Asian Recipes/ Curry/ Dinner/ Japanese/ Recipes

Japanese Beef Curry with Curry Roux

20/03/2023

Enjoy every bite of your very own homemade Japanese beef curry! Featuring tender beef and veggies simmered to perfection in aromatic curry sauce. Serve with sushi rice for the perfect weeknight dinner.

Japanese beef curry with chunks of potato, onion and carrot.

Why We Love This

This effortless Japanese beef curry is packed to the brim with warm and toasty flavour from instant Japanese curry roux (or homemade curry roux!) and a dash of red wine. 

All you need is budget friendly diced beef and the trio of classic curry veggies like onions, carrots and potatoes.

Serve with a side of steamed sushi rice for a quick and easy dinner any night of the week!

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Related: Japanese Curry Powder / Vietnamese Chicken Curry

A green spoon places curry into a white bowl.

What is Japanese Beef Curry? 

Japanese beef curry (ビーフカレー) is made with diced beef, and sometimes vegetables, cooked in a thick curry sauce made from a roux base. It’s usually served with rice (known as kare raisu) and is slightly sweeter than other types of curry. 

Curry was first introduced to Japan via the British Navy, and is known as a type of yoshoku or Western style food. 

Nowadays, it’s such a popular meal in Japan that there are chain restaurants devoted specifically to serving curry! Our favourite is Curry House CoCo Ichibanya, also known as ‘CoCoICHI’. You can customise everything from the style of sauce to the level of spicy and the main ingredients and toppings.

While you can make it completely from scratch using homemade curry roux, it’s often more convenient to use a store bought instant curry roux such as Golden Curry or Torokeru Curry.

What You’ll Need

  • Beef – You can use economical diced beef or chuck steak chopped into bite sized pieces. Tougher cuts may need to be simmered slightly longer to ensure they become deliciously soft and tender. Sub with pork, chicken or tofu. 
  • Veggies – We usually use onions, carrots and potatoes. Other common options are green beans, spinach or thickly sliced eggplant.
  • Curry Roux – Popular Japanese brands of curry roux include Golden Curry, Vermont Curry, Tasty or Torokeru Curry. Look for them at Asian grocery stores or in the international aisle at well stocked supermarkets. It’s also very easy to make your own homemade Japanese curry roux (check out our recipe for all the details). 
  • Red Wine – The perfect addition to beef curries and stews to bring out extra depth of flavour. Sub with beef stock, tomato paste or just use water to keep it simple. 
  • Other Seasonings – You’ll need garlic and ginger. Fresh or minced is best, rather than powdered.
Ingredients laid out to make Japanese beef curry.

How to Make Japanese Curry

First, gather your ingredients: See recipe card below for measurements.

  1. Heat the vegetable oil in a large saucepan, frying pan or wok over medium high heat. Add the garlic and ginger, stir fry until fragrant and slightly crispy for 20 seconds. Add the diced beef and fry for around 1 minute until browned and the edges are sealed. Remove from the pan and set aside to rest.
  2. Add the onionscarrots and potatoes into the same pan over medium high heat and fry for around 3-5 minutes to seal the edges. Tip: This step helps the seal in the flavour and help the veggies hold their shape in the curry.
  3. Return the cooked beef back into the pan then pour in red wine and beef stock powder. Cook off for a few minutes, then add the water and bring to the boil. Tip: Skim off any foam from the surface.
  1. Simmer for around 15-20 minutes or until vegetables are tender and meat is cooked through. Note: If you have the time, cover with a lid and cook for 30 minutes on medium heat to really soften the meat.
  2. Add the chunks of Japanese curry roux and stir through until it dissolves and thickens up the curry nicely. Pour in the Worcestershire sauce and give it another quick mix.
  3. Serve alongside sushi rice and enjoy!

Wandercook’s Tips

  • Cooking – We love cooking this curry in a large saucepan such as a Remoska, a large wok or frying pan. Non-stick cookware makes it easy to cook and easy to clean up after!
  • Veggies – As an optional step, try frying the potatoes and carrots in oil first, just like in our Vietnamese chicken curry. This will seal the edges, keeping the insides soft and tender, while helping the veggies hold their shape in the curry sauce. 
  • Storage – Leftovers will last 2-3 days in the fridge in an airtight container, and can be frozen for up to 2-3 months.

FAQs

What should I serve with this curry?

Japanese beef curry is usually served with Japanese rice or cauliflower rice for a low carb option. It’s especially good with a few drops of rayu chilli oil or toasted sesame oil drizzled on top!

Popular sides include wafu salad, potato salad or miso soup

Can I make it without beef?

Yes you can, just leave it out completely and continue with the rest of the recipe for an easy vegetable curry. You could also use a vegetarian curry roux to make sure it’s completely suitable for vegetarians or vegans, if required.

Can I make this curry without the Japanese roux mix?

Yes you can. First, you need the spices, so we recommend using our S&B style Japanese curry powder blend. You’ll also need to add a slurry of cornflour / cornstarch dissolved in cold water to thicken the curry sauce.

My curry isn’t very thick, what can I do?

The Japanese curry roux should make this curry thick enough on its own, but if it’s still runny, just keep simmering it for a bit longer to thicken it up. If you can’t wait, you can try stirring in a cornstarch / cornflour slurry to make it thicken up faster (1 tsp cornstarch dissolved in 2 tsp of cold water).

