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Kare Pan | Japanese Curry Buns

These Kare Pan, or Curry Buns, consist of Japanese curry wrapped in yeasted bread dough, coated with panko, and then deep fried.

For these buns, I made a curry dish with steak, but you can definitely use any other meat, such as lamb, pork, or chicken. You could also use a vegetarian curry for these buns. The main thing? Be sure your curry is thick and not too liquid-y.


·                     For the dough: 1 tsp instant yeast
·                     1 tsp sugar
·                     1 1/4 cups (160 grams) all purpose flour
·                     1/2 cup (60 grams) whole wheat flour
·                     1/2 cup (55 grams) cake flour
·                     1 tsp salt
·                     1 1/2 tablespoons oil or melted butter
·                     3/4 cups water (180 grams)
·                     Filling: About 1 to 1 1/2 cups of leftover curry stew of your choice
·                     Coating and frying: 1 egg and 1 tsp of water
·                     3/4 cup panko crumbs
·                     Enough oil for frying


1. For the dough: Whisk the yeast, sugar, flours, and salt together in a bowl, reserving 1/4 cup of the all purpose flour for adjusting the flour later. Add the 1 1/2 tablespoons of oil and the water, and mix with your hands, in a mixer, or in a food processor, adding more water or flour as needed, until you have a smooth dough.
2. Place the dough into an oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise until doubled, 60 to 90 minutes.
3. Divide the dough into 10 to 12 equal pieces and shape each into a ball. Place on a plate or on your counter, cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 30 to 45 minutes.
4. For the filling: Drain any excess liquid from the stew you have set aside. Cut the meat into smaller pieces, and roughly mash the vegetables. Stir the meat back into the vegetables.
5. To prepare the buns: Flatten each piece of dough into a disk, about 1/4 inch thick. Place a heaping teaspoon of curry in the middle of the dough circle, bring the seams together, seal, and fold up into a ball.
6. Whisk the egg and the water in a bowl, and place the panko in another bowl. Dip each ball in the egg wash, and then coat with the panko, lightly pressing the crumbs into the dough with your hands. Let them rest for about 15 minutes, covered, while you heat the oil.

In a fryer, wok, or pan, heat the oil to 365 degrees F. Fry the buns, two to three at a time, turning them as they cook, so that they brown evenly. They are ready in 2 to 4 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove them to a paper towel lined plate. Serve immediately


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