89 In Beef/ Main Dish/ Rice/ Video

Curry and Rice Recipe

Japanese curry is very different from Indian curries.  It’s thicker and has a milder flavor than its Indian counterpart, and the real secret is … using a curry mix from a box and that is the truth.  Japanese people like to make a lot of dishes from scratch; however, when it comes to curry, there are not too many people that do.

Because it’s easy to make, but there is still room to change the seasonings to suit your taste, curry is a popular dinner choice in Japan.  In the recipe below we used optional seasonings of  ketchup, Worcester sauce, apricot jam, and soy sauce to deepen the flavor. However, you can omit if you choose not to use them.

You could use any kind of meat you like, but beef may be the most popular one for Japanese curry.  It’s eaten with sticky white rice which goes very well with this curry. Add a simple green salad, and you have a tasty meal for your family.

Curry and Rice

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 50 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Yield: 4 servings

Curry and Rice


  • 1/2 lb beef (cut for stew)
  • 2 onions
  • 2 carrots
  • 3 potatoes
  • 1 Tbsp oil
  • 3 1/2 cups water (840ml) or see the package for the amount of water
  • 1 box curry sauce mix (4 oz)
  • ---Optional Seasonings---
  • 1 Tbsp ketchup
  • 1 Tbsp Worcester sauce
  • 1 Tbsp apricot jam
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • Steamed Rice


  1. Cut vegetables into bite size pieces.
  2. Heat oil and brown meat in a pot, then take meat out.
  3. In the same pot, fry onions for 8 minutes. Add carrots and potatoes, then cooked meat.
  4. Add water to the pot. After it boils, skim fat, and reduce heat to low. Cover and cook for 45 minutes until the meat becomes tender.
  5. Remove from heat and add curry sauce mix. Stir well so the pieces of the mix dissolve.
  6. If you'd like to use the optional seasonings above, now add the ketchup, worcester sauce, apricot jam, and soy sauce. Let it simmer for 10-15 minutes (cook longer if you'd like it thicker).
  7. If you'd like to add the optional curry powder, stir it in just before serving.
  8. Pour the curry over rice.

Curry and Rice

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  • Josh
    August 26, 2012 at 12:42 pm

    I just made this last night. I think I over cooked the potatoes and carrots a little bit but overall I thought that the curry tastes very very good.

    The only thing that I was a little disappointed with was the beef. I know that stew beef isn’t going to be super juicy or anything but I thought the meat was rather dry. I think next time I’m going cook a steak separately, chop it up and drop it into the curry at the very end.

    • Yuko
      August 26, 2012 at 4:59 pm

      Thanks for trying our curry recipe, Josh! We are glad to hear that it tasted good! Some people like the vegetables firmer and some like to cook until they almost melt away. You can certainly adjust the cooking time. You can also use any kind of meat. Many people in Japan also use thinly sliced beef instead of stew beef, and that tastes really good too. Cooking a steak separately and drop it at the end sounds good! Let us know how it goes next time!

      • Sadey
        January 2, 2016 at 3:10 am

        If you wanted to make it vegetarian, what would be a good replacement for the beef?

        • Noriko
          January 7, 2016 at 9:18 am

          just use vegetables instead of meat. Eggplant is good. Kabocha pumpkin is also very good one for Curry.

        • John Quintanilla
          January 17, 2016 at 10:18 pm

          Tofu is a great substitute.

        • Debbie
          April 9, 2016 at 10:41 am

          I always use mushrooms-even white button mushrooms are fine, but I really like a mix. You won’t miss the meat!

        • Kelsie
          October 25, 2016 at 3:21 pm


      • Shannon Collom
        September 5, 2016 at 7:04 am

        Where can I buy boxed curry mix? I live in SC.

    • shannan pucek
      October 13, 2014 at 7:57 pm

      i love curried rice its wonderful

      • Noriko
        October 24, 2014 at 5:40 pm

        it’s the best!

    • Haakon Løtveit
      January 3, 2016 at 6:45 am

      Cooking meat for 45 minutes is a crime against bovinity. Beef takes much longer.
      Every grandmother worth her salt would demand 3-4 hours, and use front leg or shoulder for this type of dish. 🙂

      It might be perfect with pork though. I’m trying some neck cuts with a similar recipe later today.

