One-Pan Japanese Curry Rice with Chicken

This one-pan Japanese curry rice, topped with crispy chicken thighs and packed with tender carrots and potatoes, is a meal you'll return to again and again.
4–5 servings
Prep Time
10 Mins
Active Time
30 Mins

What you cook today can be motivated by your willingness to clean up afterwards. Most of the time, the nicer the dish, the more pots and pans there are to clean.

Not this one. This Japanese chicken curry rice all happens in one pan, no extra stock pots—not even a rice cooker!—required.

Pan-fry some chicken thighs, then use the rendered chicken fat to cook your aromatics. Combine dashi and Japanese instant curry blocks, creating a flavorful liquid for your rice to slurp up. Add carrots, potatoes, and the chicken you pan-fried earlier. Cover. Cook.

Once the grains are cooked through, that's your signal to dig in. Go straight into the pan! If you’re lucky, you’ll scrape up some crunchy rice at the bottom, all toasty and caramelized in curry sauce.


  • 600g boneless chicken thighs, skin on
  • 1 cup native tomatoes
  • ½ cup sliced white onions, in ½-inch moons
  • 1 tsp thinly sliced ginger
  • 3 ½ cups dashi, chicken stock, or water
  • ½ box Japanese instant curry blocks
  • 1 ½ cup short grain or Japanese rice, rinsed
  • 1 cup sliced potato, in ½-inch thick pieces
  • 1 cup sliced carrots, in ½-inch thick pieces
  • ¼ cup thinly sliced green onions, for garnish

Cook chicken thighs: Pat chicken thighs dry and season both sides with salt. Heat neutral oil in a stainless steel pan over medium heat. Add chicken thighs skin side down to sear. Let cook undisturbed until skin is golden and crisp, about 3-5 minutes. Carefully remove from pan, taking care not to rip the skin, and set aside.


Cook tomatoes: In the same pan with all that chicken fat and excess oil (if there's too much, remove with a spoon until you have 2 tbsp left in the pan), add native tomatoes. Let cook undisturbed until tomatoes have blistered, about 2–3 minutes.


Add rice: Add white onions and ginger. Cook, stirring frequently, until onions have softened. Pour dashi, stock, or water into the pan. Break up Japanese curry blocks and stir them in with a spoon or whisk until completely dissolved. Add washed short grain rice, potatoes, and carrots. Stir until grains and vegetables are evenly incorporated.


Cook everything together: Arrange chicken on top of the rice, skin side up; avoid submerging the crispy skin in the liquid. Bring liquid to a boil, cover pan with a lid, then reduce heat to medium low. Simmer mixture until rice is cooked through, at least 10 minutes. Remove lid and garnish with sliced green onions before serving.

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