Instant Pot Chicken Recipes/ Instant Pot Stews & Braises

Instant Pot Japanese Curry

Learn how to make Instant Pot Japanese curry the whole family will love. This simple homemade recipe is made from scratch rather using ready-made boxed curry and is super delicious. We used chicken, carrots and potatoes but you can make a vegetarian/vegan version as well. We’ve provided instructions below. 

Instant Pot Japanese Curry With Chicken


Japanese curry is one of the most popular dishes in Japan and is enjoyed in many countries around the world. It can be made with a variety of meats and vegetable but the key is its thick, gravy-like curry sauce. And, Japanese curry comes with a lot of sauce! The flavour is a crossover of Japanese, Indian and Western cuisines.

Many people resort to store-bought curry sauce out of the box (e.g. Golden Curry) but it’s quite easy to make from scratch at home. It will be much healthier and all of the ingredients are usually easily available at the supermarket. This sauce is sometimes poured over breaded pork or chicken cutlets (katsu).

Our Instant Pot Japanese curry is based on a few traditional recipes and the ingredients that often go into the commercial sauce.


Instant Pot Japanese Curry Recipe


This Japanese curry recipe is made with chicken but you can easily turn it into a vegetarian and vegan version. Use 2 cans of rinsed chickpeas instead of chicken and vegetable stock. The rest of the ingredients are pretty much the same (feel free to add more potatoes or carrots). You can also add a cup of frozen peas for extra protein and colour. The cooking time will remain the same BUT you don’t need to do 15 minutes of natural release. You can perform a quick release to let off the pressure once the cooking timer stops. Then follow the steps as described.


For this recipe, we are using free-range, skinless chicken thighs. You will need to cut them into bite-size pieces, somewhere between 6-8 pieces from each thigh. Chicken breast or various diced chicken can be used. Turkey and pork meat would also work well in this curry. Season with a little salt and pepper. If not using chicken, prepare chickpeas, beans, peas or whatever you like.

Japanese curry ingredients: chicken thighs

Cut up the onions, potatoes and carrots. I used baby potatoes in our recipe.

Japanese curry ingredients: vegetables

Here is what we used to flavour our curry: fresh ginger and garlic (it does work best with the fresh stuff but you could use powders if needed), mild curry powder, garam masala (Indian spice blend), chili powder or cayenne pepper, ketchup, tomato paste, a little honey, plus soy sauce and chicken stock (swap for vegetable stock).


Japanese curry ingredients: seasoning

First, you will need to sauté the onions in some butter (or dairy-free alternative). Then you add the chicken, veggies and our flavourings.

How to make Japanese curry in the Instant Pot

Stir everything through and add the stock. The lid goes on and the curry will have to cook for 10 minutes at HIGH pressure. Once cooked, the meat and potatoes should be nice and soft (see full timings in the instructions below). It might seem like there is a lot of broth liquid. Don’t worry! We’re about to thicken it into the most delicious gravy.

How to make Japanese curry in the Instant Pot


Okay, this is the crucial part and this is what gives a Japanese curry its velvety texture and body. Using a ladle, scoop about 1-2 cups of the broth into a bowl or a blender. We’re going to make a cheat’s roux (thick flour mixture) that will thicken our gravy. Add the flour to this bowl and either whisk it vigorously or process in a blender for 5-10 seconds, which is what I did.

How to thicken curry

The flour is starchy and will thicken the broth. The main thing is to avoid any lumps, that’s why blending might work better than whisking. We’re going to add more soy sauce and tomato paste to this roux and then stir it back into our curry. That’s when the magic happens and the curry suddenly thickens. Have a taste and add a little more salt if you need. It’s now ready to serve!

Instant Pot Japanese Curry Recipe



This curry deserves a simple side dish that will easily absorb all that delicious gravy. Regular rice, brown rice, or quinoa will work well and if you want a lower-carb version, try serving this curry with cauliflower rice instead. It’s delicious and the crunch works well with the soft potatoes and carrots. You can also serve this curry with some crusty bread or naan bread to mop up the sauce.

