Curries

Curries in Japan come in different forms. Ready-made curries come in retort pouches, which are plastic pouches meant to boil on the stove or heat in the microwave, open, and serve as-is.

To make a curry yourself, you can choose between flakes, granules, powders, and roux (cubes or blocks), all of which make a curry base that you are meant to add other ingredients to. These products very often have palm oil included.

FLAKES

Mother’s Vege Curry Flakes are available in upscale stores like Biople by Cosme Kitchen as well as online.

•Vege Curry Flake (Hot & Spicy)カレールゥ(中口):Vegetables (tomatoes, potatoes, onion, garlic, carrots, ginger), palm oil, rice flour, potato starch, curry powder (coriander, turmeric, cumin, other spices), salt, raw sugar, yeast extract, miso, rice koji, fresh ginger, red pepper, red rice, deep sea water powder, kelp, shiitake mushrooms. (Product contains soy.)

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•Vege Curry Flake (Sweet)/カレールゥ(甘口): Palm oil, vegetables (potatoes, onions, tomato, carrot, garlic, ginger), rice flour, potato starch, raw sugar, salt, curry powder (coriander, turmeric, cumin, other spices), brown sugar, miso, yeast extract, fresh ginger, rice koji, red rice, deep sea water powder, kelp, shiitake mushrooms. (Product includes soy.)

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GRANULES

S & B Little Prince Curry, 27 allergenic ingredient-free, granules/エスビー食品 カレーの王子さま 顆粒(アレルギー特定原材料等27品目不使用)

This curry with the flavor of five vegetables is aimed at children from 1 year old who have allergies. It has been reported to be very mild. Adults may wish to add some spicy curry powder to give it more of a kick. It contains palm oil.

Ingredients (granules): Potato starch, dextrin (tapioca starch), fructose, curry powder, pumpkin, vegetable oil processed food (dextrin (tapioca starch), palm oil), sugar beet sugar, salt, potato flakes, shortening (palm oil), sweet potatoes, powdered starch syrup, vegetable flavored palm oil, onion, vegetable extract powder (onion extract powder, Chinese cabbage extract powder, yeast extract powder), yeast extract powder/seasoning (amino acid etc.), emulsifier.

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POWDERS

There are many varieties of curry powders available in Japan that are suitable for vegans.

If you live near a health food store, you’ll likely be able to find more brands there as well. Ohsawa curry is widely carried in health food stores.

•Ohsawa curry roux (medium) オーサワのカレールウ(中辛)Ingredients: Palm oil (from Colombia), rice flour (from Niigata), maple sugar (from Canada), curry powder, salt (sun-dried salt), yeast extract, potato starch (made in Hokkaido), apple juice (domestic), powdered tomato, organic black pepper (from Sri Lanka), organic cocoa. Photo from website.

ohsawa curry roux, medium

•Ohsawa curry roux (sweet) オーサワのカレールウ(甘口)Ingredients: Wheat flour (domestic), organic palm oil, maple sugar, peanut paste, salt (baked salt), curry powder, yeast extract, onion powder, garlic powder, malt extract. Photo from website.

ohsawa curry roux, sweet

S&B curry powders are widely available.

• S&B Spicy Curry Powder

A blend of more than 30 kinds of select spices,  no additives included. 100% pure spice & herb ingredients. Photo from website.

s&b spicy curry powder

RETORT

At some upscale or specialty stores, as well as at the Chaya Macrobiotic restaurants in Tokyo, you can find the Chaya Macrobiotics curries. They are also available for purchase online.

•  Chaya Macrobiotics Bean Curry/チャヤマクロビの豆カレー. Ingredients: Vegetables (carrots, pumpkin, lotus root), kelp seaweed stock, roast onion, tomato paste, red kidney beans, coconut milk, chickpeas, soybeans, sugar beet sugar, carrot paste, pumpkin paste, olive oil, miso, curry powder, garlic paste, ginger paste, vegetable broth, Napa cabbage extract, fermented seasoning, wheat flour, vegetable extract, yeast extract, potato starch, salt, spice, soy sauce, rice vinegar.

Items containing egg, milk, wheat, soba, peanut, shrimp, crab, squid, orange, beef, walnut, mackerel, soybean, chicken, pork, banana, peach, Japanese mountain yam, apple, gelatin, sesame, cashew nut are manufactured in the same facilities.

Three types of beans (red kidney beans, chickpeas, and soybeans) are combined with vegetables and several seasonings. The website recommends adding vegetables at home for a healthier and more satisfying curry. Does not use meat/egg/dairy/white sugar/ chemical seasoning. Retort-type curry.

