Japanese Chicken Curry

Serves 2 to 4

Instead of using curry bricks, make your own curry roux.

Honey and apple provide the sweetness.

Based on a recipe from Marion’s Kitchen.


For the roux

For the sauce


Make the roux

Over medium heat, melt the butter in a large pot like a dutch oven. Once the butter stops foaming, sprinkle in the flour and cook until the flour is lightly browned and the pot doesn’t smell of raw flour (2-3 minutes.) Add the curry powder and garam masala and cook for another minute.

Scrape the roux into a bowl and set aside.

Make the sauce

Without wiping the pot, add the vegetable oil and bring the heat to medium high. Once the oil’s hot, add the onions and garlic with some salt to draw out moisture, cooking them until no-longer raw. That should be 2-3 minutes.

Add the chicken to the pot, then the roux. Stir the contents together until the chicken is coated.

Then add the grated apple, honey, soy sauce, vinegar, and stock. Stir, and add the potatoes and carrots.

Bring the pot to a simmer, turn to low and let cook for 45 minutes, and the potatoes are tender.

Serve with rice, Japanese-style hot pepper, and pickled ginger.

Emma Humphries, 2 November 2019


Japanese curry is a 19th century creation. The Imperial Navy started serving it along with rice to prevent scurvy. The Navy learned about curry from the British Navy, who had adpated meat based curries from colonized India.

Yokosuka, the base of the Japanese Self-Defense Force’s naval fleets, is the home of Japanese curry. Cooks from the Navy, after mustering out, open restaurants or join existing restaurants serving curry following the recipie specific to the ships they served on.

I’ve modified the Marion’s Kitchen recipie, adding a little more butter, and using a grated apple instead of apple juice.

Elena Yamamoto, a chef in NYC does not make a roux. She starts with a base of carmelized onions to which she adds a sliced apple, curry powder, and dashi, then blends with an immersion blender in the pot.