      • Noriko
        January 7, 2016 at 9:30 am

        have you tried our recipe? 45 minutes is long enough because of the size of beef unless you want it to fall apart. We think our curry is pretty good for humanity 🙂

  • Lisa
    September 30, 2012 at 6:15 am

    What is a good substitute for worcester sauce? I am living in rural Japan right now, and I can’t find the sauce at my grocery store. I was able to find everything else listed included the optional seasonings.

    • Noriko
      October 12, 2012 at 1:07 pm

      We have worcester sauce anywhere in Japan. It’s ustaa (sounds like oostar) sauce, but ask for just ‘sauce.’ It is usually next to Tonkatsu sauce at grocery stores, and that can be a substitute. Good luck!

    • Haakon Løtveit
      January 3, 2016 at 6:46 am

      According to a cooking show I saw on Youtube, “Bulldog Brand Sauce” was a sauce used that you could substitute with Worcestershire sauce, so that might work?

      • Noriko
        January 7, 2016 at 9:34 am

        Bulldog Brand has different kinds of sauce. Bulldog Brand Worcestershire sauce can be used interchangeably with other Worcestershire sauce. Tonkatsu sauce has different thickness, so you can use it instead of Worcestershire sauce depending on recipes.

  • steve
    January 10, 2014 at 2:27 am

    I love japanese curry rice. I actually make the roux myself because it isn’t actually that difficult! With butter, flour, curry powder (also my own mix!), Worcestershire sauce, ketchup, salt and pepper! Thanks for the awesome blog btw.

    • Noriko
      January 12, 2014 at 8:58 pm

      You make your own curry roux, good for you!

  • Mercedes
    April 13, 2014 at 5:54 pm

    This curry was amazing. I actually went with 2 tbsp of apricot jam and it was the perfect level of sweet and spicy. I’m also a novice at cooking so you can imagine my surprise when it turned out so well, especially since I’ve never had Japanese curry before. Thanks for the recipe!

    • Noriko
      April 14, 2014 at 11:01 pm

      I like you adjusting seasonings to your liking. That’s home cooking!

  • Matt
    April 14, 2014 at 9:40 pm

    I’ve made this about five times now and it is always so delicious. I’m making it again tonight! I love the recipes you have on your site and hope to make many more of them in the future.

    • Noriko
      April 14, 2014 at 10:54 pm

      thanks for trying our recipes!

  • Konata
    May 9, 2014 at 4:15 pm

    So I am planning on making this and I don’t mind having beef in it but my mother doesent eat red meat. My question is if I can substitute the beef with chicken or will that take away the flavor?

    • Noriko
      May 12, 2014 at 9:31 pm

      yes, chicken, pork, and some seafood will work very well.

  • CS
    May 19, 2014 at 12:56 am

    I’m living in Japan (Tokyo) right now and wondered what your favorite brands of curry mix are? Thanks!

    • Noriko
      June 3, 2014 at 12:40 am

      we used S&B in our recipe.

  • Lisa
    June 3, 2014 at 8:46 pm

    Just made this tonight and it was delicious!!! I added ketchup, chili powder, and honey, it was the perfect combo of spicy and sweet.

    • Noriko
      June 4, 2014 at 12:30 am

      glad you found the combination of sesonings for your curry!

      • Yupina
        July 25, 2014 at 6:48 am

        I will try cooking this tomorrow, but instead of beef can I use prawns instead?

        • Noriko
          September 13, 2014 at 4:56 pm

          woo, seafood curry! Just be careful not cook shrimp too long.

  • Jennifer
    June 27, 2014 at 9:56 pm

    I have been wanting to make this recipe for sometime. Can you tell me how I can substitute a box of curry sauce mix. Also were would you find a box of curry sauce mix. I live in the U.S. Thanks

    • Noriko
      September 13, 2014 at 10:29 pm

      you can find curry sauce mix at Asian food section of many local grocery stores. You can also find it at Japanese grocery stores, of course, and online stores too.

  • Donna
    July 11, 2014 at 2:47 pm

    I’m making this recipe tonight since I can’t find my grandmother’s recipe! So excited to give this one a shot! I’m half Japanese and this is one of my favorite meals!

