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Japanese-Style Chicken and Vegetable Curry

4 Servings

1 hour

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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.




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


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Diana L.
March 13, 2023
This was delicious
I made this for dinner tonight and everyone went for seconds. We loved it. My potatoes took longer to cook so I think next time I will cut it into smaller pieces. I will definitely make it again. Also, I had to add more salt at the end. If you want it hot, you can add pepper flakes. Thanks for the recipe.
Michael H.
January 4, 2023
Delicious, came together in a snap
This was a hit in our house, the recipe came together quickly. Need to do a bit better job managing my heat next time as the onions, flour and curry powder want to scorch. End product was great though, and my family has given it the thumbs up!
Angelia C.
August 10, 2022
Mouth Watering Comfort
Complex flavors that just work! So worth getting the ingredients for the curry powder. New staple for the winter season. In love!
Cathy B.
March 17, 2024
So so good!
Liked it so much might experiment with doubling the ingredients next time for more leftovers!
Lorene S.
November 22, 2023
Loved this curry
Because I'm allergic to so many foods, I had to make a few substitutions in the curry powder. However, it still turned out great!
Mary B.

We're vegetarian, so I subbed tofu. Recipe worked great. Flavors were subtler than I expected -- particularly given all the work. But it's a much more sophisticated answer to the premade curry cubes Next time, I'll add more (delicious) curry powder.

George G.

Absolutely incredible, this'll easily become a weekly tradition. The kids love it, we love it, and even the neighbors love it!

Georgianne M.

I made this last night for dinner. I agree with the earlier post that the flavors are indeed subtle. I did add extra homemade curry powder but could have added more. My husband's ex mother-in-law (she was born in Japan) did make chicken curry but used the store bought curry mix. He liked this curry better than I did. I like spicier foods. If I make this again, I think I would add pepper corns instead of ground black pepper with the other spices before roasting them in the pan. After the addition of soy sauce and mirin, that is what really makes the flavors come out in this dish. I really liked the pickled carrots and daikon along with the dish. I loved the crunch with the curry. I think this is one of those dishes that tastes better the next day after the chicken takes in more of the flavor of the sauce.