Curry or Curry Rice (what Japanese normally call curry with rice) is arguably national dish along with ramen noodle in Japan.
Curry was originally introduced to Japan in early 20th century. Now there're two kinds of curries in Japan. Indian curry and Japanese curry. They are very different, but accepted as 'national food' respectively in each country.
What is Japanese curry? First, Japanese curry will never be served alone. When you order curry in a restaurant in Japan, it will be served with rice with no exception. That's why Japanese also call curry as 'curry rice'. Japanese take it granted that curry should be served with rice rather than nan or chapati.
What is difference between Japanese curry and Indian curry? In general, Japanese curry is more watery than Indian one. Also, Japanese curry contains flour, which Indian curry doesn't. In terms of spices, Japanese curry has less spices and as a result less spicy (hot) than Indian one. Most Indian people who came to Japan are surprised with this and often comment Japanese curry is too mild. Having said that, spicy curry is getting popular especially among young people in Japan in recent years. Also authentic Indian curry restaurant is getting popularity in Japan recently.
Most characteristic point in Japanese curry is its variety of topping. Most typical Japanese curry is either beef curry or pork curry. There's chicken curry as well, but it's less common compared with beef or pork. As Japan has less religious restriction, whatever meat you can add to curry which is very nice! These beef and pork curry normally contains some vegetables such as carrots, onions, potatoes. These are must-ingredients for most Japanese curry.
OK, basic explanation of Japanese curry is now over. Now think about topping! Possibly best point of Japanese curry is that go well with most other Japanese foods. How many of these below do you know?
Top 5 Japanese Curry Topping
Fried or scrambled and even raw egg! (it's common to eat raw egg in Japan just in case you didn't know!)
No.4 Hamburg (meat patty)
Japanese hamburg is a perfect match for curry!
No. 3 Katsu
Deep-fried stuffs are generally going well with curry. Other than pork katsu, there're also fried squid, fried chicken, fried croquette etc
As mentioned earlier, all Japanese curry contains carrot, onion and potato as ingredients. Boiled spinach makes spicy curry a bit mild and its' an amazing match.
Sorry, not a quite Japanese food! But, cheese is most popular topping choice among curry fans in Japan. Same as spinach, melting cheese makes curry milder and richer taste.
Did you find your favourite topping in this list? If your answer is NO, don't worry. Top curry chain store 'Coco ichiban' in Japan has nearly 50 toppings in its selection. You will definitely find your own fav topping!
Last but not least, don't forget add some pickles on the side of your curry. 'Fukujin-zuke' and 'Rakkyou' (vinegar shallot) are most popular two pickles and they are amazing with Japanese curry!
Tokyo Direct is online Japanese stuff shop of finest selection of Japanese foods and more. We're shipping UK, Europe and further. Please find our selection of Japanese curry at Tokyo Direct.