This vegan Japanese curry is made with chunks of potatoes and veggies simmered up in a spicy tomato base. Served over a bed of rice, it makes a perfect hearty fall dinner!
We order a fair amount of Japanese takeout in my house, and usually some type of veggie sushi is the main attraction. Cozy fall stews aren’t what normally come to mind when I think of Japanese food, or at least they weren’t. Until now.
For a while I’ve had a vague idea of what was involved in Japanese curry. One of the Japanese places I used to frequent for work lunches when I lived in Philly had curries, and they always smelled really good, but none were vegan. I never really bothered to inquire what else was in them, other than meat.
As it turns out, Japanese curry is kind of like beef stew. Weird! But I can totally handle beef stew, in vegan form anyway.
Think of this as a hearty, super-spicified cousin to my vegan beef stew. Like my old beefless stew recipe, this one is loaded with potatoes and hearty veggies, but it’s also got a nice hit of curry powder, as well as an apple, which adds just a touch of sweetness. Lots of Japanese curry recipes seem to include peas, but I decided to swap them out for edamame, just to shake things up a bit. It’s perfectly cozy and kind of a perfect dish for a nippy fall evening.
Vegan Japanese Curry
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
- 1 large onion, diced
- 2 medium carrots, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
- 4 cups vegetable broth or water
- 1 large russet potato, scrubbed and diced
- 1 apple, I used a Fuji, peeled and finely diced
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon Japanese curry powder or more, to taste
- 1 tablespoon vegan Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups shelled frozen edamame, thawed
- salt and pepper to taste
- cooked rice
- chopped scallions
Coat the bottom of a large pot with 2 tablespoons of oil and place over medium heat. When oil is hot, add onion and carrots. Sauté until onions are soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and ginger, and sauté about 1 minute more, until very fragrant.
Add broth or water, potato, apple, tomato paste, curry powder, and Worcestershire sauce to pot. Raise heat to medium-high and bring to a simmer. Lower heat and allow to simmer, uncovered, until potatoes and carrots are tender, about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
While the potato mixture simmers, place remaining tablespoon of oil into a small saucepan and place over medium-low heat. Whisk in flour and bring to a simmer. Allow to simmer, whisking constantly, for about 2 minutes, until the mixture is very smooth and darkens up just a bit.
Add flour mixture to the pot with potato mixture and stir until fully incorporated. Stir in edamame and allow to simmer for about a minute or two more, just to heat the edamame and thicken the base a bit. Remove from heat. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and adjust any other seasonings to your liking.
Divide rice into bowls and top with curry. Sprinkle with scallions and serve.
*If you can't find Japanese curry powder, try a mixture of garam masala and regular (English) curry powder.
Nutrition information does not include rice.