The curry and rice combo is to Japanese college students what spaghetti is to their American counterparts. It’s cheap, tasty, easy to make, and you can throw in lots of veggies so the next time your mother asks if you’re eating healthy, you can answer “yes” with a clean conscious.
But just because curry is simple to make, that doesn’t mean it has to look simple as well. Below is a collection of quirky Japanese curry arrangements that turn Japan’s go-to meal for the cheap and lazy into (for the most part) adorable platters of art.
But first, a quick primer for those of you unfamiliar with Japanese curry!
Curry was introduced to Japan in the late 19th century by the British navy, who had picked it up from India during colonial rule and modified it to their own tastes. Whereas in Indian cuisine, curry refers to a wide various dishes made from a complex blend of spices, the English developed a generic curry powder to saved them the trouble of having to mix so many spices every time they just wanted some damn chicken tikka masala.
By the time the English brought the dish to Japan, they had further changed the dish to match their tastes by mixing curry powder with pan-fried onions and flour to create a thick roux, which was then blended with a meat and vegetable broth and simmered until it formed a thick gravy-like sauce. Curry sauce!
This curry sauce was Japan’s first taste of the dish and after finding that it went amazing with white rice, the Japanese were hooked.
In 1956, S&B Food began selling pre-made blocks of curry roux that could be added to stewed meat and veggies to make a delicious pot of curry in a matter of minutes. Since then, the Japanese variant of curry has become a national dish and the savior of hungry college students across the country.
Okay, feeling up to speed? Then close your textbooks and check out the gallery below!
▼ Super Mario mushroom?
▼ I suddenly lost my appetite…