Curry is a dish that originated in India, but the cuisine has spread across the globe. In Japan and Korea, curry is a staple dish.
However, there are many subtle differences between how it’s prepared in these two countries. In Japan, curry rice is often served as a side dish with other dishes or as an appetizer with beer.
In Korean cooking, food tends to be spicier and dairy products are often omitted.
Although both cuisines offer a beautiful blend of spices, flavors and styles of presentation, you may find yourself drawn more towards one style of curries then the other depending on your tastes!
Curry in Japan often contains milk, sugar, onions, potatoes and carrots. The rice is typically soaked in the sauce to make it softer.
The Japanese curry is sweeter than its Korean counterpart. It’s also less spicy with a milder flavor profile.
Japanese curries are also typically served as an appetizer or side dish with beer. They’re not usually eaten on their own like in Korea.
Korean curries are often spicier than Japanese varieties, due to the high ratio of red chili powder. The dish also omits dairy products, which may be a key ingredient in Japanese curries.
It is said that Korean curry gained popularity as a dish because it was easy to make and could be stored for long periods of time without spoiling. With this style of curry, an unrefined brown sugar called “geura” is mixed with salt and oil to create the sauce and meat and vegetables are cooked in this sauce.
The most common vegetables used in Korean curry are potatoes and zucchini, but you’ll find many variations depending on region or household recipes. One variation uses pumpkin instead of potatoes, while another includes cabbage leaves as well as zucchini slices.
You may also notice that Korean curries include more spices than their Japanese counterparts such as garlic cloves, cumin seeds, black pepper grains and star anise cloves. These spices might not typically be found in Japanese cuisine.
Which is better? Japanese or Korean Curry
If you love a little spice, you may find yourself drawn to Korean curries. However, if you prefer a more mild flavor, Japanese curry may be perfect for your palette.
Japanese curry is often served as a side dish with other dishes. Korean cooking tends to be spicier and dairy products are often omitted from the curry. In Japan, curry rice is often served as an appetizer with beer.
Which style of curry do you prefer? Willing to give both styles a try? You can always try both and decide what better suits your taste! There’s something for everyone in this wonderful world of food!