Japanese Vegetable Curry (Vegan)

5 from 4 votes

The Japanese curry rice is creamy, starchy, and easy for a family dinner. The dish usually contains meat, but this vegetable curry has plenty of vegetables to make it vegan or vegetarian. Let’s learn how!

Japanese Summer Vegetable Curry Rice.

Curry rice is a popular Japanese dish that pours creamy curry over steamed rice and an easy-to-prepare meal for the family home. It’s often served at school lunches because children love it so much!

The traditional curry is meat-based, but this recipe is vegetable-based for vegans. And since it’s summer right now, we added fresh seasonal vegetables to make a delicious and nutritious meal perfect for the season!

    This recipe is for you if:
  • You love Japanese curry rice
  • You want to learn how to make Japanese curry
  • You are looking for Japanese vegan/vegetarian curry recipe

I will show you how to make this simple curry with great details! If you want to check the recipe, please jump to the recipe card. Let’s get started!

About this recipe

  • Japanese curry rice
  • Vegan and vegetarian
  • Use many vegetables
  • Use curry roux

What is Japanese curry rice?

Japanese Summer Vegetable Curry Rice.

It is one of the basic Japanese home-cooked menus. It’s starchy, thick and we serve with Japanese rice like the picture above.

The basic ingredients are meat (pork or chicken), potato, carrot, and onion. Cook them with oil, pour water, and simmer until tender. Then add the curry roux, which is the key ingredient of the curry, and melt it into the soup.

Is Japanese curry spicy?

You can choose the spice level of curry roux: mild, medium hot, and hot. It’s not as spicy as Indian curry overall.

Is it vegan-friendly?

Like I mentioned earlier, it’s usually made with meat. And curry roux contains animal products, but you can make it vegan-friendly by omitting the animal products. I’ll show you how to do that in this recipe!

📋 Ingredients

Here are the ingredients (amounts are in the recipe card below).

Ingredients for Japanese Summer Vegetable Curry Rice.
  • Vegetables: Potatoes, carrots, and onions are classic vegetables for Japanese curry, and I add kabocha and bell pepper as seasonal vegetables. But there are other vegetables you can choose from, so please check the following section “Variations” for more details
  • Curry roux or Curry sauce mix: See below
  • Japanese rice: Japanese steamed rice is the best for this curry. If you don’t know how to cook it, check this recipe: How to cook Japanese rice on the stove.
  • Salt

Curry roux (Curry Sauce Mix)

Curry roux is the essential ingredient for home-cooked curry as it determines the taste. They are cubes, and all you need to do is put them in a pot and dissolve. It’s so easy to use.

In general, the roux contains these ingredients: Animal fat, Flour, Curry powder, Starch, Salt, Sugar, Spices, Chicken broth…etc. And includes animal products, so that I will introduce vegan curry roux below.

Vegan curry roux

If you live in the US, this S&B Golden Curry is available, which is vegan. They have mild, medium hot, and hot. You can buy it at Amazon or a local Asian grocery store.

If you live in Japan, I recommend this brand, Seijo Ishii’s curry roux which I use in this recipe. They have mild, medium hot, and hot. Even though it’s mild, it’s not sweet, and you can still taste the spice and flavor. It’s not in cube form but flakes, so easier to dissolve.


I will show you the steps of this recipe. Please see the recipe card below for more detailed instructions. You can also watch this video.

How to make Japanese Summer Vegetable Curry Rice.
  1. Cut vegetables
  2. Stir fry vegetables
  3. Add salt and cover the lid
  4. Simmer on low heat
  5. Add water and roux
  6. Dissolve the roux
Japanese Summer Vegetable Curry Rice.

There you go! It only takes under 30 minutes to make, and it’s an easy family dinner or lunch. Pour the curry over Japanese steamed rice and enjoy this creamy curry!


Transfer in a container and store in the fridge. It will last for 3 days.

You can also freeze it, but potatoes and kabocha will dry in the freezer, and the texture will change. So it would be better to remove or crush them before storing them.

Pour the curry into a freezer bag, and it will last for one month in the freezer.

What to serve with

We usually serve the curry with salad and soup. Even though it includes many vegetables, the taste is a little heavy, so serving with something refreshing would be nice!


