Homemade Vegan Japanese Curry
If you’ve never had Japanese curry, let’s just make sure you’re prepared for what you’re getting into here. The Japanese style is roux-based, thicker and generally a little more mild in terms of flavor.
What you find in Asian grocery stores, while quick and easy and satisfying, is usually full of preservatives. The good news is that making your own homemade version is easy — maybe just not quite as quick.
The key to getting good textures in this curry is being mindful about how you cut your veggies. Unless you’re using whole baby carrots, cut your carrot pieces into different lengths so they all cook evenly with the potatoes.
Ingredients for the roux
4 tbsp all-purpose flour
4 tbsp vegan butter
1 tbsp curry powder
1 ½ tsp garam masala
½ tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp paprika
Ingredients for the curry
2 tbsp oil
2 potatoes, peeled and cut into 1” chunks
1 large onion, diced
2 carrots, peeled and chopped.
2 tbsp dark-chocolate chips (optional)
1 apple, peeled, cored and shredded
4 cups of water
Salt and pepper to taste
- First make the roux: Melt the butter over medium low heat in a nonstick skillet.
- Once the butter is melted, add the butter. Stir continuously for approximately 10 minutes until the roux has darkened. You’re looking for a light brown, a little after the “blond” stage. The cooking process can obviously be sped up with more heat, but it also carries the risk of burning the mixture and being forced to start over.
- Add the curry powder, garam masala and paprika and stir. Remove the skillet from the heat and continue to stir until all spices have been well incorporated.
- Remove curry roux from the skillet with silicone spatula and set aside (get as much of it as you can!)
- In a large dutch oven or soup pot, add oil over medium high heat.
- Once oil is shimmering, add in onions, potatoes and carrots. As noted above, try to make sure the vegetables are cut so they cook evenly.
- Season veggies with salt and pepper and stir occasionally for approximately five minutes or until you see some browning on the vegetables.
- Add the water to the pot and bring the mix to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover and allow to cook for about 10 minutes.
- Once potatoes are just about fork tender, add the curry roux and mix, mix, mix. Make sure to stir in and break up all big dollops. It will take a minute or so for the roux to work its thickening magic on the entire pot.
- Once roux is well distributed, add shredded apple and dark chocolate chips. The apple adds natural sweetener, and the chocolate is one of those “I can’t put my finger on it” ingredients that gives the curry a wonderfully smooth finish.
- Turn off the heat and serve curry over steamed rice, tofu katsu, croquettes, seitan katsu, deep-fried gyoza — anything.
- Refrigerated leftovers will last three or four days.