Japanese Fried VegPork Curry Buns (カレー パン- Kare Pan)

20140920-17 Curry Pan 5566-Edit

During our stay in Japan, one of our favorite snack places was bakery shops. Every major train station and busy street have at least one those. One of the items in these shops is a deep fried bun filled with curry (in Japanese Kare Pan or  カレー パン). It was kind of hard to find a vegetarian one (and even if we did, we were certain there was beef stock in there), but it was sure delicious. When we came across this recipe in our Chinese Dim Sum book, you can imagine our excitement. We don’t know the origin of this dish, and even though it was in our Chinese cooking book, it tastes pretty similar to the Japanese Kare Pan. It exceeded our expectations so we couldn’t help but to share this recipe with you.

Ingredients

Dough

  • 1 T active dry yeast
  • ¾ c water
  • ⅔ lbs (300g) all-purpose flour
  • 1⅓ lbs (37g) sugar
  • 1 T cooking oil
  • 1 T baking powder

Filling

  • ⅓ lbs (150g) vegetarian meat (which is about 4 MorningStar Sausage Patties)
  • 1 c onion, chopped
  • ½ c carrot, shredded
  • ½ c green onion, chopped
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 T curry powder
  • 1 t salt
  • 1 t sugar
  • ¼ t white pepper
  • ½ t rice wine
  • ½ t sesame oil
  • Half an apple, diced

Cornstarch Mix

Other ingredients for cooking/frying

  • 3 t cooking oil
  • 3 c fine bread crumbs (panko)

Procedure

Toast the vegetarian meat patties for 12 minutes at 350°F. Turn it into ground  meat in food  processor. Set it aside (it will be added to the Filling at the end)

Dissolve the yeast in the water, then mix together with other Dough ingredients until smooth. Divide into about 16 equal-sized balls.  Cover to keep the dough from drying out.

Combine the Filling ingredients in a large bowl.  Combine the Cornstarch Mix ingredients in a medium bowl and stir until the bouillon cube is dissolved.

Beat the eggs lightly, then scramble in 1 t oil. Remove from wok. Heat the wok, add 2 t oil, then stir-fry the Filling ingredients except the cornstarch mix and the ground meat until cooked through. Thicken the whole filling with the Cornstarch Mix. While mixing make sure no bouillon cube pieces left undissolved. Add the ground meat, then the eggs,

Roll the dough balls. Put 1 T of filling in each dough, pinch to seal. Dip in water to moisten and roll in fine bread crumbs. Once you do this for all 16 dough balls, they are ready to be fried!

Fill your wok or deep-fryer with cooking oil to the recommended level, and heat it. Deep fry the curry balls until golden brown. Usually it takes less than a minute for each side, assuming the deep fryer is not overfilled, and has the right temperature. Remove from the oil, drain, put on a paper towel-lined plate. Enjoy while hot, and feel free to dip in your favorite sauce 🙂

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