カレ Kare, Japanese Curry

Japanese Curry Recipe | Kare | Homemade From Scratch | Serve with Rice or Katsu (Chicken or Pork)

Japanese Curry, called simply Kare (Curry) in Japanese, is a tomato-y, spiced, bowl of comfort. It’s can be served over rice (kare-raisu), sometimes with katsu (katsu-kare), and sometimes with vegetables and/or protein such as chicken. Double the recipe and make extra to freeze or refrigerate if you like– the flavors just get better over time!

Japanese Curry Recipe | Kare | Homemade From Scratch | Serve with Rice or Katsu (Chicken or Pork)
I like making Tonkatsu (panko breaded pork cutlets) with Japanese Curry! Scroll down for both recipes.

Recipe Notes:

The Veggies
I like my kare with potatoes and carrots, but it can also be made with peas or without vegetables altogether.
When it comes to cutting the vegetables, I recommend cutting the potatoes a bit larger than the carrots so they cook evenly (as instructed in the recipe.) I like to cut my carrots using a technique called rangiri that creates little triangles by slicing at an angle and rotating the vegetable a quarter turn between slices. But cut your veggies however you like!

Why The Vegetable Peels?
I incorporated the peels from the potatoes and carrots into this recipe for a couple of reasons. First, less waste! The peels are there, so I figured, why not use ’em? Second, the peels of course have flavor and starchiness in them to offer.

Garam Masala
Garam masala is a spice mix, so if you don’t have garam masala on hand, don’t sweat it. Typically Garam Masala contains some combination of cinnamon, mace, black pepper, coriander, cumin, cardamom, and allspice. If you have any of these available, sprinkle some in.

Ketchup???
Surprisingly, yes!
I was really skeptical, but from what I’ve read, using ketchup in Japanese curry is very common, even in Japan. I’ve made kare using ketchup and tomato paste, and I prefer ketchup. Tomato paste or tomato puree (also used sometimes) doesn’t contain the spices or added sugar that ketchup does.
If you decide to use tomato paste instead, add some sugar or mirin, and worcestershire sauce if you have it.

Japanese Curry Recipe | Kare | Homemade From Scratch | Serve with Rice or Katsu (Chicken or Pork)

Japanese Curry Recipe

カレ (Kare, Japanese Curry)

Traditional Japanese Curry Recipe
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Japanese
Servings: 4 people

Equipment

  • Large pot, wok, or dutch oven with a lid
  • Colander
  • Large bowl
  • Vegetable peeler

Ingredients

  • 1 lb carrots
  • 1 lb yukon gold potatoes
  • 6 cups beef stock
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp neutral oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion diced large
  • 2 large cloves garlic smashed
  • 1 inch about half a thumb-sized piece ginger, rinsed and thinly sliced
  • 3 inches lemongrass thinly sliced ( about 2 tsp)
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala see recipe notes for more information
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1.5 tbsp curry powder
  • 1/4 cup ketchup see recipe notes for more information
  • 1 sweet red medium sized apple I use fuji, grated on a box grater
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • prepared rice for serving I like a medium grain rice like calrose or japonica for this dish

Instructions

  • Rinse and scrub the carrots and potatoes well, then peel the potatoes and carrots and reserve the peels for later. Cut the carrots into 1/2” pieces and the potatoes into 1” pieces. Transfer to a large pot, wok, or dutch oven that has a lid.
  • Add the beef stock to the pot with the vegetables and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until the vegetables are tender throughout (this will only take around 3-5 minutes, do not overcook!) When the vegetables are tender, set a colander into a large bowl and strain off the veggies from the stock to separate. Set veggies and stock aside, and return the pot to the stovetop.
  • In the same large pot, combine the butter, oil, onion, and garlic over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until just translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the ginger and lemongrass and cook, stirring, about 1 minute. Sprinkle the flour, garam masala, salt, and curry powder over the mixture and cook, while stirring, about 1 minute. (Don’t worry if flour sticks to the bottom of the pan, it will stir off once the beef stock is added.) Stir in the ketchup and continue to cook 3 minutes more.
  • Add the reserved stock, reserved vegetable peels, apple, and soy sauce to the pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat and maintain a high simmer uncovered for 20 minutes, or until thickened, stirring occasionally.
  • Once thickened, set the colander into the large bowl once more and strain the solids off from the curry, pressing out liquid with a spoon. Return the curry to the pot and discard the solids. (At this point the curry can be simmered and reduced/thickened further if you prefer.) Add the reserved carrots and potatoes to the curry and cook and bring to a simmer. Cook until warmed through, about 10 minutes. Serve over rice.

Tonkatsu Recipe

Read more about Tonkatsu here

とんかつ (Tonkatsu, Breaded + Fried Pork Cutlet)

This recipe can also be made using chicken breast, called torikatsu.
Servings: 2 people

Equipment

  • Meat tenderizer
  • Heavy bottomed pot
  • Heatproof tongs or slotted spatula
  • Thermometer (instant read, candy/frying, or infrared)
  • Wire rack (optional)

Ingredients

  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 2 cups panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 lb boneless pork chops
  • salt
  • black pepper
  • neutral high smoke-point oil for frying such as canola or vegetable oil

Instructions

Prepare the Pork:

  • On a cutting board, use a small, sharp knife to cut shallow slits 1” apart into the band of fat on the outside of the pork chops. Ideally the slice will go through the all the way through the fat but not into the meat. These slits will keep the pork from curling up when it frys.
  • Lay the pork flat on the cutting board and use the pointy end of a meat tenderizer to pound to ¼” thick. (If you don’t have a meat tenderizer, see recipe notes.) Pat the pork chops dry.

Prepare your Frying Station:

  • Add a ¼-½” of oil to a heavy bottomed pan. To one side of the pan set up a rimmed baking sheet with a wire rack inside. If you don’t have a wire rack, line the baking sheet or a plate with paper towels.

Prepare your Dredging Station:

  • Arrange 2 bowls and 1 shallow dish (I use a small rectangular pyrex or pie plate) for your dredging station. Beat the eggs well in one bowl, place the cornstarch in the other bowl, and place the panko in the shallow dish. Arrange from left to right: cornstarch, eggs, panko.

Make Tonkatsu:

  • Season each pork chop on both sides with salt and pepper, then dredge one at a time in the cornstarch, the egg, and the panko. Press the panko into the surface of the pork well to adhere.
  • Heat the oil to 350F. When the oil is hot, fry the chops 4 minutes per side, using heatproof tongs or a slotted spatula to carefully turn.
  • Transfer the tonkatsu to the prepared wire rack and allow to rest 3-5 minutes. Slice in ¾” pieces crossways and serve.
Japanese Curry Recipe | Kare | Homemade From Scratch | Serve with Rice or Katsu (Chicken or Pork)
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