Tag: japanese

Tamagoyaki Frittata

Tamagoyaki Frittata

Tamagoyaki is a favorite Japanese lunch box item, often found in purchased bento boxes or made by a home cook for school lunches. Dashi flavored thin, delicate layers of cooked egg are rolled together to make a large fluffy omelet. It’s deeply savory from the read more

Bacon Wrapped Mochi

Bacon Wrapped Mochi

I feel like the words “bacon wrapped” alone should be enough to get you running into your kitchen, but these Bacon Wrapped Mochi are truly the perfect snack. Salty, sweet, and savory hit all the right notes; ready in minutes with just a handful of read more

Japanese Chicken Curry

Japanese Chicken Curry

I love curries of all kind, but Japanese curry holds a special place in my heart. I especially love this Japanese Chicken Curry. While there’s no shame in using Japan’s famous packaged curry blocks, like in this Beef Curry, I realize not everyone has access to them and I thought it would be fun to make it from scratch. And the results were mind-blowing! If you stay away from curries because you worry they will be too spicy, Japanese curries are the way to go. They have a rich and complex flavor with a touch of sweetness, but not a fiery heat. This recipe might be a little longer than most of my others, but it’s straightforward and can be made ahead; it’s even better the next day!

Japanese curry is probably one of the most common foods made at home. There are plenty of Japanese Curry Houses to dine at in Japan, and each restaurant has a secret blend to create their signature flavor. But Japanese curry is so beloved, easy to make, and economical, that it’s probably one of the most popular dishes to make at home. It’s essentially a stew that is thickened and flavored with a roux. Thicker and less intense than Indian curry, Japanese curry has more of a gravy texture.

Most people use roux blocks to make Japanese curry because of the convenience and ease. There are very decent brands on the market plus let’s be real, curry requires A LOT of ingredients to make. So I usually end up blending two different brands and adding a couple of different ingredients to give my curry that twist. But making curry from scratch is healthier, can be customized for any dietary restrictions, and allows you the freedom to include whatever you like in your curry. Roll up your sleeves and let’s get started!

japanese chicken curry ingredients

Japanese Chicken Curry Roux

Japanese curry is flavored using a roux which is a combination of butter and flour. We’re making a medium roux. It’s not as dark as say roux for gumbo, but it’s definitely not a pale roux either. Cooking the roux to a medium color gives it a toasty, butterscotch flavor that will add significantly to the curry flavor profile. This takes a little time, so don’t rush it. Roux tends to burn if you’re not paying attention, so park yourself in front of the stove and keep a close watch.

Once the roux is done, we add the spices and stir them in to flavor the roux. The heat and fat from the roux also perk up the spices and bring out their flavor. I start by using a standard mild curry powder because it’s the easiest to find. But a Japanese brand of curry powder like S&B would be even better. But that’s not all. An amazing Japanese Curry requires more than just curry powder, which by itself can be a little one dimensional. So in addition to the curry, we add garam masala, an Indian spice blend to give it a boost, some bay leaves for earthiness, more ground black pepper, and some unconventional ingredients that you probably wouldn’t expect: cocoa powder and instant coffee.

So I know you’re thinking- what? why? But hear me out. Have you ever had mole? It’s an amazingly complex and intense Mexican sauce that’s like a curry in that it blends a bunch of different spices together. One of the ingredients is dark chocolate. You don’t notice it, it just adds depth and richness. And that’s what it does here too. Likewise with the coffee. You’re not including huge amounts of these ingredients, but I wouldn’t skip them.

melt butter japanese chicken curry

japanese chicken curry roux 15

The roux starts out like a thick paste but it gets thinner as it cooks. Keep stirring the roux while cooking so it doesn’t stick to the pan or burn.

spices roux japanese chicken curry

When it’s combined I remove the roux (which will smell AMAZING!) from the heat and set it aside.

Prep the Rest of the Japanese Chicken Curry Ingredients

Japanese Chicken Curry is a one pot meal, with veggies simmered along with the chicken and curry gravy. I get everything prepped before starting to cook. I show a couple of different cutting techniques below but the most important point is to keep your ingredients around the same size so everything cooks evenly and finishes cooking around the same time.


carrots roll cut

cut potatoes japanese chicken curry

Then I cut the chicken and I’m ready to put it all together!

Cooking Japanese Chicken Curry

When the chicken is nicely browned on both sides, I remove it from the pan and set it aside. We sauté the thin cut onions, letting then cook and soften. The onions will pick up all of the cooked chicken juices which are stuck to the bottom of the pan. This fond will give your curry a ton of flavor so make sure you get it all. These cooked onions will essentially melt into your curry, giving it body and depth.

