Do you know “Navy Curry”? As the name indicates, it is a military dish which used to be served only for the army. However, you can have it at restaurants near military bases or events like public opening day of naval vessels nowadays. Thanks to that, this military dish is becoming more well-known recently.
There are several kinds of Navy Curry. Among them, Yokosuka Navy Curry (Yokosuka Kaigun Curry) is the most popular. Are you curious about that? Before talking about it, let’s have a look at the history of Navy Curry.
What is Navy Curry?
As it is mentioned above, Navy Curry is a dish for the military. Although Navy Curry is the most well-known, this is not to say that only the navy eats curry. The army and air force also have curry, since it is a common meal for Japanese. The history of Navy Curry is almost 100 years. At the beginning of the Meiji era, beriberi was prevalent among Japanese soldiers because they mainly consumed rice but did not eat vegetables. Curry, which contained plenty of vegetables, was introduced to prevent the disease and then, this nutritious meal reduced the number of patients dramatically.
Nowadays, Navy Curry is served every Fridays for JMSDF (Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force). Since the members spend a long time at sea, they tend to lose their sense of time. Friday’s curry helps them to remember what day of the week it is. Also, it is used as a unit of time. For example, they can say like “I can go home after two curries (two weeks)”.
The Most Popular Yokosuka Navy Curry
Japanese curry is similar to stew rather than typical Asian curries. The common ingredients are meat, carrots, onions, potatoes and curry sauce mix which is a cube-shaped roux. Almost all of Japanese use it when they cook curry.
The ingredients of Yokosuka Navy Curry are almost the same as typical Japanese curry but must contain curry powder and flour, not ready-made curry sauce mix. The curry must be served with rice, salad and milk. Sometimes pickled vegetables are added on the side. About thirty restaurants which are certified as Yokosuka Navy Curry provider can serve this curry so you should check the restaurants beforehand if you want to have authentic Yokosuka Navy Curry. It is also served in naval vessels but you can go there only on the public opening day.
A Curry City Yokosuka
Yokosuka (横須賀) is in Kanagawa prefecture. It takes only an hour by car or train from Tokyo. It has been a well-known place because SDF camp and U.S. Naval base are there.
And also, Yokosuka is a popular place where people enjoy many delicious curries. The city council has been revitalising this place by promoting curry for twenty years. It has succeeded and nowadays, many tourists go there to eat curry. The city also organises an event every year to rank the number one curry in Japan.
There are other popular Navy Curry, one is Ominato (大湊) Navy Curry in Aomori prefecture and another is Kure (呉) Navy Curry in Hiroshima. While these places are far from Tokyo, Yokosuka is relatively near. If you want to have Navy Curry within easy access from Tokyo, how about going to Yokosuka?