Japanese Chicken Curry by Justine Schofield

“Before travelling to Japan, I had no idea curry (Japanese style) was so popular. And I can see why – it’s addictive! There are many different takes on the curry-flavoured stew but what they all have in common is the thick, sweet roux-based sauce that is flavoured with a small handful of spices and – that essential kitchen staple – good old curry powder.”

Serves 4 – 6


  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 3 cm piece of ginger, grated
  • 6 chicken drumsticks (about 1 kg), skin removed and knuckle cut off
  • 50 g butter
  • 50 g (1/3 cup) plain flour
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1 tablespoon garam masala
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 litre chicken stock
  • 250 ml (1 cup) cloudy apple juice
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 carrots, cut into 3 cm pieces
  • 3 desiree potatoes, peeled and cut into 4 cm pieces
  • 3 spring onions, cut into 4 cm pieces, plus extra spring onion green parts, julienned, to serve
  • Pickled daikon, ginger and shallot (see Note), to serve steamed short-grain rice, to serve coriander sprigs, to serve


  1. Heat the vegetable oil in a large sauté pan over medium–high heat. Add the onion and ginger and cook for 2–3 minutes to soften. Add the chicken and cook on all sides for 4–5 minutes until the chicken changes colour but the onion does not begin to caramelise. Transfer the chicken and onion mixture to a plate and set aside.
  2. Return the pan to medium heat, add the butter and melt. Stir in the flour and cook, stirring constantly, for 3 minutes, or until caramel in colour. Whisk in the spices and cook for about 30 seconds until aromatic, then slowly whisk in the stock, apple juice, soy sauce and vinegar until smooth. Bring to the boil.
  3. Reduce the heat to low, add the carrot and potato and return the chicken and onion mixture to the pan. Cover with the lid and cook for 45 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and tender.
  4. Add the spring onion pieces to the curry and stir to combine.
  5. Serve with the pickled daikon, ginger and shallot, steamed short-grain rice, coriander and julienned spring onion. NOTE—Pickled daikon, ginger and shallot can be purchased at Japanese grocers and select Asian grocers.

Slow Cooker Method:

  1. Follow step 1, then place the chicken and onion mixture in the slow cooker.
  2. Follow step 2 and transfer the curry mixture to the slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 2 hours, then add the carrot and potato and cook for 1 hour more.
  3. Follow steps 4 and 5.

This recipe is from Justine Schofield’s new book ‘The Slow Cook’ buy your copy today to discover 80 modern and delicious slow-cooked recipes.