Japanese Chicken Curry with Relish of the Seven Lucky Gods

Japanese Chicken Curry with Relish of the Seven Lucky Gods
Rick Poon

My mother always made curry with S&B or House Foods curry bricks, just as convenient as bouillon cubes. I like the convenient part, but I don’t care for all the additives that go into most of these store-bought brands. So I started making my own by blending a variety of spices including turmeric, which gives my curry a bright mustardy yellow color and pungent flavor. First you will need to make your own Japanese Curry Brick which you can keep in the fridge for 1 week or in the freezer for 3 months. The base stock is a cold-brew kombu and shiitake mushroom dashi, which can, like the curry brick, be made ahead of time. The curry is traditionally served with rice or noodles and fukujinzuke, a classic pickle made with seven vegetables, a perfect crunchy counterpart to the soft, mild curry.


  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 ½ pounds (680 g) boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch (2.5 cm) chunks
  • 2 onions, halved and thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons minced ginger
  • 2 carrots, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 celery stalk, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 pound (455 g) Yukon Gold, russet, or other potatoes, peeled and cut into bite-size pieces
  • 8 cups (1.9 L) Bonito and Kombu Dashi (page 27) or chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce, or to taste
  • 2 tablespoons sake
  • â…“ recipe Japanese Curry Brick
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 recipe Fukujinzuke (see Japanese Home Cooking, page 89)


  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the chicken and cook until lightly browned, 6 to 8 minutes.  
  2. Reduce the heat to low and add the onions, garlic, and ginger. Cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the carrots, celery, potatoes, dashi, honey, soy sauce, and sake, increase the heat to medium-high, and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 20 minutes, or until the liquid is reduced by a third. Add the curry brick, stir to break it down, and continue simmering until the sauce is thickened but still pourable and reduced by about two-thirds, about 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper as needed. Remove from heat and serve with rice and fukujinzuke.

From Japanese Home Cooking by Sonoko Sakai © 2019 Sonoko Sakai. Photographs © 2019 by Rick Poon. Reprinted in arrangement with Roost Books, an imprint of Shambhala Publications, Inc. Boulder, CO.

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