Now it’s time to incorporate the curry roux that we made!

roux curry

Then the Japanese Chicken Curry gets gently simmered until the chicken is cooked through and the curry is a thick gravy consistency, about 15 minutes. This curry is wonderful served with steamed rice, and is even better the next day. I can’t wait for you try it and let me know what you think! And don’t forget to tag us in your pics @funkyasiankitchen, we love seeing your creations.


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Japanese Chicken Curry

  • Author: Funky Asian Kitchen
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 60 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Yield: serves 8
  • Category: Main
  • Cuisine: Japanese


  • 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 2 Tablespoons oil
  • 2 large carrots
  • 2 large onions
  • 1 pound boiling potatoes (any kind you like yukon gold, red bliss)
  • 6 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 Tablespoon peeled minced ginger
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 Tablespoons Ketchup
  • 2 Tablespoons Japanese worcestershire sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon Brown Sugar
  • 5 Cups Chicken Stock
  • Salt and pepper to taste (I added 2 teaspoons)

For the Curry Roux:

  • 8 Tablespoons Butter (1 Stick)
  • 3 ounces flour
  • 4 Tablespoons Japanese Curry Powder
  • 2 Tablespoons Garam Masala
  • 1 Tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon instant coffee 
  • 1 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper

For Serving:

  • Steamed Rice


Make the Roux:

  1. Put a medium heavy bottomed pot over medium heat and add the butter.
  2. When the butter is melted, add the flour.
  3. Cook the butter flour for approximately 15 minutes, turning down the heat to medium low after the first 5 minutes.
  4. Stir regularly with a spoon or whisk (the roux will burn if don’t watch it closely), until the roux is a medium brown color.
  5. Add the curry powder, garam masala, cocoa powder, instant coffee, ground black pepper, and cayenne powder.
  6. Stir until the spices are thoroughly mixed and then add the garlic, ginger, and bay leaves.
  7. Stir to combine.
  8. Turn off the heat and set aside.

Prep the ingredients:

  1. Trim and peel the onions. Cut the onions in half.
  2. Then cut one onion into thin slices and the other into thick slices.
  3. Peel and trim the carrots.
  4. Roll cut the carrots into 1 ½ inch wedges by cutting on an angle, then rolling and cutting.
  5. Wash the potatoes. You can either peel the potatoes or leave the skins on.
  6. Cut the potatoes into a large dice. 
  7. Cut the chicken into large 2 inch pieces.

Make the Curry:

  1. Heat a large heavy bottom pot or dutch oven over medium high heat. Add the oil and swirl the pot to coat the bottom of the pan.
  2. Add the chicken in a single layer and sprinkle lightly with sea salt.
  3. Let the chicken cook untouched for two minutes to brown it, and then flip the pieces and brown the other side for another 2 minutes. 
  4. Remove the chicken from the pot and add the onions and a sprinkle of salt. Add another Tablespoon of oil if the pot seems dry.
  5. Let the onion cook for 5-6 minutes, stirring occasionally so it caramelizes.
  6. Add carrots, potato, and chicken stock to the pot.
  7. Bring the pot to a simmer over high heat and skim the surface for impurities.
  8. Lower the heat to medium and cover the pot with a lid.
  9. Continue skimming a couple times while the curry cooks.
  10. Cook for 15-20 minutes until the potatoes are tender. Use a skewer or the tip of a knife to check. 
  11. Turn the heat off of the pot and gently ladle ½ cup of the hot liquid into the roux. 
  12. Whisk the roux until it is smooth and then pour the roux into the pot, whisking as you pour it.
  13. Add the ketchup, worcestershire sauce, and brown sugar.
  14. Add the chicken and any accumulated juices to the pot.
  15. Turn the heat back to medium and gently simmer until the chicken is cooked through, about 15 minutes.
  16. The curry should be the consistency of gravy. Add a little more chicken stock or water if it seems thick.
  17. Taste the curry and adjust the seasoning with a little salt or soy sauce as needed.
  18. Simmer for 5 additional minutes on medium heat.
  19. Ladle Japanese Chicken Curry over hot rice and serve immediately.


*Curry is better the second day. Reheat curry covered with a lid over medium-low heat gently to keep it from burning or microwave on medium heat for several minutes. It also freezes extremely well. Freeze individual servings. Defrost before heating. 


