Feb 15

Japanese Curry Bread カレーパン


Kare Pan1



For the past week I have been watching video after YouTube video of this Japanese guy, known online as ‘RunnyRunny999’. He’s got a cooking channel and it’s quite addictive. The concept of his channel is you can place an order, he’ll cook it and post the video of your food request. Shame you can’t eat it tho.



People from all over the world (he’s got a cool 160,000 subscribers) contact him and place food “orders”, mainly Japanese stuff, but he does deviate and cook other things not quite so Japanese. One dish that stood out for me was this Japanese Curry Bread, known as karē pan in Japan. Basically it is a bun filled with a curried minced meat filling and then deep fried like a donut. Ooo, the bakery in Singapore’s Takashimaya used to sell these, and they are AMAZEBALLZ!  (did I just use that phrase here on the blog??). However, they cost like S$ 3.00 each, so I’d rather take RunnyRunny’s recipe, make mine at home and enjoy more than just one.



I am not going to post the recipe for the tofu curry here coz you can just watch the clip yourself. I am, however, going to share with you the recipe for the filling I used. In RunnyRunny’s demo, he uses a typical Japanese tofu curry with minced pork, but I used a minced beef filling instead. Japanese curries don’t do it for me somehow … not all but most, because they make their curries on the sweet side.



Coincidentally, I made minced beef curry last night. So today I had enough leftovers for karē pan; the baked version. I intended on deep frying mine but did not have enough cooking oil to do so. Dang it! But the bread tasted reaaally reaaally good regardless.



Kare Pan2



To make karē pan, all you need are thick cut bread slices, a couple of eggs, panko crumbs and curry filling of choice.Think of this as a sort of filled jaffle sandwich with nice crunchy bits on the outside. I bought a loaf of fresh unsliced white bread this morning and sliced it myself into one inch thick pieces. Remove the crusts and pinch all round the border to make a lip, but leave the center untouched. Do this for all your bread slices. Meanwhile, toast the panko in a dry pan.



Kare Pan3



Smear some egg on the lip of the bread. Place a tablespoon of filling in the center of the slice and top with a second slice. Crimp all around the egg-washed lip to seal. The bread will now resemble a little pillow.



Dunk the entire pillow into the egg and coat evenly on all sides. Then quickly toss in panko crumbs, and place on a baking sheet. Do this for all your slices and let it sit while the oven heats up. If you are going to deep fry the bread then you can use the panko crumbs as is. But I used the oven method, and for this a light toasting of the bread crumbs in a dry pan is required coz the oven won’t brown the panko evenly. I also flavoured my panko with a pinch of salt and mild paprika for added smokiness.



Kare Pan4



If you are using a toaster oven then toast the bread pillows for 15 mins, flipping the breads halfway through the cooking process to get an even brown. But I used a regular oven set at 190°C, so it took me longer to get the bread nice and crispy. Just be sure to not burn the panko crumbs while you are at it. After 25 min, and the breads were thoroughly cooked thru, I turned on the broiler to crisp up the edges and brown the tops properly. I guess it all depends on the thickness and softness of the bread you use. Stale bread will probably dry out and crisp up faster.



Kare Pan5



Once cooked, remove from oven, slice them into triangles and serve hot. R. looked at them skeptically but he quickly changed his mind about them once he took his first bite. The outer crust was really crispy, yet the inside was soft and light. The curry filling was, in my opinion, exactly how it should be. Not runny or oily, leaking out the seams. So try my recipe and use it as a filling for various other things like pies, jaffle sandwiches and curry puffs.




Curried Mince Beef Filling.

  • 300g ground beef
  • 2 medium red onions
  • 1.5 inch fresh ginger piece
  • 1/2 green bell pepper
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 – 3 tbsps Indian curry paste
  • 1/2 cup dessicated coconut (*optional)
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground cummin
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 2 waxy potatoes, diced
  • 2 cups dark curly kale
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 beef buillion cube




Place onions, ginger and green pepper in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped.


Sautée in vegetable oil until onions become translucent and most of the liquid has evaporated. Add minced garlic. Season with a pinch of salt and sautée for a further 5 mins.


Add minced beef. Break up large chunks with wooden spoon and brown the meat evenly. Season again and cook on medium heat until all water has evaporated.


Now sprinkle with the flour and stir to coat. Cook for a few minutes to get rid of the rawness of flour. Scrape the bottom of the pot to make sure no flour is caught, as this could burn.


Add the coriander and cummin spices, followed by your favourite Indian curry paste and dessicated coconut (if using). Here I am using Patak’s Mild Curry paste coz it’s the only decent Indian spice blend I can find in the store. It’s got a pretty authentic flavour, but feel free to use whatever curry paste you fancy, or that is available in your country.


Now add the water + beef buillion cube. You can also use beef stock instead and skip the buillion cube. Because we added flour earlier, the curry will thicken almost immediately. Adjust amount of water to even out the thickness … it should be thick like chilli, and not runny like soup.


Throw in the diced potatoes, give everything a good stir and whack it in the oven, uncovered, for 1 hr 30 mins. Oven temp should be about 140 – 150ºC … nice and slow cooking to bring out the full flavour of the meat and spices.


After ninety minutes, remove from oven and taste for salt; adjust accordingly. While the curry is still piping hot, stir in the curly kale. This is how I “sneak” green leafy vegetables into R.’s diet coz he won’t have them otherwise. If you don’t have kale, then chopped spinach will work just fine.


Allow curry to cool slightly before dishing out and serving with steamed rice. Before serving tho, snip a generous amount of coriander leaves on top. This curry really develops its flavour when left to sit overnight, so consider making this a day in advance; you won’t be disappointed. The curry will also thicken in consistency as it cools, making it easy to fill pies and karē pan.



So there you have it… yummy beef filling for your toasties, to eat with naan and other Indian flatbreads. If you want to see how RunnyRunny999 makes his karē pan along with his tofu curry, just watch the clip below.





I want to give a shout out to RunnyRunny999 for sharing such fabulous, easy to follow YouTube videos on how to make classic Japanese favourites. Stay tuned for more Japanese-insipred dishes with a few personal touches here on my blog. With that I bid you a good day and happy cooking!



~ Enjoy! ~





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