Japanese Curry for one! This simple small batch curry recipe is easy, budget-friendly and comes together in 15 minutes.

Kare raisu (curry rice) has a special place in my heart.

I’m pretty sure I grew up eating Japanese curry every week, twice a week. It was the dish that my mom always made when friends came over and it was the dish that kept my friends to keep coming over.

You’d think I’d be sick of it after eating it for 17 years, right? Yeah, me too. But *shockingly*, the first week after moving into my dorm in university, I was missing my mom’s curry so much. It was probably a combination of being hung over, exhausted after a week of festivities and being a little homesick. I called up my mom for her recipe but of course, she had no recipe. She just gave me a list of ingredients that go in with general amounts and said ‘go by taste’. So thats what I did.

I went out to buy my ingredients and when I got back, I realized the amounts she gave me were enough for 10 servings… and that definitely would not have fit in my small little pot. After a lot of trial and error (aka overflowing mess, watery curry and burnt pots), I scaled down the recipe to make 1-2 servings (enough for the next day cause it tastes better).

So to my friends in a dorm or living on their own, no need to go through the mess!! I hope this recipe gives you a bit of comfort.

Ingredients for Small Batch Japanese Curry

Here’s the foruma to make a small batch of curry:

  • Curry roux cubes: the ratio of roux to water is 1 cube : 150 ml water. Add an additional tablespoon of water if you like a thinner consistency.
  • Protein: I use soy curls for a vegetarian/vegan alternative, however you can use your protein of choice.
  • Vegetables: The most standard vegetables added to Japanese curry are onions, potatoes, carrots and mushrooms. However, feel free to use other vegetables like peppers, kabocha, sugar snap peas, broccoli, cauliflower, green beans or okra.
  • Butter: Adds richness to the curry. Use dairy-free butter as needed.
  • Japanese Worcester or Fruit & Vegetable sauce: this adds sourness to balance out the sweet-savory taste of the curry. You may substitute this with ketchup or vinegar.

You can customize your curry however you choose. I’ve listed all the additional ingredients you can add to season your curry in my Japanese Curry recipe.

How to Make Single Serving Japanese Curry

There are two methods you can choose from to make a small batch of curry:

Stove top method (20 minutes)

  1. Over medium high heat, add oil or butter and cook onion for a few minutes until lightly caramelized (this takes about 3 minutes).
  2. Add mushroom, carrots and potato and grated apples, and cook for about 2 minutes. Add soy curls, salt, pepper and cayenne. If using another protein, cook until no longer pink. ‘
  3. Add water and bring to a boil. Then reduce heat and simmer for 8 minutes until potatoes are tender.
  4. Dissolve roux and mix in the Worcester sauce. Simmer for 2 minutes. 
  5. Serve with rice and fukushinzuke. Enjoy!!

Microwave method (12 minutes)

  1. Add the butter, onion, potato, carrots, mushroom and soy curls (or protein of choice) to a bowl. Add the water, apple sauce, salt, pepper and cayenne.
  2. Microwave for 5 minutes on medium (600 W) uncovered. If using poultry, skim the skum off. Add the curry cube, and mix. 
  3. Microwave for another 4 minutes. Mix in the Worcester sauce.
  4. Serve with rice and fukushinzuke, and enjoy!
Japanese curry in a black bowl with rice and pickles

More Japanese Curry recipes to try:

If you recreate this Single Serving Japanese Curry 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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Japanese Curry for One


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5 from 1 review

  • Author: Lisa Kitahara
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 12 servings 1x
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

Japanese Curry for one! This simple small batch curry recipe is easy, budget-friendly and comes together in 15 minutes. 


Ingredients

Units Scale

Base

  • 1 block curry cube, roughly chopped
  • 150180 ml water
  • vegetables of choice
  • protein of choice
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • cayenne, to taste (optional)
  • rice, for serving
  • fukushinzuke, for serving

Example add-in amount:

  • 1 (5 g) tsp butter or oil
  • 1/4 (65 g) onion, sliced
  • 1 oz mushroom, quartered
  • 1 oz carrot, chopped small
  • 1 small (60 g) potato, diced into 3/4 inch chunks
  • 1/2 (20 g) cup soy curls, rehydrated(or 50 g of thinly sliced beef, pork or chicken)
  • 1 1/2 tbsp apple sauce or 1/8 (30 g) of a small apple, grated
  • 1 tsp Bull Dog Worcester or Fruit and Vegetable sauce

 

 


Instructions

Stove top method

  1. Over medium high heat, add oil or butter and cook onion for a few minutes until lightly caramelized (this takes about 3 minutes).
  2. Add mushroom, carrots and potato and grated apples, and cook for about 2 minutes. Add soy curls, salt, pepper and cayenne. If using another protein, cook until no longer pink. ‘
  3. Add water and bring to a boil. Then reduce heat and simmer for 8 minutes until potatoes are tender.
  4. Dissolve roux and mix in the Worcester sauce. Simmer for 2 minutes. 
  5. Serve with rice and fukushinzuke. Enjoy!!

Microwave method 

  1. Add the butter, onion, potato, carrots, mushroom and soy curls (or protein of choice) to a bowl. Add the water, apple sauce, salt, pepper and cayenne.
  2. Microwave for 5 minutes on medium (600 W) uncovered. If using poultry, skim the skum off. Add the curry cube, and mix. 
  3. Microwave for another 4 minutes. Mix in the Worcester sauce.
  4. Serve with rice and fukushinzuke, and enjoy!

Notes

  • Nutritional Information Disclaimer: Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated on an online tool (Cronometer). 
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Stove top
  • Cuisine: Japanese

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Konnichiwa

About Lisa

I'm Lisa, a home cook, recipe developer and founder of Okonomi Kitchen. Here, you'll find a mix of classic and modernized Japanese recipes, and creative, plant-forward meal inspiration using seasonal ingredients. I hope to share more about Japanese cuisine and culture through food and recipes.


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3 Comments

  1. Love this! I inherited two full boxes of Japanese curry cubes when my sister in law moved, and as a single student was shocked that it has you cook the whole box at once! I knew somebody had to have figured out how to make it using only one cube and I’m so glad I found this. Made curry for the first time using the suggested recipe, but used pre-sliced mushrooms, baby cut carrots, and new/baby potatoes I was given from shared groceries. Was being lazy and ended up only slicing the onion and left the rest as is, and I’m so glad I did! It tasted very good and everything was already the perfect size. Made a single serving quick recipe even easier. I made the curry on the stovetop and the rice in the microwave, but I’m for sure going to try the microwave method for the curry next time! Thank you so much!