Instant Pot Japanese Curry

Make Japanese curry recipe Instant Pot
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Japanese curry is one of the most popular Japanese recipes, alongside renowned dishes like ramen, udon noodles, and sushi.

I don’t think this delicious curry gets enough love. This is a proper comfort food meal for cold, wintery evenings. It’s full of flavor and easily customizable; you can add extra ingredients or leave out any bits you don’t like.

This Instant Pot Japanese chicken curry recipe is packed with succulent chicken, soft veggies, and a gorgeous gravy-like sauce. All this cooks on High Pressure in just 20 minutes TOTAL.

There’s a whole load of tasty side dishes you can serve with Instant Pot Japanese chicken curry. I’ll discuss some of my favorites below – like rice, quinoa, and naan.

This is one of those perfect recipes for pressure cookers; simply close the lid then “set and forget”. Leave the Instant Pot to do its thing and cook up a delicious meal for you and your family while you get on with other things.

What’s So Special About Japanese Curry?

Japanese chicken curry is totally different from other curry recipes from around the world.

It provides a brilliant flavor, a mix of sweet and savory, with incredible aromatics. To that end, this pressure cooker Japanese dish uses garlic and ginger. Combined with chopped onion, carrots, potatoes, and a curry roux block, these ingredients complement each other to smell and taste amazing.

This mix of ingredients creates a deep and intense flavor that will fill your kitchen (or wherever you’re cooking with your portable pressure cooker!) with a delectable, warming aroma.

This dish is not spicy at all. However, you can add chili powder for a bit of kick if you wish. It’s also a good idea to season with salt and pepper to really bring out the flavors.

The curry’s mildness makes it perfect for any kid’s first taste of curry. It’s a great dish to introduce young ones to new and exciting flavors.

Finally, what makes this Japanese dish extra special is the thick, gravy-like texture of the sauce. This pressure cooker Japanese chicken curry recipe is made using a curry roux. This roux helps make the sauce rich, creamy, and thick. It’s just fantastic.

What’s in the Sauce?

To make the curry sauce, you need to mix Japanese curry powder or Japanese curry roux blocks with water.

My favorite brand of curry powder is Vermont. Another great option is Golden Curry. You can find these brands at any Asian market and in some grocery stores, like Walmart.

You always have the option of making your sauce from scratch; however, I’m guessing you’re here for the simplicity and ease of cooking in an Instant Pot pressure cooker.

For a little added oomph, you can throw in some extra spices and seasoning to your recipe. Possible additions include:

  • Garam masala
  • Black pepper
  • Grated apple
  • Soy sauce
  • Garlic cloves

However you prepare your curry sauce, using the core ingredients will produce an intensely flavorsome sauce.

What can I use instead of Vermont curry paste?

You can use any curry paste for this Instant Pot Japanese curry recipe.

A mild one would be better in my opinion.

Which Chicken Cut Should I Use?

I made this Instant Pot Japanese curry recipe using chicken thighs, but you can use whichever cut of chicken you prefer. Simply cut into bite-size pieces and season the chicken pieces with salt and pepper before adding to the pressure cooker pot.

You can also pre-season the chicken with garam masala and soy sauce before you pressure cook to give it some extra zest.

My personal recommendation is to use skinless, boneless chicken to pressure cook recipes with. Your meal will reliably come out perfectly every time.

Meat CutProsCons
Chicken BreastsChicken breasts are lean but still tasty. Great for those on a low-fat diet.Can be a bit drier than a cut closer to the bone. Less flavorful.
Chicken ThighsChicken thighs have a higher fat content, making them juicer. More flavorful and a cheaper cut than chicken breast.As a fattier cut, it’s not as suitable for dieters.

Can I Use Other Types of Meat?

This Instant Pot Japanese Curry recipe also works well with:

  • Beef
  • Pork
  • Turkey

I’ve made this meal with chicken because I think it has the best balance between juiciness and leanness, meaning it’s healthier and tastier than a pork or beef curry recipe.

Can I Make This Recipe Vegan?

This Japanese Curry recipe can be easily modified to accommodate a vegan diet.

To make this recipe vegan, replace your meat option with chickpeas. You can also use green peas or lentils in this Japanese curry recipe.

If you want to include these ingredients, perform a natural release of pressure 10 minutes after cooking (Instead of the quick release on the original recipe).

As a standard, Instant Pot Japanese curry contains both potatoes and carrots, so it’s excellent for vegans even without additional ingredients.

Instant Pot Carrots

I like to add different types of peas and beans to include protein in my vegan recipes.

And don’t worry! The curry roux blocks are vegan too.

Can I Make a Big Batch?

Absolutely. Like many of my Instant Pot recipes, you can easily adjust the ingredient amounts to make larger or smaller portion sizes.

This pressure cooker Japanese chicken curry recipe yields six servings. You can add any amount of chicken, potatoes, and carrots to suit the batch size you’re making.

The ingredients for this meal are also super cheap, so making big batches is still cost-effective. Potatoes go for as little as $3 for a whole kilo!

To make sure you’ve got enough sauce for the servings you’re making, I recommended a 1:1 ratio of servings to roux blocks.

