Japanese Curry

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Japanese Curry (カレー) is a common food found in both Japan and at Japanese restaurants around the world. It is used as a sauce for rice and noodles, as a way to baste meat, and sometimes on bread.

The word カレー translates directly as “Calais” or “Kare” depending on your pronunciation. Unlike Indian curry which has a generally spicy flavor, Japanese curry tends to be sweeter.

Serving and Preparation

Japanese curry is served with a number of other ingredients, adding a lot of flavor to the curry. It can have onions, carrots and other vegetables, sometimes with fruits or honey for an additional sweet flavor.

In addition to being served with noodles, Japanese curry is popular on Chicken, beef and pork, with Pork as the most popular dish.

Despite most meals that are served with curry being called “Curry,” all curry is added as a last step in any food preparation. The rice is made first, as are the vegetables and meat, the vegetables are sautéed, the meat is cooked, and only after all of those are completed the curry mix is added, which is generally powdered curry placed in with the liquid sauces.

In Japan, curry is served both in Japanese style recipes as well as Indian and Western style recipes. Therefore, it is not uncommon to find a number of non-Japanese curries in a number of restaurants across Japan.

Japanese curry comes in many forms. Not only is it used with m eats and noodles, it is also cooked with bread and a variety of different soup broths.


Curry is one of the newer meals in Japan, introduced in the late 1800’s during the Meiji era. Though the exact date is of its introduction is not known (sometime between 1869 and 1913), India was under the rule of the British, and was likely introduced by merchants or travelers. Japanese curry became a mainstay in Japanese supermarkets and restaurants by the 1960’s.

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