any home-inspired cooks, follow my steps to recreate this perfect comfort food on your table.

My recipe also includes instructions on how to prepare your own curry roux, helping you save some money on the ingredient.

For the vegetarian alternative, I recommend my recipe for Japanese Potato Curry.

How Curry Became Popular in Japan?

Curry, a dish originating from South Asia, has become a popular food in Japan, with its own distinct style and flavor. The popularity of curry in Japan can be traced back to the late 19th and early 20th centuries, when Japan was undergoing a period of modernization and westernization. As Japan opened up to the world and began to adopt new ideas and technologies, the country was also exposed to new and exotic foods, including curry.

The first recorded instance of curry being served in Japan was in 1872, when the dish was introduced to Japanese sailors and soldiers by the British during the Meiji period. The Japanese were immediately drawn to the unique and flavorful combination of spices, and soon began to incorporate curry into their own cuisine.

In the following years, curry gradually gained popularity in Japan, with the dish being served in military mess halls and eventually making its way into schools and homes. As curry became more widely available, it also began to evolve and take on its own distinct style and flavor, incorporating ingredients such as apples, honey, and carrots to create a sweeter and milder taste that was well-suited to the Japanese palate.

Curry's popularity in Japan continued to grow in the 20th century, with the dish becoming a staple food in the country. Today, curry is widely available in Japan and is enjoyed by people of all ages and backgrounds. There are now countless variations of curry in Japan, from traditional South Asian-style curries to Japanese-style curries that incorporate ingredients such as potatoes, carrots, and green peppers.

The popularity of curry in Japan can be traced back to the late 19th and early 20th centuries, when Japan was undergoing a period of modernization and westernization. As the country opened up to the world, it was exposed to new and exotic foods, including curry. Over time, the dish evolved and took on its own distinct style and flavor, becoming a staple food in Japan and enjoyed by people of all ages and backgrounds. The popularity of curry in Japan is a testament to the country's love of bold and flavorful foods and its willingness to embrace new and exotic cuisines.

Japanese Beef Curry in the Bowl
Delicious Japanese Beef Curry

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Ingredients for Japanese Beef Curry:

  • 500g diced beef (shin and chuck works very well, you can use any stewing cut available)

  • 3 tbsp plain flour

  • 2 medium-sized onions, sliced

  • 1 medium-sized carrot, peeled and roll-cut.

  • 1tbsp ginger & garlic paste

  • 1tbsp tomato puree

  • 1tbsp Curry Powder (Mild Madras also works very well)

  • 1/2 apple, peeled and grated

  • 500ml beef stock (you can use vegetable stock instead)

  • 500ml water

  • 1tbsp Worcestershire sauce (you can substitute with fish sauce)

  • 3tbsp vegetable oil for frying

  • 300g Russet potatoes, halved (Any waxy type or new potatoes work great)

  • 250ml coconut cream (if not available use coconut milk)

  • 1tbsp butter to add at the end of cooking (optional)

  • 1tbsp Mirin (sweet Japanese rice wine)

  • 1tsp of honey (you can substitute with sugar)

  • 1 box Japanese curry roux (you can find my recipe for the homemade version here)

For serving:

  • Short-grain or sticky rice

  • Scallions, thinly sliced

  • Nigella seeds for garnish

  • Pickled ginger

How to prepare Japanese Beef Curry:

1. Preheat a frying pan with 2 tbsp of veg oil, add sliced onions and cook on medium heat until soft and slightly caramelised.

2. In the meantime coat each piece of diced beef in plain flour. Use a bowl for dipping, and place it on a plate ready for searing.

3. Once onions are ready transfer them into a large pot and use the frying pan for the beef. Add a little bit more oil and turn up the heat to high. Once the frying pan gets hot, place each piece of beef on the pan with the space between the pieces (do not overcrowd the pan). Fry on both sides until browned then transfer to a master pot (do it in two batches).

4. Now use the same frying pan to slightly brown carrots for 5 minutes, then add 1tbsp ginger & garlic paste and 1tbsp of Japanese curry powder, reduce the heat to medium and cook until fragrant (1-2minutes) then transfer to master pot.

5. Bring the master pot on medium heat and add 1tbsp of tomato puree, 1/2 of grated apple, 500ml of beef stock, 500ml of water and 1tbsp Worcestershire sauce (everything should be submerged, if not add more water) bring to a boil then reduce to simmer, cover with a lid and slow-cook for 1,5 hours.

6. Once the beef is almost tender add cut potatoes and continue cooking for another 15-20 minutes.

7. Once potatoes are cooked, add half a box of Japanese curry roux, and keep stirring until the sauce thickens (After a couple of minutes add more roux if needed).

8. When all the roux is incorporated and the sauce is thick add 1 tbsp of Mirin, 1 tsp of honey and half the amount of coconut cream, check the flavour and add more cream if needed to balance the saltiness.

9. Mix in a 1tbsp of butter to finish and serve straight away, if you like a stronger curry flavour add more curry powder, I also like to add a little bit of chilli powder to bring the heat.

Ingredients for the Curry Roux:

  • 2tbsp of plain flour

  • 4tsp of curry powder (I used mild madras blend)

  • 4 sliced garlic cloves

  • 3tbsp of veg oil

How to prepare curry roux:

1. Heat the oil in a small saucepan over medium heat.

2. Add sliced garlic cloves and cook until slightly browned.

3. Add the flour and whisk it into the oil to form a paste, also known as a roux. Cook for about 2-3 minutes, until the roux is lightly browned.

4. Add the curry powder and stir to combine. Cook for another minute, until fragrant.

5. Stir into the sauce until thickens.

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Check out my other curry recipes:

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Sep 28, 2022

This looks amazing! Thanks for sharing :)

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