Variations

  • Protein – Serve with extra crunchy chicken katsu (or bite-sized chicken karaage pieces), tonkatsu (pork cutlet), korokke (Japanese style croquettes) or Japanese hamburger steaks on top. Or swap the beef for minced beef or sliced sausages, similar to Australian curried sausages.
  • Extra Flavour – You can add a tablespoon of butter into the curry roux before serving for a richer sauce.
  • Make it Spicier – Add cayenne pepper and/or black pepper to taste. 
  • Make it Milder – If the curry is too hot to your tastes, you can try adding a splash of milk or a teaspoon of honey to take the edge off.
Fresh Japanese beef curry with sushi rice.

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★ Did you make this recipe? Please leave a comment and a star rating below!

Creamy Japanese beef curry alongside rice in a big bowl.

Japanese Beef Curry with Curry Roux

Enjoy every bite of your very own homemade Japanese beef curry! Featuring tender beef and veggies simmered to perfection in aromatic curry sauce. Serve with sushi rice for the perfect weeknight dinner.
5 from 8 votes
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Japanese
Servings: 4 serves
Calories: 303kcal
Author: Wandercooks
Cost: $15

Ingredients

  • 250 g diced beef 0.55 lb, chuck steak or casserole steak work best
  • 2 onions roughly diced
  • 2 carrots large and chopped into 6
  • 4 potatoes cut into 4 or 8 pieces
  • 100 g Japanese curry roux 3.5 oz, equivalent to 1 serving homemade curry roux or 1 small / ½ large S&B curry box
  • 2 1/2 cups water 625 ml / 21 fl oz
  • ¼ cup red wine 72.5 ml / 2.45 oz, sub with water for non-alcoholic
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce sub tomato sauce / ketchup
  • 1 tsp garlic
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 1 tsp beef stock
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil

Instructions

  • Heat the vegetable oil in a large saucepan, frying pan or wok over medium high heat. Add the garlic and ginger, stir fry until fragrant and slightly crispy for 20 seconds. Add the diced beef and fry for around 1 minute until browned and the edges are sealed. Remove from the pan and set aside to rest.
    1 tsp garlic, 1 tsp ginger, 2 tbsp vegetable oil, 250 g diced beef
  • Add the onions, carrots and potatoes into the same pan over medium high heat and fry for around 3-5 minutes to seal the edges. Tip: This step helps the seal in the flavour and help the veggies hold their shape in the curry.
    2 onions, 2 carrots, 4 potatoes
  • Return the cooked beef back into the pan then pour in red wine and beef stock powder. Cook off for a few minutes, then add the water and bring to the boil. Tip: Skim off any foam from the surface.
    2 1/2 cups water, ¼ cup red wine, 1 tsp beef stock
  • Simmer for around 15-20 minutes or until vegetables are tender and meat is cooked through. Note: If you have the time, cover with a lid and cook for 30 minutes on medium heat to really soften the meat.
  • Add the chunks of Japanese curry roux and stir through until it dissolves and thickens up the curry nicely. Pour in the Worcestershire sauce and give it another quick mix.
    100 g Japanese curry roux, 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • Serve alongside sushi rice and enjoy!

Video

YouTube video

Recipe Notes

  • Cooking – We love cooking this curry in a large saucepan such as a Remoska, a large wok or frying pan. Non-stick cookware makes it easy to cook and easy to clean up after!
  • Veggies – As an optional step, try frying the potatoes and carrots in oil first, just like in our Vietnamese chicken curry. This will seal the edges, keeping the insides soft and tender, while helping the veggies hold their shape in the curry sauce. 
  • Storage – Leftovers will last 2-3 days in the fridge in an airtight container, and can be frozen for up to 2-3 months.
  • Protein – Serve with extra crunchy chicken katsu (or bite-sized chicken karaage pieces), tonkatsu or Japanese hamburger steaks on top. Or swap the beef for minced beef or sliced sausages, similar to Australian curried sausages.
  • Extra Flavour – You can add a tablespoon of butter into the curry roux before serving for a richer sauce.
  • Make it Spicier – Add cayenne pepper and/or black pepper to taste. 
  • Make it Milder – If the curry is too hot to your tastes, you can try adding a splash of milk or a teaspoon of honey to take the edge off.

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts
Japanese Beef Curry with Curry Roux
Amount per Serving
Calories
303
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
5
g
8
%
Saturated Fat
 
2
g
13
%
Polyunsaturated Fat
 
0.5
g
Monounsaturated Fat
 
2
g
Cholesterol
 
39
mg
13
%
Sodium
 
190
mg
8
%
Potassium
 
1201
mg
34
%
Carbohydrates
 
42
g
14
%
Fiber
 
6
g
25
%
Sugar
 
8
g
9
%
Protein
 
19
g
38
%
Vitamin A
 
9044
IU
181
%
Vitamin C
 
43
mg
52
%
Calcium
 
106
mg
11
%
Iron
 
4
mg
22
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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Japanese Beef Curry with Curry Roux
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2 Comments

  • Reply
    Maria Cimas
    25/02/2024 at 11:26 pm

    5 stars
    Very easy recipe and with easy obtained ingredients. My only issue is that the carrots and potatoes have a different rate of cooking so I would suggest to add the carrots first and then the potatoes for just the last couple of minutes. At the end, my potatoes were more of a mush and the carrots were still no fully cooked. Thankfully the carrot is the only veggie I like crunchy!… or maybe was the quality of the potatoes I used?. All in all very flavorsome and definitely will do it again.

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      26/02/2024 at 8:18 am

      So glad you enjoyed! Alright with the veg, there’s a couple of things. Frying them in the oil at the start altogether is what helps to “seal” them and hold their shape. Then the key to it cooking well is to make sure you’re not boiling them at a high heat, you want it to be at a simmer with the lid on and go for that 30 minutes instead. If the heat is high, what happens is the vegetables jump around into each other, and with potato being the softest – it’ll break up into mush. Hope that helps and can’t wait to hear how your next round goes!

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