Recipe for Vegan Japanese Curry Roux by Tim Anderson

Curry roux is a key ingredient used to make the famous Japanese curry that can be paired with rice and even with ramen.


WordsClémence Leleu

Extract from ‘Vegan JapanEasy: Classic & Modern Vegan Japanese Recipes to Cook at Home’ by Tim Anderson © Nassima Rothacker

Curry roux is the key ingredient for making Japanese curry. It is now possible to buy it fully prepared from a supermarket, but chef Tim Anderson, in his book Vegan JapanEasy: Classic & Modern Vegan Japanese Recipes to Cook at Home, shares a recipe that is easy to make oneself. The roux can then be used to reproduce his curry ramen, a recipe found in the same book, or the classic Japanese curry found in JapanEasy

Tim Anderson is an American chef who won the 2011 series of MasterChef UK. Having graduated in 2006 from Occidental College in Los Angeles, where he studied the history of Japanese cuisine, he then lived in Japan for two years, in Fukuoka. He now lives in London, where he runs two Japanese restaurants: Nanban Brixton and Nanban Central. Vegan JapanEasy is his latest book, following Nanban, JapanEasy and Tokyo Stories


3 tablespoons coconut oil

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 small onion, finely chopped

½ a small ripe banana, cut into pieces

1 tablespoon tomato puree 

1 tablespoon peanut butter, or similar nut butter

60 g all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons curry powder

2 tablespoons garam masala

2 tablespoons nutritional yeast


In a saucepan, heat the coconut oil and vegetable oil on a medium heat, then add the onion and fry until tender and starting to brown. Add the banana and continue to cook until it turns golden and starts to fall apart.

Add the tomato puree, peanut butter, spices, and yeast (if using) and continue to cook for a further 5 minutes, stirring constantly, until the spices have softened and the fat has absorbed the flour. 

Transfer to a food mixer or use a hand mixer to crush the roux into a puree. Leave to cool, then divide into 50 g portions and put in the fridge, where it will keep for around a week, or in the freezer, where it will keep for several months.


To reconstitute and season the roux, use the following quantities for one portion:

300 ml dashi (any type) or vegetable stock

50 g (3 tablespoons) curry roux

1–2 tablespoons soy sauce (as desired)

Hot chili sauce (as desired)

Bring the stock to the boil and add the roux. Whisk to break up the roux and cook for 5–10 minutes until the mixture thickens. Add the soy sauce, taste, and adjust the seasoning by adding soy sauce and hot chili sauce as desired.


Vegan JapanEasy: Classic & Modern Vegan Japanese Recipes to Cook at Home (2020), is written by Tim Anderson and published by Hardie Grant.

© Hardie Grant