Japanese curry is a delicious, unique take on a traditional dish. Whether you are hoping to learn more about Japanese food culture or try your hand at a new recipe, Japanese curry is a great place to start!

What Is Curry?

Curry is a dish of meat and vegetables in a gravy-like sauce, typically served over rice. This tasty, famous dish originated in India around 4,000 years ago. Since then, it has gone through many transformations on its travels around the globe. Through different combinations of spices and herbs, you can enjoy this versatile dish in many different ways. Here are some of the main kinds of curry you can find.

Indian Curry

One of the most popular styles of curry is Indian curry, which is considered the original dish. Styles such as korma (a creamy coconut-based curry) and vindaloo (a fiery and spicy curry) are some of the most recognizable. Indian curries usually feature a blend of various spices, including turmeric, chili and cumin.

Thai Curry

A dish of curry from Thailand is going to feature more fresh herbs than its counterparts. Thai curry also uses curry paste instead of powder. Finally, the addition of water or coconut milk will make them more brothy and sometimes add a pleasant sweetness to the dish.

Chinese Curry

The curry you’ll find in China is quite different from other Asian curries. This dish features much more broth, making the sauce more liquidy. Mildly spicy, Chinese curry is typically poured over rice or noodles.

South African Curry

One of the most interesting stories behind curry in a region is that of South African curry. While you can find more traditional curries in South Africa, one of the favorites of the area is something called “bunny chow”. Originally a way to secretly serve black customers during apartheid, now you can find this curry – poured into a hollowed out bread loaf – at many fast food restaurants.

The United Kingdom

Perhaps surprisingly, curry is frequently a favorite food in Great Britain. Due to its colonial ties with India, this dish has been around the UK for quite some time. You’ll find traditional Indian styles here such as biryani and vindaloo as well as those with modern popularity, such as chicken tikka masala.

What Makes Japanese Curry Unique?

So, what makes Japanese curry unique? Of course, Japanese Curry is uniquely delicious in its own way. There are significant differences between Japanese curry and curries from other countries, such as those found in India or China. To start, Japanese curry is usually served with side items, such as pickled vegetables, to complete the meal. Because of the use of a roux during cooking, it resembles a thick stew, unlike the more watery Chinese and Thai curries.

Japanese curry comes in a few different shapes and sizes. One unique manifestation of Japanese curry (considered the national dish of Japan) is in a tasty deep fried dish called curry bread, or kare-pan. While a popular way to enjoy Japanese curry is kare raisu (curry rice), it can also be found poured over noodles as in curry udon, adding a traditional flair to this popular meal.