Best Japanese-Style Chicken and Vegetable Curry Recipe - How to Make Japanese-Style Chicken and Vegetable Curry

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Milk Street Bowtie Japanese-Style Chicken and Vegetable Curry

Japanese-Style Chicken and Vegetable Curry

1 hour

Japanese-Style Chicken and Vegetable Curry

Free

Japanese curry is wildly popular, including outside Japan. Some restaurants specialize in the dish, offering dozens of iterations, from basic beef curry to fried cutlets and croquettes with curry, hamburger curry, even curried omelets. At home, Japanese curry typically is made using commercially produced “bricks,” which are seasonings mixed with a roux and packaged much like bars of chocolate. Added near the end of cooking, a curry brick, broken into pieces, melts into the mix, seasoning the dish as well as thickening it. Sonoko Sakai, a Los Angeles-based cooking instructor and author of “Japanese Home Cooking,” blends her own curry powder, which she uses to create all-natural, additive-free homemade curry bricks. This recipe is our adaptation of Sakai’s chicken curry. We simplified her curry powder and skipped the brick-making process in favor of a built-in roux for thickening. Serve with steamed short-grain rice or mixed-grain rice and, if you can find it, fukujinzuke, a crunchy, savory-sweet pickle-like condiment that’s commonly offered alongside Japanese curry. Lemon wedges for squeezing are a nice touch, too.

4

Servings

Tip

Don’t worry if the flour sticks to the bottom of the pot and begins to brown. This is normal, and the browning helps build flavor in the curry, but stir constantly and lower the heat if the flour is coloring too quickly. Also, when adding the first 1 cup water, do so in two additions and be sure to scrape the bottom of the pot to loosen any stuck bits of flour. A rigid wooden spoon is better suited to the task than a flexible silicone spatula.

1 hour

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
5 tablespoons salted butter, cut into 1-tablespoon pieces, divided
1 medium yellow onion, halved and thinly sliced
2 medium garlic cloves, finely grated
1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated fresh ginger
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon curry powder
8 ounces Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into ½-inch chunks
1 medium carrot, peeled and sliced into ½-inch rounds
1 small red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded and cut into ½-inch pieces
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon mirin
Ingredients
  • 1

    pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces

  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper

  • 5

    tablespoons salted butter, cut into 1-tablespoon pieces, divided

  • 1

    medium yellow onion, halved and thinly sliced

  • 2

    medium garlic cloves, finely grated

  • teaspoons finely grated fresh ginger

  • 3

    tablespoons all-purpose flour

  • 1

    tablespoon curry powder

  • 8

    ounces Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into ½-inch chunks

  • 1

    medium carrot, peeled and sliced into ½-inch rounds

  • 1

    small red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded and cut into ½-inch pieces

  • 2

    tablespoons soy sauce

  • 1

    tablespoon mirin

Directions
  1. 01
    In a medium bowl, toss the chicken with ½ teaspoon each salt and pepper; set aside. In a large Dutch oven over medium-high, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 9 minutes. Push the onion to the edges of the pot, add the chicken to the center and cook, stirring just once or twice, until the chicken is no longer pink on the exterior, 2 to 3 minutes. Reduce to medium, then stir the onion into the chicken. Add the garlic, ginger and remaining 3 tablespoons butter, then cook, stirring, until the butter melts. Add the flour and cook, stirring constantly, until lightly browned, 2 to 3 minutes; some of the flour will stick to the bottom of the pot. Add the curry powder and continue to cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant and toasted, 2 to 3 minutes.
  2. 02
    Working in two additions, add 1 cup water while stirring and scraping the bottom of the pot to loosen the browned bits, then cook, stirring, until the mixture is smooth and thick, about 2 minutes. Stir in another 1¼ cups water and bring to a simmer. Add the potatoes, carrot and bell pepper, then cook, uncovered and stirring occasionally and scraping the bottom of the pot, until a skewer inserted into the potatoes and carrots meets no resistance, about 20 minutes; adjust the heat as needed to maintain a simmer.
  3. 03
    Stir in the soy sauce, mirin and ½ teaspoon pepper. Cook, stirring often, until the curry is thick enough to lightly coat the chicken and vegetables, 2 to 4 minutes. Remove from the heat, then taste and season with salt and pepper.
Tip: Don’t worry if the flour sticks to the bottom of the pot and begins to brown. This is normal, and the browning helps build flavor in the curry, but stir constantly and lower the heat if the flour is coloring too quickly. Also, when adding the first 1 cup water, do so in two additions and be sure to scrape the bottom of the pot to loosen any stuck bits of flour. A rigid wooden spoon is better suited to the task than a flexible silicone spatula.
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Japanese-Style Chicken and Vegetable Curry

