Why Won’t my Japanese Curry Thicken?(Quick Tips)

Why Isn't My Japanese Curry Thickening?

Note: As an amazon associate I may earn a small commission from qualifying purchases if you click to amazon from my site and choose to make a purchase.You can read my complete affiliate disclosure for more details

Why Won’t my Japanese Curry Thicken?

Japanese curry is a Japanese dish of meat and vegetables cooked in a sauce from fragrant spices served over rice. It’s a popular belief that British and South Asian immigrants introduced the dish to Japan in the late 19th century.

When you make Japanese curry, the sauce should be thick and creamy.

However, sometimes it doesn’t thicken up how you want it to or is so thin that when reheated later in the day, all the sauce drips out and burns on your pan.

You might be using the wrong type of pan.This is a common mistake when wrong pans for Japanese curry are used . For example, you’re using a non-stick skillet or pot that’s too thin, a pan with too large diameter, or with low heat retention abilities.

Below are a few other reasons your Japanese curry might not thicken enough.

You might have too much water in the base

The most common reason for a thin curry is too much water in the base of your curry. This is easy to fix–reduce the water you use by about half.

You’re cooking at too high temperature/heat level,

As well as being too thin, some curries can be so thick it’s practically glue. This is because you cooked them at too high of a heat level. The heat was so high that the natural oils in the curry thickened.

You’re using too much or too diverse a spice mixture

If you put too many spices into your curry, it’s almost inevitable that some of them will become ground up, making it thick. In this case, it’s best to reduce the spice mixture you use by about half.

You might be cooking for too long

The longer you cook your curry, the more likely it is that some of the natural oils in your curry will go rancid, which will change your curry taste. It’s best to stop when the curry still has a bit of a ‘raw’ taste.

How Do You Thicken Japanese Curry- Steps?

The ideal way to thicken Japanese curry is using a store-bought roux.

STEP 1. How to make Japanese curry roux

A roux is a simple mix of flour and fat. To make a roux, you will need 2 tbsp of butter and 2 tbsp of all-purpose flour. Melt the butter on low heat.

Keep stirring the mixture until it becomes fully combined and forms a fluffy paste. Once done, transfer the roux into a small pot and cook for 5 minutes on low heat.

STEP 2. Brown the beef and heat a small pot on medium/high heat. Add in the beef and cook until it turns brown.

STEP 3. Add in onions and garlic

Add the chopped onions and garlic into the same pot, then stir for about 2 minutes to let them soften.

Step 4. Add a Japanese curry roux to the pot and stir to combine. Then add in the chicken broth, water, and cornstarch. Mix well until it’s just combined.

Step 5. Simmer on low heat and cook on low heat for 15 minutes with a lid on top. Keep stirring regularly so it doesn’t burn up or stick to the pot.

Step 6. Add carrots, baby corn, and snow peas to the chopped carrots, baby corn, and snow peas with a lid on top. Continue to stir regularly so the ingredients can blend well with the roux.

Step 7. Remove from heat and set aside. Place the ingredients into a pot on low heat and simmer for 20 minutes at low heat. Continue stirring at regular intervals to prevent burning. Once done, remove from heat and set aside until serving time.

Step 15. Garnish and serve garnish with roasted sesame seeds, green onions, and sesame oil.

What Do You Do If Japanese Curry Is Too Watery?

There are quite a few curry shops in Japan that offer regular curry, which uses the same curry base and ingredients as the traditional curry, but you don’t have to add any broth or water. All you need is a spoonful of the sauce from the pot.

Second, the easiest way to remove the excess broth from a pot is by using the rice cooker. Set it up in conformity with the manufacturer’s instructions. Set your rice cooker’s cooked rice setting to 2 minutes.

Leave the rice until it’s time for dinner and then serve your curry with a spoonful of rice in each bowl.

If you do not have any rice, add it later in the evening.

If you still find your curry too watery, then you can try using a small saucepan as an extra cooking vessel to boil some water first. Your final broth will be less watery than used in a pot with added water or broth.

If that doesn’t trick, try adding vegetable oil to your pot before boiling. The oil helps the moisture evaporate, and then you will end up with a broth similar to the one from your microwave soup.

Why Is My Japanese Curry So Thin?

Your Japanese curry is so thin because all the liquids have evaporated. This makes the curry plates look very thin, which gives your food an appearance that is appealing to many people. For a Japanese curry to be truly savory and rich in flavor, it needs the sauce to thicken.

You can use several methods to make sauces thicker, such as adding a small amount of flour or cornstarch before cooking or reducing some of the liquid, so it becomes too thick for evaporation.

In addition, commercial Coney stew meat preparations use these same methods.