Instant Pot Japanese Curry With Cauliflower Rice


Instant Pot Japanese Curry Recipe

Instant Pot Japanese Curry

  • Author: Instant Pot Eats
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 4
  • Category: Main
  • Method: Instant Pot
  • Cuisine: Japanese


Delicious homemade Instant Pot Japanese curry for the whole family. Made with chicken, potatoes and carrots and can be turned intoa vegetarian version. Serve with rice or cauliflower rice.


We’re using 6-quart Instant Pot Duo
20 g / 1 tbsp butter (or dairy-free alternative)
1 large onion, quartered and sliced
1/4 teaspoon salt
600 g / 1.3 lb chicken thighs, (6 thighs cut into 6-8 pieces each)
1 tablespoon grated ginger
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2.5 tablespoons mild curry powder
2 tablespoons garam masala powder
1/4 teaspoon chili flakes or cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 tablespoon ketchup
2 tablespoons soy sauce (or gluten-free Tamari sauce)
1 teaspoon honey or brown sugar
2 medium carrots, sliced into thick circles
4 baby potatoes, quartered
2 cups water
1 cube chicken stock (or use 2 cups ready-made stock of choice)
For the flour gravy roux: 
5 tablespoons plain flour (or gluten-free flour)
1 tablespoon ketchup
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 tablespoons soy sauce
Salt and pepper for seasoning
Garnish with: fresh cilantro and spring onions
Serve with: white rice or/and cauliflower rice


Turn the Instant Pot on and press the Sauté button, allow the pot to heat up slightly. Add the butter and once melted, the onions and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cook together for 4-5 minutes, stirring a couple of times.

Once the onions start to turn golden, add the chicken, ginger and garlic and stir all together.

Now add the rest of the ingredients except for the water/stock. Stir through for 30 seconds, allowing the spices to release their aromas. Press Cancel to turn the Instant Pot off.

Add the water and the stock cube and stir everything really well together. Pop the lid on top, lock and make sure the top valve is pointing to Sealing. Press Pressure Cook (Manual on older models), HIGH pressure and set the timer to 10 minutes. After 3 beeps, the Instant Pot will start building up the pressure and you will see ‘ON’ on display. The pressure will take about 5-10 minutes to build up and then the 10-minute timer will begin and display on the screen.

Once the 10 minutes are up, allow the pressure to release naturally for 15 minutes, then use the quick release to let off the rest of the steam.

Once the pressure is completely released, you can open the lid. You can keep the Instant Pot on Keep Warm setting for now. Stir the curry and using a ladle, scoop 1-2 cups of the broth into a bowl or a blender. We’re now going to make the gravy roux that will thicken the sauce.

Add the flour to this bowl and either whisk it vigourosly or process the mixture in a blender for 5-10 seconds, which is what I did. The flour is starchy and will thicken the broth. Try to avoid any lumps, that’s why blending might work better than whisking. Now, add the extra ketchup, tomato paste and soy sauce and whisk the sauce.

Stir this gravy roux back into our curry. That’s when the magic happens and the curry should thicken. Have a taste and add a little more salt if you need. It’s now ready to serve with rice, quinoa or cauliflower rice.


For a gluten-free version, swap soy sauce with Tamari and regular flour with gluten-free flour or cassava flour.



Instant Pot Japanese Chicken Curry




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  • Reply
    August 29, 2019 at 6:07 am

    Doesn’t say how much garlic and ginger.

    • Reply
      September 9, 2019 at 1:24 pm

      Oops! Both have been added to ingredients. We had it in the pic but accidentally forgot it in the ingredients list. Thanks for the heads up!

  • Reply
    September 13, 2019 at 7:15 am

    Loved this recipe! It was really easy to follow and the curry tasted very authentic and similar to the ones I’ve tried in restaurants but with more of a homemade flavor to it. We added some frozen green beans to the curry and had it with brown rice. Will be making again 🙂

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