Japanese Chicken Curry
This sweet and savory Japanese curry can be easily customized with your own choice of vegetables and protein, and is mild enough for the whole family to enjoy.
Family friendly, comfort food
Growing up, my family used to always get the S&B Golden Curry mix to make Japanese curry at home. The convenience of having the curry mix ready made made it a go-to dish for me whenever I was feeling lazy but still craving some warm, comfort food. It’s also easy to make a large stock of curry to prepare for meals in the week ahead.
After I started practicing a clean diet, I was hesitant to use the instant curries as most of them contain MSG, preservatives, flavor enhancers, and colors. That’s when I sought out to create my own Japanese curry recipe from scratch that uses healthy and clean ingredients.
Many also know that this family friendly Japanese curry is popular with toddlers and picky eaters. I actually made this recipe for my nephew’s second birthday, and he loved it. It’s delicious, healthy and complete with veggies and protein.
Japanese Curry Ingredients
There are different condiments and flavors that people experiment with to create their own Japanese curry recipes. I found that adding honey, in particular, makes a big difference. At first, I only used grated fuji apple as a sweetener, but something was still off. Adding the honey definitely helped me recreate the curry out-of-the-box taste that I like.
Vegetables and Protein
Carrots, potatoes, and onions are typically added for vegetables in Japanese curry, but I also like to add red bell peppers and green peas. It is also easy to substitute the chicken for another protein, such as beef. Sometimes I like to omit the protein altogether and instead serve the curry with some chicken katsu. I will be posting a baked chicken katsu recipe pretty soon!
Japanese Curry Roux from Scratch
Using a curry roux helps you get the thick curry consistency that you want. It is made with flour, butter, and spices. My curry roux recipe is adapted from Just One Cookbook’s recipe. Instead of adding curry powder, garam masala, and cayenne pepper, I only use curry powder. I found it to taste less bitter and am always a fan of a simpler ingredient list.
I also tweaked the cook time. The butter and flour are cooked on low until it turns light brown or for about 9 minutes. It is important to not let it burn. If it starts to smell a bit smoky, remove it from the heat right away and continue with the next recipe steps. It is important, however, to let the butter and flour cook long enough so that you get that nutty flavor and so that the flour only acts as a thickening agent.
You can always make this curry roux ahead of time, save it in an airtight container, and store in the fridge for up to a month.
Hope you enjoy!
MISE EN PLACE
If you make this Japanese Chicken Curry, I would love to hear your thoughts. Feel free to leave a comment and/or recipe rating at the bottom of this page. And if you have a photo of your food, be sure to tag me on Instagram!
Japanese Chicken Curry
- 3 tbsp unsalted butter
- 4 tbsp all-purpose flour (30g)
- 1 ½ tbsp curry powder
- 1 tbsp olive oil extra virgin
- ½ tbsp garlic, crushed
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 1 tbsp ketchup
- 3 tbsp fuji apple, grated (about ½ an apple)
- 1 ½ tbsp soy sauce
- ½ tbsp honey
- ¾ tsp salt or TT
- 180 g yellow onion, sliced (about ½ an onion)
- 120 g carrots, sliced (about one carrot)
- 150 g red bell pepper (about one red bell pepper)
- 215 g russet potato (about one potato)
- ⅓ cup frozen peas
- 1 ⅓ lb skinless, boneless chicken thighs
- Melt the butter over low heat in a small saucepan.
- Stir in the flour until well combined.
- Stir constantly to prevent the roux from burning. The mixture will swell but will eventually stop and turn into a light brown color. Cook for about 9 minutes (or until the mixture turns light brown) on low heat.
- Stir in the curry powder and remove from the heat.
- Cut the chicken into bite sized pieces and set aside.
- Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat.
- Stir in the garlic and sauté for about 1 minute.
- Add the chicken and cook until it is no longer pink (about 5 minutes).
- Stir in the onions, carrots, red bell pepper, potato and sauté for another 5 minutes.
- Add the broth and let the mixture come to a boil. Try to skim the chicken fat and scum from the surface as it comes to a boil.
- Stir in the grated apple, honey, and ketchup and let it cook covered for another 5 minutes.
- Gently stir in the roux until it dissolves and add the frozen peas.
- Let the mixture simmer uncovered on medium low heat for another 5 minutes or until the sauce thickens and vegetables are fork tender.
- Stir in the soy sauce and salt.
- Remove from heat and serve immediately with some white rice.