Japanese Curry

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Japanese Curry

Serves 4  | Prep Time: 15 minutes | Cook Time: 45 minutes – 1 hour

A comforting and delicious Japanese style stew. This version uses arrowroot (a tropical tuber) as a thickening agent in place of the typical cornstarch or flour. Go vegetarian and replace the beef with one pound of mix mushrooms; this will reduce the cooking time significantly.


  • 1 tablespoon arrowroot
  • 2 pounds beef chuck, cut into 1/2” – 1” pieces (or 1 pound mixed mushrooms)**
  • 2 medium onions, large dice
  • 1 pear, peeled and grated (using the large wholes of a box grater)
  • 1 tablespoon ginger, minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons curry powder
  • 1 tablespoon garam masala
  • 1 tablespoon barely malt syrup
  • 3 tablespoons mirin (I like Ohsawa Organic)
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 4 cups beef broth (I like Kettle & Fire)
  • 2 kohlrabi, cut into medium dice (about 1/2” pieces)
  • 1 turnip, peeled, cut into medium dice (about 1/2” pieces)
  • 1 large yukon potato, peeled cut into medium dice (about 1/2” pieces)
  • 2 carrots, peeled, cut into medium dice (about 1/2” pieces)
  • 1 bunch of chives, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • Serve with steamed jasmine rice or black rice for serving

Chef Tips

In the first few minutes skim the top of the pot to remove some of the ‘impurities’ that float to the top of stew. This is protein coagulating and mixing with fat. Skimming helps to create a nice clear and beautiful liquid. You can also sub the kohlrabi and turnip for 1/2 pound of winter squash like kabocha.

**if using mushrooms, sear the mushrooms in step 1


Step 1 

Season beef with salt and pepper. Heat a Dutch oven (or large heavy bottom pot) over medium-high heat. Working in two batches sear the beef until brown on all sides. About 5-6 minutes per patch. Remove the beef into a bowl and set aside.

Step 2

Reduce heat to medium. Add the onions, pinch of salt and cook until the onions are tender 8-10 minutes. Add in the pear, ginger, garlic, curry powder, garam masala and cook for another minute until the aromatics smell nice and fragrant.

Step 3

Add in the barley malt syrup, mirin, soy sauce and beef broth and bring to a simmer. Add in the beef and cook partially covered for about 35-40 minutes.

Step 4

Add kohlrabi, turnip, potato and carrots adding a little extra broth or water just enough to keep the contents barley submerged. Season with salt and cook until the vegetables are tender. About 15-20 minutes. Add in the slurry and bring curry back to boil. The liquid should thicken pretty quickly. Give one last taste for seasoning. Sprinkle generously with chives,