Authentic Japanese Kare Recipe

Japanese Kare Recipe

If you’re a fan of Japanese cuisine, you’ve probably come across kare, also known as Japanese curry. Kare is a delicious and comforting dish that has become a staple in Japanese households. Its rich and savory flavors, combined with aromatic spices, make it a popular choice for lunch or dinner. In this article, we will explore the authentic Japanese kare recipe, step by step, so you can recreate this flavorful dish in your own kitchen.

Japanese kare traces its roots back to the British curry introduced to Japan during the Meiji era. However, over time, it has evolved into a unique and distinct dish that is loved by many. Japanese kare is characterized by its thick, smooth sauce and is often served with rice. It has a mild spiciness and a delightful combination of flavors that include onions, carrots, and potatoes.


To make authentic Japanese kare, you will need the following ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 2 potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 500 grams meat (chicken, beef, or pork), cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 4 cups water
  • 4 tablespoons kare roux (Japanese curry roux blocks)
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala (optional)
  • Cooked rice, for serving

Preparing the Kare Sauce

  1. Heat the vegetable oil in a large pot over medium heat.
  2. Add the sliced onions and cook until they become translucent.
  3. Stir in the kare roux blocks and let them melt, creating a thick paste.
  4. Slowly add water to the pot, stirring constantly to ensure the roux is fully dissolved.
  5. Add soy sauce, honey, and garam masala (if desired). Stir well to combine.
  6. Simmer the sauce for 10-15 minutes, allowing it to thicken.

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Cooking the Vegetables

  1. While the sauce is simmering, prepare the vegetables.
  2. Add carrots and potatoes to the pot with the sauce.
  3. Cover the pot and cook for approximately 15 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.
  4. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking.

Preparing the Meat

  1. In a separate pan, heat a tablespoon of vegetable oil over medium heat.
  2. Add the meat and cook until it is browned on all sides.
  3. Once cooked, add the meat to the pot with the vegetables and sauce.
  4. Stir well to coat the meat with the flavorful sauce.

Bringing it All Together

  1. Simmer the entire mixture for an additional 10 minutes to allow the flavors to meld together.
  2. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking and ensure even cooking.

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Serving and Enjoying Kare

Authentic Japanese kare is traditionally served over a bed of steamed rice. Spoon the kare onto a plate or bowl and serve it alongside the rice. The combination of the flavorful curry sauce and the fluffy rice creates a harmonious balance of tastes and textures. Feel free to garnish your kare with pickled vegetables, boiled eggs, or shredded nori for an extra touch of authenticity.

Tips for Customizing Your Kare

  1. Spice Level: Adjust the spiciness of your kare by adding more or less curry roux or garam masala.
  2. Vegetables: Feel free to experiment with different vegetables like bell peppers, mushrooms, or sweet potatoes.
  3. Meat Choices: While chicken, beef, and pork are the most commonly used meats, you can also try seafood or tofu for a vegetarian option.
  4. Additional Flavors: Enhance the taste of your kare by adding grated apple, Worcestershire sauce, or grated garlic.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  1. Is Japanese kare spicy? Japanese kare is known for its mild spiciness. However, the spice level can be adjusted according to personal preference.
  2. Can I make Japanese kare without meat? Yes, you can make vegetarian or vegan versions of Japanese kare by using tofu or a variety of vegetables.
  3. How long does it take to cook Japanese kare? The cooking time for Japanese kare varies, but it typically takes around 30-45 minutes from start to finish.
  4. Can I freeze Japanese kare? Yes, you can freeze leftover Japanese kare for future consumption. It can be stored in the freezer for up to three months.
  5. What can I serve with Japanese kare? Japanese kare is traditionally served with steamed rice, but it can also be enjoyed with bread or udon noodles.

In conclusion, authentic Japanese kare is a delightful and flavorful dish that brings warmth and comfort to any mealtime. With its rich and savory sauce combined with tender meat and vegetables, it’s no wonder that kare has become a beloved classic in Japanese cuisine. By following this recipe and adding your own personal touch, you can enjoy the taste of Japan in the comfort of your own home.

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