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4

Servings

1 hour

Tip

Don’t worry if the flour sticks to the bottom of the pot and begins to brown. This is normal, and the browning helps build flavor in the curry, but stir constantly and lower the heat if the flour is coloring too quickly. Also, when adding the first 1 cup water, do so in two additions and be sure to scrape the bottom of the pot to loosen any stuck bits of flour. A rigid wooden spoon is better suited to the task than a flexible silicone spatula.

Ingredients
  • 1

    pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces

  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper

  • 5

    tablespoons salted butter, cut into 1-tablespoon pieces, divided

  • 1

    medium yellow onion, halved and thinly sliced

  • 2

    medium garlic cloves, finely grated

  • teaspoons finely grated fresh ginger

  • 3

    tablespoons all-purpose flour

  • 1

    tablespoon curry powder

  • 8

    ounces Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into ½-inch chunks

  • 1

    medium carrot, peeled and sliced into ½-inch rounds

  • 1

    small red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded and cut into ½-inch pieces

  • 2

    tablespoons soy sauce

  • 1

    tablespoon mirin

Step 1 of 3

Cook the Chicken

1
pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
½
teaspoon salt
½
teaspoon pepper
5
tablespoons salted butter, cut into 1-tablespoon pieces, divided
1
medium yellow onion, halved and thinly sliced
2
medium garlic cloves, finely grated
teaspoons finely grated fresh ginger
3
tablespoons all-purpose flour
1
tablespoon curry powder

In a medium bowl, toss the chicken with ½ teaspoon each salt and pepper; set aside.


In a large Dutch oven over medium-high, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 9 minutes.


Push the onion to the edges of the pot, add the chicken to the center and cook, stirring just once or twice, until the chicken is no longer pink on the exterior, 2 to 3 minutes.


Reduce to medium, then stir the onion into the chicken. Add the garlic, ginger and remaining 3 tablespoons butter, then cook, stirring, until the butter melts.


Add the flour and cook, stirring constantly, until lightly browned, 2 to 3 minutes; some of the flour will stick to the bottom of the pot.


Add the curry powder and continue to cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant and toasted, 2 to 3 minutes.

Step 2 of 3

Add the Vegetables

cups water
8
ounces Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into ½-inch chunks
1
medium carrot, peeled and sliced into ½-inch rounds
1
small red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded and cut into ½-inch pieces

Working in two additions, add 1 cup water while stirring and scraping the bottom of the pot to loosen the browned bits, then cook, stirring, until the mixture is smooth and thick, about 2 minutes.


Stir in another 1¼ cups water and bring to a simmer. Add the potatoes, carrot and bell pepper, then cook, uncovered and stirring occasionally and scraping the bottom of the pot, until a skewer inserted into the potatoes and carrots meets no resistance, about 20 minutes; adjust the heat as needed to maintain a simmer.

Step 3 of 3

Serve

2
tablespoons soy sauce
1
tablespoon mirin
½
teaspoon pepper
Kosher salt and ground black pepper

Stir in the soy sauce, mirin and ½ teaspoon pepper. Cook, stirring often, until the curry is thick enough to lightly coat the chicken and vegetables, 2 to 4 minutes. Remove from the heat, then taste and season with salt and pepper.

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