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Image Source : Yokosuka City
- Main lore areas
- Main ingredients used
beef or chicken, carrots, onions, potatoes, curry powder, flour, rice
- History/origin/related events
Curry rice is one of the most popular home-style dishes in Japan. One theory about its roots is that it was a military dish served in the Japanese Navy. During the Meiji era, the Japanese Navy, which mainly ate white rice, had a serious problem with beriberi, a condition caused by a lack of vitamins. To improve nutrition, the Royal Navy introduced a curry-flavored stew with a thickened sauce. It is thought that the reason for thickening the curry was to make it more compatible with rice and to prevent it from spilling on a rocking ship. By supplementing nutrition with curry rich in meat and vegetables, the number of cases of beriberi dropped dramatically. Eventually, retired soldiers returned to their hometowns and spread the naval-style curry and rice throughout Japan.
Yokosuka Navy Curry," a modern reproduction of this military recipe, was born in Yokosuka City, which is closely associated with the Navy, in 1999 as part of the city's revitalization efforts. Now, more than 20 years after its birth, it has become one of the city's most famous dishes.
- Opportunities and times of eating habits
Regardless of the season, this dish is popular among men and women of all ages throughout the year. In addition to curry and rice, a wide variety of related products such as retort curry and curry bread are also available. In particular, there are more than 20 varieties of retort pouch curries, which are enjoyed by households throughout Japan.
- How to eat
Cut meat, carrots, onions, and potatoes into dice and fry them. Fry flour in beef fat in a frying pan, add curry powder, broth, meat and vegetables, simmer over low heat, season with salt. Serve over rice or chutney. Local restaurants that have been certified to serve this dish follow the Navy's nutritional balance in their menus, and offer Yokosuka Navy Curry with a salad and milk as a set meal.
- Efforts for Preservation and Succession
Yokosuka City has been working on regional revitalization centering on Yokosuka Navy Curry since it declared itself a "Curry City" in 1999, and various events to enjoy curry such as the "Yokosuka Curry Festival" have been held, and a special website has been set up.
Since "Yokosuka Navy Curry" is a registered trademark, it is necessary to be certified by the "Curry Town Yokosuka Business Association Board of Directors" in order to use the name on products. Currently (2021), more than 40 restaurants in the city serve Yokosuka Navy Curry.