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Talking Japanese Culture, Season 1, Lesson 10 –
Top 5 Things To Know About Japanese Curry Rice
Hello, and welcome back to JapanesePod101.com.
I’m Eric.
In this lesson we will talk about the ​"Top 5 things you need to know about the popular Japanese menu item, ‘Curry Rice’.
The first topic is about the most popular  
restaurant chain that serves Japanese-style curry (J:karē raisu). This restaurant is called (J: CoCo Ichibanya) or (J: Coco-Ichi).
Unlike Indian curries, Japanese curry is always served with white rice. This “Curry Rice” menu is a hugely popular dish in Japan and often ranked as one of the top national dishes.
The (J: Coco-Ichi) restaurant lets customers choose the level of spice, and the amount of rice and extensive topping options so that you can fully customize your curry rice.

The next topic is about the level of spiciness you can choose for your curry. This option is available at (J: CoCo-Ichi).
The restaurant has a hotness scale from 1 to 10, and they also offer non-spicy and medium-spicy options.
The spice level 1 is marked as “spicy” and it is called (J: ichi-kara) in Japanese. The level 10, or “extremely spicy”, is called (J: jyu-kkara).

But first-timers can only try from level 1 to 5, and you are required to try the level 5 before challenging the level 6 or higher.
The next topic is the sweet or mild curry option called (J: amakuchi). This option is ideal for children and anyone who doesn’t like spicy food.
The level of sweetness with sweet and mild curry can be slightly different depending on products and restaurants. 

But you can definitely get the original taste of curry as they both still have the basic curry flavor.
The next topic is about the pickled vegetables often served with Japanese curry rice. These sweet and spicy pickles are called (J: fukujin zuke).

In the past, most of these pickles had been colored red with artificial dyes. But the uncolored and natural brown one is becoming more popular these days.

Many curry restaurants have a box with these pickles in it. If you want some, then you should only scoop out the amount you want with a spoon and put it onto your plate before eating.
Last but not least topic is sweet pickled shallots known in Japan as (J: rakkyō). 
This is another popular side dish for curry rice. 

The reason why these pickles are served with curry rice is not only because their texture and taste go well with curry, but also because they have a component which aids in digestion.   

The (J: rakkyō) is also believed to help our bodies absorb the vitamin B1 found in pork. This means eating these pickles with pork curry will help us absorb nutrients more effectively.
That’s all we have for this lesson.
Japanese curry rice comes in dozens of different varieties and toppings. How many have you tried and what is your favorite?
Leave us a comment and let us know!
Thanks for listening and we’ll see you next time. Until then, bye!