Instant Pot Japanese Curry Recipe

Our Instant Pot Japanese Curry is hearty, comforting, and fills your kitchen with amazing aromas. Plus, it’s ready in under an hour!

  • By Taylor Isaac
  • April 3, 2018

Curry originated in India, made its way to England during British colonization, and landed in Japan somewhere around 1868. Today, Japanese Curry (or kare raisu) is one of the most popular dishes in Japan. While the ingredients in Japanese Curry change from household to household, there are a few which tend to stay the same: beef, potatoes, carrots, and spices.

Our original Japanese Beef Curry recipe was made in the slow cooker, but with the help of our member-run Cook Smarts Instant Pot community (who love to share their cooking smarts — you can join them here!), we’ve converted it for use in the Instant Pot, which means you get the same hearty flavors without having to commit a day to slow cooking!

“I used to make Japanese curry from the packet cubes. But when I started to pay more attention to packaged food ingredients, I noticed there are tons of MSG and additives in those cubes. So happy to learn how to make Japanese curry from scratch. The flavor was clean and awesome. Can’t wait to make it again and again! Favorite!!”

— Eileen T

The spice in this dish comes from a combination of garam masala and curry powder, and we add a little bit of soy sauce and brown sugar for the perfect blend of spicy, salty, and sweet. For an extra kick of heat, a pinch of red pepper flakes will do the trick!

Serve this dish with a topping of chives and a lime wedge, which help boost the flavor even more. Leftovers taste amazing the next day, or you can freeze extras for a quick and hearty meal later in the week!

Want more Instant Pot recipes? Get 10 Delicious Instant Pot Recipes in our brand new guide. You’ll learn how to cook quick and healthy Instant Pot meals like Hot and Sour Soup, Roasted Mushroom Risotto, and more!

Instant Pot Tip: The heat and pressure of the Instant Pot gently break down the collagen and fibers of tough cuts of meat to make even the most inexpensive cuts tender and buttery — in significantly less time than a slow cooker.

(For more Instant Pot tips, check out our article here.)

Prepping Smarts

  • Cooking rice while chopping vegetables during some spare time can help you save time in the kitchen during the week. Learn how to prep onions, carrots, turnips, garlic, and ginger with our quick how-to video tutorials here:

How to Slice an Onion

Learn the most efficient way to slice, dice, and chop onions so that your prep always goes smoothly.


How to Chop Carrots

Watch this video to learn our tips on how to best peel, chop, and dice carrots easily.


How to Chop Turnips

Turnips are a healthy vegetable that can be roasted or enjoyed in sautes, soups, and curries. Our video shows you how simple they are to prep.


How to Mince or Crush Garlic

Garlic adds great flavor and aroma to any dish. Learn how to impart the flavors of garlic to any dish with this short video.


How to Peel, Grate and Chop Ginger

See how easily we peel ginger and then grate it or chop it.

Equipment Smarts

  • Instant Pot – all of the cooking for the dish happens here — you’ll cook the rice, brown the beef, and make the curry all in one pot!
  • Whisk – used to whip together the cornstarch and water before adding to the curry

For more kitchen and equipment and tool smarts, visit our Essential Kitchen Cookware and Tools

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Instant Pot Japanese Curry Recipe

This Instant Pot Japanese Curry is a hearty meal with the perfect blend of salty, spicy, and sweet.

Prep time: 25 min

Cook time: 50 min

Total time: 1 hr 15 min

Serves: 4


  • Rice, white or brown - 1 cup
  • Onions, red - 1/2, chopped
  • Carrots - 2, chopped
  • Turnips - 1, cubed
  • Garlic - 4 cloves, chopped
  • Ginger - 1 tsp, grated
  • Chives - 2 tsp, chopped
  • Limes - 1/2 , wedges
  • Beef, boneless chuck, shoulder or round roast - 1 lb, cubed
  • Potatoes, russet - 1, cubed
  • Stock, low-sodium beef - 3 cups
  • Sugar, brown - 1 Tbsp
  • Curry powder - 1 Tbsp
  • Ketchup - 2 Tbsp
  • Soy sauce, low-sodium - 3 Tbsp
  • Garam masala - 2 tsp
  • Salt - 1-1/2 tsp
  • Black pepper - 1/2 tsp
  • Red pepper flakes (opt) - 1/4 tsp
  • Cornstarch - 1 Tbsp
  • Water - 3 Tbsp



  1. For white rice, use a 1:1 rice to water ratio in the Instant Pot. Cook for 4 minutes on the Manual function. Natural release for 10 minutes and then quick release. Set aside. For brown rice, use a 1:1.25 rice to water ratio. Cook for 20 minutes on the Manual function. Natural release for 10 minutes and then quick release. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
  2. While rice cooks, prep vegetables. Onions / Carrots / Turnips / Garlic / Ginger – Prep as directed and combine. (Can be done up to 4 days ahead)
  3. Chives / Limes – Prep as directed. (Can be done up to 3 days ahead)
  4. Beef – Chop beef into bite-sized pieces. Season with some salt and pepper and tenderize with a fork. (Can be done up to 1 day ahead)
  5. Potatoes – Prep as directed.


  1. Heat Instant Pot on Sauté function and brown beef.
  2. Combine beef, onions, carrots, turnips, garlic, ginger, and potatoes in the Instant Pot.
  3. In a mixing bowl, combine stock, sugar, curry powder, ketchup, soy sauce, garam masala, salt, black pepper, and red pepper flakes and pour over the meat and vegetables in the Instant Pot.
  4. Lock lid, set pressure valve to “sealing” and cook on the the Manual function for 20 minutes. When time is up, natural release for 10 minutes then quick release.
  5. Whisk together cornstarch and water and add to curry while stirring. Let sit for 10 minutes to thicken.
  6. If rice was made ahead, reheat in the microwave.
  7. Taste curry and season with some salt and pepper, if needed.
  8. Divide rice between serving bowls and top with curry. Top bowls with chives and serve with lime wedges. Enjoy!

A little note: Some of the above links are Amazon affiliate links, which means we earn a small percentage from those sales. We use this affiliate revenue to support the continued growth of Cook Smarts. Thank you!

If you love this recipe and want more ways to use your Instant Pot, get our Instant Pot Cheat Sheet eBook for all the IP cooking times, as well as how to convert your favorite recipes for the Instant Pot – all for just $9.99. Also, consider joining our meal plan members who love getting exciting, healthy, and smart menus delivered to their inbox every week!

Instant Pot Japanese Curry Recipe | Cook SmartsInstant Pot Japanese Curry Recipe | Cook Smarts

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