Do you like curry rice? graph of japanese statisticsI think it might just be Scottish slang, but “I could fair murder a curry/Chinese/Mick Jagger” indicates a not inconsiderable desire to consume said item, and of course the second slang meaning fairly describes how people feel on first tasting Japanese curry. This survey from DIMSDRIVE Research looked at how the Japanese consume curry rice.


Between the 23rd of July and the 7th of August 2008 9,921 members of the DIMSDRIVE monitor group completed a private online questionnaire. 52.7% of the sample were female, 1.3% in their teens, 13.7% in their twenties, 34.0% in their thirties, 29.6% in their forties, 15.1% in their fifties, and 6.3% aged sixty or older. In addition, 14.0% lived alone, 64.1% were married, and 51.9% had children.

The name “curry rice” helps differentiate from “proper” curry; this Japanese invention, served at countless restaurants up and down the country, is usually half a plate of standard Japanese short-grain sticky white rice and half a plate of spicy stew. At home the stew is usually prepared from dehydrated blocks of sauce.

My wife cooks lovely curry with lots of potatos, but what most of the prepared mixes lack is a complexity of flavour. I was over in the USA last week and had a curry at a cheap food court, but just to get long-grain Basmati rice and a complex blend of spices that had soaked through the ingredients over many hours was heaven!

Research results

Q1: Usually, about how often do you eat curry rice? (Including naan or other rice substitutes) (Sample size=9,921)

Almost every day 0.3%
Three or five times a week 1.0%
Once or twice a week 13.6%
Two or three times a month 44.4%
Once a month 28.5%
Once every two or three months 8.6%
Less than that 3.0%
Don’t eat curry 0.6%

Larger family sizes tended to eat curry once a fortnight or more slightly more than smaller families.

Q2: Usually, about how often do you yourself make curry rice? (Sample size=9,921)

Almost every day 0.5%
Three or five times a week 0.3%
Once or twice a week 4.7%
Two or three times a month 19.7%
Once a month 23.1%
Once every two or three months 12.2%
Less than that 13.0%
Don’t make curry myself 26.5%

The majority (55.3%) of people with children made curry at least once a month, versus 40.9% of those without children.

Q3: Do you like curry rice? (Sample size=9,921)

Love it 44.1%
Like it 47.8%
Can’t say either way 5.1%
Don’t really like it 2.6%
Hate it 0.4%

Q4: Usually, what kinds of curry rice do you make, prepare? (Sample size=9,858, curry eaters, multiple answer)

Make it myself from purchased sauce 59.2%
Family make it from purchased sauce 41.5%
Heat up boil-in-the-bag sauce 35.4%
Eat out 25.4%
Buy pre-made, order take-out 9.6%
Make it myself from curry powder, spices 7.8%
Family make it from curry powder, spices 5.9%
Heat up microwave curry 4.6%
Other 0.6%
Don’t know 1.3%

52.8% of those living alone boiled in the bag, versus just about a third for all other family sizes.

Q5: When do you make curry rice? (Sample size=7,288, curry makers, multiple answer)

When I want to eat curry rice 78.8%
When family want to 36.5%
When I want a simple meal 32.5%
When I can’t be bothered with much preparation 27.5%
When I want something spicy 19.3%
When I have no appetite, when I want some energy 13.5%
When I little time to prepare food 12.7%
On a hot day 10.3%
When I want some vegetables 9.4%
When I’m camping, having a barbeque, etc 7.0%
When a lot of people are present 6.9%
When I’m watching TV, etc 3.8%
When I want to sweat 3.7%
Other 4.7%
Don’t know 2.0%

Q6: When using purchased sauce, do you blend different types together? (Sample size=5,832, purchased sauce users)

Often blend 35.3%
Sometimes blend 32.5%
Almost never blend 31.6%
Don’t know 0.6%

Q7: Which is your most favourite purchased sauce? (Sample size=5,832, purchased sauce users)

Kokumaro Curry (House Foods) 20.3%
Vermont Curry (House Foods) 18.6%
Java Curry (House Foods) 14.2%
Golden Curry (S&B Foods) 8.9%
Two-Layer Juku Curry (Glico) 7.7%
Dinner Curry (S&B Foods) 3.8%
Torokeru Curry (S&B Foods) 3.3%
The Curry (House Foods) 2.4%
ZEPPIN (Glico) 2.0%
Premium Java Curry (House Foods) 1.9%
Indo Curry (House Foods) 1.5%
Premium Vermont Curry (House Foods) 1.2%
LEE (Glico) 0.4%
Hokkaido White Curry (House Foods) 0.3%
Demi Curry (S&B Foods) 0.1%
Prince of Curry (S&B Foods) 0.1%
Other 1.9%
None in particular 11.4%

Note that Vermont curry contains apples, thus the name.

Q8: When purchasing sauce, which points are important to you? (Sample size=5,832, purchased sauce users, multiple answer)

Hotness 62.3%
Body 50.9%
Price 47.1%
Mildness 33.7%
Aroma 26.5%
Ease of control of amount used 19.6%
Maker, brand 19.4%
Amount of contents 17.8%
Ease of dissolving 16.8%
Thickness of sauce 16.0%
Ease of storage 15.4%
Sweetness 14.9%
Spices used 11.0%
Colour of sauce 5.6%
Western curry, India curry, or other kind 4.9%
Recipie 2.8%
Other 2.4%
Nothing in particular 3.8%

For the following two questions, only the top fifteen answers are reported.

Q9: What one ingredient would you recommend to add to make curry delicious? (Sample size=9,858, curry eaters)

Rank   Votes
1 Garlic 486
2 Aubergine (Eggplant) 462
3 Chocolate 392
4 Coffee 382
5 Soy sauce 368
6 Apple 320
7 Fresh tomato, tomato sauce, puree, tin tomato 295
8 Potato 259
9 Brown sauce 244
10 Cheese 239
11 Milk 223
12 Onion 264
13 Yoghurt 205
14 Beef 161
15 Raw egg 159

Q10: Other than curry rice, what is your most favourite curry-based food? (Sample size=9,858, curry eaters)

Rank   Votes
1 Curry udon noodles 3147
2 Curry bread roll 1795
3 Dry curry, curry pilaf, curry chahan 1164
4 Croquette 192
5= Curry pasta 183
5= Curry soup 183
7= Curry naan 180
7= Curry doria (rice gratin) 180
9 Curry stir-fry 101
10 Curry ramen 86
11= Curry-man (Chinese dumpling) 54
11= Chicken boiled, grilled with curry 54
13 Tandoori chicken 52
14 Curry chicken nuggets 46
15 Curry flavour cup noodle 40


vinita pachauri · May 19, 2009 at 18:46

i have read somewhere that japanese hate basmati rice aroma…is it really so…. can i get any specific related data for this along with some published reference papers..

i am a rice researcher and need the information for proceeding with my work and compiling it in the from of a review article.

pls help.

vinita pachauri

Curry eating habits in Japan | 世論 What Japan Thinks · September 6, 2009 at 00:42

[…] survey from MyVoice into curry is marked as their third time of asking. I’ve previously done DIMSDRIVE on curry, […]

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