    • Noriko
      September 13, 2014 at 5:31 pm

      I don’t know anyone who doesn’t like Japanese curry! Hope you like our version!

  • Maggie
    July 24, 2014 at 2:25 pm

    I wanted to try this recepie out, but i wondered how much calories does one serving contain?
    With rice and everything.
    I love this site!

    Kind regards!

    • Noriko
      September 13, 2014 at 5:00 pm

      I don’t know exactly… 700-800? with good amount of rice. I’m just guessing. The curry sauce box may tell you more.

  • Tonda Sykes
    August 10, 2014 at 2:57 pm

    My son just returned from Japan with S & B Curry from his host family. I am trying your recipe tonight!

    • Noriko
      September 12, 2014 at 1:33 am

      that’s what we used! Hope you liked it!

  • Gerard O'Hare
    August 18, 2014 at 10:03 am


    I love Japanese curry and have used leftover meat (any kind from say, a Sunday roast) and it works really well. I always add a large spoonful of my own home made apple chutney, super!

    Would love to try making the ‘stock’ from scratch, do you have a traditional recipe?



    • Noriko
      September 8, 2014 at 10:13 pm

      home made apple chutney! Yum!

  • Maggie
    August 19, 2014 at 5:26 am

    I tried this recipe and yes, my Japanese curry finally tastes like the ones that I eat outside. I used to wonder why mine tasted so flat – the additional ingredients of Worcester sauce, apricot jam and Thai chili sauce (cos I didn’t have ketchup) really made a huge improvement to the taste.

    I used minced beef, carrots, onions and eggplant.

    • Noriko
      September 8, 2014 at 10:10 pm

      glad you liked our curry and rice recipe! Come back for more recipes!

  • Wendy
    September 5, 2014 at 6:41 pm

    I live in the US and we are studying Japan. I want to make this for a luncheon for a group of kids. Can you tell me what section I might find the curry sauce? Or brands to look for? Is it just labeled Curry Sauce?


    • Noriko
      September 8, 2014 at 8:26 pm

      usually Asian food isle. I think you can tell it’s Japanese from the packaging.

  • Wendy
    September 5, 2014 at 6:45 pm

    Also, how do I know I’m getting a curry sauce meant for Japanese food instead of the spicier Indian food?


  • Ken
    September 23, 2014 at 5:42 pm

    made this today my first time cooking it.. I followed your reciepe , I made more beef cuz these kids love beef… I only used ketchup and soy sauce.. followed everything else…

    they loved it.. they ate soo much that they couldnt move an inch lol..

    Thanks again for the great work~

    • Noriko
      September 23, 2014 at 10:50 pm

      glad you liked our Curry and Rice recipe! We have many more recipes kids may like such as Tonkatsu and Omurice.

  • jonathan
    October 11, 2014 at 7:33 pm

    To add dark chocolate…??

    • Noriko
      October 24, 2014 at 5:32 pm

      a lot of people do, go ahead and try!

  • Layana
    October 16, 2014 at 2:38 am


    Loved your Japanese curry, it was really delicious and tasted like the ones I ate in Japan. Do you know by any chance how to find the red pickled ginger that goes with curries so often – I’m not living in Japan any more, so I wonder where I could buy them.

    • Noriko
      October 24, 2014 at 8:50 pm

      that’s called Fukujinzuke, and only place I can find it is at Japanese grocery stores.

  • Caitlin
    October 22, 2014 at 9:52 am

    I absolutely love this recipe, but I have a question.
    I want to make this dish for a friend, but she is allergic to peanuts and I read the ingredients of some curry sauce mix boxes and they all have peanut butter/peanuts in them. Do you know any brands that don’t?

    • Noriko
      October 24, 2014 at 6:38 pm

      my husband is allergic to peanuts, so I know which one to use! House brand has peanut butter in their “Vermont curry”, so I avoid the brand all together to be safe. He doesn’t have any trouble with S&B brand at all, and that’s what I use.

  • kirsty santos
    October 27, 2014 at 8:42 pm

    Really enjoyed this recipe and the video. I added all of the optional seasonings and they gave curry extra oomph. My children loved the meal. They are looking forward to leftovers tomorrow. That hardly ever happens with my cooking!

