Japanese Curry – Final Version (With More To Come)

Well this is it.  I have reached my goal of creating a Japanese Curry that was homey, enjyoable, that is reasonably healthy,  and that can be made and frozen without too much trouble.

I actually considered it done when a visitor gave it their stamp of approval.  You kinda want that outside opinion.

So I’m “locking” this recipe as officially done.  Now I am still experimenting with trying to make it a bit healthier (namely cutting the spread and possibly replacing the tomato paste), and am working on a super-fast, super-healthy version.  But this, as far as I concern is not just a milestone, but a complete, legitimate recipe that meets my goals

Makes 3 servings.  It scales up rather well – you can cook two or three batches at once without taking too much time.


  • 4 tablespoons butter or spread.
  • 1/4 cup flour (don’t use white – I use oat)
  • 2 tablespoons curry powder.
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste (about 3 oz)
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce (If you use store-bought not-quite sodium free vegetable broth, use 1 Tbsp)
  • 2Tbsp garlic
  • 2 2/3 cups vegetable broth (Home made, sodium free)
  • 1/3 cup red wine (shiraz and zinfandel are good)
  • 2 1/4 tsp cocoa powder (about 3/4 a tablespoon)


  1. Melt the butter/spread over low heat in a pot of your choice.
  2. When the butter is melted, add the flour, curry powder, tomato sauce, soy sauce, maple syrup, cocoa powder, red pepper and black pepper. Mix thoroughly; I mash, fold, and mix until the color is consistent.
  3. Turn the heat to medium-low.
  4. Now, you want to brown the roux, and there’s a bit of an art to it. What I do is let it cook like a pancake, about 20-45 second until one side browns, then mix it up, fold it into a “pancake” and let it cool again. You may have to play with the heat, but the goal is to basically brown it/fry it slowly. This is needed to develop the flavors – but do not burn it. It’s better to take awhile to cook than burn it.
  5. Eventually it will get crumbly and crack – and you’ll see it visibly brown when it’s let to sit. At that point, it’s time to add the vegetable broth.
  6. Add the vegetable broth and wine to the roux. Turn the heat up so the mixture boils mildly. Do this incrementally so you don’t overdo it or underdo it.
  7. While waiting for it to boil, and when it boils, with a whisk, mix the broth and roux. It also helps to use a spatula to crush chunks of roux against the side of the pan. This can take a bit of effort. In general while mixing, I moderate the heat to get the mild boil.
  8. Stir regularly so it doesn’t adhere/burn.
  9. I wait until the sauce thickens.. The key I use is when it’s not “boiling” but has the bubbly “bloops” of a thicker sauce. This can take awhile – I find it needs a minimum of 15 minutes, though between heat, time, size of pan, etc. it can vary. Taking time is good as it also boils away the alcohol.
  10. Serve or put in freezer containers.


– Steven Savage

Steven Savage is a Geek 2.0 writer, speaker, blogger, and job coach.  He blogs on careers at http://www.musehack.com/, publishes books on career and culture at http://www.informotron.com/, and does a site of creative tools at http://www.seventhsanctum.com/. He can be reached at https://www.stevensavage.com/.