This means if you’re making Instant Pot Japanese chicken curry for six, you’ll need six Japanese curry roux blocks. If you’re making curry for just two people, use two blocks. You get the idea.

I love this Instant Pot Japanese curry recipe because it’s perfect for feeding lots of mouths. Put all the ingredients in the Instant Pot and leave it to work its magic while you entertain your guests.

You can serve this Instant Pot Japanese chicken curry at a dinner party with friends and feed the leftovers to your kids for lunch the next day. Super convenient and stress-free!

What Sides Can I Serve With Instant Pot Japanese Chicken Curry?

Sides for this meal aren’t essential. The potatoes can always take the place of your side. This is especially great if you’re trying to reduce your carb intake.

However, if you want some bonus tasty accompaniments to your meal, I have a few easy side options for you.

Curry with rice is an absolute staple. The thick sauce in this Japanese curry Instant Pot recipe binds well with rice.

Curry with rice

If you’re looking for some side inspiration, I’ve got a few exciting ideas to try:

Side dishWhy I love it
Instant Pot Jasmine Rice
  • A bowl of Asian style rice pairs perfectly with Instant Pot Japanese chicken curry
  • Very fragrant; smells authentically Japanese
  • Adds a fresh taste to your dish and balances out the heaviness of the sauce
Instant Pot Brown Rice
  • A healthier alternative to white rice
  • This whole grain rice is higher in fiber
  • The earthier flavor pairs well with the similarly earthy carrots and potatoes
Instant Pot Quinoa
  • Lower in carbs than rice, so it complements the potatoes nicely
  • Gluten-free — great for those with a gluten intolerance
  • Very high in fiber
Instant Pot Bread
  • You can make it yourself
  • Bread is a great side to mop up all the gorgeous sauce
  • You also have the option of naan or flatbread

You can make all of these recipes in your Instant Pot pressure cooker.

How to make Japanese curry

Gather your ingredients:

In Instant Pot combine all ingredients, except the coconut milk. Make sure the curry cubes are on top.

Lock the lid into place. Select Manual and cook on High pressure for 4 minutes.

Once done do a quick release.

Open the lid and stir in coconut milk for 1 minute.

Serve warm and enjoy 🙂

Instant Pot Japanese Curry
4.39 from 13 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Japanese
Keyword: chicken thighs, Japanese Curry, Vermont curry paste
Prep Time: 6 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 11 minutes
Servings: 6
Ingredients
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 tbsp garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp ginger minced
  • 1 lb chicken thigh cut into cubes
  • 1 1/2 cup onion sliced
  • 4 red potatoes quartered
  • 2 carrots chopped
  • 1 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 package Vermont curry paste (6 squares)
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
Instructions
  • Add all the ingredients, except the coconut milk and curry paste, to the Instant Pot.
  • Plop the curry paste on top of the other ingredients.
  • Close the lid and cook at High Pressure for 4 minutes.
  • When cooking time is complete, do a quick pressure release.
  • Open the lid, add the coconut milk, and stir continuously for 1 minute.
  • Serve and enjoy!
Nutrition
Calories: 181kcal Carbohydrates: 29g Protein: 4g Fat: 7g Saturated Fat: 4g Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g Monounsaturated Fat: 2g Trans Fat: 1g Sodium: 47mg Potassium: 811mg Fiber: 4g Sugar: 4g Vitamin A: 3408IU Vitamin C: 17mg Calcium: 35mg Iron: 2mg

One Pot Instant Pot Japanese Curry

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This recipe is part of our 1001 Instant Pot recipes project, a huge collection of free, easy and delicious recipes.

19 thoughts on “Instant Pot Japanese Curry

    1. I forgot to ask in my prior message…my husband has heart issues and is on a low to no sodium diet. Can your recipes be modified? Any problem on putting a hold on salt?

      1. They can absolutely be modified! You can always leave out salt or use low-sodium ingredients because of health issues.

  1. Thank you for these wonderful recipes that taste like I have cooked for hours in my kitchen. They are delicious!!!

    1. Unfortunately no, it is much different. Vermont curry paste is a Japanese product and contains thickening agents that contribute to the texture of the sauce.

      1. Where can you find Vermont curry paste? I will have to order it online. Do you have any Diabetic friendly s on this site? Thanks!

  2. I love the golden curry brand curry mix! But Japanese curry doesn’t use coconut milk, I think only Thai curry does.

    1. That’s true and a good point! This recipe isn’t fully traditional, I was inspired by ingredients and techniques from multiple cuisines 🙂

  3. I am a bit confused… Top of the recipe says “minutesCook Time: 14 minutes”
    Point 3 of the instructions says” Close the lid and cook at High Pressure for 4 minutes.”
    Please confirm if cooking on high is 4 or 14 minutes.

  4. Question: How much water do you put in the bottom before you put anything in the instant pot? And do you put ingredients right into the water? (maybe I missed it but I didn’t see water mentioned) Thank you.

    1. You should add 1 1/2 cups water to the Instant Pot in the first step, at the same time you add all the other ingredients listed above it. It doesn’t matter the order.

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