    • Noriko
      October 28, 2014 at 4:22 pm

      glad you and your family liked our Curry and Rice recipe! We have a lot of dishes kids may like such as Hamburger Steak and Tonkatsu on our site. Check them out!

  • Maia
    December 28, 2015 at 1:59 pm

    I love the Japanese curry I don’t usually like different Japanese food but this one I love

  • Morgan
    December 30, 2015 at 6:41 pm

    Whenever I make curry for my family I watch this video. It’s so helpful and it’s what I used to first introduce my American family to the Japanese food I experienced abroad. They loved it! Thank you very much!

  • Alissa
    January 3, 2016 at 9:29 pm

    I love your blog and Youtube channel! 🙂 I cannot wait to try some of these recipes as my friend is taking me to the Asian supermarket in Albany Wednesday. (Kingston does not have most of the ingredients I need) Thank you very much for sharing these recipies with us Yuko-San , Noriko-San.
    Arigatou Gozaimasu!

    • Noriko
      January 7, 2016 at 9:40 am

      thanks for your comment! Hope you try some of our recipes!

      • Alissa
        January 21, 2016 at 9:37 pm

        I made the recipe tonight and it tastes like nothing I have ever tasted before! So good! One question though. Do you have a video on how to make sticky rice without a rice cooker?

  • Chris
    January 10, 2016 at 1:43 pm

    Thanks for this great recipe! Made my first Japanese beef curry today using S&B mix and it came out perfectly. I added finely chopped fresh ginger and garlic when adding the vegetables which made a delicious aroma in the kitchen. My family are not keen on curry unfortunately, although on the plus side it means that I can have it all to myself 🙂

    • Noriko
      January 11, 2016 at 11:18 pm

      thanks for trying our recipe! Enjoy!

  • Scarlet
    January 12, 2016 at 3:22 am

    Hello, I really want to try and make curry with this recipe, but I have a little problem ( maybe it’s not so little… ) Where I live we don’t have curry sauce mix, there is no real translation of curry. Maybe there is something else that I could use? Thank You very much.

    • Yuko
      January 17, 2016 at 7:22 pm

      Hi Scarlet,
      I don’t think there is a good substitute for curry. You may want to try to find it online?

  • Sara
    January 12, 2016 at 4:09 pm

    I made this tonight and it was the best, I didn’t have apricot jam so I use some triple berry with honey jam and added a little bit of grape juice to it and it came out amazing.

    • Yuko
      January 17, 2016 at 7:27 pm

      That sounds amazing. I’m glad to hear that it came out nice!

  • Rachel
    January 12, 2016 at 5:28 pm

    I’m going to try this recipe now, it looks delicious!
    I love making Japanese food and so I really want to make this.
    I have heard that some people put chocolate in their Japanese currys, would this curry be better with a bit of dark chocolate, or would that change the flavour a bit too much?

    へんじをまっています。 🙂

    • Yuko
      January 17, 2016 at 7:26 pm

      I have never put chocolate in Japanese Curry before… If you try, let us know how that tastes!

    • SBB
      January 25, 2016 at 3:09 pm

      Sounds like Japanese/Mexican fusion! How did it turn out?

  • Fatima Alzaabi
    January 15, 2016 at 11:49 am

    Thank you for the great recipe <3

  • Geoff
    January 17, 2016 at 4:20 am

    The curry sounds great I will try the recipe in the next few days, however, if your going to use beef may I recommend using shin from the butchers counter so that you can cut it yourself into large pieces, you can then cook the beef first on its own very low and slow (about 130 fan for 2 1/2 hours) then add the veg cut quite large again and follow recipie. The meat will be soft and tender, retain its flavour and not breakdown during the coking process, when the veg is done to your liking the job is done, enjoy.

  • Denise
    January 20, 2016 at 9:39 am

    I have some chicken thighs that were bought by accident and need to be used. How would you recommend adjusting the cooking for chicken thighs instead of beef?

  • Nikki
    January 26, 2016 at 3:07 pm

    Oh my word, this is so tasty! My brother has been bothering me to make this since he tried some at a noodle shop. He said this was even better than theirs! Thanks so much for the amazing recipe!