This recipe is pretty simple but you can swap or add ingredients and enjoy your version of Japanese curry. Here are some ideas!

Other vegetables

  • Green beans
  • Snap peas
  • Zucchini
  • Eggplant
  • Okra

Eggplant and okra would change color by simmering, so it’s better to cook separately and mix in right before the curry is done. Or use them as toppings.

Vegan/vegetarian protein

  • Chickpeas
  • Lentil
  • Soybeans
  • Atsuage (deep-fried tofu)
  • Koya dofu (freeze-dried tofu)
  • Tempeh
  • Boiled egg (for topping)

You can simmer them (except boiled egg) with vegetables or mix in a little before the curry is done.

How to eat the next day

We usually make curry in bulk and sometimes get tired of eating it a few days in a row. In that case, it’s a good idea to tweak and make it another dish.

  • Curry udon: Dilute curry by adding water and soy sauce and make udon noodle soup. Boil udon noodles and pour the soup over. This is our go-to recipe the next day. Our kids love it so much!
  • Katsu curry rice: Katsu is a Japanese pork cutlet, but if you are vegan/vegetarian, koyadofu katsu is your choice. Place katsu over the rice and pour the curry.
  • Baked Curry rice: Put cooked rice and curry in a casserole dish and shredded cheese on the top. And bake in an oven.

Thanks for Stopping By

Japanese Summer Vegetable Curry Rice.

The Japanese curry rice is a family-friendly dish and easy enough to learn that you’ll want it in your repertoire.

I hope you enjoy this recipe.

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog♡ If you’ve tried this recipe (or any other recipe on the blog), please give it a star rating below!

Also feel free to leave comments if you have any questions. I love hearing from you!

Chef JA Cooks is a Japanese food blog that shares simple and healthy Japanese home cooking recipes, including vegan and vegetarian. From traditional Japanese recipes to modern recipes with step-by-step instructions.

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Japanese summer vegetable curry

Japanese Vegetable Curry (Vegan)

5 from 4 votes
Print Pin Save
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 30 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Author: Juri Austin
The Japanese curry rice is creamy, starchy, and easy for a family dinner. The dish usually contains meat, but this vegetable curry has plenty of vegetables to make it vegan or vegetarian. Let's learn how!


  • 1/8 Kabocha, 160g
  • 2 Bell Peppers
  • 1 Onion
  • 1 Carrot
  • 3 Potatoes
  • 1 Tbsp Oil
  • 1/3 tsp Salt
  • 3 Tbsp Water
  • 120 g Curry roux, a half package of S&B Golden Curry
  • 650 ml Water


  • Cut vegetables: Cut vegetables into bite-size pieces.
  • Stir fry vegetables: Heat a pot on medium heat, add oil and stir fry vegetables in this order: onion->potatoes -> carrot and kabocha->bell peppers.
  • Close the lid: Add salt, 3 tbsp of water, and close the lid.
  • Simmer: Bring to a boil and once steam comes out, lower the heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Add water and roux: Open the lid, add 650ml water and curry roux, then simmer for 2-3 minutes on low heat until the roux dissolves.



  • Equipment: Staub Pot 22cm
  • Storage: It will last for 3 days in the fridge, and one month in the freezer. When you freeze it, potatoes and kabocha will dry in the freezer, and the texture will change. So it would be better to remove or crush them before storing them.
  • Substitute: Please see the “Variations” paragraph.
  • If the curry is too thick, add some water, and if it’s too watery, add some curry roux.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 187kcal | Carbohydrates: 24.9g | Protein: 3.1g | Fat: 2.4g | Sodium: 2131mg | Sugar: 4.4g
Course: Main
Cuisine: Japanese
Keyword: Japanese summer vegetable curry, vegan
Did You Make this recipe?Please Leave a star rating!

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  1. I randomly found this website when looking for things to do with a pumpkin. I had wanted to try a Japanese curry for a long time, but thought it wasn’t possible without meat. This recipe was a very clever and tasty solution to the problem 🙂 By now I’ve tried some other recipes from your website and love their originality and simplicity!

    1. Hi Sanne! Yes, the main ingredient of Japanese curry is meat, but you can make it without it. I’m glad you found my no meat curry recipe! Thanks for trying my other recipes. Please come visit again as I will provide more simple Japanese recipes:)