Veggie Japanese Curry

I used to love Japanese curry, but the only place around that serves it puts meat in it. A few of the Asian markets around sell it pre-packaged, but most also have meat and even the veggie version is crazy high in sodium.

But, every fall, as soon as the temps drop below 80 F, I start craving it. So, I make my own. And now you can too.


  • Spices*
    • Fennel seed
    • Ginger
    • Star Anise
    • Cinnamon
    • Cloves
    • White or Black pepper
    • Chili
    • Turmeric
    • Coriander
    • Cumin
    • Fenugreek seed
  • Veggies**
    • Potatoes
    • Carrots
    • Celery
    • Onions
    • Peppers
    • Green apples
    • Peas
    • Dried red chilis
    • Kale
    • Spinach
    • Garlic
  • Protein***
    • Extra-firm Tofu, cut in bite-size cubes
  • Other:
    • Flour
    • Oil (vegan butter or similar)
    • Water

What to do with the ingredients:

Start with a roux (that’s where the flour and vegan butter come in.) This creates your base and makes your stew thick. Toss in spices, water, and the root vegetables, the stuff that takes longer to cook. Add in your tofu, followed by your celery, your greens, your onions, etc. Simmer on low heat overnight.

Serve over rice, udon, soba…whatever you like.

*You can buy a five-spice powder and add curry powder or you might be able to find an actual Japanese curry spice if you frequent farmer’s markets. Either way, use some combination of what’s above. Basically, if you’re unsure what to mix up or in what quantities, mix them up in a separate bowl and take a sniff until it smells good to you.

**Like any good stew, use what you have around or what you like or some combination of the two. I listed what I used, but go nuts.

***Again, if you’re not vegetarian or if you prefer seitan to tofu or you like beans or…whatever. Also, there’s protein in some of the veggies, notably the spinach and if you serve it over a a protein-rich grain, you might leave this out.