Japanese Beef Curry Recipe

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If you’ve ever had a bowl of Japanese beef curry, then you know it’s an incredibly flavorful and filling meal that’s packed full of bold flavors.

It’s also one of those dishes that can be served as a main course or side dish, depending on your preference.

In this article we’ll take a look at what exactly is Japanese beef curry, how to make it, and where you should eat it.

We’ll also answer common questions about this unique recipe so that you can decide whether it’s right for you!

For more information about Japanese beef curry, check out our list of popular Japanese beef curries and our guide to all things Japanese food.

What is Japanese beef curry?

Ingredients

  • Boneless beef
  • Soy sauce
  • Sugar
  • Sake
  • Ginger
  • Garlic
  • Green onion
  • Pepper
  • Sesame oil
  • Carrots
  • Potatoes

Japanese beef curry is made from boneless beef, which is often marinated in soy sauce, sugar, sake (a type of alcoholic beverage), ginger, garlic, green onion, and spices like pepper and sesame oil.

The meat is then simmered in a rich mixture of coconut milk, soy sauce, ginger, and green onions.

There are many variations to this basic recipe, but its most important components remain the same — lots of flavor and a healthy dose of spice.

There’s no set definition of what makes something “beef” or “curry,” but in general, it’s a dish that uses or contains meat and has a certain amount of heat.

Think of it as a cross between a stew and a soup.

If you’re looking for a spicy curry recipe, try our Indian Beef Curry instead.

Instructions

  • Cook the beef cubes in a large pot and transfer them to a plate once they are cooked.
  • Add onions to the pot and cook them until tender.
  • Stir in garlic, ginger and grated apple and cook for two minutes.
  • Sift flour and stir.
  • Add carrots, potatoes and spices and stir.
  • Add tomato paste and red wine and bring to a boil.
  • Stir in sugar, soy sauce and water and bring to a boil.
  • Return the beef to the pot, cover and simmer for half an hour.
  • Remove the lid and cook for an additional 30 minutes.

What are the different types of Japanese beef curry?

Jajangmyeon is the most common variety of Japanese beef curry.

It consists of thinly sliced beef cooked in a thick, pungent broth infused with sesame oil, soy sauce, and other seasonings.

Traditionally, jajangmyeon was made using short ribs because they were cheaper than long-cut ones, but today, you can find it made with either cut.

Jajangmyeon is typically eaten with steamed white rice, and you might find it served as a starter or appetizer at restaurants or Asian eateries.

At home, you can serve it as a main course over rice or noodles, or even use it as a base for a stir-fry.

You can also find Japanese beef curry made with chicken, pork, or squid.

Some versions contain fish as well.

These dishes tend to be spicier than jajangmyeon, and they’re often served with rice.

They include:

Kanpyojak (sometimes called kalbi jaja) is made with thinly sliced beef braised in a sweet and sour marinade. Although it may not look very appetizing, it’s actually quite delicious, especially when paired with steamed rice.

Yakiniku (also known as yakitori) is made by grilling thin slices of beef over charcoal. You can order it as a stand-alone item or as part of a combo plate. Yakitori is traditionally served with vinegar, soy sauce, and/or miso, although you can use whatever condiments you prefer.

Soyukkai is similar to yakiniku, except it’s grilled instead of barbecued. It’s often served with vegetables and rice.

Donburi is a bowl-shaped dish topped with various ingredients such as seafood, veggies, meat, tofu, egg, or noodles. Donburi is sometimes referred to as oden, and it’s commonly found in Japanese restaurants.

Nabe is a hearty stew that’s made with dashi (fish stock). Nabe is often combined with meat and vegetables, and it’s frequently served with rice.

Soba is a noodle dish made with buckwheat flour. Soba can be served hot or cold, and it can be accompanied with a wide range of toppings, including meat, seafood, vegetables, and eggs.

Ramen is another staple of Japanese cuisine. Ramen comes in various shapes and sizes, but it’s generally served in a bowl with a topping of choice and plenty of broth.

Izakaya is a casual restaurant serving small plates of food. Izakayas are typically laid out buffet style, so you can choose what to eat based on what looks good.

Mizutaki is a traditional Japanese snack consisting of deep fried pieces of dried seaweed. Mizutaki is usually served with soy sauce and/or wasabi.

