If you’re wondering what to serve with your Japanese curry, you’ve come to the right place.
In this article, I list 42 of the most popular side dishes for Japanese curry.
In a rush? Here’s the short answer.
The best dishes to serve with Japanese curry are pickles, Japanese potato salad, rice balls, and udon noodles. You can also try smashed cucumber salad, Japanese coleslaw, naan bread, and yuzu green beans. Try sweet potato fries or mashed cauliflower for more unusual but tasty options.
Ready? Let’s jump right in.
Unlike your traditional creamy coleslaw recipe, the Japanese version features a soy sauce and rice wine vinegar dressing.
It’s lighter and healthier, with an acidic, pungent bite, making it perfect for cutting through rich dishes like Japanese curry.
Psst… this slaw is a breeze to put together but to make it even easier, use a pre-shredded slaw mix.
Why we love this recipe: there’s no cooking involved.
Chicken katsu is one of the popular proteins to pair with curry, but why not switch things up with ebi-fry?
It uses a two-step coating process. Batter followed straight away by panko bread crumbs.
The batter is nice and sticky, meaning you’re less likely to end up with bald patches compared to the standard flour, egg, and breadcrumbs routine.
Pro tip: use the largest shrimp you can find for a good shrimp to batter ratio.
Why we love this recipe: it’s highly detailed and even walks you through cleaning the shrimp.
Scrambled eggs aren’t just for breakfast, they can be great for dinner too.
Especially with Japanese curry spooned over them.
These scrambled eggs are soft, fluffy, and oh-so-creamy. The key to perfecting these scrambled eggs is keeping the heat low and continually stirring.
Psst… an omelet or poached eggs would be great too.
Why we love this recipe: you probably have everything you need to make it already on hand.
Japanese rice balls
Also known as onigiri, these are made with sushi rice and traditionally formed into triangles.
But nowadays, it’s popular to turn them into different shapes using molds.
This recipe uses a bear mold to form panda-shaped rice balls, and you can check out this recipe where they’re shaped like cat rice balls.
Why we love this recipe: they’re kid-friendly.
Spicy garlic ginger edamame
Edamame is usually served as an appetizer, but it’s excellent as a side dish too.
Edamame is delicious with just a dash of salt, but this recipe takes things a step further and seasons them with garlic, ginger, and chili sauce.
These additions give the green pods a fiery kick to liven up your Japanese curry meal.
Why we love this recipe: it requires minimal effort.
Naan is a classic accompaniment for Indian curries, so why not try some fusion and pair it with your Japanese curry too?
It’s delightfully soft, chewy, and pliable, making it ideal for mopping up the thick curry sauce.
And the best part? It’s not that hard to make it from scratch.
All the essential ingredients are cupboard staples, and you only need your trusty skillet to cook it.
Why we love this recipe: it’s beginner-friendly.
Kale salad with miso dressing
My favorite thing about Japanese cuisine is miso.
Miso paste looks pretty unassuming, but it packs an unbelievable punch!
So much so that I like keeping the salad base super easy. Kale can have a reputation for being tough, but all it needs is a quick massage with olive oil to soften it.
Why we love this recipe: it’s filled with good-for-you nutrients.
These Japanese vegetable pickles are a must-have relish for Japanese curry.
The side is made with a medley of vegetables like cucumbers, daikon, eggplant, and lotus root. The veggies are chopped and then soaked in a tangy soy-sauce based pickling solution.
If you can’t find lotus root, don’t worry. You can leave it out.
Why we love this recipe: you can store this for up to a month in the freezer.
Green beans with yuzu vinaigrette
Yuzu is a Japanese citrus fruit that tastes similar to lemon but with a hint of umami.
Adding it to the vinaigrette gives these blanched green beans a complex, refreshing kick – just what you need with a rich and flavorful Japanese curry.
Can’t find fresh yuzu? Use a bottled extract or swap it out for any citrus (my top pick is Meyer lemon).
Why we love this recipe: it transforms a simple veggie into something pretty amazing.
It’s not traditional, but this mashed cauliflower is an excellent base for your Japanese curry.
This silky smooth mash will soak up all the goodness from your sauce, giving you a creamy bite sans the extra calories.
Pro tip: mash the boiled florets in a pot over low-medium heat to draw out any remaining moisture to prevent a watery mash.
Why we love this recipe: a serving only adds 53 calories to your meal.
Sichuan smashed cucumber salad
If you love spicy food, this smashed cucumber salad is a must-try.
The tangy, refreshing cucumbers and the hot chili oil clash in all the best ways.
Psst… can’t handle Sichuan peppers’ heat? Swap the chili oil for a dash of red pepper flakes instead.
Enjoy this crisp salad alongside your Japanese curry for a fiery twist.
Why we love this recipe: it’s an excellent palate cleanser.
Skip the rice and serve noodles with your curry instead.
Udon noodles pair best, because they’re thick texture means the sauce has more noodle to cling to. YUM.
The secret to soft and chewy noodles? Kneading the dough with your feet!
Why we love this recipe: it’s so fun the whole family will want to get involved.
Spiced sweet potato fries
Ever wondered how restaurants get their sweet potato fries deliciously crisp and not soggy?
The secret ingredient is a dash of cornstarch.
It absorbs excess moisture from the sweet potatoes, which helps them crisp up better.
A dipping sauce is always a must-have for these sweet potato fries, but imagine smothering them with your curry sauce? Yum!
Why we love this recipe: it’s foolproof.
Japanese potato salad
Japanese potato salad is very different from the American version.
The first difference is the addition of carrots, ham, corn, and cucumbers. And the second difference is in the texture.
You have to partially mash the potatoes, leaving only a few chunky bits behind.
But most importantly, the dressing uses Japanese mayo, which has a richness you won’t get with regular mayo.
Serve this chilled alongside your curry for a delicious creamy contrast.
Why we love this recipe: it boasts a 4.68 rating from 192 votes.
The best side dishes to serve with Japanese curry
- Japanese coleslaw
- Soft-scrambled eggs
- Japanese rice balls
- Spicy garlic ginger edamame
- Naan bread
- Kale salad with miso dressing
- Homemade fukujinzuke
- Green beans with yuzu vinaigrette
- Mashed cauliflower
- Sichuan smashed cucumber salad
- Udon noodles
- Spiced sweet potato fries
- Japanese potato salad
What To Serve With Japanese Curry
- 1 portion Japanese curry
- Prepare your Japanese curry according to your favorite recipe.
- In the meantime, choose one of the following sides to serve alongside it.
- Side dishes include: Japanese coleslaw, ebi-fry, soft-scrambled eggs, Japanese rice balls, spicy garlic ginger edamame, naan bread, kale salad with miso dressing, homemade fukujinzuke, green beans with yuzu vinaigrette, mashed cauliflower, sichuan smashed cucumber salad, udon noodles, spiced sweet potato fries, and Japanese potato salad.
- Serve immediately and enjoy!