With a rounded and sweet aroma, S&B curry powder is a staple in the Japanese pantry. You can use this versatile spice blend to make Japanese curry dishes like the beloved curry rice (kare rice), and so much more!
Curry was first introduced to Japan during the Meiji era (1868–1912) by the British navy, who brought the spice mix called curry powder.
The curry powder, called Aka Kan (赤缶, Red Tin) was first sold by S&B Foods in 1923, and since then, it holds more than 80% of the market share in Japan.
S&B’s curry powder is made of over 30 kinds of spices that are roasted, powdered, blended, and aged. The main ingredients are turmeric, coriander, cumin, fenugreek, pepper, chili, orange peel, and other spices.
Since the red canned curry powder became a staple in the kitchen at homes and restaurants, the flavor of this curry became the foundation for the Japanese curry culture.
You can buy the S&B Curry Powder on Amazon.
How to Make Homemade Japanese Curry Powder
If you want to make your own curry powder. Please include the ingredients below in bold. It yields roughly 6 Tbsp of curry powder.
For the color
- Turmeric (1 Tbsp) – gives the signature bright yellow color to the curry
- Paprika (1 tsp) – for earthy flavor and a touch of red
For the fragrance
- Allspice (1/2 tsp) – adds a warming fragrance
- Bay leaf (1 leaf)
- Coriander (1 Tbsp) – lends a sweet, nutty, floral citrus aroma
- Cumin (1 Tbsp) – the main fragrance reminding you of curry
- Cloves (1 tsp)
- Fennel (1/2 tsp)
- Nutmeg (1/2 tsp)
- Cardamom (1 tsp)
- Cinnamon (1 tsp)
- Garlic powder (1/2 tsp)
- Fenugreek seeds (2 tsp)
- Orange peel (optional) – S&B Curry Powder includes this
For the spice
- Black pepper (1/2 tsp)
- Cayenne pepper (1/2 tsp) – spicy
- Ginger powder (1/2 tsp)
- Red chili pepper (optional) – spicy, dried, fine powder
- Red pepper (optional) – spicy, roasted, coarse
- White pepper (optional)
- If the spices aren’t already in powder form, toast the spices, stirring the spices frequently, over low heat for 1-2 minutes. When you can smell the fragrant aroma, add them to a spice grinder and grind into a powder.
- Mix all the spices you decided to use in a medium or large bowl to distribute evenly.
- Transfer the toasted spices to a glass jar and let cool completely. Seal the jar and store it in a cool dark place or freezer for 2 months.
Note: Salt is not included in the curry powder; therefore, when you make the recipe, you have to season it with salt.
Make Homemade Curry Roux with Japanese Curry Powder
With Japanese curry powder, you can make homemade Curry Roux from scratch, with just 5 ingredients (including curry powder).
Check out this post for the recipe and tutorial.