Katsudon is a savory pancake filled with ground pork and cabbage. It’s often served with a dipping sauce made from mirin, soy sauce, and sugar.

Karaage is a fried chicken dish. Karaage refers to the method used to cook the chicken, which involves shallow frying.

Tsukemen is a ramen dish consisting of a bowl of noodles mixed with a spicy tonkotsu broth and shredded scallions.

Is This A Spicy Curry?

Yes, Japanese beef curry is definitely spicy!

Depending on which version you have, the spice level will vary slightly.

However, jajangmyeon shouldn’t be too hot if you don’t like spicy foods.

You can always adjust the taste by adding less sugar or salt if you think the dish is too spicy.

If you want to add more spice, feel free to do so.

Just keep in mind that the dish is already pretty spicy, so you probably won’t need to go overboard.

The dish is usually served with rice.

What other sides?

Typically, Japanese beef curries are served with rice, but you can also find them served with noodles, salad, vegetables, or anything else you’d normally pair with rice.

When ordering, be sure to specify what kind of rice you would like.

Most restaurants offer several varieties of rice, so ask for whichever one you prefer.

If you’re eating at home, you can prepare the rice yourself and serve it alongside your curry.

It’s best to eat Japanese beef curry immediately after it’s been prepared, but it can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

Is This A Fast Dish?

No, Japanese beef curry is not a fast dish.

While it does take time to prepare, the actual cooking process takes very little effort.

All you really need to do is pour everything into a pot, wait for it to simmer, and then let it sit there until the meat falls off the bone.

Once it’s finished, you can enjoy your creation straight away.

Depending on how much you’ve got left over, you could even store it in the fridge to be reheated later.

To get the most out of your meal, consider pairing it with rice or rice balls.

If you want to save time, you can also buy pre-made Japanese beef curry packets, which you can easily heat up in the microwave.

FAQs about Japanese beef curry

How spicy is Japanese beef curry?

Japanese beef curry is moderately spicy.

It’s best to start out slowly and gradually increase the spice level if you want to make the dish spicier.

How can I make Japanese beef curry healthier?

You can reduce the fat content by choosing leaner cuts of meat and avoiding fatty sauces.

For example, you can replace the coconut milk with water if you prefer.

You can also swap out the meat for chicken or pork.

In fact, jajangmyeon is often made with ground chicken or pork instead of beef.

Can I freeze Japanese beef curry?

Yes, you can freeze Japanese beef curry in portions or whole.

To prepare frozen meals, simply place the desired quantity of uncooked meat into freezer bags and freeze it for up to three months.

When ready to eat, thaw the frozen meat overnight in the refrigerator and proceed accordingly.

Alternatively, you can cook the entire batch of meat before freezing it.

Once defrosted, you can just transfer the contents of your pot directly into a new pot.

How long does Japanese beef curry last in the refrigerator?

You can keep Japanese beef curry refrigerated for up to four days.

For longer storage times, you can freeze it in portions or whole.

How to reheat frozen Japanese beef curry?

To reheat frozen Japanese beef curry, simply put it back into a pot and heat it over medium heat until warmed through.

Add additional seasoning if necessary.

How to cook Japanese beef curry without a stovetop?

If you don’t have access to a stovetop, you can cook Japanese beef curry in the oven.

Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C) and place the pot containing the meat inside.

Bake it for 30 minutes.

Reduce the temperature to 300°F (150°C) and continue baking for another 30 minutes.

Remove the pot from the oven and let it cool down before proceeding.

Japanese Beef Curry Recipe

Japanese Beef Curry Recipe

Japanese beef curry is made from boneless beef, which is often marinated in soy sauce, sugar, sake (a type of alcoholic beverage), ginger, garlic, green onion, and spices like pepper and sesame oil.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 10 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Japanese
Servings 6

Ingredients
  

Instructions
 

  • Cook the beef cubes in a large pot and transfer them to a plate once they are cooked.
  • Add onions to the pot and cook them until tender.
  • Stir in garlic, ginger and grated apple and cook for two minutes.
  • Sift flour and stir.
  • Add carrots, potatoes and spices and stir.
  • Add tomato paste and red wine and bring to a boil.
  • Stir in sugar, soy sauce and water and bring to a boil.
  • Return the beef to the pot, cover and simmer for half an hour.
  • Remove the lid and cook for an additional 30 minutes.
Keyword Japanese Beef Curry Recipe
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