From Our Editors
Sidebar: Japanese Curry at Kare-Ken
While curry may bring to mind spicy Indian dishes, the Japanese variety is only tangentially related to that country. Curry in its Japanese form came to exist through a game of culinary telephone. In the 1800s, Britons brought back curry powder from India, but they failed to bring along any native recipes. Instead, British chefs turned to French techniques, making a thick roux with flour and butter before adding curry spices.
The Japanese became enthralled with the dish when a craze for Western culture hit the country in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and now this simple entree is considered a national dish. In Japan, the curry sauce is mixed with potatoes, carrots, onions, and most often beef (but sometimes tofu or other meat or seafood) and served with sticky white rice. The delicious end result is sweeter and milder than Indian curry.