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curry roux thumb2

Homemade Japanese Curry Roux (カレールー)

  • Author: Yuto Omura
  • Total Time: 2 hours 40 mins
  • Yield: 4-5 Portions


Ditch the pre-made curry cubes and try making your own Japanese style curry roux from scratch at home! This curry roux paste is rich in flavour and can be made ahead of time for an easy curry during the week. (Roux makes enough curry for 4-5 portions)


  • 3 ½ tsp curry powder (I used S&B)
  • 2 ½ tsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp beef fat (or lard)
  • 3 garlic cloves finely minced
  • 15g fresh ginger finely minced
  • 1 whole white onion thinly sliced
  • 50ml water
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • 900ml of beef bouillon liquid stock (see note)
  • 2 tsp coriander powder
  • 3 tbsp marmalade 
  • ½ tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp cardamom powder
  • 2 tsp ginger powder
  • 1 bay leaf


  1. Start by adding 3 ½ tsp curry powder and 2 ½ tsp cumin to a pan (dry, no oil) and heat on medium. Mix them together and heat them until the flavour is release and the colour has darkened slightly.
    Toasting spices in a pan (curry powder and cumin)
  2. Take a new pan and heat on medium. Once it's hot, add 1 tbsp of beef fat. (You can use oil or butter instead.)
    Melting beef fat in a pan
  3. Once the fat has melted a little, add 3 crushed garlic cloves and 15g fresh ginger to the pan, fry until fragrant.
    Frying finely diced garlic and ginger in a pan with beef fat
  4. Remove any excess beef fat and add 1 thinly sliced white onion.
    Adding sliced onions to the pan
  5. Fry the onion until caramelized for approximately 30 minutes (the onions will become dark brown in colour and soft). Stir occasionally and add  50ml of water half way through to stop it sticking to the bottom of the pan and help make it into a paste.
    Adding water to caramelized onions
  6. Once the liquid has reduced to nothing and the onions resemble a thick paste, add 3 tbsp of flour and mix thoroughly.
    Adding flour to the onions to make a roux
  7. Next add the toasted curry powder and cumin from earlier, mix well.
    Adding toasted spices to the roux
  8. Add a small amount of bouillon liquid stock and mix until more or less smooth (no big lumps of flour etc).
    Add a splash of bouillon to break up the roux
  9. Add the rest of the bouillon gradually, mixing well each time. You might want to switch to a whisk to help make it smooth.
    Mixing the curry roux
  10. Add 3 tbsp marmalade, 2 tsp coriander powder, ½ tsp ground cloves, 1 tsp cardamom powder and 2 tsp of ginger powder to the mixture and mix/whisk until incorporated.
    Adding more spices to the curry roux
  11. Add a bay leaf and simmer for 2 hours, stirring occasionally and removing any foam from the top using a mesh spoon.
    Skimming the top of the roux to remove excess foam
  12. Once thickened to a paste texture, transfer to a container and allow to cool.
    Storing Japanese curry roux in a sealable container
  13. Store in the fridge until use. (Preferably overnight.)
  14. To use, fry your meat (to seal the surfaces), add your vegetables, homemade curry roux and approx 600-700ml of water. Mix well and simmer until thickened. It takes about 10-20 minutes.
  15. Enjoy!


For the bouillon in the curry paste, I add 2 beef flavour maggi bouillon cubes to 900ml of water. Actually, you can speed up the cooking time by dissolving the cubes in less water but the shorter cooking time might result in the paste not being as smooth. 

See my full recipe on how to make beef curry here. (Includes secret tips and ingredients)

Keep refrigerated and use within one week. (Freeze for up to one month.)

  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 2 hrs 30 mins
  • Category: From scratch
  • Method: Simmering
  • Cuisine: Japanese

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