Main image by Ocdp
If you have very little cooking skills, instant Japanese curry is for you because millions of Japanese already know how great it is, and you can also make great Japanese curry again and again.
Millions of Japanese families survive and live off of karē raisu (curry rice), and now you can find out how easy it is to make it again and again without getting tired of it.
Japanese Curry Has Roots in Indian Curry
To give you an idea of what it is like if you have never had Japanese curry, it is a lot like Indian curry because Japanese curry originally came from India via the British Royal Navy who introduced it to the Japanese in the mid to late 1800s. After a few centuries tho, the Japanese have made it distinctively their own.
House Foods and S&B Are the Two Major Brands
Two Major Types of Products
- Instant curry roux: It comes in “bricks” that look like chocolate bars, so all you need to do is a drop a few bars in a saucepan with water.
- “Ready to eat” curry sauce: comes in a pouch that just needs to be warmed up which is why this would be my goto product for camping trips.
The Ingredients You Will Need (All Optional)
You can get by with just the curry roux and water, and you don’t have to include everything else to make it a meal.
The main ingredients
- Mixed vegetables
What to eat your curry with
- Udon (noodles)
- Anything you want
Ingredients used to tweak and switch up the flavor
If you are crazy enough, you can combine two different brands of curry roux together for another flavor hack.
- Beef stock
- Red wine
- Worcestershire sauce
- Soy sauce
- Beni shoga (pickled ginger)
- Fukujinzuke (daikon/eggplant)
- Green onion and fried garlic chips (something I picked up on in Korea at Abiko’s).
S&B and House Food’s Product Line up and Pricing
There’s only two types of products that I buy which is Vermont Curry and House Foods Ready Made. I’ll buy either one in whatever range of spiciness because Japanese food is never spicy even if you get HOT (Thai spicy is eff’n spicy AF).
Also about the pricing, Amazon typically has the fastest turnaround times, but they can be outrageously priced if you go through businesses that specialize in Japanese food (I have one of them listed below, along with a link to a full listed of specialized businesses).
NOTE: the links are provided to make it easier for you to shop, and I they are not affiliate links (I make absolutely no money off of these companies).
For the curry roux, House offers 3 products: Vermont Curry, Java Curry, and Kokumaro curry.
My favorite is Vermont Curry, and I prepare it the way I had it in Korea (yea, not in Japan, but it was at a Japanese style curry shop called Abiko’s), which is with garlic chips and diced green onions.
“Enjoy the rich, smooth taste of curry, made possible by a blend of apple, flavorful honey, and onion.”
“Robust flavorful curry with caramelized onion, roasted garlic and cardamom.”
“A blend of rich and creamy curry mix with caramelized onion, roasted garlic and miso.”
CURRY SAUCE WITH VEGETABLES MILD
“Our ready-to-eat, smooth and mild flavor vegetable curry sauce is easy to prepare and could be ready in minutes! Pairs perfectly with rice, pasta or bread.”
GOLDEN CURRY ROUX
I grew up eating this, and my mom never switched it up with her own tweaks which is why I can easily identify the flavor.
GOLDEN CURRY “Ready Made” (Pouch)
I would buy these IN BULK when they went on sale for about $1 (regularly $2.68) something at Japanese markets because it can’t get any easier than this.
GOLDEN CURRY “Ready Made” (from mild to extra hot)
The entire scale of 1-5 is silly if you can down chili peppers like it’s nothing although if you’re really sensitive to heat, you may want to start at mild although I think for most, it won’t even phase you.
I have never used this product before because I’m not going to bother producing curry from scratch when it’s way easier to buy the roux.
There’s no karē raisu without the rice
Nishiki Premium Grade Rice
Rice is ready in a mere 1 minute 30 seconds.
|Amazon, KC Commerce||$38.49, Shirakiku brand, 10-pack/$3.84 (200g)|
|Target||$2.09 per serving|
|Tokyo Central||$1.78 per serving|
|Walmart||$8.57, 5-pack/$1.71 per serving|