Japanese Beef Curry Recipe

Japanese Beef Curry Recipe

The Japanese are so mindful they developed curry roux that you can enjoy anywhere you may be in the world.

I have always been a huge fan of Japanese cuisine. And one of my favorites are Japanese curry. The best thing about loving this dish is that I can actually make it in the comforts of my own home.

Before I got to travel to Japan, I’ve often ordered this dish in Japanese restaurants out here and always loved how it tastes. I love how distinct it is from the other curries I’ve tried. The thing that makes it different is its sweetness. And what gives it its signature sweetness, is that their curry has either apples, pears, honey, or brown sugar in it.

Since I liked how Japanese curry tasted, I couldn’t wait to try it out in Japan. I was so surprised that it tasted exactly the same as what I’ve been having in my own country. It was such a relief and comforting feeling knowing I didn’t have to travel all the way there just to savor that taste.

Japanese Beef Curry in a bowl

Apparently, the way curry was introduced to Japan was when shipwrecked British sailors were found by a fishing boat and these sailors had curry powder with them. The British actually learnt this dish when they came from India but made theirs thicker and added vegetables and meat. The Japanese navy tried to figure out a way to feed their crew and they needed it to be done cheap and easy - so that’s how Japanese curry was born. Eventually they added potatoes into the mix because there was a time of rice shortage.

Now the reason Japanese curry has been modified was because they included seasonal ingredients and various local produce. In time, Japanese curry was done differently in several regions incorporating whatever was in season at that time and without a doubt they all created magic that is now being enjoyed all over the world.

Would you believe that back in 2007, instant curry roux’s Japanese domestic shipments amounted to 82.7 billion yen? That was way back in 2007 meaning that was huge earnings from this gem of a creation. In 1926, House Foods was the first one to sell instant curry roux in powder form while it was S&B Foods who sold them in block form in 1956.

Enough of all that, let’s finally get to learn how to EASILY make this dish at home. Before anything else, here’s a really short list of what you’ll need.

Here’s the list of ingredients you’ll be needing:

Japanese Beef Curry Ingredients
  • 1/2kg beef (choose your part wisely and have them cut into big cubes)
  • 2 large white onions (each cut into 4)
  • 3 garlic bulbs (minced)
  • ginger
  • 1/2kg of potatoes (or less, you do you) (cut into cubes)
  • 2 carrots (cut into cubes)
  • 1tsp black pepper
  • 1 box of curry roux (any brand of preference)
Vermont Curry
Curry Roux

How to make this easy delightful Japanese dish

Alright, let's discuss briefly what you can do with your beef to help tenderize it.

First, I massaged and lightly pounded it with some salt.

Second, I added some honey. This trick I actually learned from watching one of my now all time favorite anime shows Shokugeki No Soma or in English - Food Wars. Basically if you didn’t have much time to make your meat tender, a quick cheat was to use honey. Best if it’s RAW honey. Honey helps break down the larger proteins on your meat’s surface. Massage this into your meat well.

Massage with honey

Third, I also added in some ginger. Ginger when added to a marinade, also helps in digesting protein. This enables meat to be more tender and soft. Plus it adds flavor as well.

Beef pounded with some salt

Let all that sit for at least 20 to 30 minutes. (The longer, the better)

Okay now let’s get cooking.

1.In a thick bottomed pan, sear your meat. Searing your meat is essential as when you do this, you are able to create a more flavorful dish. Honestly allows you to maximize the meat’s flavor. What this does is that it amplifies the savory taste of your dish by letting it form this caramelized surface. Caramelising its natural sugars allows for more complex layers of flavor. Just. Do it.

Searing the meat

They should basically look as beautiful as this afterwards.

The turnout of searing the meat

2. In another heated pan, start sauteing your carrots and potatoes. Once they’re soft for a fork to easily pierce through,

Sauteing Carrots and Potatoes

3. Add in your white onions. White onions are generally softer and sweeter than red onions. Using white onions go perfectly well with Japanese curry. Let these cook for a few minutes. They’re ready when they already look like this.

Adding white onions

That looks beautifully cooked to me.l

Letting the onions be cooked

4. You may now add in all that beef. Let it sizzle for a while. 2 to 3minutes is good.

Adding the beef

5. Of course, we always add our garlic at the latter part because we love how that tastes as close to raw. Perfect, pungent taste in every bite. It’s like your cherry on the top but not added last. (If that makes sense)

Adding the garlic

6. You finally add in your cubes of curry roux and 4 cups of water. For 500g of meat, you’re supposed to use the entire box. (Well, maybe that actually varies depending on what you get.) For this one specifically, that’s what it instructed at the back of the box. And we’re pretty much obedient about that.

Adding curry roux

In anything in life, we gotta know and follow the rules first before we start breaking them! So for this one, explore your own curry dish after following what it says on the box you got.

Letting the curry roux get dissolved

7. Once your cubes have dissolved and mixed well, you’re now allowed to add some pepper for that added spice. Since what we’re using is just mild. Let this simmer till your sauce is reduced and is much thicker.

Adding some pepper


Voila! This is how your finished product should look like. Extremely easy right? And tastes just like that curry you have in a restaurant.

Japanese Beef Curry

This recipe makes up to 12 amazing servings.

Japanese Beef Curry with Rice

Of course, it is best served with rice. Although you may also have it any other way you prefer. With udon noodles or with egg - you may now also choose what meat to have it with.

A bite of Japanese Beef Curry

Just a closer look.

Close up shot of Japanese Beef Curry


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