Asian Recipes/ Dinner/ Japanese/ Recipes

Katsu Curry – Japanese Curry Rice

03/10/2023

This epic katsu curry recipe is the ultimate combination of flavour and crunch! Featuring a super simple Japanese curry sauce, fluffy sushi rice and crispy homemade tonkatsu, it will warm you up from the inside out.

A spoon drizzles curry sauce over the katsu.

Why We Love This

Japanese katsu curry is maximum comfort food. We love the warm and spicy curry sauce with the fluffy sushi rice and the extra crispy homemade katsu cutlet on top. 

It’s filling and satisfying enough to be a complete meal all on its own, and leftovers are perfect for lunch the next day. 

The curry sauce is so quick and easy to prepare, and you can adapt the recipe to make it mild, spicy, sweet or savoury according to your taste.

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Related: Japanese Beef Curry / Japanese Curry Roux

Katsu curry in a large white bowl, ready to eat.

What is Katsu Curry?

Katsu curry (written as カツカレー or katsu kare) is a version of Japanese curry rice. It consists of curry sauce and rice, topped with a pre-sliced cutlet of breaded chicken breast fillets or pork loin (katsu), similar to schnitzel. 

Outside of Japan, the name katsu curry can often be used to refer to any type of Japanese curry, however in Japan, it specifically refers to this dish. 

Katsu curry rice is said to have originated back in 1948 at a yoshoku (Western-influenced food) restaurant in Tokyo. Nowadays it’s available in restaurants and in takeaway containers at convenience stores!

Our curry sauce recipe is inspired by frequent trips to our favourite curry restaurant in Japan – Curry House CoCo Ichibanya (also known as “CoCoICHI”) where we always order the chicken katsu curry. 

It’s a popular chain restaurant specialising in Japanese-style curry rice and their particular curry sauce flavour is our all-time favourite!

What You’ll Need

  • Katsu – Japanese style fried cutlets crumbed in panko bread crumbs. This recipe is typically served with tonkatsu (pork cutlet) or chicken katsu (chicken cutlet). When making this at home we prefer cooking them in the air fryer so you only need a fraction of the oil you’d use if deep frying. Sub with pork chops, firm tofu katsu, korokke (Japanese croquettes) or ganmodoki (tofu patties) if you like.
  • Curry Roux – Popular Japanese brands of instant curry roux include Golden Curry, Vermont Curry or Torokeru Curry. Each brand offers a range of spice levels, from mild to extra hot. 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 Japanese curry roux at home. 
  • Beef Stock – Sub chicken or vegetable stock.
  • Worcestershire Sauce & Butter – The secret ingredients to infuse this simple curry sauce with CoCoICHI style flavour! Sub with soy sauce or leave them out for an extra simple curry sauce if you prefer. 
  • Sushi Rice – The slight stickiness of freshly cooked sushi rice helps it hold its shape alongside the curry sauce for the classic katsu curry appearance when serving. If you can’t source it, you could sub with jasmine, basmati or similar. They’ll taste just as delicious with the sauce, but they won’t hold their shape on the plate as well.
Ingredients laid out to make katsu curry.

How to Make Katsu Curry

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

  1. Important: Make sure your tonkatsu and sushi rice are both cooked and ready to go, as the curry sauce only takes just over 5 minutes to make.
  2. Pour in your beef stock into a medium saucepan over medium high heat and bring to a simmer.
  3. Add in the Worcestershire sauce and butter, stirring until the butter has completely melted.
  1. Break up your curry roux and add into the sauce. Use a whisk to stir it through and get out any lumps, then allow to thicken while stirring for 3-5 minutes.
  2. Remove the curry sauce from the heat and get ready to plate up.
  3. In a wide, shallow bowl (pasta bowls work great!), pile up your sushi rice over one half, then lay your tonkatsu half over the rice and the empty side of the bowl. Ladle over the curry sauce to fill the bowl, and cover half the tonkatsu. Enjoy!

Wandercook’s Tips

  • Storage – Leftovers will last 2-3 days in the fridge if stored separately in airtight containers.

FAQs

What should I serve with katsu curry?

This dish is filling enough on its own to not really need sides. But if you’re keen to round it out we recommend serving with a small bowl of miso soup, wafu salad or Japanese potato salad

Or try it with a side of shredded cabbage and roasted sesame dressing with takuan pickles or kimchi.

What other condiments could I add to this dish?

