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Published on Sep 2, 2011
As curry rice was introduced to Japan via English cuisine, it was originally considered to be Western cuisine. This Western-style curry currently co-exists alongside Indian-style curry, which has become popular since the increase in Indian restaurants in the 1990s. A third style that combines these two, original curry, is also available. Western-style curry draws its influence from stews mixed with curry powder, which were popular amongst the British Navy. The Imperial Japanese Navy adopted curry from the British Navy, and now the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force's Friday menu is curry rice.
In the Kansai region, beef curry is most common, while in the Kantō region pork curry is most popular. This contrasts with South Asian curries where, due to the strong influence of Hinduism and Islam, vegetarian, chicken and lamb curries are most common.
In Japanese homes, curry sauce is most commonly made from instant curry roux, which is available in block and powder forms, and contains curry powder, flour, oils and various flavourings. Ease of preparation, and the wide variety and availability of instant curry mixes, has made curry rice very popular, as it is very easy to make compared to many other Japanese dishes. Pre-made curry is available in vacuum-sealed bags that can be reheated in boiling water.