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•  Chaya Macrobiotics Soy Keema Curry/チャヤマクロビのソイキーマカレー. Ingredients: Vegetables (carrot, lotus root, zucchini, red bell pepper), roast onion, kombu seaweed stock, granular soy protein, coconut milk, tomato paste, miso, vegetable oil (olive oil, rapeseed oil), garlic paste, beet sugar, rice syrup, spice, ginger paste, vegetable broth, potato starch, fermented seasoning, soy sauce, flour, curry powder, salt.

Items containing egg, milk, wheat, soba, peanut, shrimp, crab, squid, orange, beef, walnut, mackerel, soybean, chicken, pork, banana, peach, Japanese mountain yam, apple, gelatin, sesame, cashew nut are manufactured in the same facilities.

Uses 8 kinds of spices, soy meat with a similar texture to meat, and miso instead of butter or margarine for richness.

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•  Chaya Macrobiotics Vegan Green Curry/チャヤマクロビのヴィーガングリーンカレー. Ingredients: Kelp seaweed stock, coconut milk, soy milk, vegetables (bamboo shoots, red bell pepper, onion), vegetable broth, beet sugar, spices, potato starch, ginger paste, garlic paste, yeast extract / chlorella (Product includes soybeans.).

Items containing egg, milk, wheat, soba, peanut, shrimp, crab, squid, orange, beef, walnut, mackerel, soybean, chicken, pork, banana, peach, Japanese mountain yam, apple, gelatin, sesame, cashew nut are manufactured in the same facilities.

Eleven varieties of herbs & spices, coconut milk and soy milk make a rich, spicy, tasty authentic green curry with an addictive kick of red pepper. Non-oil. Does not use wheat flour; suitable for gluten-free diets.

Photo from website.

chaya macrobiotics vegan green curry

•  Chaya Macrobiotics Vegetable Curry/チャヤマクロビの野菜カレー. Ingredients: Vegetables (pumpkin, carrot, lotus root, red bell pepper), kelp seaweed stock, roast onion, tomato paste, coconut milk, sugar beet sugar, carrot paste, pumpkin paste, olive oil, miso, curry powder, garlic paste, ginger paste, vegetable broth, Napa cabbage extract, fermented seasoning, wheat flour, vegetable extract, yeast extract, potato starch, salt, spice, soy sauce, rice vinegar.

Items containing egg, milk, wheat, soba, peanut, shrimp, crab, squid, orange, beef, walnut, mackerel, soybean, chicken, pork, banana, peach, Japanese mountain yam, apple, gelatin, sesame, cashew nut are manufactured in the same facilities.

Meat, eggs, dairy products, white sugar, chemical seasonings, preservatives, genetically modified ingredients are not used at all. Retort-type curry.

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•  Chaya Macrobiotics Vegetable Curry Mild/チャヤマクロビの野菜カレー マイルド. Ingredients: Vegetables (pumpkin, carrot, lotus root, red bell pepper), roasted onion, kelp seaweed stock, pumpkin paste, tomato paste, olive oil, salt, ginger paste, garlic paste, flour, miso, spice, curry powder.

Items containing egg, milk, wheat, soba, peanut, shrimp, crab, squid, orange, beef, walnut, mackerel, soybean, chicken, pork, banana, peach, Japanese mountain yam, apple, gelatin, sesame, cashew nut are manufactured in the same facilities.

A mild curry with 8 delicious vegetables. Meat, eggs, dairy products, white sugar, chemical seasonings, preservatives, genetically modified ingredients are not used at all. It is a retort type so you can easily heat it.

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• Coco Ichibanya’s Vegetable Curry/CoCo壱番屋野菜カレー. Ingredients: Vegetables (potato, mushroom, young corn, carrot), curry roux, onion saute, sugar, salt, sesame paste, yeast extract, curry paste, roast onion/seasoning (amino acids etc.), caramel color, emulsifier, acidulant, flavouring. (Product contains wheat, soy and sesame.)

According to the package, this retort pouch vegetable curry does not contain animal ingredients, “動物性の原材料を使用していない.” This can be found in Coco Ichibanya restaurants near the register or in the occasional supermarket. The sugar may be bone-char processed. This product is meant to be heated up and then eaten. It says on the package not to microwave this flavour as it will affect the flavour of the vegetables. One is meant to open the box, remove the pouch inside, boil the pouch unopened in hot water for 5-7 minutes, remove, open and serve.

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• Coco Ichibanya’s Vegetarian Curry/CoCo壱番屋ベジタリアンカレー Ingredients: Curry roux, onion saute, sugar, salt, sesame paste, yeast extract, spices, curry paste, roast onion, thickener (processed starch),seasoning (amino acids etc.), caramel coloring, emulsifier, acidity regulator, flavouring. (Product contains wheat, soy and sesame.)

