Japanese love curry rice. Because it is so popular, many food manufacturers have several lines of curry sauce mix. Every time I go to Japan, I am always amazed to see many variety of curry sauce mix sold in my small hometown.
One of the reasons for this popularity is the ease of preparation. The only thing you have to measure is amount of water, but some people don’t even measure it. You can also put any amount of meat or vegetables in it. Just need to put the curry sauce mix at the end of the process, and everything is taken care of.
Because anyone can make it, everyone seems to have a particular preference when it comes to curry sauce mix. Here are the top 5 most popular brands of curry sauce mixes in Japan.
- Vermont Curry (House Foods), Mild was born in 1963. This is the first mild Japanese curry sauce mix, which was developed for young families with children. This is still the most popular curry sauce mix in Japan, and has 30% share of the entire Japanese curry sauce mix market.
- Java Curry (House Foods), Hot is popular among households without small children. This one is spicier than the other Japanese curry sauce mix. Some people mix this one with a different curry sauce mix to add some kick.
- Kokumaro (House Foods), Medium Hot was born in 1996, which was relatively recent, compare to the other popular curry sauce mix. In order to compete among well established brands, it developed new characteristics of curry sauce mix; rich and well rounded flavor.
- 2-Danjuku Curry (Glico) It seems the entire 2-Danjuku Curry series were replaced with Premium Juku Curry in the Summer of 2015.
- Golden Curry (S&B), Mild was born 1966. Currently, this is the top selling Japanese curry sauce mix in Amazon. It has been always a little more expensive than the others, fans claim that this curry tastes like their favorite restaurant’s curry.
All of these curry mixes are pretty good. I always grab a bunch when any of those are on sale. They can be stored over a year in room temperature. To be sure, look for expiration date on the box.
Almost all curry sauce mix come in a mild, medium, and hot flavors. It seems to me that the difference between the spiciness is more pronounced than the difference between the brands. In my household, I have a pre-teen boy, who still doesn’t eat hot and spicy food. So I always make mild curry, which is not spicy at all. I add spicy condiment for myself on my plate when I eat.
You can also add additional ingredients to enhance the flavor like many Japanese do. Examples of those can be ketchup, tamarind, Worcester sauce, Parmesan cheese, miso paste, tomato paste, yogurt and so on. They should be added at the time when curry sauce mix is added. Always add little by little, sample, and experiment.
Let me know what you think if you try any of them.