Vegan Japanese Curry (Recipe)

Vegan Japanese Curry (Recipe)

Are you craving a delicious plant-based meal with a Japanese twist? Look no further than this easy and homemade Vegan Japanese Curry recipe. With its rich and flavorful sauce and hearty vegetables, it’s the perfect dish to satisfy your taste buds. Whether you’re a seasoned vegan or simply looking to try a new and exciting recipe, this plant-based Japanese curry is sure to impress.

Japanese curry is known for its unique taste and texture. Unlike Indian or Thai curry, it is thicker and sweeter, making it a delightful comfort food. Traditionally, Japanese curry is made with curry roux cubes, a combination of flour, butter, and curry powder. However, in this vegan version, we’ll be using a homemade or store-bought vegan curry roux to achieve the same authentic flavors.

To make this delicious Vegan Japanese Curry, you’ll need a variety of vegetables such as carrots, potatoes, mushrooms, and soy curls (or another vegan meat substitute). These ingredients, along with the addition of grated apple and vegetable broth, create a robust and satisfying curry base. The curry roux adds the perfect amount of spiciness and thickness to the dish.

To prepare this recipe, simply sauté the vegetables, add the grated apple and vegetable broth, and simmer until the vegetables are tender. Then, stir in the curry roux and seasonings, allowing the curry to thicken as it simmers. Serve your homemade Vegan Japanese Curry with a side of rice, and enjoy the comforting flavors of this classic Japanese dish.

Key Takeaways:

  • Vegan Japanese Curry is a delicious and flavorful plant-based dish.
  • It is made with a combination of vegetables, soy curls, and a rich curry roux.
  • The curry roux adds spice and thickness to the dish.
  • Serve your Vegan Japanese Curry with rice for a complete and satisfying meal.
  • Get creative with additional seasonings and toppings to customize your curry.

History and Cultural Significance of Japanese Curry

Japanese curry, also known as kare rice, has a rich history and holds great cultural significance in Japan. Introduced to the country in the late 1800s by the British, it started as a stew-style dish served to the Japanese Imperial Navy. Over time, it gained popularity among the general population and became a staple dish enjoyed by both adults and children.

The adaptation of curry to suit Japanese tastes led to the development of a unique and flavorful cuisine that is distinct from Indian or Thai curry. Japanese curry is known for its thick and sweet sauce, which sets it apart from other types of curry. It is often made using curry roux cubes, a mixture of flour, butter, and curry powder. These roux cubes give the curry its distinctive flavor and contribute to its cultural identity.

Japanese curry is typically served with rice and can be customized to suit individual preferences. It is also versatile in terms of accompaniments and can be enjoyed in various ways, such as with udon, soba, ramen, or even fried rice. The combination of the rich curry sauce and hearty ingredients makes it a beloved comfort food in Japan.

Cultural Significance of Japanese Curry

Japanese curry is more than just a delicious dish; it holds deep cultural significance. It represents the culinary fusion between Japan and the West, showcasing the country’s openness to embracing foreign influences while adding its own unique touch. Japanese curry has become an integral part of Japanese cuisine and is emblematic of the country’s rich culinary history.

The Rise of Japanese Curry

From its humble beginnings as a naval stew, Japanese curry has evolved into a national obsession. It has infiltrated every corner of Japanese society, from school cafeterias to high-end restaurants. Its popularity can be attributed to its comforting and familiar taste, making it a go-to choice for meals at home and on the go.

Furthermore, the convenience of curry roux cubes has made it accessible for people to recreate the iconic flavors of Japanese curry in their own kitchens. Whether it’s enjoying a piping hot bowl of curry rice on a cold winter’s day or savoring curry udon after a long day at work, Japanese curry has become an integral part of the culinary landscape in Japan.

Japanese Curry History Japanese Curry Origin Japanese Curry Cultural Significance
Introduced by the British in the late 1800s Derived from British naval stew-style dish Represents the fusion of Japanese and Western culinary influences
Gained popularity among the general population Became a staple dish enjoyed by adults and children Symbolizes Japan’s openness to foreign influences
Adapted to suit Japanese tastes Made with curry roux cubes for authentic flavor Highlight of Japanese cuisine and culinary history

Ingredients and Cooking Instructions

To make a delicious vegan Japanese curry, you will need the following ingredients:

  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Mushrooms
  • Carrots
  • Potatoes
  • Soy curls (or other vegan meat substitute)
  • Apple
  • Vegetable broth
  • Curry roux (store-bought or homemade)

Start by sautéing the onions, garlic, and ginger in a large pot until they become fragrant and translucent. Then, add in the mushrooms, carrots, potatoes, and soy curls. Stir everything together and let it cook for a few minutes.

Next, grate the apple and add it to the pot along with the vegetable broth. Cover the pot and let the curry simmer until the vegetables are tender.

Once the vegetables are cooked, it’s time to add the curry roux. The amount of roux you add will depend on how thick and spicy you prefer your curry. Stir in the roux and let it dissolve into the curry.

Continue to simmer the curry for a few more minutes, stirring occasionally, until it thickens to your desired consistency. The flavors will develop and meld together as it simmers, creating a rich and savory curry sauce.

When the curry is ready, serve it hot with steamed rice or other accompaniments of your choice. Enjoy the hearty and flavorful vegan Japanese curry!

