Japanese Curry Bread (kare-pan)

20160525-200031-72031622.jpgSoft bread with crispy exterior and a curry beef filling that’s packed with spices. Yumm..
This bread is coated with panko breadcrumbs and then fried to perfection.

Kare-pan or Japanese curry bread. I love this bread so much that I took a bread making class just because this bread is on the menu. Yes, I just learned on making this yummy beef curry filled bread from a cooking school by a Japanese chef. So I guess, legit right?

Anyway, What’s important on making this Japanese curry bread is the curry powder itself.. Suuper important.

“Use the best quality Japanese curry powder that you can find, this will determine all the flavours in this kare-pan”

Said the chef in his thick Japanese accent.

20160525-201147-72707335.jpgSo this was the curry powder used to make this Japanese curry bread. But you know, just find the best one you can find because I got a feeling that this one is imported straight from Japan.

20160525-202835-73715124.jpgThe dough itself got a heaping spoonful of curry powder.

The curry bread’s dough was made by hand. Combine every ingredients in and mix. Then there’s a lot of kneading and smacking the dough to activate the gluten.

Then proof the dough, let that yeast do their work.

20160526-234711-85631110.jpgMeanwhile the curry bread dough is proofing, make the filling.

This one is a dry curry filling instead of the creamy Japanese curry. Still pipping hot when I took the picture. The steam blurred my lens a bit.

This curry filling consist of mince beef, courgette, potato and onion. But you can use other veggies you got like carrots, eggplant, mushroom, or edamame beans/ peas maybe? Just put vegetables that you think fits.

Anyway this filling is a bit too much for the bread so you will most probably get left overs. My suggestion, either half the filling recipe but you might risk on having too little filling on your curry bread later on, or just make it as the recipe says, and for any leftovers, cook it with pasta or topped some rice with the delicious beef curry filling! It’s always better to have more than too little when it comes to this sort of stuff.

20160527-000111-71030.jpgOnce you curry bread has been proofed, weigh them then portion them into rounds of even pieces.

Let proof a couple more minutes under a damp towel.

20160527-000332-212216.jpgHere is the step by step on how to fill and make the Japanese curry bread (hand model by my lovely personal instructor and the chef’s trustee sous chef)

First thing first, flatten the dough then fill a reasonable amount of beef curry filling in the middle.
Pull the top and the bottom part of the flattened dough, then start to seal the top. Pinch the seam to make sure the kare-pan is sealed.

It’s easy like 1,2,3! Yep, just like do, re, mi.

20160527-002855-1735227.jpgThis is how the Japanese curry bread should look like after bring shaped. Like dumplings!

20160527-003041-1841359.jpgNow that you’ve shaped all the kare-pan. You got a bunch of sweet potato shaped bread lined, it’s time for the coating!

20160527-003709-2229887.jpgThis one is just a simple egg to breadcrumb kind of coat.

Oh and also you might find it waaay easier if you keep one hand for the dry coat and the other just for the wet coat. Seriously, makes a lot less of a mess.

20160527-013157-5517049.jpgThen all is left to do is to fry them in a hot oil until golden brown, perfectly crispy!

20160601-005851-3531755.jpgOh I love this bread. Seriously, the curry filling and the soft bread and the crispy outside is sooooo addictive. Seriously, I could eat more than 3 breads in one sitting (luckily my conscience take over).

20160601-010113-3673787.jpgI mean.. Look at those filling and the yellow bread and the golden brown crust?!

Top tip, this curry bread don’t last very long (about 2-3 days max in room temperature), so if you want to make a bunch of it and store it, don’t put it in the fridge, put it inside the freezer instead. It will prolong the life of the bread. I would say for another 2-3 weeks more but not sure since this bread didn’t even last more than 3 days before getting devoured.

But still. The first and second day I store the curry breads just on the counter top but on the second day the inside started to get sliiiiiiightly slimy before getting preheated. So I chucked them inside the freezer but then they were gone the next day..

Anyway I just microwave them to preheat the curry breads. Around 30 seconds to 1 minutes depending on your microwave.

20160601-011133-4293353.jpgHave a good one everybody!


Japanese Curry Bread (Kare-pan) Recipe
Makes about 10 pieces of bread

The Curry Bread
• 300 g bread flour
• 6 g instant yeast
• 30 g white sugar
• ½ tsp salt
• 1 tsp good quality Japanese curry powder
• 150 ml warm water (around 70-80°C)
• 30 g egg (crack, beat the egg then weigh it. Use the left over for the coating)
• 45 g unsalted butter

Beef Curry Filling:
Adjustable to your liking
• ½ piece of onion
• 1 piece of a medium size potato
• ½ of a zucchini
• 180 g minced beef
• 2 tbsp unsalted butter
• 1 tbsp curry powder (or adjust if you’re not a big fan of spices)
• Salt & Pepper to taste

• 1 large egg + leftover egg from the bread
• Panko breadcrumb to coat (around 2 cups or so)
• vegetables oil to fry (you can use canola or other deep frying oil)

How to make:
The curry bread
1) If using a stand mixer, just mix the dry indredients then slowly add the wet ingredients. With a dough hook, knead until dough is no longer sticky and stretchy. Around 5-8 minutes on high speed.
If not, in a counter top or a bowl, mix the flour, yeast, sugar, salt and curry powder until combined. Make a well in the middle then pour in the warm water, egg and butter. Mix everything together until combined.
2) Once combined, start kneading the dough by smacking it to a counter top then fold the dough, then smack it again, then fold. Do it for about 10 minutes until the dough is no longer sticky and becomes super elastic. You would know by when you poke the dough it will make a slight dent then spring back up.
3) Rest the ball of dough in a bowl then cover with a damp kitchen towel to proof in room temperature for 1 hours or in a warm oven at 70°C or 158°F for 30 minutes.

Beef curry filling
4) Peel the onion then finely chop them.
5) Peel the potato then cut them into small dices.
6) Cut the zucchini into the same size of the potato.
7) Melt the butter over a medium heat. Once heated, add in the onion, sautée for about 2 minutes, then the potato, another 2 minutes, lastly the zucchini. Cook for another 5 minutes then add in the minced beef. Cook until the meat is brown then add the curry powder and season with salt and pepper.
8) Transfer to a plate then let cool.

Filling, coating and frying the bread
9) Once the bread dough has been proofed, punch to deflate the dough then portion into even pieces. Mine makes 574g of dough then I divide it by 10 so around 57-58g per pieces. Round the pieces of dough then rest them under a damped kitchen towel for around 15 minutes.
10) Take 1 ball of dough then roll it into a disk (preferably more of an oval shape), fill with a tablespoon or so of the cooled beef curry then take the sides, stretch them a little bit, join them together then pinch to seal it. Continues with the other pieces of dough.
11) Prepare the coating station. Dip a bread into the egg then heavily coat it with the breadcrumbs. Continue to do so to the other pieces of breads.
12) Rest the bread, meanwhile, heat the cooking oil until the temperature is about 160-180°C. Fry them a couple of a time being sure not to overcrowd the pan until golden brown.
13) Serve the Kare-pan while hot.