Japanese curry bread has never looked, or tasted, this good!
If you haven’t noticed, we love curry bread, or “kare pan” as it’s known in Japan. Not only have we taste-tested all the ones sold at the country’s most popular convenience stores, we’ve also tried the humble curry bread in the shape of Mt Fuji, covered in Godiva chocolate, and heck, we’ve even spread it on bread and drunk it as cider.
Known as a quick and filling snack, there’s nothing high-brow about the karepan, and that’s exactly how we like it. However, the other day we caught sight of a video on the Ken Outdoor Cooking YouTube channel that made us rethink the standard fried-bread-with-curry-filling combination.
Ken, who runs the channel, introduces viewers to simple camping recipes on YouTube, and in this video, he showed a quick and easy way to level up your karepan, transforming it to a gourmet dish worthy of a place in a swanky depachika (department store basement) food hall.
With just three ingredients involved, we couldn’t resist giving it a try and sharing the recipe with our fellow kare pan lovers.
▼ While any type of curry bread will suffice for this recipe, we chose a 7-Eleven curry bread.
All you need are the following ingredients:
1 Curry bread
A handful of cheese(about 30 grams [1 ounce])
Step 1: Lightly oil both sides of a hot sandwich maker.
We’re using a single-serve camping-style sandwich maker, but you can also use a standard electric one for this recipe.
▼ Wipe away excess oil with chopsticks and a paper towel.
Step 2: Place the curry bread on the hot sandwich maker and use a knife to cut out a circular hollow in the top layer.
If you’re not in the great outdoors and have the luxury of a countertop, you can do this before placing it in the sandwich maker.
The hollow is where the raw egg will be dropped into, so you’ll want to keep that in mind to make sure you carve out enough space for the egg.
▼ We won’t be using the circular disc so you can eat it now as an appetiser.
Step 3: Place the cheese in the hole.
Push the cheese between the bread and the curry filling to make sure you have enough room for the egg to sit comfortably on top.
Step 4: Crack the egg into the hole.
▼ Don’t worry if some of the egg white spills over the edge.
Then all you have to do is close the sandwich maker and wait for it to work its magic.
Step 5: Heat on a low heat for three minutes on each side. You can check on it every now and then to ensure it reaches your preferred level of toastiness.
Step 6: Once the egg is fried and the dough is crispy, remove it from the sandwich maker.
▼ Slice it in two to help it cool and make it easier to eat.
▼ Now it’s ready!
Adding egg and cheese to curry bread may seem like a very simple addition, but it’s one that you don’t usually see in stores, and certainly not like this.
▼ It’s like an evolved 7-Eleven kare pan — kare pan 2.0
It looked like something that ought to be sold at a depachika, or served on a fancy plate at a restaurant, so we were incredibly pleased with the way it turned out.
As for the flavour, it was mind-blowingly good. The 7-Eleven kare pan is always great on its own, any day of the week, but the addition of melted cheese made it taste even more sublime, and the egg gave it a creamy, moreish texture.
Perhaps the best thing about it was the crispy exterior, which provided a satisfying crunch in every bite, contrasting wonderfully well with the soft filling.
It’s a truly delicious way to level-up your kare pan, and if you’d like to see how Ken from the original video does it, take a look at this short clip below:
It just goes to show that with a little effort, great transformations are possible in the culinary world — even if you’re camping or in a small cramped kitchen.
So if you’d like to enjoy a gourmet curry bread, why not give this recipe a try? If you’re looking for more great ideas for your sandwich maker, these yakisoba hot sandwiches are also divine!