Easy Japanese Beef Curry in Instant Pot

February 17, 2022

 Japanese curry is one of our most cook curries in the house.

We just love the taste, the thick glistening gravy combine with juicy tender beef pieces. 

 Japanese curry recipe


Almost every countries has their own version of curry!

Curry, originally from the spice land of India, has reached many homes in almost every part of the world.
We are able to find many versions of curries; from super hot to very mild curries, some with coconut milk and some with yoghurt.

What is Japanese Curry?

Going back to history, Japanese curry is based from the English version of curry which can be traced back from India!

So, Japanese curry is more like English meat stew, with the thick glistening gravy, add some potatoes and carrot, cook in 'curry' spices.

Japanese curry is more sweet than spicy.
Apples can be added to Japanese curry (we just could not get our head around having apples in curry :) )
By the way the 'heat' level can be increase by adding more chilli powder to your spice mix.

 japanese curry recipes

How to cook Japanese curry from scratch?

Printable recipe with list of ingredients and "How to"  is at the end of this post.

For ease, I provide visuals with some explanation for  a better picture.

First and foremost, you need to prepare Japanese curry roux in order to make this curry.

 making roux by adding flour to butter
 dark roux

What is roux?

Roux is flour cooked in fat (butter) to thicken the gravy.
Roux can be
1) white; think bechamel sauce (for mac and cheese or gratin)
2) light brown; mostly for gravy
3) dark earthy brown colour; widely used for Creole or Cajun cooking 

 Spices for japanese curry
pan fry cumin and cardamon


My Japanese curry seems to be using gazillion of spices, right?
This curry recipe uses spices that you would have in your pantry anyway.

Spices like cumin, cardamom, black pepper, nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon, garlic, onion, garam masala, chilli powder and curry powder.
Note that freshly grounded spices taste much better than store bought spices.

 Homemade curry powder

Curry powder

Why add curry powder when you have basic ingredients to make curry powder anyway?

Short answer, it is in the spice proportion. 
Adding that extra tablespoon of curry powder will enhance the taste of this homemade Japanese curry.

Talking about curry powder, I used Keen curry powder in my video.
The feedback I get, is that Keen had an underlying "sour" taste to the curry.

Kare taste better using homemade curry powder.

 beef for japanese curry


Beef has been our favourite choice of meat in our Japanese curry.
Gravy beef (meat from the hind legs also known as shin) are best to make any curry (in my humble opinion).

Slow cooked these gravy beef, on stove or in a crock pot or use pressure cooker.
Gravy beef will turn out to be tender, juicy and almost melt in the mouth.

You can use other meat of choice and even make it vegan or vegetarian if you wish.

 worchester sauce
tomato sauce

Other ingredients to make Japanese Beef curry?

These two ingredients clearly shows that this Japanese curry has some English influence!

Tomato sauce and Worchestershire sauce!
And of course apples (but I omit in mine)

 brown onion
chunk carrots

Adding vegetables to Japanese Curry?

Adding potatoes and carrots are customary in cooking Japanese curry!
This is to bulk up the curry.

Excellent for one pot meal.

However, I love to add mushroom to my Japanese beef curry.

Cooking curry in pressure cooker

 saute onion
1. Saute onion with 2 tablespoon of cooking oil

 Add spices to sauteed onion
2. Add mix spices and saute until fragrant

add gravy beef to instant pot
3. Add gravy beef and stir to coat with spice mix

Stir spice and beef
4. Add 2 cups of water
Add tomato sauce and worchester sauce.

add carrots and potato
5. Add cut up potatoes and carrots
Start pressure cooker

 Add roux to curry
6. Once the japanese curry is done and cooked, add roux and salt (if needed)

Why cook Japanese Curry in pressure cooker?

Since I bought my pressure cooker (Instant Pot), I love cooking anything and everything using my pressure cooker.

It is fast, easy and less mess.
It is still as flavourful as using other means of cooking.

And another pointer is that cooking gravy beef!
1) On gas stove, gravy beef will take about 1 to 1 1.5 hours to ensure that the beef pieces are juice and tender. 
2) Cooking in slow cooker, it will take at least 4 hours on HIGH.

Cooking using pressure cooker took me at least 45 minutes.
The best thing is every thing goes into the pressure cooker at the same time :).
Less mess, more time to enjoy other things in life!

How to make Japanese curry cubes in advance?

If you are used to having Japanese curry cubes like Golden curry by S&B brand or Vermont curry by House or Java curry, don't worry! Read further.

Make the cubes in advance!

Mix all the spices, tomato ketchup, worchester sauce and salt into the roux.
Pour into those ice cube tray. 

Then break them into the cubes and keep them in zip lock bag in the fridge.

Do note that this Japanese beef curry recipe is for 1 kilo of beef.
Best to proportion the Japanese curry cube according to the weight of the beef.

 curry recipe japanese

How to serve Japanese beef curry?

Curry is best served immediately with Japanese short grain rice and some vegetables by the side.

Re-heat in microwave to warm up the food, as cold kare raisu (curry rice) is not tasty at all.

Other Japanese Recipe on my blog.

Yakitori chicken wings
Five flavours noodles
Deep fried chicken teriyaki sushi balls
Daifuku cakes/ mochi
Matcha red bean buns
White bean paste
Sakura wagashi

Video on How to cook Japanese Beef Curry from scratch 

Cooking Japanese curry in instant pot is super fast and easy. The gravy is thick and tasty with potatoes, carrots, mushrooms tender juicy beef.


  1. If I am not using Cardamom pods but ground Cardamom,how much would that be? Thanks!

    1. for 10 pods equivalent to approximately 1/2 teaspoon to a teaspoon of ground cardamom.

  2. I just love how the recipe is so simple! Definitely making this at home!


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