The Secret Ingredient To Add Some Sweetness To Your Japanese Curry

In the wide world of one-pot dishes, there's perhaps no meal as delicious, as warming, and as comforting as curry. Whether hailing from India or Thailand, simmered on the stovetop or in an Instant Pot, spooned over fluffy rice or folded into a hot flatbread, these stews perfumed with dried and fresh spices are beloved around the world. Commonly associated with the cuisines of Southeast Asia, curries are also stirred together in Malaysia, Jamaica, and even Japan, where curry culture is a whole thing (per A Taste of Abroad).

Japanese curry is typically a shortcut food, according to Japanese Taste, and is usually made by thickening meat or vegetable stews with a curry base that comes in the form of cubes similar to bouillon or dried flakes. Typically a thick, stew-like dish featuring a highly spiced but slightly sweet sauce, Japanese curry can be served over noodles, rice, or bread and can feature fried cutlets, hard-boiled eggs, or a variety of vegetables (via Live Japan) — the latter of which Tasting Table recipe developer Miriam Hahn showcases in her (fully from-scratch) take on veggie-packed Japanese curry.

Apples bring a touch of sweetness to this balanced curry

If you've ever sunk a fork into a bowl of Japanese curry, then you know that the thick, stew-like dish often features plenty of sweetness in addition to traditional curry spices. All too often, in commercial preparations, that sweet element comes from additives, like processed sugar (via No Recipes); but in her homemade version of a veggie-loaded Japanese curry, Tasting Table recipe developer Miriam Hahn opts for a healthier sweet element in the form of grated apple, which gets simmered into the curry along with carrots, potatoes, mushrooms, and edamame, per YouTube.

"I love using an apple for this, instead of a sweetener," Hahn told Tasting Table. "This way, you get all of the extra fiber and nutrition that an apple provides without any processed ingredients. That is a win-win in my book."

Flavored with garlic, ginger, Worcestershire sauce, curry powder, and garam masala, this bold but refined Japanese curry is thickened with a cornstarch slurry and then spooned over hot rice. Meshiagare! (Enjoy your meal!)