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Homemade Japanese Chicken Curry



Some of you might be familiar with the Japanese Golden Curry. It’s a delicious, rich, hearty and comforting food with a massive caveat – it’s usually made from a packet, or a compressed powder cube to be more specific. Even the ones you find in Japanese eateries will sometimes be made from a packet. I have to admit that I used to buy packets of Golden Curry sauce from Asian supermarkets and make a Japanese curry from that when I was a student. It’s cheap and full of that flavoursome MSG that at the time I didn’t seem to care so much about.

These days I avoid processed foods, especially the ones that look like the packet above, but I really miss the flavour of the Golden Curry. So the other day I decided to create my own homemade Japanese curry recipe. I looked at a few existing recipes, adapted ingredients to be paleo friendly, and added a couple of my own twists. Result? Irena -1, Golden Curry Packet -0! This is truly one of the nicest curries (and easy too) I have ever made and I never have to buy the processed sauce mix. I hope you like it.


5.0 from 5 reviews
Homemade Japanese Chicken Curry
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
You can use chicken, beef or pork in this curry. White potatoes can be easily replaced with sweet potatoes or other root vegetables of your choice - pumpkin, squash, parsnips, swedes etc. Serve it as is with a spoon and a side of green vegetables or a salad, or over cauliflower rice (or regular rice if you like).
Cuisine: Japanese
Serves: 3-4
  • 600 grams chicken thigh meat, diced roughly (I used thighs on the bone, which I cut into pieces and left one piece on the bone. I quite like cooking stews and curries with bones for extra flavour and gelatin)
  • 2 teaspoons ghee or coconut oil
  • 1 medium brown onion, diced finely
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger (powdered could be used, about 1 teaspoon)
  • 2 medium carrots, diced into cubes or sliced
  • 2 medium white potatoes, peeled and diced into cubes
  • 2½ teaspoons mild curry powder
  • 2 large cloves garlic, diced
  • 1 tablespoons balsamic vinegar (thicker, more aged variety is best)
  • ¼ cup tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons Tamari (GF soy sauce) or coconut aminos
  • 1 teaspoon fish sauce
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • ⅔ cup frozen peas
  • 2 teaspoons arrowroot powder (or tapioca)
  1. Cut up chicken thighs into pieces and set aside. Skin on or off is completely up to you.
  2. Heat ghee in a medium saucepan or a casserole pot over medium heat. Add the onion and a quarter of a teaspoon of salt and sauté for 3-4 minutes, until slightly softened.
  3. Add the ginger and chicken, turn the heat to medium-high, and stir for a minute or two.
  4. Then add the carrots, potatoes, curry, garlic, balsamic vinegar, tomato paste, tamari, fish sauce and salt and stir for a minute, until everything is nice and brown.
  5. Then pour in the chicken stock, stir and bring to boil. Cover with a lid and simmer for 15 minutes over low heat.
  6. After 15 minutes, uncover, add the peas and stir. Cooke for a further 10 minutes without the lid. This will evaporate some of the liquid and thicken the sauce.
  7. Finally, to thicken the sauce further, add 4-5 tablespoons of the sauce from the pot to a small bowl and mix in the arrowroot flour. Whisk it with a fork until it's more or less combined, although you will probably have a few lumps and that's ok. Add this mixture back to the pot and stir everything through. Turn off the heat and let it all come together in peace and harmony.
  8. Serve with cauliflower rice or regular rice and some extra vegetables on the side.



  1. Thanks for the amazing recipe, this curry was absolutely delicious! Defiantly on the “cook again” list and the thumbs up from Hubby. I replaced the White Potatoes with Sweet Potatoes and served it with Gluten Free Rice Noodles.
    We will be fighting over who gets the left overs for lunch tomorrow no doubt.

    Can’t wait for more recipes like this.

  2. This was deliciousness Irena! Thanks for the recipe…..I used chicken thighs, sweet potato, carrots, swede and a bit of parsnip, also the peas and served over cauliflower rice….a great serving of vegies. It is a keeper!! Also a great recipe to take on the road in our caravan.

  3. I made this recipe tonight for the first time and decided it is definitely a repeat meal. I used pork and especially enjoyed the hearty, complex flavors with rich gravy. Serving over cauliflower rice was perfect. My husband isn’t especially fond of raw cauliflower, but the flavor was very soft under the stew. An added bonus was the wonderful aroma while simmering! The vegetable options make it a very versatile dish, too.

  4. I made this recipe tonight. It was absolutely fabulous. I doubled the recipe, and used a mix of white potatoes and Japanese purple potatoes. (I neglected to peel the potatoes, but I can live with this.) Just wonderful. Thank you so much!


  5. I hardly ever leave reviews but this was an amazing recipe. We had Japanese Curry last night and I was craving it again but looking to make it healthy. This was even better than the curry yesterday. Made the chicken separate in the pan first then made the curry minus peas and potatoes and a little extra cayenne powder. Served over Broccoli rice. I will be making this again very soon.

    1. Thanks Emily :) Super happy that you liked it and even better than the original. Homemade is often nicer in my opinion :)

  6. I have made this twice now, the first time with white potatoes and the second time with sweet potato, both were delicious. Great recipe, thank you for sharing.

  7. I made this the other day and accidentally put 2 1/2 Tablespoons of curry powder instead of teaspoons! !!! Oops lol. Added a tin of coconut cream help tone it down and it tasted fine still. Not that hot and we don’t like things spicy. I just love this recipe as I also loved golden curry pre paleo. Thank you xoxo

  8. Hi Irena,
    This is Saima and I live in Dallas. I watched Love Paleo last night (great movie) and thats what brought me to your website. Looking forward to trying out your delicious looking recipes. My question is do your recipes freeze well? The reason I ask is I am single and cooking for myself. I don’t want to waste food but would rather be able to save portions for later. Any thoughts?


    1. Hi Saima,

      Thanks for stopping by :) Some of the recipes are good for freezing while others are not. Generally, curries, stews and soups are all good for freezing. Alternatively, make a smaller batch enough for dinner and lunch leftovers.

      Irena x

    1. Baba’s Meat Curry Powder is awesome. You’ll need to get it from an Asian supermarket. Otherwise good old Keens Curry Powder from Woolies or Coles is fine.

    1. Megachef is really good and Poosin. They contain a little added sugar but very very little to worry about. You can get Red Boat brand online and that’s very paleo approved.

  9. Irena
    First up great website with great recipes, I just have one question. In the Japanese curry recipe you have white potatoes and peas, I don’t want to go all ocd but I thought these were not allowed on paleo. I have only been doing it for 4 months (lost 23 kg so far) so I am not sure.
    Once again keep up the great work and I look forward to more of your yummy recipes.
    PS I bought your book and its a great cookbook!!!

    1. Hey Phil, these are absolutely valid questions, especially if you’re starting out. First about the peas…unlike dried, mature legumes, green garden peas haven’t developed enough to contain the anti-nutrients that their older siblings have. So things like green beans, snowpeas and garden peas are absolutely fine in moderation, plus garden peas contain lots of fibre, protein and carbohydrates, making them a good source of glucose. As for the white potatoes, these were shunned by the paleo diet for a while as they are nightshades, however they are not as bad as people make out. If you peel white potatoes, most of the saphonins go away with the skin. Cooking further neutralises the antinutrients. I would suggest avoiding white potatoes if you’re really watching the carbohydrate level or trying to heal a serious autoimmune condition, but in moderation they are still a nutritious food. As I mentioned in the recipe, they can be replaced with sweet potato or parsnips as well. I hope that helps. You can replace those with other veggies too.

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