Thick Japanese Curry with Curry Powder, without Roux


In overseas, curry roux is an expensive product. I always use curry powder to make silky curry, but still sometimes I want to eat Japanese thick curry.

The most common way to make thick Japanese curry from curry powder is to fry the curry powder and flour. However, there is a risk of burning, and it is tedious, so I came up with the idea of deliberately letting the potatoes fall apart.

Finland is a potato country. There are more than 40 different varieties on the market all year round. To make it easier to understand their uses, they are categorized by red, yellow, and green bags. The potatoes with the red bags are similar to the Japanese Danshaku potatoes, and are very floury. They are considered to be too floury to be used in stews, but in this case, I purposely let them fall apart and used them to thicken the curry.
How to Use Potato in Finland
Green, yellow, red bag of potatoes are KIINTEÄMALTOISET, YLEIS and JAUHOISET PERUNAT. Here's a table to classify each spices and type.

It would be troublesome to stop heating before the potatoes fall apart. But the goal is to cook it so that it falls apart, so you just have to heat it in the pot. It’s easy.

When you let the potatoes fall apart, the flavor becomes much milder. For a curry roux, I think it’s about medium hot. If you want a spicy curry, taste it at the last stage and add some curry powder or chili.

I didn’t have any fukujinzuke or rakkyo, kind of mandatory for the Japanese curry, so I used Finnish pickled purple onions as a garnish. It has just the right amount of sourness and sweetness, and I highly recommend it.
Pickled red onions are a staple in Finnish salads. It can be made with simple ingredients, but it tastes addictive.

Thick Japanese Curry with Curry Powder, without Roux

The key for thick Japanese curry without curry roux or flour is to cook potato till falling apart. Less fat and more healthy Japanese curry.
Prep Time0 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Servings6 people
For thickening
  • potato (floury type, *1) 600 g
  • water 300 g
  • onion 300 g
  • olive oil 1 Tbsp
  • curry powder 3 Tbsp
  • meat of your choice 600 g
  • curry powder 1 tbsp
  • carrot 200 g
  • onion 200 g
  • potato (firm type) 200 g
  • water 500 g
  • soy sauce 3 Tbsp
  • brown sugar 3 Tbsp
  • ketchup 3 Tbsp
  • salt 3 tsp
  • instant coffee (if available) 1 tsp
  • Ajinomoto 3 pinch
Preparation for thickening
  • Peel potatoes (floury type, *1) and cut into thin slices.
  • Place water and potatoes in a small saucepan, cover with a lid, and heat over medium heat until it starts to fall apart.
Meat seasoning
  • Cut the meat into bite-sized pieces and rub with curry powder.
Vegetable Preparation
  • Cut vegetables into bite-sized pieces.
  • Soften the carrots and potatoes in the microwave.
In Japan, we use potatoes that are floury and fall apart easily, such as Danshaku. In Finland, we use the red bag ones. Read more about potatoes in Finland here.
How to Use Potato in Finland
Green, yellow, red bag of potatoes are KIINTEÄMALTOISET, YLEIS and JAUHOISET PERUNAT. Here's a table to classify each spices and type.
Make sure the onion is well browned. A little browning is not enough. It is okay if they are slightly blackened.
It may take a little while for the initial browning to occur, but the interval will gradually become shorter. It’s a pain in the neck to check it often, so just add water and mix when the smell becomes smoky.
I prepare other vegetables while leaving the onions unattended. When it starts to smell slightly burnt, immediately add water to the onions, mix well, and leave it again. At this point, make sure to remove the scum from the bottom of the pan and mix well.
If you heat the onions in a microwave oven and then fry them, the onions will turn golden brown faster. However, if you do it in parallel with other preparations, it will take about the same amount of time, so there is no need to shorten the time in the microwave.
It’s okay if there are small chunks left over because they will break down further during the cooking process.
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