According to the package, this retort pouch vegetarian curry does not contain animal ingredients, “ベジタリアンカレーとは、動物由来の原材料を使用していないカレーです.” This can be found in some Coco Ichibanya restaurants near the register. The sugar may be bone-char processed. This product is meant to be heated up and then eaten. It says on the package it may either be microwaved or the package can be removed from the box, boiled in hot water for 5-7 minutes, opened, and served.

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Coco Ichibanya also has a vegan menu for takeout or to eat in the restaurant. Click here to find out more about it.

• My Staple Curry/ウチの定番カレー

This is sold at Daiso shops. It contains palm oil. The sugar may be bone char processed.

Ingredients: Wheat, edible vegetable fats and oils (palm oil, rapeseed oil), sugar, salt, starch, curry powder, black pepper, cumin, garlic, roasted onion powder, vegetable bullion, powdered soy sauce, roasted garlic powder, red pepper, amino acids etc., caramel coloring, acidity regulator, spice extract.

S&B Eighteen-Vegetable Curry with No Animal Ingredients/具材充実18種類の野菜カレー180g(動物性原材料不使用). Ingredients: Vegetables (young corn, lotus root, red bell pepper, ginger, tomato, garlic), sauteed onion, fried eggplant, corn oil, wheat flour, salt, apple paste (apples, fructose glucose liquid sugar), roasted spices (spices, corn oil), sugar, spices, yeast extract, curry powder, vegetables · fruit paste (reduced starch syrup, prune, dextrin, bell pepper, daikon, broccoli, cabbage, spinach, yellow bell pepper, Napa cabbage, tomato puree, onion, blueberry, pineapple, kabocha squash, salt, carrot, celery, olive oil) / thickener (modified starch), coloring agent (caramel, etc.?) It isn’t clear if the last ingredient(s) in the ingredient list are cut off or not.

Per their website, this curry contains no animal ingredients. It also has the Japanese Vegetarian Association mark on it. It can be purchased on the S&B website.

This product is medium spicy.

S&B curry vegetarian retort pouch

 S&B Little Prince Curry, 27 allergenic ingredient-free, retort pouch/エスビー食品 カレーの王子さま レトルト(アレルギー特定原材料等27品目不使用)

This vegetable and chickpea curry is aimed at children from 1 year old who have allergies. It contains 20 kinds of fruits and vegetables and can be eaten without as-is, without heating up, so is perfect for lunch. Does not contain palm oil.

Ingredients (retort pouch): Saute de onion, vegetables · fruit (carrot, sweet potato, potato, date, pepper, ginger, celery, garlic), chick pea, rapeseed oil, sugar beet, curry powder, tomato paste, salt, yeast extract, vegetable · fruit paste (Reduced starch syrup, prunes, dextrin, peppers, radish, broccoli, cabbage, spinach, yellow pepper, Chinese cabbage, tomato puree, onion, blueberry, pineapple, pumpkin, salt, carrot, celery, olive oil), sweet corn powder, spice.

Photo from website.

prince of curry retort pouch

Be sure not to get the following item as it contains pork.

• S & B Little Prince Minced Pork and Vegetable Curry/エスビー食品 カレーの王子さま豚ひき肉と野菜のカレー

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ROUX

It can be tough to find curry roux in block form that doesn’t have animal ingredients. S&B makes one variety of Golden Curry that doesn’t contain animal ingredients. The white sugar may be bone-char processed and it has palm oil. Be sure the package says no animal-derived ingredients as S&B makes a variety of curry roux blocks and the packaging of some of their other products looks extremely similar. It’s not available at most supermarkets, but it can be found at Don Quixote or ordered on Amazon Japan.

• S&B Golden Curry Japanese-style Curry Sauce Mix, no animal-derived ingredients (photo from website) Ingredients: Flour, edible fats and oils (palm oil, rapeseed oil), salt, sugar, curry powder, spices, caramel color, seasoning (amino acid etc.), acidulant.

golden curry

S & B Little Prince Curry, Roux Type/エスビー食品 カレーの王子さま ルウタイプ. Ingredients: Edible fats and oils (palm oil, rapeseed oil), dextrin (tapioca starch), tapioca starch, salt, white sorghum, sugar beet sugar, vegetable paste (palm oil, onion, pumpkin, carrot, cabbage, broccoli, sweet corn, tomato puree, spinach, asparagus, kale), curry powder, Chinese cabbage extract powder, yeast extract powder, fruit paste (rapeseed oil, dextrin, reduced starch syrup, mango, pineapple, passion fruit, apple, banana), (includes banana / apple) / coloring agent (caramel coloring, paprika coloring), flavourings.

Combines sweetness of domestic yellow-green vegetables and fruit. No chemical seasoning added. For children from 1 year old. It contains palm oil.

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