Restaurant-level Japanese curry with rice

Sweet, savoury, and spicy, this is the Japanese curry recipe that kickstarted Harvard Wong's cookbook.

Written by Harvard Wong

This is the Japanese curry recipe that kickstarted my cookbook, Soy sauce, sugar, mirin. Curry was introduced to Japan by the British Royal Navy towards the end of the 19th century. It has since been adopted by housewives in Japan into this sweet, savoury, spicy concoction and become a truly 'Japanese' dish. I like it because there aren't any hard and fast rules - as long as you enjoy it.

  • Serves: 4


  • Optional

What to do

    1. Heat up a big pot with 1 tbsp of oil and add the diced onions. One of the most important things about making Japanese curry is the caramelised onions jam. If you have cookbooks saying it takes 15 minutes to caramelise onions THROW THEM AWAY NOW. It takes 30-45 minutes onwards to fully brown the onions on a low to medium heat. Patience is the key. Use this time to grate the carrot, dice the proteins and potatoes, and cook the rice. 

    2. Once the onions are almost brown, add the grated carrots and stir for another 10 minutes. Grating the carrots increases the surface area and make the stock thicker like a smoothie.

    3. Add another tbsp of oil, then the proteins into the pot and stir until browned. 

    4. Add the potatoes into the pot and stir until the edges are cooked.

    5. The next important thing is the stock. Water alone, according to the packet instructions, won’t cut it. You should use beef/pork/vegetable stock, if absent use instant bouillon cubes. Pour in the stock, give the bottom a good scrape, bring to boil, add any extra vegetables if desired, and cover for 10 minutes. 

Note: The curry will keep and improve in flavour in the refrigerator overnight.

Written by Harvard Wong

Harvard Wong is an ex-art director now-photographer, home cook and house husband in Melbourne. When he's not making ramen noodles and lunchboxes for his daughter, he argues with strangers on the internet about food.


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