15 Curry Meat Substitutes: Which one Is the Best For You?

Curry is very popular among both children and adults.

Potatoes, carrots, onions, and meat are all you need to make a tasty and easy curry, and it is often served on the dinner table.

However, have you ever had a problem when you start making curry and find yourself saying, “I don’t have any meat! Have you ever had a problem like that?

Oh no! I don’t have any meat. I don’t know what to do…

Vegetables alone are tasty enough, but without meat, it’s a bit sad, isn’t it?

In this article, I’ll introduce you to some substitutes for meat in the curry.

If you have any problems, please refer to this article.

15 substitutes for meat in curry

Substitutes for meat in curry 1: Sausages


Since it is processed meat, it goes perfectly with curry.

If you cut rough sausages or thick sausages into slightly larger pieces before adding them, you will be satisfied with the juice and chewiness.

When using fish sausages, I recommend sprinkling them with coarsely ground pepper and grilling them until they are crispy before adding them to the dish, as this will soften the flavor of the fish meat.

Substitute for meat in curry 2: Ham or bacon


This is another processed meat that goes well with curry.

If possible, I recommend that it not be cut into thin slices, as it is chewier.

If you can only find thinly sliced ones, cut them into large pieces and then grill them until the surface is crispy before adding them in, which will give the meat a savory flavor and make it more delicious.

Substitute for meat in curry 3: Shrimp


This is recommended for seafood curry lovers.

You can use shrimp with heads and shells, but peeled and frozen shrimp are easy and convenient to use.

If you don’t like the fishy smell of frozen shrimp, defrost them, cover them with potato starch, wash them gently, and then rinse them with water to remove the wetness and the smell.

You can cook the shrimp with vegetables as is, but I recommend grilling them with salt and pepper until they change color before adding them to the curry, so you can enjoy the plumpness of the shrimp.

Substitute for meat in curry 4: Canned tuna

canned tuna

Canned tuna is not as chewy as meat, but it does not interfere with the taste of the curry and gives it an umami flavor.

The size of the tuna varies depending on the can. The finely chopped tuna is delicious when used in a low-moisture curry like keema curry.

If the tuna is large, you can lightly grill it with potato starch before adding it to the curry to make it more satisfying.

Substitute for meat in curry 5: Simmered mackerel

Simmered Mackerel

You can enjoy mackerel curry, which has become a boom.

We recommend that you do not add the water from the stewed mackerel to the curry as it will increase the fishy smell.

This is a great way to make your own curry.

Substitute for meat in curry 6: Chikuwa


Chikuwa is a type of fish paste that is very resilient, and it is baked so it has a savory flavor, but it is still healthy.

Rather than slicing it into rounds, you can cut it open into 2-3cm pieces for a more satisfying texture.

If you want to make it more fragrant, you can lightly grill it before adding it.

Substitute for meat in curry 7: Deep fried tofu

Deep Fried Tofu

You can substitute the thickness of the meat, which is elastic and satisfying to eat.

Remove the oil and tear it into pieces before adding it to curry for a more meaty texture.

It is also recommended for curry udon.

Substitute for meat in curry 8: Frozen tofu

Frozen Tofu

You’ve probably heard that tofu should not be frozen, right?

That’s right! When tofu is frozen, the texture becomes the opposite of its original soft texture, so it is best not to freeze it.

You can take advantage of this and make the tofu chewy before adding it to the curry to give it a meaty feel.

The water that comes out when it is thawed should be discarded as it leaves a soybean smell.

Substitute for meat in curry 9: fried tofu

Fried Tofu

Abura-age is thin and not very chewy, but it goes well with Japanese-style curry because of the umami flavor of the oil.

Remove the oil and drain on kitchen paper. If you cut it into large pieces, it will be more delicious.

I recommend making it into curry udon for an even better taste.

Substitute for meat in curry 10: Konnyaku


Konnyaku has a firm elasticity and low-calorie content, so many people use it as a diet substitute for meat.

It can be used as it is, but I recommend freezing it once to make it even meatier.

When konjac is frozen, the water goes out and it becomes hard, and the tissue becomes spongy, which gives it a crunchy texture.

The texture of konjac depends on how you cut it, but if you want to use it in curry, I recommend cutting it into chunks.

Substitute for meat in curry 11: Oden paste

Oden Paste

I recommend using fish paste in oden, such as Satsuma-age or fish paste.

If they are small enough, you can add them as they are without cutting them.

Rather than a spicy curry, you can enjoy a Japanese-style curry that will warm you up.

It is recommended for those who do not like the spiciness of spices.

Substitute for meat in curry 12: Koya Tofu

Koya Tofu

Koya Tofu is often used as a meat substitute due to its texture.

If you soak the tofu in water and then cut it into 2cm cubes, you can enjoy a meat-like texture that makes it very satisfying to eat.

If you grate it and then reduce the water content, you can make a dry curry like keema curry.

Substitute for Meat in Curry 13: Chickpeas


Chickpeas have little bean habits, so they go very well with curry.

Chickpeas can be used as a substitute for meat in the curry.

Substitute for meat in curry 14: Eringi

Eringi mushrooms

It has a unique texture and elasticity among mushrooms, so it is recommended.

If you cut it into large pieces and crisp the surface with coarsely ground pepper, it will become more fragrant and elastic.

Substitute for meat in curry 15: bamboo shoots

Bamboo Shoots

Bamboo shoots have a crunchy texture that you may not expect, but they are addictive.

If you cut them into thicker pieces before adding them to stewed dishes, you can enjoy their crunchy texture, which makes them very satisfying to eat.

If the meat is boiled in water and sold in vacuum packs, it will become watery, so wipe it with kitchen paper before adding it.

I have introduced some substitutes for meat in curry, and you can see that there are many ingredients that go well with curry.

It tastes better if there is meat, but … you can eat well enough with other ingredients, please try.


  • The following 15 meat substitutes for curry are recommended.
  • Sausage and sausage, ham and bacon, shrimp, canned tuna, mackerel in water, chikuwa, thick fried tofu, frozen tofu, fried tofu, konnyaku, oden paste, dried tofu, chickpeas, eringi mushroom, bamboo shoots.
  • Next to meat, sausage and sausage are great companions.
  • Tofu and konnyaku can be frozen before use to change the texture and make it more like meat.
  • Tuna and dried tofu are recommended for the dry curry.