Why Won't my Japanese Curry Thicken?

It is essential to understand that Japanese curry is unlike the chicken stews you see at western restaurants. Japanese curry comes from a large amount of meat and vegetable stock or water cooked together and then poured over cooked rice.

The sauce does not contain many spices or seasonings, such as pepper and garlic (although you may find some minced garlic). It also doesn’t contain any vegetables (the amount of vegetables depends on the size of the serving dish), and it usually doesn’t have any potatoes.

They initially made Japanese curry with leftover beef, making its sauce edible. Today, Japanese curry comes from different meats and vegetables such as chicken, seafood, beef, etc.

These different meats get mixed with the same meat stock and rice as the original beef curry. This is why you must keep the same volume of each meat in liquid throughout the cooking process.

Does Mirin Thicken Sauces?

Yes! Mirin thickens sauces better than sugar; it’s the most common ingredient used for thickening sauces. In Japanese cuisine, mirin is typically mixed with sake or water to create a sweet and salty broth that you can use to marinate meats before cooking.

The primary way mirin thickens sauces is by drawing moisture out of the liquid you are mixing with other liquid ingredients as they get added to your sauce.

As mirin dissolves, it turns clear, unlike sugar, which appears white.

Because the mirin dissolves and simmers in your sauce, you won’t be able to see how much it has thickened, but you will be able to taste how sweet, salty, and tangy it is, which is a good indicator of whether or not it’s thickening your sauce.

You can find mirin in most Asian grocery stores and some mainstream grocery stores; I find that the prices are lower in the Asian food stores, but if you don’t have one near you, then try a mainstream store.

You can use mirin in the same way as sugar in small amounts. Using mirin to replace sugar in a recipe, use half the amount. One teaspoon of sugar thickens 1/4 cup of liquid, and one teaspoon of mirin thickens 1/2 cup of liquid.

How To Calculate How Much Cornstarch I Need to Thicken the Sauce?

Calculating how much cornstarch is not an easy task, but it is not impossible. The first step is to calculate how many tablespoons of sauce you will be thickening.

You can do this by measuring the amount of sauce with a tablespoon and then emptying it into a dry measuring cup (minus one tablespoon).

The next step is to measure your cornstarch and add each tablespoon of cornstarch, letting it settle on top before adding the next. When measuring the cornstarch, it helps to have a dry measuring cup on hand with no liquid.

Once you have your measurements, you can work out how much cornstarch per tablespoon you need for the sauce you are thickening.

This is how math works if you are trying to thicken a sauce. It will be different if you want to thicken a dry ingredient such as brown sugar, flour, or something similar.

For brown sugar or flour, the ratio would be 1:3. So if you need to thicken 1 cup of brown sugar, you would need 3 cups of cornstarch.

For a 1/2 cup of sauce, you would need 1 tablespoon of cornstarch. To get this, you will need to measure the cornstarch at 1 tablespoon and then set it aside. Then measure enough sauce with a dry measuring cup (minus one tablespoon) to equal 1/2 cup.

Combine the cornstarch and the measured sauce, stirring until blended. Then add the rest of the sauce and let it thicken.

How Many Servings Does Golden Curry Make?

Golden Curry is a fragrant blend of sauces seasoned with herbs and spices. Based on the ingredients and the number of servings, it will yield between 8-10 servings.

This flavorful dish will impress guests with its rich aroma as it gently simmers on the stovetop. And while Golden Curry is traditionally eaten over rice, you can add variety to your meal by serving it with meats and vegetables.

It’s best to make this dish in a large pot or Dutch oven so that the sauce can reduce down, which creates a rich broth. For optimum flavor and texture, it’s important to cook the curry on low heat for an extended period.        

I recommend cooking this dish for at least 4-5 hours in your slow cooker or 2-3 hours on the stovetop. If you have time to spare, cooking this dish overnight is a great idea.

  How Many Servings Does Golden Curry Make?   
 LevelGramsServingIngredientsNutrition/ serving
Golden CurryMedium Hot220g1Disodium InosinateEnergy: 106kcal
    SugarProtein: 1.4g
    Wheat FlourFat: 7.4g
    SpicesCarbohydrate: 8.4g
    Malic AcidSalt: 0.82g
    Edible oils
    Caramel Color
    Disodium Guanylate
    Monosodium Glutamate
    Curry Powder
    Palm oil (Soy), Canola oil

Why Is Japanese Curry So Mild?

Japanese curry boasts mildness compared to other Asian curries because people make it from balanced blends of spices and curry powder and spices with no specific standing-out ingredients.

The dominant spice in the dish is green onion, but the blend of spices and meat helps to temper any sharpness from cumin and other strong spices.

