KCP students prepare the curry ingredients

KCP Students Try Their Hand at Japanese Curry

Japanese students from Hosei University joined us in curry cooking. US program students and Japanese students worked together in groups to cook rice, curry sauce, and salad.

KCP students prepare the curry ingredients.

KCP students prepare the curry ingredients. | KCP Flickr

KCP students wash the rice before cooking.

KCP students wash the rice before cooking. | KCP Flickr

Washing the greens for the salad.

Washing the greens for the salad. | KCP Flickr

all teams made delicious curry

For many students, this was the first time they cooked curry rice, but in the end all teams made delicious curry! | KCP Flickr

KCP students at Summer 2011 cooking class

KCP students at Summer 2011 cooking class. | KCP Flickr

A LIttle Background on Japanese Cuisine

Japanese cuisine is what it is today mainly due to the influences of social and cultural changes in Japan’s history. When Japan was isolated from Western influences during the Tokugawa era, Japan relied on their own style of cooking. Buddhism discouraged using meat. In the 1970s, the impact of American fast-food on a global scale reached Japan: hamburger, fried chicken, and other types of Western food.

As the taste in food of the Japanese people changed, so did the ingredients. Japan’s national seclusion reached its end in 1868. Japan began embracing other cooking styles and inspirations from other countries, while incorporating them with the traditional Japanese concepts.

Japanese Curry

Japanese curry with rice | jetalone

Curry (カレー) is a popular dish in Japan. It is mainly served in three ways: with rice,with bread,  and with noodles (udon). Other variations are katsu curry (breaded and fried pork topped with curry) and curry bun, similar to a Chinese dim sum pork bun, only with curry inside.

Japanese curry with rice | jetalone

The true origins of curry are uncertain, yet it is said to have originated from India and Sri Lanka and is from a Tamil word ‘kari’ that means gravy or sauce over rice. When the British established a colony in East India, curry reached British shores. Later, curry reached Japan when Japan opened its ports during the latter part of the Edo period (1872).  In 1910, a Japanese curry recipe was popularized, with carrots, onions, and potatoes. Japanese curry is a sweet and savory stew, while Indian curry contains more spices.

Today, each country has their own version of curry, adding local and regional ingredients.

You can read more about Japanese curry by following this link.