Curry Rice Became One of the Most Popular Dishes Thanks to the Military
Popular dishes among children these days include expensive items such as sushi and steak. However, curry rice has retained the top spot of popular dishes from very early. People have always been widely fond of curry rice.
The reason curry rice has managed to become this popular is due to the military. In particular, curry rice has its origins in a cookbook created by the army.
In the military, it is essential that meals be nutritional and able to be easily eaten on the battlefield. Curry rice met both of these conditions.
In 1910, the Japanese Imperial Army created and distributed to the troops a small booklet called “Military Cooking” that contained recipes for the military. The booklet contained a recipe for curry rice (curry soup on rice).
The following are the ingredients for one serving of “curry soup” introduced in the 1937 edition of “Military Cooking.”
Beef (or pork, rabbit, mutton, chicken, shellfish) 70 grams, white potato 100 grams, carrots 20 grams, onion 80 grams, flour 10 grams, curry powder 1 gram, salt small amount, and lard 5 grams.
This “curry soup” is similar to the standard curry of today that contains carrots and potatoes
Besides having a high nutritional value and being able to be cooked in large volume, curry can be prepared easily. It’s no mistake that curry was highly appreciated.
Curry rice was also introduced in a cookbook prepared by the navy. However, it is said that the amount of meat was 30 grams more than the curry of the army. It appears that physical strength was given greater emphasis in the navy than in the army because sailors had to live on shipboard for a long time.
Upon being discharged from the military or when they returned home, the soldiers that enjoyed the curry rice served in the military taught the military recipe to their friends. In this way, the curry that first gained popularity as a military meal before long became one of Japan’s most popular, well-beloved dishes.
In the popularization of curry rice, the military played a large role.