Curry rice, which is a staple in the Japanese diet, has recently been finding its way to the breakfast table (the term is asa curry, literally “curry for breakfast”), and fast-food shops are including it on their menu. Blame baseball star Ichiro Suzuki for curry’s recent popularity in Japanese restaurants and media: in an article on, the baseball player for the Seattle Mariners was quoted as saying that, on games days, his wife prepares him curry for breakfast.

If you’re traveling to Tokyo, get a spicy start at C&C restaurant in the Shibuya neighborhood, where your asa curry will come accompanied by everything from chicken cutlets to whole eggs. For stay-at-home cooks, there’s plenty of English-language information about curry rice online, from this eGullet discussion to YouTube videos documenting its preparation. Many Japanese groceries carry cubes of premade curry base, or roux, and even boil-in-a-bag varieties of ready-made curry, but these tend to be high in sodium. For a better curry rice, make it yourself from scratch with this recipe that details how to prepare the roux.

C&C Restaurant, Shibuya-ku, Dogenzaka 1-4-19. Phone: 03-5459-0362

Yukari Sakamoto is the author of Food Sake Tokyo, to be published by the Little Bookroom in 2010.