Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Lawless Jerky - Japanese Curry

lawless jerky
Lawless Jerky is a new brand of jerky created by Matthew Tolnick of Santa Monica, CA. During the day, he's a licensed attorney, driving fancy BMWs, wearing Armani suits, and taking clients out for shabu shabu. But when he's not chasing ambulances, he's perfecting recipes for marinated meats and fulfilling online orders.

After a successful Kickstarter campaign, Lawless Jerky stepped up their game and is now made in a USDA inspected facility and distributing out to stores.

This Japanese Curry is Tolnick's first perfected flavor, and he often considers it his "Original" flavor. He describes it as "sweet from brown sugar, salty from traditional soy sauce, umami from a proprietary Japanese curry blend, and tender from Asian vinegar".


US Beef, soy sauce, rice vinegar, brown sugar, proprietary Japanese curry blend.


The first thing I taste from the surface of these pieces is a light sweetness followed quickly by a light curry flavor and light saltiness.

The chewing flavor starts with some natural meat flavors with a bit more definition from the curry. The light sweetness and saltiness continues. Towards the end, I can pick up a faint signal from the soy sauce.

For being labeled, "Japanese Curry", this definitely has a curry flavor, much like the Japanese style curry that comes in a dehydrated bar. It's a not a strong, overpowering flavor, but enough to be identified and enjoyed. It's not hot or spicy at all, it's quite mild.

Overall, the flavors that seem to define this jerky are the natural meat flavors and the curry blend. The light sweetness and saltiness seem to play supportive roles in rounding out the flavors. The natural meat flavor is like that of a steak cooked well-done.

There's also a slight buttery quality to the curry blend, giving it a smooth, silky flavor.

Meat Consistency

These are slices of whole meat, cut into chunks mostly of bite-sized pieces.

This is largely a dry jerky with a dry surface feel though some chunks seemed borderline semi-moist. Chewing seems mostly easy, somewhat tender, but some chunks seemed dry and chewy.

The chewing texture starts out with a fair amount of chewing resistance, but very quickly takes on the feel of real meat. By the time it chews down to a soft mass, it feels like eating a piece of steak cooked medium.

I don't see any pieces of fat on these chunks, nor do I see any gristle or tendon, but here and there I did feel some stringiness in the chewing, and I did encounter some unchewable tissues on some chunks.

As for clean eating, it seems quite clean. Despite the dusting of curry blend on these chunks, they don't seem to pick up on my fingertips.

lawless jerky

lawless jerky

Snack Value

Lawless Jerky has a price of $25.00 for a one pound package. Tolnick doesn't mention shipping prices, but considering the box he sent me had a $6.80 postage label, that would work out to $31.80, or a per ounce price of $1.99.

For general jerky snacking purposes, at the $1.99 per ounce price, this seems to be a good value. I'm getting a good deal of snackability for its good overall flavor and excellent meat consistency and chewing texture. It's priced similarly as the major brands of jerky found in grocery stores, yet this has a far better flavor and meat consistency.

As a "Japanese Curry" variety of beef jerky, at the same $1.99 per ounce price, it's a good value again. I do pick up a curry flavor in this, along with a lightly sweet and soy sauce flavor to round out the Japanese characteristics.


I'm giving this a good rating.

This Japanese Curry variety from Lawless Jerky generates a noticeable and tasty curry blend against a lightly sweet and soy sauce marinade, along with a steak-like natural meat flavor.

In comparing the flavors I get from Tolnick's description, I'd have to say most of it seems to be spot on except for the "tender from the Asian vinegar". Yes, some pieces were tender, but not consistent enough. I found just as many that were somewhat tough, requiring a fair amount of effort to chew.

And despite what I thought is a good overall flavor, I would have liked to find a bit more punch to create some "wow" factor, maybe a bit more ginger or perhaps some red pepper.

But I really enjoyed the meatiness of these chunks and the great natural meat flavor. The seasonings and marinade did not overshadow the meat flavors but instead complimented it well.

As for the beer pairing, Tolnick suggests the Hitachino Nest White Ale, but I like something more malty to go with the natural meat flavors, and would recommend something more dark such as a Newcastle Brown Ale, or a Gordon Biersch Marzen.

Rating: Good (4/5)


  1. I have been following Lawless Jerky for awhile! I have tried all his flavors and I think it is the best Jerky in the world.

    I love the Japanese curry and Hawaiian teriyaki. I recently tried is honey Chipotle - awe inspiring. I would give it 6 out of 5!

  2. The Japanese curry is delicious - perfect for snacking all day long.

  3. I love the Lawless Jerky Japanese Curry! It is without a doubt my favorite jerky I have had. In addition to being delicious, it is also easy to eat (doesn't get all over your hands), there is no fat or tissue, and it is ADDICTING. I go through pounds of this stuff.

    Five stars from this guy--Lawless Jerky Japanese Curry is the point from which I judge all other jerkys.

  4. I'm hooked on Lawless Jerky. This is my favorite flavor!

  5. Lawless Jerky Japanese Curry is fantastic! It is the kind of flavor that could convert non-jerky eaters and even got my wife, who claims to hate curry, to finish half a bag. The mild sweet curry flavor makes this an excellent snack and since it isn't overwhelmingly salty you might find your bag disappearing before you realize it!

  6. I am a big jerky fan and this Lawless jerky is fantastic. My biggest complaint about most jerky (and food in general) is the saltiness. Lawless jerky is not salty at all which means the other flavors really pop! Add in the very reasonable prices and the unique flavors and you've got a first class product. Highly recommended.

  7. I'm a huge fan of this jerky. Possibly the best jerky I've ever had, and it smokes anything I've bought in a store. Can't recommend it highly enough.

  8. I have been a fanatic of jerky since I was a kid. My father and I would make deer jerky after hunting. Ever since then, I can not get enough of the stuff.

    Having tried countless brands and qualities of jerky I have to say Lawless Jerky epitomizes great jerky. This flavor in particular (Japanese Curry) is my favorite offering from Lawless. The combination of the wonderful curry blend with the umami-ness of the soy distinctly reminds me of Malaysian cuisine. In a sea of lack luster jerky with tiredly repeated flavors, Lawless' Japanese Curry serves as a shining example of how to stand out from the pack. If you have never tasted "curry" anything, do not be afraid. This flavor is a perfect intro into some of the more common flavors associated with Indian and Malaysian foods. You would be doing yourself a disservice to write this one off without giving it a go.

    All of Lawless offerings are great though. Being such a simple product its easy to spot the quality. The cuts of meat used are always impeccably lean and natural tasting. The seasonings used are simple yet, well balanced. Most importantly you can taste the care and effort it went in to making it. In short this stuff is the bee's knees.