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.