Japanese curry bread

The Wonder of Curry Bread

Curry bread (karee-pan [kah-reeh pahn]) is the ambrosia of my Japan experience. I would have curry bread over doughnuts any day. This convenience-store food consists of Japanese curry wrapped in dough and breadcrumbs, which is then deep fried(1). The result is a snack that is easy to hold (if a bit greasy) and bursting with spicy curry flavor. You may be thinking of a jelly doughnut, curry version; however, the bread itself has better flavor and texture than an American doughnut, and of course has an entirely different kind of sweetness that complements the curry.

curry bread in manga

“W-what!? The curry…from inside…” !?!

I love this bread so much that I would buy out Asia Pacific University student store’s entire supply in the mornings when they got a new batch. I had to ask a store manager to find out when they restock, so I could be sure to come in time before they sold out. Curry bread can be found in most convenience stores and some bakeries in Japan.

It pains me greatly that this staple Japanese treat doesn’t seem to exist back home in California. I have to go to Sacramento (hours away) just to get melon bread (sweet melon-flavored bread), let alone curry bread (I don’t know if Sacramento Asian markets carry it).

After my study abroad program was over, I asked my second-cousin who is living in Japan to bring me back curry bread when she visited the U.S. I assume she checked the box at the airport, and had to declare she was bringing them back as gifts rather than for resell. It must have looked funny to anyone who checked her bag. That supply didn’t last me very long.

Curry bread in pop culture:

Curry Bread Man is a superhero in the children’s picture book series Anpanman by Yanase Takashi (last-first name), which stars an anthropomorphic sweet-red-bean-paste filled bread.

In chapter 21 of the manga Black Butler by Toboso Yana (last-first name), demon butler Sebastian invents curry bread in old England during a curry contest. The food judge says it better than I can: “The deep fried crispy exterior and soft interior’s texture combined with that sticky curry creates several levels of heavenly taste!” “Ingenious and fragrant, it is all blended together as if it were the very meaning of ‘delicious’. It blossoms the moment it is sliced open!”

(1)Wikipedia contributors. “Curry bread.” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 9 May. 2014. Web. 8 Dec. 2014.

Cover image: from Wikipedia commons, taken 4 November 2007 by katorisi

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6 comments

  1. The way that you write about how much you enjoy eating of the Curry Bread makes one want to taste this wonderful sounding food. After reading through your archives since this was my first time here the way that you express all of your experiences while studying abroad in Japan comes through so well and makes me what to keep reading more.

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  2. Hi shadowz92014,
    I must say that I am fascinated by your Curry Bread description and I can feel and understand the love you have for it. Amazing what you can transmit with words…I enjoy your posts and your writing style is so clear and clean, and the images and pictures are wonderful. Very good quality!! Would it be easy to cook Curry Bread?

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  3. The image of curry bread caught my attention, but the description of its amazing taste makes me want to seek out some curry bread for my own enjoyment. A petition to bring curry bread into more stores in America sounds like a good idea, if only just so I can try it without having to travel to Sacramento. #CS5711

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  4. I love curry bread! I had no clue it is so popular in Japan, did they create curry bread? It is so much better than donuts, and much more filling.I can’t recall where I have had it, but I know I loved it! It looks especially good in that picture you took.
    Great work with your blog, I read a few of the articles, and they were all really interesting.

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    1. Thanks for reading my blog! The picture of curry bread is NOT mine, it is from Wikipedia commons, taken 4 November 2007 by katorisi. I am not good with food pictures; I prefer cats, haha. Unfortunately WordPress cover pictures don’t show metadata, which is why the attribution was hidden.

      Like

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