This simple Japanese curry is not only kid-friendly, but when you add a simple rice ball it is a Halloween dream come true. Or should that be a nightmare? Made from packet curry roux it’s incredibly easy.






Skill level

Average: 3.3 (41 votes)


  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 brown onion, thickly sliced
  • 2 potatoes, peeled and cut into irregular chunks
  • ¼ small Kent pumpkin, peeled cut into irregular chunks
  • 500 g chicken thigh fillets, cut into 3-cm pieces
  • 1.2 litres boiling water
  • 1 packet Japanese Golden Curry Sauce mix, finely chopped
  • 4 cups hot cooked Japanese rice, to serve
  • 2 sheets nori

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


  1. Heat a large heavy–based frying pan over medium heat and add the oil. Add the onion and fry for about 2 minutes or until lightly browned. Add the potato, pumpkin and chicken and stir to coat in the oil. Add the boiling water and bring to a simmer.
  2. Stir in the finely chopped curry and simmer, stirring regularly for 10 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.
  3. Remove from the heat and stand for 10 minutes before serving.
  4. To serve, mould 1 cup of cooked rice into a large ball. Using scissors, cut shapes from the nori to make a skeleton face on the rice, and arrange as pictured. Repeat with the remaining rice and nori.
  5. To serve, divide the curry between shallow bowls and top with the skeleton rice ball.


Adam Liaw cooks, laughs, and explores culture with some of Australia's most beloved in The Cook Up With Adam Liaw.

Photography by Adam Liaw.