Japanese Curry in a Hurry


My roommate in college was a huge fan of S&B instant curry mixes. It meant we could have a rather hearty meal, for not too much money, paired with lots of rice and sometimes kimchi, in less than half an hour. Since that time, I have rather frequently ordered Japanese curry when lunching at a Japanese restaurant… and I notice it is quite a popular choice among Pinoy diners, so I figured I should do a post for those of you who enjoy this dish but didn’t realize it was so easy to make. It is perfect for a harried mid-week dinner. Go to any large grocery or a Japanese ingredients store and buy a box of S&B Golden Curry mix. They come in several degrees of spiciness, try the medium one if you like some zing.


In a medium sized heavy pot. Add a touch of oil and saute some chopped onions for a minute or two. Add some chopped pork or chicken breasts and saute a few minutes longer. Add some cubed potatoes and chopped carrots and a cup or two of water and let this boil until tender. Add some of the curry mix (a large box makes two meals for us) and let this cook a few minutes more, it will thicken up a little. Adjust the consistency by adding more water or letting it cook longer. Season with salt and pepper to your preferred taste…


Serve with lots of boiled rice, some Japanese ginger pickles or if you like, kimchi, and revel in the fact that you can eat bigger servings than those served in Japanese restaurants and it cost you 1/3 the price to make it! :) P.S. If you are wondering about the cauliflower, I threw it in so I would have some vegetables as well…but I don’t recommend it unless you are clearing out your fridge… :)


23 Responses

  1. Curry in most filipinos here in singapore is a no-no as they associate it with indian curry style….but over the years I have learn to love it. I think I have tried about 1000 bowls of curry whenever I travel for business…Malaysian/singapore Indian curry, peranakan curry, chinese curry, Japanese curry, Thai red and green curry so far my favorite is the Indian curry with garlic naan or roti prata. Thai green curry is also good. I learn from my indian friend the best curry is when you blend your own spice before you cook them.

  2. Ahhhh…..Japanese Curry. This brings back the time I did summer in the 70’s at Sophia University in Tokyo. I enjoyed going to this small cafe (i can’t recall the name, but it sounded like “charlie brown”) that served it. It was by accident that I tried this curry (budget constraints) and because of the language barrier, it was one of the “value for money” dish mock-up on the window that I could point at to the waitress.

    Am I glad I had it!!!

    Another great find was tasting for the first time unagi. It was while on board the shinkansen from Tokyo to Kyoto.

  3. I have to admit I’ve never tried Japanese curry while I was in Japan for 2 months! I was too enamored by the bento boxes, kaiten sushi and rice balls/triangles. I have tried the one in UCC. No biggie. Thanks for the tip about this product, MM.

  4. its like you read my mind marketman. one time, i was craving for salpicao, and when i checked your site, you posted about salpicao. today, i’ve been craving for japanese curry. lo and behold!when i checked your website today, its about japanese curry. bravo!!! i love japanese curry!

  5. i love this. used to get curry raisu (curry rice) from the vending machines whenever we wanted a cheap, fast meal in japan. i have a hankering for this every now and then, specifically for S&B. i just can’t duplicate the S&B flavor, so it’s easier to just buy it.

    sometimes i use this to do a vegetarian curry with tofu (fried whole, then sliced into big cubes), potatoes, red peppers, onions, cauliflower and whatever is in my fridge (once i threw in some chickpeas – they worked fine, too) .

  6. the indians make vegetable curry with lots of cauliflower so adding cauliflower should be just fine.

  7. i love japanese curry. like to add corn kernels (canned or frozen is fine), in addition to the potatoes and carrots.

  8. there’s a Japanese restaurant in NY (SOY) that serves a vegetarian curry using soy beans (the actual beans, not sprouts) instead of meat. it’s tasty and works really well.

  9. My brother in law is Japanese American, and he makes a wickedly good tonkatsu that he pairs with japanese curry, topped with the pickled ginger, and lots of hot rice. I haven’t made tonkatsu like he does, but I always have a couple of boxes of japanese curry in my pantry, I cook it in my crockpot with root vegies (potatoes, carrots), for a quick meal with rice.

  10. Jun, there are major differences with curries. Indian curry does not even have curry powder. We all grew up with the impression that curry is curry powder. Curry basically means it is a kind of a stew. Our local version always had coconut milk. They say this is more Malaysian in influence.In most parts of India they use yogurt except for the southern part which has an abundance of coconuts mixed with their own spice blends. Thais have their versions, so do the Malaysians. the Japanese have their own which is easily duplicated with ready S&B packs. Curry from whatever country is wonderful. It speaks so much of the richness of each countries flavors. I love them all, the spicier the better.

  11. Curry is basically stew, says Lex and I think this is also why we have kare-kare (curry-curry). Not spicy, but peanut-ty.

  12. Hi Lex, Got this from Wiki…Curry powder is a mixture of spices of widely varying composition developed by the British during their colonial rule of India.

    The word “Karhee” or “Kadhi” from which “curry” is derived, comes from Southern India and refers to a sauce of any kind. “Curry powder” was developed by the British, who wished to take the taste of Indian food home, without having to utilize fresh spices. As a result “curry powder” in the Western world has a fairly standardized taste, but there are literally millions of curry flavors in India.

  13. I love Japanese curry! I prefer the Vermont brand, though.

    While living in Tokyo, I remember getting lost in Bakuro-cho and stopped at the first restaurant I saw. They didn’t have any mock-ups that I could point at and I also didn’t speak (still don’t) Japanese. So, I did the next best thing: I pointed at what the couple at the next table were eating. It was udon noodles in curry sauce topped with caramelized onion slices. Simple, tasty, cheap, and filling.

    I’ve since duplicated this dish many, many times. It’s always very satisfying.

  14. Japanese curry is usually served with fukujinzuke (sweet daikon pickle with lotus root-usually red color in the restaurants ). I loved eating it while I was visiting family in Yoyogi. Luckily I don’t have to speak Japanese, I had my family do all the talking. I don’t know if its just a family quirk, but we often dribble in some tonkatsu sauce (prefferably bulldog brand) on top of the curry…

  15. If you buy Japanese curry take a look at the backside of the packaging… Usually they put the level of hotness / spiciness from a scale of 1 to 5. When I was in Japan I eat curry 2 times a week… Steaming hot rice or udon topped with curry roux… Yummy!

  16. Two top Malaysian food blogs (https://www.rasamalaysia.com/ and https://hojiak.blogspot.com/) say that the secret to the best-tasting chicken curry is Action One A-1 curry paste. So on a trip to Penang, last week, I did a barter with my Malaysian friend — I bought 20 packs of R&M dried mango and she gave me 10 packs Action One A-1 curry paste. Along with the curry paste, you need to add coconut milk to your chicken or meat and voila you will have the best tasting curry chicken.

  17. Let me try that Japanese curry MM.
    I always serve Chix curry with the garnishes and my kids love them. Sliced boiled eggs,mango chutney,fried eggplant,raisins and fried white onions.Serve curry in a bowl with the garnishes in small bowls around it . It’s a feast with just one viand. (I’ve tried orange marmalade when there’s no mango chutney).

  18. After reading your post, I went to the nearest grocery store and picked up a couple of S&B boxes (level 1 – my significant other can’t tolerate spicy stuff but I would have tried 5). Finally had something to pair with the couscous in my cupboard. All I can say is that it looked and nearly tasted (not as spicy) like the curry I usually have (and extremely enjoy) at this small Japanese restaurant in Glorietta. MM, thank you very much for sharing this.



Subscribe To Updates

No spam, only notifications about new blog posts.