Select Page

Sonoko Sakai teaches us how to prepare curry bricks to make curry. They are blocks of seasoned roux made of spices, salt, flour, and butter that can be dissolved in water to make an instant curry sauce. Curry bricks are a perfect pantry item that keeps in the fridge for months.

Sonoko Sakai’s cooking reflects her rich cultural upbringing. Born in New York and raised by Japanese parents, she lived in many places as a child, including San Francisco, Kamakura, Mexico City, and Tokyo. She is the author of two books in addition to her most recent release, Japanese Home Cooking: Simple Meals, Authentic Flavors (Roost Books 2019) – Rice Craft (Chronicle, 2016) and The Poetical Pursuit of Food (Potter, 1986). She has worked as a recipe developer, producer, creative director, cooking teacher, and lecturer. She is also a grain activist. Sonoko currently lives in Los Angeles and Tehachapi, California, with her sculptor husband, Katsuhisa Sakai.

Sonoko Sakai’s one-of-a-kind book Japanese Home Cooking is available at RoostBooks.com. Thanks to @roostbooks for bringing Sonoko to Slow Food Live! If you want to skip to the roux, you can order this Quick Curry Brick Kit from Sonoko to jump start your curry brick making. It’s got all the spices in it, so all you’ll need is butter and flour! Better yet, you can refer to Sonoko’s curry brick recipe on the Splendid Table, alongside a few other recipes from her cookbook.

And show us your curry brick! Tag @sonokosakai and @slowfoodusa on social media.


The ingredient list:

Below is your ingredient list once more, the recipe and process is all in the video! Note: this is enough dry curry mix for about 3 bricks — you’ll use 1/3 of a cup of the spice mix per 1 stick + 2/3 cup of flour. Keep the extra curry mix in a jar, ready for use when you’ve eaten up that delicious first brick…


1 Tbsp brown or black mustard seeds
1 cinnamon stick
1 bay leaf
2 to 3 cardamom pods
1 Tbsp coriander seeds
1 Tbsp fennel seeds
1 Tbsp cumin seeds
1 tsp fenugreek seeds
1/2 tsp whole cloves
1 1/2 tsp black peppercorns
1 tsp sweet paprika
1 Tbsp ground ginger
1 Tbsp ground turmeric
1 Tbsp sea salt
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 stick unsalted butter
2/3 cup all-purpose flour or chickpea flour

In partnership with