Another reason for the mildness of Japanese curry is that it does not contain chili. Even though there are recipes for spicy curry in Japan, they find their origins in India’s Chinese and Korean ethnic food.

The Japanese rarely use chili peppers in their cuisine, so they do not have a strong chili flavor in Asian curries, such as kimchi, panko-crusted chicken wings, and Buffalo wings.

Some Japanese curry recipes include cumin, turmeric, and other spices known to be spicy, but they have carefully balanced these with green onion, garlic, and ginger to bring out the pleasant mild flavor of the dish.

And other recipes might have a bit of sugar added to offset some of the acidity in certain types of vinegar or lemon juice, such as yuzu or rice vinegar.

It’s not easy to cook Japanese curry at home, though. If you want to master it for yourself, start learning how to cook Japanese curry rice.

At the meal’s start, you can use one or two servings (about half a package) of spicy seasoning and blend it with green onion and garlic. You can also make a mild version based on just ginger and green onion. Add some meat or eggs and serve.

Do Japanese Use Garam Masala?

Yes! Japanese food is generally spicy and strong in taste, so the use of garam masala is indispensable in their kitchens. Garam masala is a spice blend you can find in a Japanese supermarket. It contains cumin, coriander, and plain red pepper powder.

People commonly used Japanese cooking for meats, vegetables, rice dishes, and dressings. For example, a Japanese dish called “banchan” (rice served with side dishes) typically includes kimji (pickled cabbage), Japanese mustard greens, onions, and sometimes meat or fish.

Because of this, in the recipe below, I will be showing hints on how to use the garam masala you have around your house.

A popular use is for “chirashi” (salmon over rice). Garam masala is also used in almost all noodle dishes. Here are a few tips on how to use garam masala in your cooking:

  1. For “chirashi,” you’ll need a raw egg, which you mix with the rice, sliced salmon, and vegetables on the side.

You can also use cooked salmon and vegetables, but if you add cooked vegetables to your dish once cooked, they will be much harder to eat due to the soggy texture of overcooked vegetables.

  1. For “Kake don” (fried rice), you can use one egg from chickens that lay yellow eggs. If not, two eggs will be more appropriate.
  2. The amount of eggs used in a dish doesn’t matter greatly, but the ratio between the egg(s) and the rice in your dish does matter. Too much rice will make your fried rice heavy, and too much egg will make for a mousse-like texture to your fried rice.
  3. It is essential to add a pinch of salt to your fried rice and noodles dishes. In Japan, they use “konbu” (kelp) which gets dried and ground into a fine powder to give it a natural salt flavor.

You can purchase ground konbu, or you can buy whole kelp and grind it up into a powder yourself.

Why Isn't My Japanese Curry Thickening?

Curry Powder and Garam Masala Blend for The Japanese Curries -Guide

Garam masala is a blend of spices made with particular herbs and spices used in cooking “curries. This spice blend contains ginger, garlic, turmeric, cinnamon bark or powder, bay leaves (dry), black peppercorns, or flakes.

Curry powders are available from most grocery stores and some specialty food stores.

There are thousands of curry powder blends in and around the world, but there are a few fundamental you need to remember when purchasing curry powder:

Consider where your curry or curry powder came from. You can resolve this by looking at the name itself. If it contains words like turmeric and cumin, it is probably not Indian.

It’s more likely that it comes from Indonesia, Malaysia, or the United States since these countries all make a version of their own with these spices.

Look for a saltier spice blend if the word “curry” does not appear anywhere in the name. This would mean that it’s most likely Indian, but there are Indian blends that are not as salty.

Garam masala usually gets combined with other spices like coriander and fennel seeds to provide a more well-rounded taste.

Like most curry powder blends, one may blend garam masala with another spice called asafetida or hing (or asafoetida). The asafetida’s flavor is musty and sulfuric, which is suitable for curries. Garam masala contains turmeric, which gives the curry a yellow appearance.


As a whole, Japanese curry is milder than other curries in the island countries of Southeast Asia (Thailand, Laos, and Cambodia) due to their spice and flavor palette that is not as varied as the Indian or Chinese cuisines.

The choice of ingredients in making curries dictate their color, aroma, and taste. Garam masala gives a majestic yet subtle taste to most Japanese curries, such as curry rice or dishes made with meat.


Hi! I' am Tom. I was a manager in one of the biggest stores for over 10 Years, am also an SEO by night. I don't like to call myself a blogger; they are very analytical, do email marketing, and know all SEO stuff. I faced many questions from customers about different products, and there was hardly any help on the internet. After learning all the things about these products as a manager the hard way, I decided to start a blog and help other people.

Recent Posts