Keywords: curry, japanese, chicken, comfort food, dinner,


Beef Udon

Beef Udon

So after a couple weeks of traveling through chilly Central Europe, I’m home again and what do you think I’m craving? Asian Noodle Soups! But more specifically- Beef Udon! This Beef Udon is everything good in a bowl. Flavorful, simple, fast, and oh so comforting. read more



Why are stir-fries one of the most popular Asian dishes made at home? Because they are versatile, economical, and fast. No matter what you have (or don’t have) in the fridge, a stir-fry can generally be had. So today, we’re going to introduce one that read more



Hello there, funky friends!  It’s been a little while. Between opening a new concept- local friends, check out Halo Halo Snack Shack for Miami’s only authentic Asian shaved ice desserts; and waiting for my dear husband (who happens to be not just the executive chef at our restaurants but also our Funky Asian Kitchen photographer) to recover from knee replacement surgery….2023 has been quite a year already. But I’m happy to be back and I have so many exciting recipes to share with you- like the Dashi recipes we’re making today! Foundational to Japanese cuisine, dashi is used in dishes as diverse as hot pots, noodle dishes, stews, and of course as the stock for miso soup. There are several variations that are common in Japan, and I’m going to share three versions that I regularly enjoy.


dashi ingredients

Katsuobushi and Kombu Dashi

Kombu is essential to making dashi. In fact, all 3 of the dashi variations I am sharing today start by soaking the kombu in water to gently extract its deep umami flavor. I like to soak it for at least an hour, but overnight in the fridge is great too. One of the golden rules in Japanese cuisine, is to never let kombu boil. Why? Because it tends to get slimy and that will transfer to your broth. However, if you’re a rule breaker, you will find that after it’s been boiling for a little while, the slime kind of goes away.

Another lesser rule is to gently wipe down the kombu with a damp cloth before using. This one, I always ignore. The whitish cast on the kombu is not mold; it’s called mannitol and is perfectly natural. It’s a combination of sugar and salts that rises to the surface of the kelp as it dries and adds more umami to your dishes- so really why bother? So rule follower, rule breaker, I’ll let you decide. In the recipes below, I’m following the established principles to give you some guidelines.

Katsuobushi, a dried smoked tuna that is then shaved, is 100% worth seeking out. It’s used in a ton of dishes as a topping/flavoring, stores easily in the pantry, and lasts virtually forever (although really old katsuobushi may lose some of its flavor over time). Japanese cuisine is subtle, relying on seasonality and fresh products above all else. Katsuobushi is one of those ingredients that really lends itself to highlighting those qualities, working in the background, quietly adding some depth, flavor, and light smokiness. You will be amazed at how just these two ingredients create such a complex broth that tastes like it’s been simmered for hours.

Once your water comes to a simmer, make sure to turn off the heat before adding the katsuobushi. Otherwise, the stock will be cloudy and almost slightly bitter. As the bonito flakes steep, they will sink slowly to the bottom of your pot. There’s no need to stir/mix it. Just let it be 😉 Strain your dashi through a sieve to use immediately or store in the fridge. You can also freeze it for convenience.

dashi sieve

Anchovy and Kombu Dashi

This next dashi has a bolder fish flavor, though not overpowering. Typically in Japan, it is made with small dried anchovies known as iriko. Personally, I prefer to follow the Korean lead and use some of the bigger ones. Anchovy stock is used regularly in Korean cusine and it pairs well with the assertive, robust flavors of their food. If you’re using the small anchovies, you can use them as is, but if the jumbos are what you have, you’ll want to remove the head and guts. Although it may seem a little tedious, you’ll get a less fishy product that’s also less bitter and more versatile to use. The photo below shows both sizes which you can easily find in most Asian stores.

Removing the heads and gutting the fish is easy to do and requires just a couple minutes. Once you pinch off the heads, put your fingers at the throat area. Pull the hard black guts out (they will come out as 1 hard piece) and continue cleaning the rest of the anchovies.


strain out fish

This stock will keep for up to 5 days in the fridge. Like all stocks, this freezes well if you would like to store some in the freezer.

Shiitake Mushroom Dashi

There aren’t a lot of hardcore vegetarians in Japan. Most people, even those that eat a largely plant based diet, do occasionally eat seafood. But it’s nice to have a vegetarian dashi to add savory oomph if you are avoiding meat. I use dried shiitake mushrooms for the deepest flavor. Once again I start by soaking the kombu, but I add the dried mushrooms too. Place a little dish on top to make sure they are fully submerged. Let that soak for at least an hour, or up to overnight in the fridge.

