Soup Curry is the latest cuisine taking Japan by storm. It is a soupy delight concocted by blending the spices used in curries from South East Asian countries. The earlier version of soup curries contained spices from India and Sri Lanka. Nowadays, Soup Curry chefs are taking inspiration from countries such as Indonesia and China as well. Read along to find out what is Soup Curry and why you will love it.
Soup Curry History:
The inception of Soup Curry happened in 1970, when a restaurant named Ajanta served the first Soup curry in Sapporo. The popularity of Soup curry was limited in the last century with only a few restaurants. In 2002, Soup Curry sensation exploded, with restaurants popping up like mushrooms in all the major cities of Japan. However, Sapporo remains the Mecca for Soup Curry fanatics with more than 250 restaurants. A food pilgrimage to Japan is not complete unless you try the Soup Curry in Sapporo.
What’s the dish?
The dish itself is a soup with very rich flavour, loaded with lots of vegetables and a piece of meat. To me, it almost looks like an edible Japanese garden. The most common soup bases are tomato, seafood, and chicken. Each restaurant has a unique soup recipe, which is a well-kept secret. There are no restrictions on the type of vegetable that can go into a Soup curry. Pork and Chicken are the preferred meats, but variations exist. You may also find a hard boiled egg swimming in your soup. The meat and vegetable are always present in big chunky pieces. Soup curry is served with a side of rice, which can be simple white rice or flared up yellow rice. The Indian origin of soup curry is evident from its accompanying drink. All restaurants have a range of Lassi to sooth the burning tongue after a hot bowl of soup curry. Which brings us to the Kara Seva (hotness level), you can adjust the hotness level to your preference and the hottest options are extreme enough to blow the lids off of hardcore chilly lovers.
How much does it cost?
Soup curry is a slightly more expensive option in terms of what else can you can eat in the same amount of money in Japan. A good quality soup curry will set you back by 900 -1200 JPY, depending on where you go and what you choose. If you order Lassi too, your pockets will be lighter by about 1500 JPY at the end of your meal. That is enough money for two bowls of good Ramen. Nevertheless, judging by the queues I see, the popularity of Soup Curry is not affected by its price tag.
In short, Soup curry is a delightful invention, which brings together the best of many worlds into one bowl for us to enjoy. If you are in Japan or heading towards it, don’t forget to indulge in the soupy goodness of Sapporo Soup curry.
Have you tried soup curry before and what is your favourite restaurant?
Click here to find out my favourite Soup Curry restaurant in Sapporo.