Japanese Beef Curry (ビーフカレー)

Curry Rice or Karē Raisu (カレーライス) is a popular Japanese dish, typically made with onions, potatoes, carrots, and a protein of your choice (usually beef, chicken, pork, or seafood), simmered in a curry sauce. The flavor of Japanese curry is quite different from Indian or Thai curry. Curry powder was first introduced to Japan by the British in the late 1800s, and was adapted to Japanese taste to be milder and sweeter. Japanese curries usually have a stew-like texture and are always served with rice.

This recipe is for a savory and hearty Japanese-style beef curry, made with beef, potatoes, carrots, mushrooms, and curry roux. This dish takes a bit of preparation but the end result is well worth the effort. This recipe makes about 6-8 generous servings, but it’s also a freezer-friendly recipe, so you can make a big batch to enjoy later.


  • 3 largeonions(3 onions = 2 lbs. 13 oz or 1.3 kg)
  • 3 largecarrots(3 carrots = 8 oz or 230 g)
  • 1 large russet potato(1 russet potato = 9.5 oz or 270 g)
  • 8mushrooms(8 mushrooms = 9.2 oz or 260 g)
  • 2lbs.lean beef stew meat(2 lb = 907 g)
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2tablespoonsall-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons  extra virgin olive oil(2 Tbsp. = 1 Tbsp. for beef, 1 Tbsp. for onion)
  • 2 tablespoonsunsalted butter(2 Tbsp. = 1 Tbsp. for beef, 1 Tbsp. for onion)
  • 2clovesgarlic(minced)
  • 1inchginger(1″ = 2.5 cm) (grated)
  • 1tablespooncurry powder
  • 2tablespoonstomato paste(or ketchup)
  • 1cupred wine
  • 8cupsbeef stock(8 cups = 2 QT or 1.9 L)
  • 2bay leaves
  • 1boxJapanese curry roux(1 box = 7-8.4 oz or 200-240 g)
  • 2tablespoonsmilk
  • 1tablespoonWorcestershire sauce
  • 1/4apple(use a crisp apple such as Fuji, optional)
  • Fukujinzuke (pickled daikon)(to serve, optional)


  1. Gather all the ingredients.
  2. Cut the onion into thin slices. Cut the carrot diagonally while rotating it a quarter between cuts (in Japanese this cutting technique is called “rangiri”).
  3. Halve the potato, and then cut each piece into quarters. Soak in water for 15 minutes to remove excess starch.
  4. Clean and slice the mushrooms.
  5. Cut the beef into 1 ½ inch cubes and sprinkle salt and pepper. Coat the meat with the flour.
  6. In a cast iron skillet, heat oil and butter on high heat. Add the beef and cook until well-browned, being careful not to over-crowd the skillet. Cook in batches if necessary.
  7. In a large, heavy bottomed pot, heat the butter on medium heat and add the onion. Add the olive oil and stir to coat the onion with the oil. Add 1 tsp. salt after 10 minutes and sauté the onion until soft and translucent.
  8. Add garlic, ginger, curry powder, and tomato paste and sauté for 2 minutes.
  9. Return the browned beef to the skillet and add the wine. Cook until the alcohol has evaporated.
  10. Add the rest of the vegetables, and pour beef broth into the pot until it covers the vegetables. Cover pot and bring to a boil.
  11. When boiling, skim off scum and fat from the soup with a spoon or fine mesh skimmer.
  12. Add bay leaf, and cover the pot, leaving the lid slightly ajar, and simmer until vegetables are tender, skimming occasionally.
  13. Add the rest of beef stock (if you have any leftover and if necessary).
  14. Using a ladle and with fork/chopsticks, dissolve the curry roux. If the curry is too thick for your taste, add a little water to dilute and thin it. From this point, stir often and control the heat so you don’t burn the curry.
  15. Add milk and Worcestershire sauce. Grate in the apple, if desired, to add a hint of sweetness. Simmer uncovered on low heat, stirring occasionally, until the curry becomes thick.
  16. Serve the curry with Japanese rice on the side topped with fukujinzuke.