A story popped up in my feed some time last week about how a number of Americans are afraid of the Instant Pot. One buyer was quoted as saying that it “was too scary, too complicated.” She was overwhelmed because “the front of the thing has so many buttons.” Tina Shelly got so “intimidated” that she put her Instant Pot outside, “just in case.” But it’s not scary. It’s not scary at all. In fact, it’s one of the best and easiest way to make some great Japanese curry.

It may surprise you to learn that while I very much enjoy eating and I do consider myself reasonably knowledgeable about different types of cuisine, I’m not especially helpful in the kitchen. Truth be told, I’m not very useful at all. But even I can use the Instant Pot, so that’s saying something.

You can easily adapt and adjust this recipe to suit your own tastes. We used the last few remaining baby carrots for this batch (and it could certainly use more), but you could just as easily chop up some full-size carrots too. Onions, garlic, and mushrooms are good options too. You’ll also find that different brands of Japanese curry will taste different (and to varying levels of potency), so you may need to adjust to taste too.

Our version used a dried curry powder, which requires more water than the curry roux cubes that you might find from brands like Glico and S&B Golden Curry. Read the packaging.


  • 8 chicken drumsticks
  • 80g of Japanese curry powder (or about 5 curry roux cubes)
  • 2 large russet potatoes, cut into chunks
  • 500g carrots (cut into chunks) or baby carrots
  • 500ml water (or 125ml if using roux cubes)
  • 1 tbsp Japanese soya sauce
  • 1 tbsp cooking oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Set the Instant Pot to saute mode.
  2. Chop potatoes into large chunks.
  3. Season chicken with salt, pepper and oil.
  4. Wait until Instant Pot is hot (it will beep).
  5. Brown chicken. You just want some color on the outside.
  6. Remove chicken from Instant Pot.
  7. Deglaze pot with water.
  8. Mix in soya sauce and curry powder.
  9. Layer potatoes, chicken, and other ingredients in pot.
  10. Set Instant Pot to meat/stew for 6 minutes.
  11. Close lid and wait until done.
  12. When done, allow Instant Pot to depressurize naturally (for about 10 minutes) or release the pressure manually by turning the valve on top. Be careful of the hot steam.
  13. Mash some of the potato to thicken the sauce.
  14. Serve over white rice.

Do you have a favorite Instant Pot recipe you’d like to share? The easier (and tastier), the better!