I prefer not to simmer the mushrooms. Instead, as soon as the water almost comes to a simmer, I turn off the heat and let the mushrooms steep in the very hot liquid. This technique gives me a light flavorful liquid but not one that’s going to overpower a dish with mushroom flavor. If you love mushroom flavor and can’t get enough, go ahead and gently simmer it instead of just steeping.

Like the other 2 dashi, this one will keep in the fridge for up to 5 days and also freezes well.

If you’re wondering what to do with the stuff you’ve strained out of the stock, you can definitely save the Kombu and the shiitake mushrooms for another purpose. For the anchovies and katsuobushi, I keep them as a treat for our dog Mina. If you have a 4-legged family member, they would love a couple tablespoons mixed into their meals. You can also try your hand at furikake for a 2-legged family treat.

Now that you have mastered 3 different dashi, the possibilities for them are endless. Try one in my Egg Soufflé for an elegant but easy supper. Replace this homemade dashi for the dashi powder/water combo in the Cold Soba. Use the shiitake version to make Chikuzen, Japan’s famed braised chicken. Or try the anchovy dashi in Tteokbokki or  Oden Stew. And of course they will make an excellent egg drop or miso soup. Having these flavorful stocks on hand will up your kitchen game exponentially. Try one, or all 3, and let me know what you think! Tag us on insta @funkyasiankitchen or leave us a comment here; we love hearing from you.


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recipe dashi

Dashi (3 ways)

  • Author: Funky Asian Kitchen
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 4 cups 1x
  • Category: soup
  • Cuisine: Japanese



Katsuobushi and Kombu Dashi

  • 4 cups water
  • 1 ½ cups lightly packed katsuobushi (about 20 grams)
  • 2 pieces kombu the size of your hand (about 4”x6”)

Anchovy and Kombu Dashi

  • 4 cups water
  • ½ cup dried large anchovies (about 25 grams or 15 pieces)
  • 1 piece kombu the size of your hand (about 4”x6”)

Vegetarian Shiitake Mushroom and Kombu Dashi

  • 1 piece kombu the size of your hand (about 4”x6”)
  • 4 cups water
  • 4 dried shiitake mushrooms


To Make Katsuobushi/Kombu Dashi:

  1. Break the kombu into a couple of pieces and then soak the kombu in the water for at least 1 hour (or even overnight) in the fridge.*
  2. Pour the kelp water into a pot (save the kombu for a different purpose) and bring to a simmer over medium heat.
  3. As soon as the liquid starts to simmer, add the katsuobushi and turn off the heat. Let the liquid steep for 15 minutes.
  4. Strain the dashi through a sieve and then use the stock immediately or transfer to the fridge or freeze. The stock keeps for 5 days in the fridge. 

To Make Anchovy and Kombu Dashi:

  1. Break the kombu into a couple of smaller pieces. Add it to the water and soak the kombu for at least 1 hour or overnight in the fridge. 
  2. Head and gut the sardines by breaking off the heads and then pinching out the guts which are hard and black. Discard the head and guts.
  3. Pull the kombu out and reserve for another use. Then put the anchovies in a pot with the soaking water. 
  4. Bring the pot to a simmer over high heat. Partially cover the pot with a lid, lower the heat to medium and continue to simmer for 15 mins and then strain out the sardines. Either discard or use the sardines in another dish (if you have pets, they love the cooked sardines). 
  5. Use the stock immediately or transfer to the fridge or freeze. The stock keeps for 5 days in the fridge. You can substitute 2 cups of katsuobushi (about 2 cups or 20 grams for the iriko)

To Make Vegetarian Shiitake Mushroom and Kombu Dashi:

  1. Break the kombu into a couple of smaller pieces. Put the kombu in a container with the water. Wipe off the mushrooms and then soak the mushrooms with the kombu. You can put a bowl on top of the mushrooms to keep them submerged. Soak for at least an hour or even overnight. 
  2. Strain out the kombu and then put the mushrooms and soaking water in a pot. Bring the pot to a bare simmer and then turn off the heat. Let the mushrooms sit in the cooling pot for 10 minutes. 
  3. Squeeze the mushrooms to extract as much liquid as you can and reserve the mushrooms for another purpose. Use immediately or transfer to the fridge or freeze. The stock keeps for 5 days in the fridge.


*kombu becomes a little slimy when heated but if you are in a rush and do not have time for a long soak, put the kombu in a pot with the water and gently heat it on very low heat for 10 minutes before continuing.

Keywords: dashi, stock, japanese, miso, dried fish, dried anchovy, iriko, shiitake, kombu, vegetarian, awase