Healthy Japanese pumpkin curry: recipe

Mmmm, I love me a Japanese-style curry: popularly known as katsu and made of breaded deep-fried pork fillet (katsu means pork in Japanese) covered in rich curry sauce, veggie versions with pumpkin croquettes are often found in restaurants too. I made a healthier version at home using shallow-fried seasonal squash and green beans, and making the sauce from scratch. I think it’d also be nice with potato, tofu or even aubergines.

Healthy Japanese pumpkin curry: recipe


  • 1 patty pan squash, or half a kabocha (Japanese pumpkin). Sweet potato or regular pumpkin would probably do as well if you can't find those.
  • 10-12 green beans
  • Sticky rice, to serve
  • 1 white onion
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp mirin
  • 1tsp sake
  • 1 tbsp medium curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala powder
  • 500ml hot vegetable stock (I used Marigold bouillon powder)
  • 1 tsp cornflour


  1. Cut the squash into 1/2 cm slices, avoiding the core. Heat a wok with some oil and cook the squash on a medium heat, turning often until caramelised and soft throughout - should take about 20 minutes. Top & tail the green beans, halve and parboil for 5 minutes until just soft.
  2. For the sauce: slice the onion, press the garlic and gently fry together with a little oil for 10 minutes until soft and golden. Add the cornflour and mix for a minute, then add the liquid ingredients and spices. Bring to the boil and simmer for 15-20 minutes until reduced and thickened. (If the sauce still looks thin, mix in a little more cornflour dissolved in hot water.)
  3. Whizz the sauce roughly with a stick blender to break up the onions a bit, then press through a sieve and return to the heat for 5 minutes more. Leave to cool a little bit before serving - just layer rice and the vegetables in a bowl and spoon over the lovely sauce.