We love it with a few drops of rayu chilli oil, toasted sesame oil, or a small bowl of tonkatsu sauce for dipping the cutlet slices. Or you could mix it up with a few classic Japanese condiments like shichimi togarashi, seaweed flakes, bonito flakes and/or Japanese rice seasoning.

What’s the best way to reheat leftovers?

For the best experience we recommend reheating everything separately and then assembling just before serving.
 
– Curry Sauce and Rice – Reheat separately in the microwave (and be sure to avoid overcooking as the curry sauce might separate).
– Katsu Cutlet – For maximum crispy crunch, reheat in the air fryer. (However if you prefer speed over crunch you can heat it in the microwave as well).

Variations

  • Skip the Katsu – Serve it with a Japanese hamburger steak or beef rissole instead.
  • Curry Roux Brands – Try using different instant curry roux flavours to see which you like best.
  • Even More Flavour – Before making the curry sauce, first fry up some fresh garlic and ginger slices in 1 tbsp vegetable oil. Then add the beef stock and continue with the recipe.
  • Add Veggies – Fry up some potatoes, carrots and onions and simmer them in the sauce (see our Japanese beef curry recipe for the full method).
  • Low Carb – Swap the cooked rice for cauliflower rice or broccoli rice, lightly sauteed in a little chicken stock. 
  • Make it Spicier – Add extra curry powder, cayenne pepper 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 tsp of honey to take the edge off.
Golden katsu lays on top of sushi rice and curry sauce.

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

A spoon drizzling curry sauce over chicken katsu slices.

Katsu Curry – Japanese Curry Rice

This epic katsu curry recipe is the ultimate combination of flavour and crunch! Featuring a super simple Japanese curry sauce, fluffy sushi rice and crispy homemade tonkatsu, it will warm you up from the inside out.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Japanese
Servings: 2 serves
Calories: 1415kcal
Author: Wandercooks
Cost: $15

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Important: Make sure your tonkatsu and sushi rice are both cooked and ready to go, as the curry sauce only takes just over 5 minutes to make.
    2 tonkatsu / Japanese pork cutlets, 3 cups sushi rice
  • Pour in your beef stock into a medium saucepan over medium high heat and bring to a simmer.
    3 cups beef stock
  • Add in the Worcestershire sauce and butter, stirring until the butter has completely melted.
    2 tbsp butter, 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • Break up your curry roux and add into the sauce. Use a whisk to stir it through and get out any lumps, then allow to thicken while stirring for 3-5 minutes.
    100 g Japanese curry roux
  • Remove the curry sauce from the heat and get ready to plate up.
  • In a wide, shallow bowl (pasta bowls work great!), pile up your sushi rice over one half, then lay your tonkatsu half over the rice and the empty side of the bowl. Ladle over the curry sauce to fill the bowl, and cover half the tonkatsu. Enjoy!
    2 tonkatsu / Japanese pork cutlets, 3 cups sushi rice

Video

YouTube video

Recipe Notes

  • Storage – Leftovers will last 2-3 days in the fridge if stored separately in airtight containers.
  • Curry Roux Brands – Try using different instant curry roux flavours to see which you like best.
  • Even More Flavour – Before making the curry sauce, first fry up some fresh garlic and ginger slices in 1 tbsp vegetable oil. Then add the beef stock and continue with the recipe.
  • Add Veggies – Fry up some potatoes, carrots and onions and simmer them in the sauce (see our Japanese beef curry recipe for the full method).
  • Low Carb – Swap the cooked rice for cauliflower rice or broccoli rice, lightly sauteed in a little chicken stock. 
  • Make it Spicier – Add extra curry powder, cayenne pepper 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 tsp of honey to take the edge off.

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts
Katsu Curry – Japanese Curry Rice
Amount per Serving
Calories
1415
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
21
g
32
%
Saturated Fat
 
11
g
69
%
Trans Fat
 
0.5
g
Polyunsaturated Fat
 
2
g
Monounsaturated Fat
 
7
g
Cholesterol
 
119
mg
40
%
Sodium
 
1110
mg
48
%
Potassium
 
1538
mg
44
%
Carbohydrates
 
239
g
80
%
Fiber
 
10
g
42
%
Sugar
 
7
g
8
%
Protein
 
57
g
114
%
Vitamin A
 
8238
IU
165
%
Vitamin C
 
6
mg
7
%
Calcium
 
158
mg
16
%
Iron
 
8
mg
44
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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Katsu Curry - Japanese Curry Rice
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