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Japanese Pork Curry Bowl


This flavorful, fragrant curry is a hearty comfort food. It makes a great meal all year round, but it’s particularly wonderful on chilly nights when you want to enjoy a hearty bowl of something steaming. Pork and vegetables make up the recipe’s foundation, but the flavor is truly elevated by Asian-inspired flavors like red miso, fresh ginger, and curry. Serve it over sticky Japanese rice for a one-bowl meal, or accompany it with a fresh salad or pickled vegetables…

Japanese Curry Roux

This recipe calls for Japanese brick curry, which can typically be found at most grocery stores or specialty Asian grocery stores. It’s very easy to use — simply add it to your dish for that delicious curry flavor. These bricks are available in a hot, medium, or mild options.

Japanese Curry Vs Indian Or Thai Curry

You may be curious to know how Japanese curry is different from Indian curry. This classic Japanese food is thicker and has a milder flavor than other types, and is often made with curry roux or a curry sauce mix, as mentioned above. Many Indian and Thai curries are made with coconut milk and curry powder and other spices, instead of a curry brick.

Many Japanese curries occasionally incorporate other ingredients such as Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, or tomato paste to deepen the flavor, but you can always opt to omit them, as this recipe suggests.


Bread your pork: Breaded pork cutlets with curry sauce is very popular among Japanese cuisine. To try this option, coat your pork in panko breadcrumbs and fry it, before slathering in curry sauce and combining with the vegetables.

Serve over noodles instead of rice: If you don’t like rice, you can top udon noodles, soba noodles, or rice noodles with your curry. Add a splash of soy sauce to for a bit of umami flavor to your bowl.

Use chicken breasts, steak or seafood instead of pork: Instead of pork, feel free to try a different type of protein, or even use vegetables like butternut squash or sweet potatoes. Just be sure to chop whatever protein or vegetables you use into bite-sized pieces.

Make-Ahead Meal

The total time to make this Japanese-style curry is less than an hour, making it easy to put together any night of the week. You can also choose to meal prep this dish over the weekend, and enjoy it all week long. The curry can be refrigerated for up to five days or frozen for up to three months.

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  • 1 1/3 pounds pork loin (small dice)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon cumin seed
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 2 medium carrots (peeled and diced)
  • 1 yellow onion (minced)
  • 1 stalk celery (finely grated)
  • 1 clove garlic (finely grated)
  • 1/2 inch fresh ginger (piece, finely grated)
  • 2 yukon gold potatoes (peeled and diced)
  • 1 tablespoon ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons red miso
  • 1 cup pork stock
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 curry (x 1/2 inch piece Japanese brick)
  • 2 teaspoons rice vinegar
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 4 cups steamed white rice


  1. For the Curry: Place a small Dutch oven over medium heat and add the oil. Add the cumin seeds and toast for a few minutes until fragrant. Add half of the pork loin and allow it to get some color, about 7-8 minutes, remove with a slotted spoon and reserve. Repeat with the second half of pork loin and when lightly browned after 7-8 minutes, add back the first batch of pork. Add butter, add the carrots and onions and sweat the vegetables about 4-5 minutes until they start to get tender and the onions become slightly translucent, then add rest of ingredients and simmer over low heat 10 minutes or until the pork and vegetables are tender and the sauce has thickened.
  2. Serve the pork curry with steamed rice and sides of buttered corn and quick pickled kale.
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