It is so obvious that the ultimate comfort food in Japan is curry. Well, it’s obvious to anyone who has been to Japan at least. You’ll see curry shops all over the place, and it’s a popular late night meal after a night on the town. While many shops have their own version, inside the Japanese home using curry packs is by far more popular. Here is guide to making Kokumaro Japanese curry in your home!
Now just because you use a box does not mean you aren’t actually cooking. In fact, Japanese boxed curry roux is just adding a corn starch and spice brick into your pot, no different than adding a bouillon cube to your soup. Of course, you can make a homemade Japanese curry roux as well, but that in my opinion is a whole lot of extra work.
What Is Boxed Curry Roux?
Japanese curry roux in a box is just a mix of herbs and spices you would find in a traditional Japanese curry along with some corn starch to act as thickener. A traditional version might use potato starch but as both ingredients are flavorless it really doesn’t make a difference.
Inside the pack you will find two briquettes of compressed brown powder with scores to break each into four parts. Each brick can make 4 servings, so a box will make 8. However when I make Japanese curry I always make the max amount my pot will hold so I can have leftovers and not need to worry about cooking the next day.
Japanese Curry Ingredients
For this instructional guide I am going to follow the instructions on the box exactly. Ok, I make one substitution in ingredients, but it is an acceptable one in my opinion.
Kokumaro Japanese Curry Ingredients
- 1 box Kokumaro Curry Sauce Mix – you can usually find this at a Japanese grocery store, or order as many boxes as you’d like online.
- 300 grams Beef – the original recipe just states ‘MEAT’ but that just means you can use any meat you want. I prefer to use beef when making Japanese curry, although chicken is great if you are making a katsu curry. (about 2/3 pound)
- 400 grams Onions – as you can see I am using shallots instead. I would say I have a culinary reason for making the substitution, but to be honest I just didn’t feel like walking to the market. (about 1 pound)
- 300 grams Potatoes – I suggest using starchy yellow potatoes. (about 2/3 pound)
- 200 grams Carrot – this is about 1-2 carrots depending on size, but what is more important is finding straight, non-tapered carrots as they are more uniform in the final dish.
- 2 tbsp Oil – I use sunflower oil, but you can use any neutral oil with a high smoke point.
- 1 liter Water – 4 and 1/5 cups
Directions For Kokumaro Japanese Curry
The first step to making this Japanese curry is to prepare all your ingredients. Start by cubing your beef (or meat of your choice) into bite size pieces.
After the beef you can slice the shallot. I cut them into thick half rings, but they will nearly dissolve in the final dish so you can go smaller if you like.
In a thick pot add the oil and turn the heat up to medium-high. When hot add the beef and onion/shallot and allow the meat to brown on all sides. While this is happening you can peel and cube the potatoes, and peel and slice the carrots into bite size pieces.
Once the meat is browned add in the potato and carrot and give the pot a good mix. I like to use a sturdy wooden spoon here to make sure none of the meat is sticking to the bottom of the pot and burning.
Lower the heat to low-medium and add the water. I am using a 3 liter Dutch oven and with all of the ingredients plus the liter of water it is almost full. I suggest using a pot no smaller than 3 liters. Let the pot simmer for about 15 minutes.
Take the brick of curry roux and break it along the scores. Just drop them into the water and give the pot a few good stirs. The boxed mix dissolves quite quickly so don’t worry about having chunks of powder in your final Japanese curry. Simmer for another 10 minutes stirring occasionally.
Serve your delicious and homemade Kokumaro Japanese curry alongside some fluffy white rice. This recipe is best when fresh, but can easily be reheated in the microwave the next day for an easy leftovers meal.
Tips & Tricks
- If you would like to make this dish vegetarian then simply replace the meat with tofu, fake meat, or just leave it out entirely.
- The blue box of Kokumaro says HOT on it, but it is not at all spicy in my opinion. If you would like to increase the spice level you can add some chili paste to the pot right before adding the water. Alternatively you can just add some hot sauce after plating.
- If you are cooking this in a pot with a lid, or choosing to use a lid, you can decrease the water added by 200 ml (4/5 cup). This will create optimal thickness of the sauce as less water is evaporating.
Kokumaro Japanese Curry Guide
- 1 Pot
- 1 Knife
- 1 Cutting Board
- 1 Wooden Spoon optional
- 1 box Kokumaro Curry Sauce Mix you can usually find this at a Japanese grocery store or order as many boxes as you'd like online.
- 300 grams Beef the original recipe just states 'MEAT' but that just means you can use any meat you want. I prefer to use beef when making Japanese curry although chicken is great if you are making a katsu curry. (about 2/3 pound)
- 400 grams Onions as you can see I am using shallots instead. I would say I have a culinary reason for making the substitution but to be honest I just didn't feel like walking to the market. (about 9/10 of a pound)
- 300 grams Potatoes I suggest using starchy yellow potatoes. about 2/3 pound
- 200 grams Carrot this is about 1-2 carrots depending on size but what is more important is finding straight, non-tapered carrots as they are more uniform in the final dish.
- 2 tbsp Oil I use sunflower oil but you can use any neutral oil with a high smoke point.
- 1 liter Water 4 and 1/5 cups
- Cut the beef into bite size pieces. Dice onion. Peel potatoes and carrots. Dice potato into bite size pieces and cut carrots into circles.
- Put some oil in a pot and put heat up to medium-high. When hot add the beef and onion and give everything a stir. Goal is to brown the meat here so stir every minute or so to prevent anything sticking to the bottom and burning.
- When the beef is mostly browned add the carrot and potato and mix again.
- Add the water and reduce heat to low to simmer for 15 minutes.
- Next add in the Kokumaro curry powder and stir the pot. Let simmer for another 10 minutes. Stir every so often so nothing sticks to the bottom and burns.
- Serve this Kokumaro Japanese curry alongside some fluffy white rice for a truly authentic Japanese comfort food.