A white bowl containing soup curry with various vegetable on top.

Soup Curry

Course: Main Course, Soup
Cuisine: Japanese
Keyword: curry soup, japanese curry
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 40 minutes
Servings: 4
Originated in Sapporo, Hokkaido, a northernmost island of Japan, Soup Curry is a light curry flavored soup served with fall-off-the-bone chicken and colorful vegetables that are flash fried to give the vibrant colors.  It's relatively a new addition to the popular Japanese curry scene.


For Steamed Rice

For Soup Curry

  • 1 onion
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 package shimeji mushrooms
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 knob ginger
  • 2.5 lb bone-in skin-on chicken thighs (6 pieces)
  • 1 tsp salt (kosher or sea salt; use half if using table salt) (for chicken)
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • ¼ tsp salt (kosher or sea salt; use half if using table salt) (for onion)
  • 3 cups chicken stock/broth
  • 1 Tbsp dry basil
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp salt (kosher or sea salt; use half if using table salt) (to taste)
  • 1 tsp soy sauce


  • 1 piece Japanese curry roux (= 1 small square block)
  • 1 Tbsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 1 ½ Tbsp mango chutney

For Additional Vegetables


Make Steamed Rice

  1. Rinse rice and drain well. Place rice and water in the inner pot of the cooker. Close the lid.
    Soup Curry Rice 1
  2. Select [Rice] using [MENU] button and set the steam time to 8 minutes. Press [COOK] button. When cooking is completed, warming will start. Fluff up the rice with a rice scooper. Tip: Adjust cooking time and water according to personal taste.

    Soup Curry Rice 2

Prepare Ingredients

  1. Gather all the ingredients. Once we start cooking, we don't have time to measure, so make sure to prepare the seasonings ahead of time (1 piece Japanese curry roux, 1 Tbsp curry powder, 1 tsp garam masala, 1 Tbsp tomato paste, 1 ½ Tbsp mango chutney, and 1 Tbsp honey).

    Soup Curry Ingredients
  2. Dice the onion (It doesn’t have to be perfect).
    Soup Curry 1
  3. Cut the carrot into small pieces. I recommend using “rangiri” – a Japanese cutting method to increase the surface. It’ll help cooking evenly and faster, and absorbing more flavors.
    Soup Curry 2
  4. Mince the garlic and grate the ginger.
    Soup Curry 3
  5. Discard the bottom of the shimeji mushroom stem. Roughly separate the mushrooms.
    Soup Curry 4
  6. Pat dry the chicken with paper towel to remove any moisture. Season the chicken with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.
    Soup Curry 5

Stir Fry

  1. Set cooker to [BROWNING FRY, level 6] for 30 minutes (you can add more minutes later on if you need extra time).

    Soup Curry 6
  2. Heat 1 Tbsp oil and brown the chicken, skin side down, for 5 minutes each side, or until golden brown. Don’t crowd the pot and brown the chicken in batches, if necessary.

    Soup Curry 7
  3. After the bottom side is nicely brown, flip to cook the other side. Then transfer the chicken to a plate and continue with the next batch. Set aside.
    Soup Curry 8
  4. Add the diced onion and 1 Tbsp unsalted butter. Sauté until translucent, about 7-8 minutes.

    Soup Curry 9
  5. Add the garlic and ginger and mix all together.
    Soup Curry 10
  6. Add 1 piece Japanese curry roux, 1 Tbsp curry powder, and 1 tsp garam masala. Give it a quick stir.
    Soup Curry 11
  7. Add 1 Tbsp tomato paste and sauté until fragrant.
    Soup Curry 12
  8. Add 1 Tbsp honey and 1 ½ Tbsp mango chutney and mix all together.
    Soup Curry 13
  9. Gradually add half the chicken broth, scraping the brown bits on the bottom of the pot. Transfer the chicken back to the pot.
    Soup Curry 14
  10. Add the carrots, shimeji mushrooms, and the rest of chicken broth.
    Soup Curry 15
  11. Add 1 Tbsp dry basil and 1 bay leaf. Gently mix all together.
    Soup Curry 16

Pressure Cooking

  1. Close the lid and set cooker to [MULTI COOK, level 9] for 35 minutes. For Instant Pot directions, see Notes.

    Soup Curry 17
  2. Once the pressure cooking is done, open the lid and stir.  Add 1 tsp kosher salt and 1 tsp soy sauce.

    Soup Curry 18
  3. Taste and adjust the flavor.
    Soup Curry 19

Deep Fry Vegetables (Optional)

  1. Lotus root: Slice thinly and soak in water (or ideally 2 cups water + 1 tsp of rice vinegar) for 10 minutes.
    Soup Curry 20
  2. Bell pepper: Remove the seeds and cut into 4 wedges.
    Soup Curry 21
  3. Okra: Remove the hard corners and cut in half lengthwise.
    Soup Curry 22
  4. Kabocha: Thinly slice the kabocha (cut in half if it’s too big). If the kabocha is too hard to cut, microwave for 30 seconds or more if it’s still hard.
    Soup Curry 23
  5. Potato: Cut into 6 to 8 wedges and soak in water to remove starch for 10 minutes.
    Soup Curry 24
  6. Eggplant: Right before deep frying (otherwise it’ll change color), cut the eggplants in half and cut the skin side in criss-cross pattern. This creates a nice design and helps to absorb more flavors.
    Soup Curry 26
  7. Make sure to remove moisture from all the vegetables with paper towel or kitchen towel before frying.

    Soup Curry 25
  8. Add 1 cup of oil in a frying pan (I used a cast iron pan) or pot. Deep/shallow fry the vegetables at 350 ºF (175 ºC) and drain the excess oil on a paper towel or a wire rack.

    Soup Curry 27


  1. Serve the steamed rice in a small bowl or plate and the soup curry in a bowl. Top the soup curry with deep fried vegetables. When you eat, pick up some rice with a spoon, and scoop soup curry. Enjoy!
    Soup Curry 28

Recipe Notes

Instant Pot users: Use [Saute] mode to brown the chicken.  Then for pressure cooking, set to [Manual, High Pressure] for 15 minutes. Make sure the steam release handle points at “sealing” and not “venting”. Expect pressure cooking takes 10-15 minutes to reach pressure before the cooking program starts, and another 15-25 minutes to naturally release pressure. When the pot is 2/3 of the way full, I highly recommend natural release.


Recipe by Namiko Chen of Just One Cookbook. All images and content on this site are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without my permission. If you’d like to share this recipe on your site, please re-write the recipe in your own words and link to this post as the original source. Thank you.