This Gluten-Free Vegan Japanese Curry is an easy, healthy homemade version of a well-loved classic.
Japanese Curry is normally made using shop-bought stock cubes (kind of like gravy), and it’s sweeter, thicker and milder than an Indian curry.
The stock cubes usually contain flour (as a thickening agent), and sometimes contain dairy products or meat products. They also often contain sugar and flavour enhancers such as MSG. And although they’re super yummy, they’re not all that healthy or dietary requirement-friendly.
And so I really wanted to create a healthier homemade version, which also incidentally happens to be vegan, gluten-free and refined sugar free.
So, whether you’re looking to make a homemade version of your favourite Wagamama’s katsu curry or if your dietary requirements don’t allow you to buy shop-bought Japanese curry stock cubes, this Gluten-Free Vegan Japanese Curry is the perfect recipe for you.
I really hope you’ll love this curry as much as I do. It’s veggie-packed, rich and creamy, subtly spiced and salty-sweet.
Whilst it isn’t traditional to use coconut milk in Japanese curry, I tested two versions of this recipe, one thickened with just cornflour and another with coconut milk and cornflour. I definitely preferred the version with coconut milk as it was creamier and much more flavourful.
I added lots of different vegetables, green peas and new potatoes to this curry, but you can use sweet potatoes or any other vegetables you happen to have on hand. If you want to add more protein, you could add some firm tofu or chickpeas.
This curry is best served with brown or white sticky rice. I like to eat it with pickled ginger or this quick-pickled Chinese cabbage, but it’s also great with a leafy salad drizzled with this delicious Wagamama-Inspired Salad Dressing.
Looking for more great curries? You might like my:
If you try out this recipe or anything else from my blog, I’d really love to hear any feedback! Please give it a rating, leave a comment, or tag a photo #rhiansrecipes on Instagram! Thank you.
Helpful tools to make this Gluten-Free Vegan Japanese Curry:
Gluten-Free Vegan Japanese Curry
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil (or sub vegetable or rapeseed oil)
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cm (½ inch) ginger, peeled and minced
- 1 heaped teaspoon curry powder, to taste
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 2 carrots, peeled and diced
- 400 g (14oz) potatoes, diced (new potatoes are best as they retain their shape and there’s need to peel them), diced (you can also substitute sweet potatoes)
- 1 aubergine (eggplant), diced
- Handful of frozen peas
- 200 ml (⅘ cup) coconut milk
- 1 vegetable stock cube (ensure gluten-free if necessary)
- 1 teaspoon agave syrup (or sub any other sweetener)
- 1 tablespoon tamari (or soy sauce if not gluten-free)
- 120 ml (½ cup) tinned tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons cornflour (cornstarch)
- Salt + pepper, to taste
- Cooked brown or white sticky rice
- Pickled ginger
- Heat up coconut oil in frying pan and add onion, garlic and ginger once hot
- Fry for about 10 minutes until softened
- Add curry powder, cumin and turmeric and fry for a minute until fragrant
- Add carrots, potatoes, aubergine, frozen peas, coconut milk, stock cube, agave syrup and tamari, with enough water to cover
- Bring to the boil then turn down heat and simmer for around 15 minutes, until potatoes are soft enough to gently pierce with a fork
- Add the tinned tomatoes and cook for a further 10 minutes
- Dissolve the cornflour in a small amount of water in a separate bowl, before adding to the curry
- Stir well and leave to heat gently for a further couple of minutes until the sauce is thickened. If it's still looking too thin, do the same with more cornflour dissolved in water first and if it's looking too thick, add more water
- Taste and add salt + pepper
- Serve with brown or white sticky rice, pickled ginger, and a side salad
- Leftovers keep well covered in the fridge for up to a few days, but they aren’t great to freeze as potatoes can get a little mushy when defrosted
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