Japanese Beef Curry and Rice

Japanese curry or kare (カレー) with large, tender chunks of beef is a luxury to me. I realised that I have only seen them in photos on box packaging or anime (which recently for me happens to be a very funny episode of Crayon Shin Chan), but never tried it in real life before so I set out to correct that.

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Cooking the beef to tender perfection requires two factors – the right cut of beef which is either the shin or chunk tender cut, as well as a few hours (two and a half to be exact) of simmering time on the stove top. You will be rewarded with a wonderful curry with chunky, tender pieces of perfectly cooked beef. If you don’t fancy spending so much time to simmer the beef, check out my other Japanese curry recipe with chicken which you can whip up in 30 minutes. Japanese Beef Curry Recipe
Close up of the large and tenderly cooked beef chunks.

Beef Cubes
Large but still bite-sized beef chunks. The above is the shin cut which I bought from the Japanese supermarket at Isetan Scotts (SG).

Japanese Curry Sauce Mix (Block)
This recipe uses four cubes of instant curry sauce (click on photo above to read more).

Japanese Beef Rice Curry

Add the Japanese curry cubes only at the last stage of cooking – when the beef, carrots and potatoes are thoroughly cooked.


  • 500 grams beef (shin or chunk tender cut) cut to large, bite-sized chunks
  • cooking oil (olive or vegetable oil)
  • 1 onion roughly chopped
  • 2 litres of water
  • 1 carrot peeled and cut to small chunks
  • 1 potato peeled and cut to small chunks
  • 100 grams (four cubes) instant Japanese curry sauce


  • 1 1/2 cup Japanese short-grain rice
  • 1 1/2 cup water

Garnishing suggestions

  • chopped spring onions
  • Beni Shoga (Japanese picked red ginger)

You also need

  • 3 litre capacity casserole (e.g. Dutch oven, soup pot, wok pan)


Japanese Curry

  1. Grease casserole with oil. When the oil is heated, brown beef cubes in batches, taking care not to overcrowd the meat in the casserole. When the beef browns on one side, turn over with kitchen tongs to brown on the other side. Repeat until all the beef cubes are browned (adding more oil if needed). Do not discard the brown bits or juices collected in the casserole.
  2. Add another tbsp oil to the casserole. Then add onions and ‘sweat’ them on medium low heat until they turn soft and translucent.
  3. Add water and bring to a simmer. Add the previously browned beef and simmer for about 2 hours, or until they are soft and tender. Top up with more water whenever the water level runs low due to evaporation.
  4. Add carrots and potatoes and simmer for another 30 minutes.
  5. Add the instant Japanese curry cubes and stir through until they are dissolved. Adjust the consistency of the curry (simmer for a few more minutes if too watery; add water if the curry is too thick). Season to taste if necessary (example salt, dashi, soy sauce, fish sauce or chilli powder; I usually do not add further seasonings as the instant curry sauce is already nicely seasoned).


  1. Wash rice until the water is clear. Drain the rice and add to rice cooker with 1 1/2 cups water. Cook in rice cooker.


  1. Scoop rice to occupy half of the serving plate and ladle curry over the other half of the plate. Garnish with spring onions and pickled ginger.