Japanese’s obsession with curry

I have never seen any country that loves curry more than Japan (and probably India as well). Not only Japanese curry, Japanese people love all sorts of curry. Curry is said to be originated from India at around 1700 B.C. Since then, Indian curry has become a popular dishes around the world, and Japan is not an exception.

Thai curry, known for its exotic flavor, is also loved among many Japanese. The numbers of Thai restaurant have been increasing significantly in the last few years in Japan. Therefore recently it is no longer difficult to find a decent Thai curry in Japan.


the famous Japanese curry rice with veggies

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And of course, Japanese people also love their own curry. Japanese curry uses less spices than other curries. It has a sweet taste and can be either spicy or not. The soup is not as thin as Thai curry but not as thick as Indian curry. Pork/ beef, carrot, potato and onion are the main ingredients in one serve.

You might be surprised to know that, Japanese curry that we know of today didn’t come from India. It was actually originated in the UK (which of course the English brought curry from India) and was brought to Japan in Meiji period.

Curry was military food. British royal army serves curry every Thursday on their fleets. The reason behind this was because when they are sailing, dates and times are easily forgotten. When they eat curry, it reminds them that it’s Thursday.


Fried chicken Kara-age curry rice



Why is curry served? Curry is easy to make and has high calories. In the past, meat ate on the fleets were not delicious and salty. By making curry, meat tastes better.

Japanese Self-defense force (the navy) also eat curry on their fleets every Friday. It’s amazing, isn’t it?

Curry is often served with rice or bread in many countries, while Indian curry is served with naan. Most curry fillings are cooked together with the soup, including traditional Japanese curry. However, it seems like Japanese people enjoy being creative, especially when it comes to food!

Let me introduce some curry to you.

First of all, the ‘katsu curry’!

katsukare (1)


‘katsu’ stands for any deep-fried meat that is covered with panko crumbs. ‘katsu curry’ uses Japanese curry base and is served with rice.

Not only deep-fried meat, anything can be added into a curry rice. From karaage (Japanese style deep-fried chicken) to a hamburger patty, to cheese and some curry flavored snacks

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(I believe no restaurant would sell this type of curry. Me and my friends added these for fun but they turned out to be so yummy. We also put a lot of cheese in the curry base itself)

Everyone knows that Japanese loves noodles, and they also love curry…hence, we have curry udon.




Curry udon comes with a much thinner and lighter Japanese curry base (combination of curry and Japanese dashi soup, I think). However, this soup is still thicker compared to other noodles soup.

Sapporo’s specialty soup curry

soup curry (1)

you can find this in Tokyo as well in some shops

soup curry1

Shimokitazawa area is famous for curry. There are many curry shops ranged from Japanese, Indian and Thai. I’ve tried one of the soup curry there. Almost as good as ones from Sapporo.


And last but not least, the curry bread! 


Curry bread are sold in either bakery or convenience stores. The curry fillings tastes like a combination of Indian and Japanese curry to me. There are also some strange curry dishes such as curry hotpot or curry omelette rice!

P/s: I haven’t found any place that serves curry fried rice yet but it tastes amazing, and pretty fun to make at home!!!





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