Easy, homemade Japanese curry powder that’s perfect for Japanese curry, fried rice, noodles, soups, stews and more!
Happy Monday, friends! This week is going to be all about Japanese curry. We’re kickin’ it off with a Japanese curry powder recipe because a) I know it can be difficult to find it in stores and b) to make our own homemade curry and curry roux.
What is Japanese Curry Powder
Japanese curry powder is a spice blend made up of mild spices and herbs. While primarily used to make curry, it can also be used in soups, stews, noodles and anything you want to add a mild, subtly sweet curry flare to.
Japanese curry powder vs. Indian curry powder
The main difference between Japanese curry powder and Indian curry powder is the level of spiciness. When curry powder was first imported into Japan, they altered it to their taste, making it sweeter and less spicy. In fact, if you ever purchase ‘hot’ curry roux, you’ll find its actually still quite mild.
Whats in Japanese curry powder
Depending on the brand, different curry powders contain different ingredients with different ratios. I based my recipe off of the most popular brand: S&B.
- ground black pepper
- ground cinnamon
- garlic powder
- bay leaf
To make it better:
- star anise
What spice do I add to Japanese curry roux to make it spicier?
Japanese curry is meant to be mild. Even the commercially bought ones that are labeled hot are not very spicy. Two spices that can bump up the heat without changing the flavour are cayenne and black pepper. A little cayenne pepper goes a long way so be sure to add just a pinch at a time.
Why toast spices?
Toasting spices intensifies their flavours by breaking down their essential oils and then releasing their aromatics in a different form. It also adds layers of warming, toasty notes and a complexity of flavours.
To toast spices, add them to a pan over low heat stirring every few seconds to ensure they don’t burn. Continue until they start to release a strong fragrant smell. Remove from the pan immediently once the aromatics intensifies and be careful not to burn it.
The best way to keep curry powder is in an air tight container in a cool dry place away from heat or sunlight. It can last for months, but it will lose its strong aromatic flavours over time. Since it’s easy to make, I suggest using it within 2 months.
What can I use Japanese curry powder for?
- Japanese Kabocha Pumpkin Curry
- Japanese Curry Fried Rice
- Homemade Japanese Curry ‘Roux’ Cubes (Vegan + No Butter) – coming soon!
- Authentic Japanese Curry (From Scratch) – coming soon!
If you recreate this Japanese Curry Powder recipe let me know how you liked it by leaving a comment and rating below or by tagging me on Instagram @Okonomikitchen, I love seeing all of your tasty recreations!
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