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Japanese chicken curry on rice on a blue plate with chopsticks and condiment dish

Japanese Chicken Curry from Scratch

  • Author: Beth of A Meal In Mind
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x
  • Category: Main dish, meat
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Japanese


This recipe has everything I love about a Japanese homemade curry: A rich, dark, mysterious sauce that coats the rice perfectly. Tender onions, carrots, potatoes, and peas. Flavorful bits of meat that melt in the mouth. It’s fabulous on rice but equally good on its own, and dairy- and gluten-free.



  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs or breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons coconut or olive oil
  • 4 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-inch piece ginger, minced
  • 2 large sweet or yellow onions, thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons S&B Japanese curry powder
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 23 carrots, cut on the diagonal into ½-inch chunks
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon tomato ketchup
  • 1 teaspoon unsweetened carob (or cocoa) powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 12 bay leaves
  • 10 baby Yukon gold potatoes, diced
  • 1/2 cup frozen green peas
  • 2 tablespoons gluten-free flour such as arrowroot


  1. Sprinkle the cut chicken with 1 teaspoon of salt and mix evenly.
  2. Heat the coconut or olive oil in a heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Brown the chicken for 3-4 minutes. Turn the chicken and let it brown on the other side. (If using chicken breast meat, brown for a shorter time.)
  3. Turn down the heat to medium-low. Transfer the chicken to a bowl, leaving any remaining oil in the pan.
  4. Add the minced garlic and ginger and fry until golden, 1-2 minutes.
  5. Add the onions and stir. Cover with a lid and let the onions steam until softened, about 10-15 minutes.
  6. Remove the lid and cook the onions while stirring constantly until they begin to caramelize (see photo). If the onions stick to the bottom of the pan, add a small amount of water to the browned areas which will loosen them.
  7. Add the curry powder and stir until fragrant, 1-2 minutes.
  8. Pour in the stock and add the carrots, tomato ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, cocoa powder, remaining salt, and the bay leaf. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
  9. Add the potatoes and the cooked chicken. Cover and simmer until the carrots and potatoes are very tender, another 15-20 minutes.
  10. In the last few minutes of cooking time, spoon your gluten-free flour into a heatproof glass bowl. Dip spoonfuls of the hot broth from the soup pot onto the flour and stir the flour-broth mixture with each addition. Once you have added enough broth that the mixture is completely stirred with no lumps and is easy to pour, return it to the large pot.
  11. Stir the broth/flour mixture into the simmering curry and stir while heating until the sauce thickens, 3 minutes.
  12. Taste and adjust salt.
  13. Serve with hot rice and Japanese condiments like tsukemono (pickled cabbage).


This recipe reheats beautifully and is even better as leftovers the next day. It keeps well frozen for up to a month.

Keywords: Japanese curry, homemade curry, chicken curry, main dish, gluten-free, dairy-free, no MSG