Discovered: The Oldest Japanese Curry Recipe

Written by on July 12th, 2018 // Filed under Blog

Curry Then And Curry Now

You probably didn’t know that curry has become so integral to the Japanese diet, you’d think it’s only so in India. For example, down Tokyo streets, you’re as likely to find a curry joint as you are a sushi or soba restaurant. The dish was unknown in Japan until about 150 years ago. Japan’s feudal system isolated the country for so long that when Japan opened up its doors to the outside world in the late 19th century, not only foreign science and technology entered, but foreign food as well.

British sailors who colonized India brought curry to Japan. There’s this Japanese-language cookbook, Western Cooking Michimasa, second volume, published in 1872, that showed 110 different recipes of dishes that foreigners ate when they were in Japan. A couple of the entries were: Curried Beef or Muten – Powder Sprinkled on Beer Technique and Explanation of Curried Weel or Fowl Curry Bird Meat Cooked with Curry Powder. It was the two oldest recorded curry recipes in Japanese history, one for beef or mutton and the other for chicken.

The oldest Japanese curry was much saltier. It was also a bit bitter. There was no trace of sweetness. But still, it was a charming dish. And so that was how curry came to Japanese soil and how, through the decades, the Japanese made this delicious meal entirely their own.

Serving Curry Dishes in Federal Way

Love our curry selections at K-Ton, your Japanese restaurant in Federal Way. We serve curry in different ways you’ll enjoy, more contemporary than the original curry of 150 years ago.