Experiment with different vegetables and seasonings to personalize your vegan Japanese curry. You can add extra spices, such as turmeric or garam masala, for additional depth of flavor. Feel free to garnish your curry with fresh herbs like cilantro or green onions for a vibrant touch. The possibilities are endless when it comes to customizing your homemade vegan Japanese curry to suit your taste preferences.

Tips and Variations

Enhance your vegan Japanese curry experience with these helpful tips and explore variations to add a unique twist to your dish:


  1. Choose the right curry roux: Look for vegan curry roux cubes available in specialty stores or online. They provide a convenient and flavorful base for your curry.
  2. Customize the spice level: Adjust the amount of curry powder or chili flakes to suit your taste preferences. Start with a small amount, then add more gradually until you reach your desired level of spiciness.
  3. Enhance the umami: Add a splash of soy sauce or tamari to deepen the savory flavors in your curry. You can also experiment with miso paste for an extra umami boost.
  4. Play with texture: Consider adding different vegetables or vegan protein sources to create a more diverse and satisfying curry. Tofu, seitan, or tempeh can be excellent options for adding protein.
  5. Experiment with toppings: Sprinkle some toasted sesame seeds, chopped scallions, or crispy fried onions on top of your curry for added texture and flavor.


Try these creative variations to put a unique spin on your vegan Japanese curry:

Variation Description
Coconut Curry Add a tropical twist by substituting part of the vegetable broth with coconut milk. The creamy and aromatic flavors of coconut will complement the curry perfectly.
Curry Udon Serve your vegan Japanese curry over udon noodles instead of rice. The chewy noodles absorb the rich curry sauce, creating a hearty and satisfying dish.
Curry Fried Rice Transform your leftover curry into a delicious fried rice. Simply stir-fry cooked rice with diced vegetables and soy sauce, then mix in the curry for a flavor-packed meal.
Spicy Curry Add extra heat to your curry by incorporating minced chili peppers or hot sauce. Adjust the spice level according to your tolerance for a fiery kick.
Green Curry Create a vibrant green curry by blending fresh cilantro, spinach, and green chili peppers into a smooth paste. Mix the paste with the curry roux for a refreshing and herbaceous flavor.


Vegan Japanese curry is a truly remarkable dish that captures the essence of Japanese cuisine with its unique blend of flavors and textures. This plant-based version of the classic curry is a testament to the versatility of vegan cooking, proving that you don’t need animal products to create a delicious and satisfying meal.

By using a variety of vegetables and protein substitutes, such as soy curls, you can tailor this curry to suit your taste preferences and dietary needs. The rich and flavorful sauce, infused with the sweetness of apples and the umami of curry roux, coats each ingredient, creating a harmonious and comforting dish that will warm your soul.

Whether you’re a seasoned vegan or just exploring plant-based options, vegan Japanese curry is a must-try. Its simplicity in preparation and the availability of ingredients make it accessible to everyone. So gather your favorite vegetables, prepare a pot of fluffy rice, and embark on a culinary adventure that is sure to delight your taste buds. Indulge in the captivating flavors of vegan Japanese curry and experience the joy of a cozy homemade meal.


What is Japanese curry?

Japanese curry is a thick and sweet curry dish that originated in Japan. It is made with a mixture of flour, butter, and curry powder known as curry roux, and typically includes chunks of vegetables and protein. It has a distinct flavor that sets it apart from Indian or Thai curry.

What ingredients are used in vegan Japanese curry?

Vegan Japanese curry is made with onions, garlic, ginger, mushrooms, carrots, potatoes, soy curls (or other vegan meat substitute), apple, vegetable broth, and curry roux. The vegetables are cut into chunks for a hearty curry, and the curry roux can be adjusted to desired spiciness.

Can I make my own curry roux?

Yes, you can make your own curry roux by combining flour, plant-based butter, and curry powder. However, store-bought curry roux cubes are also available and can be used for convenience.

How do I cook vegan Japanese curry?

To cook vegan Japanese curry, sauté the vegetables, add the broth and grated apple, simmer until the vegetables are tender, and then add the curry roux and other seasonings. The curry should thicken as it simmers, and it can be served with rice or other accompaniments.

Can I customize my vegan Japanese curry?

Yes, you can customize your vegan Japanese curry by adding seasonings and toppings according to your preferences. Some popular additions include apples, pickles, caramelized onions, ketchup, and Worcestershire sauce.

Can I make vegan Japanese curry spicier?

Yes, you can adjust the spiciness of your vegan Japanese curry by adding more curry powder or using a spicier curry roux. Feel free to experiment and find the level of spiciness that suits your taste.

What are some variations of vegan Japanese curry?

You can try different variations of vegan Japanese curry by adding different vegetables or protein sources, such as tofu or seitan. You can also substitute the soy curls with other vegan meat substitutes or experiment with different seasonings to create unique flavors.

Is vegan Japanese curry a healthy dish?

Vegan Japanese curry can be a healthy dish, especially when made with plenty of vegetables and using minimal amounts of oil and salt. It is a great way to incorporate plant-based ingredients into your diet while enjoying the flavors of Japanese cuisine.

Can I freeze vegan Japanese curry?

Yes, you can freeze vegan Japanese curry for future use. Allow it to cool completely, transfer it to freezer-safe containers or bags, and store it in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw it in the refrigerator overnight before reheating.

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