  • Thomas
    February 20, 2016 at 2:22 pm

    OH MY GOD… Just made it and it smells and tastes absolutely amazing!!!! I love the japanese cuisine and that dish is going to be top of my list. I have two questions: a) Is there a recipe to prepare my own homemade curry sauce instead of using the precooked mix? b) I did not add the optional seasonings and would like to know if there is a big difference in the final dish with them

    • Dai
      January 13, 2017 at 11:17 pm

      The basic curry roux is butter, plain flour, curry powder, garam masala. In table spoons the ratio is 3:4:1:1, makes between 4 and 6 cups of curry. You’ll eventually finder a perfect roux for you, I like to add cocoa powder to mine. You just melt the butter then add the flour and stir till combined, then brown your roux to your desired level. I typically go for a rather blonde roux but again it’s up to you! Then you and your spices and stir till combined and aromatic. Then place it in a container to cool and set up, icecube trays make this good for later use as you can bag the cubes and freeze them for later use!

  • Tinay
    February 21, 2016 at 5:11 pm

    This is the second time ive cooked your recipe. Loved the sweetness of the curry, exactly how i wanted it to taste like. Today im trying it with the hot curry sauce, im sure ill love it as well. Both times i used red potatoes so it doesnt break down after all that boiling time. Thanks for sharing! Looking forward to trying out more of your recipes!

  • Kimi
    February 26, 2016 at 8:49 pm

    I tried it once and its so delicious indeed. And i will cook again and again and again !
    Thank you for uploading the video and sharing us your idea because my japanese husband really love to eat curry.

  • Hien
    March 25, 2016 at 4:07 pm

    I made this tonight! I just had one carrot in the fridge, so I threw in some green bell peppers, and I think those gave the curry a mix of sweetness and spiciness.

    Thank you for sharing the recipe! 😀

  • Emily
    March 26, 2016 at 1:47 am

    I just made Japanese curry follow your recepie step by step but just change beef to Pork and add strawberry jam (I don’t have apricot jam)

    It’s super yummy!!

    Thanks so much xxx

    • Konoki
      April 3, 2016 at 6:31 am

      I am a just one of reader from Japan. Japanese box curry is very very flexible. In Japan We used to add many veg or meat. For example, oyster curry or shell curry are also popular. And curry’s flavor is also useful to extinguish some unsuitable food’s smell. So it is very good idea for your children to get to unfavorable but good foods for them. And It is very easy to try new materials. Or you can find new taste of curry rice, And also I recommend putting many kind of topping. In Japan there are many kinds of topping. See below link.
      I am very happy to see these arguments at here. Let’s try new taste of some curry rice, That are very free. Thank you.

  • Dana
    April 1, 2016 at 7:22 pm

    Would it be fine subsututing the water with milk? I heard it makes it more creamy, though never having made japanese curry, I’m somewhat worried about making such a change, oh also, would you recommend using flour on the meat before browning? Sry, guess I should try it before changing it! ><

    • Noriko
      April 5, 2016 at 11:25 pm

      never used milk for curry. Let us know if you try it.
      Curry roux already contains thickening agent, so no need to use flour.

  • KuroroKamijou
    August 2, 2016 at 8:12 pm

    I love this recipe ever since making it once I am now addicted.! I like to add a lot of red hot peppers to make it super spicey Give it a try.!

  • Cooking masterboy
    August 9, 2016 at 8:49 pm

    Wonderful recipe !! but I think I made too much. So have you any idea how can I preserve the stew and how long will it last before it goes inedible? Thx

    • Noriko
      August 19, 2016 at 12:12 pm

      You can keep in fridge for 3 days, but you could freeze it about a month or so.

  • Danijel
    August 30, 2016 at 1:43 am

    OMG! THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR THIS!! I basically made this last night and when other family members wanted some I literally didn’t wanted to give them xD. It was phenomenal

  • Bunny
    September 4, 2016 at 12:13 am

    I tried this dish yesterday, taste of curry is very yummy, but I have a sensation of crush in the onion. please give me a reason

  • H
    September 13, 2016 at 12:23 am

    Hi ,

    Which type of ketchup is used in your recipe , Tomato ketchup or more

    Worcester sauce is a non – vegetarian product . So , I omit it !

  • Stephanie
    January 22, 2017 at 11:54 am

    Do you happen to have a recipe for making curry sauce from scratch?