Curry Bread/ Karepan

I think the Japanese are brilliant. They make the cutest, smallest, most high-tech things! Except they're insanely expensive. And the cost of living in Japan is insanely high. Solution: live in Taiwan and fly to Japan every month for a weekend vacation. Out of all the foods the Japanese have invented, curry bread is one of my favorites. Of course, I also like Red Bean buns, chocolate coronets, and MELON PAN… I'll just cut it short and say I like Japanese stuff in general. Did I mention I like curry?

Hmmm. Curry. Hmmm. Bread. What better way to consume my two favorite foods than by combining them together? Don't deny it! Food combining is awesome. Look at all those great combinations out there… Chocolate and Strawberries, Strawberries and Ice Cream, Ice Cream and Fries… Yes. Ice cream and fries. Never tried it? Better start soon. You're missing out. The warm crunch of the French fry surrounded by cold, creamy, luscious ice cream. Yum. Seriously, try it.

And while we're on the topic of trying, this is my first time making curry bread. It turned out okay. Of course, I've never actually had authentic Japanese curry bread, but… the one I made today was good enough for me! I tried both ways- fried and baked. I'll admit it. I've never fried anything before. Hot oil scares me. It's all hot… and popping… and hot… yeah. But for the sake of the Karepan, I conquered my frying-phobia and viola! By the way, I personally believe that frying yields a more delicious karepan. The baked ones aren't so good… See results below.

A few notes about this. I got this from Kevin's Closet Cooking (uber-awesome food blog), but the dough was really sticky, and I had to add probably another half cup of flour in order to barely manage it. Most likely my fault of some sort, so please don't take offense. Therefore, I have changed the ingredients (less water) somewhat according to my experiences.

Karepan (Curry Bread)

  • 2 tsp yeast
  • 1 cup (and 2 tbs)warm water
  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 tbs sugar
  • 1 tsp salt (I use salted butter, so I didn't add any salt)
  • 3 tbs butter, melted
  • 1 cup curry
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs

  1. Combine yeast, warm water, and sugar in a bowl for 10 minutes (proofing).
  2. Sift the flour into a separate bowl. Make a well and pour in the water mixture. Stir vigorously until a raggy dough forms.
  3. Pour the melted butter onto the dough, and knead until fully incorporated (about 3-4 minutes).
  4. Dump the dough onto a lightly-floured counter, and turn the bowl over to cover the dough. Let it rest like this for 20 minutes to autolyse.
  5. When the autolyse is finished, flatten the dough slightly with your fingers and at this point, sprinkle the salt onto the dough and knead until incorporated (3-4 minutes).
  6. Place the dough into a bowl and cover with a damp tea towel. Let rise for about 60-90 minutes.
  7. Knead dough for two minutes, then place back into bowl and rise for another 60-90 minutes.
  8. Meanwhile, take your curry (thickened by cooking it over a low fire until it loses water content) and cut larger chunks of vegetables into fourths and mashing them.
  9. After the second rise, take the dough out and knead for 3-4 minutes. Cut the dough into 7-8 pieces (depending on how thick you want your karepan to be. I did 7).
  10. Take the egg and milk, and beat it until mixed.
  11. Take a piece of dough and roll it out into a 5-inch circle. Place a spoonful of curry onto the middle of the circle. Brush the edge of half the circle with the egg mixture and then fold it over to make a dumpling.
  12. Seal the dumpling shut, then push the seal to one side. Brush the entire dumpling with egg wash (or just one side of it, if you're too lazy), and roll in a plateful of panko bread crumbs. Place onto individual sheets of waxed paper.
  13. When done, let them rise for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, heat the oil for frying or preheat the oven to 350˚F (if using oven, skip the panko bread crumbs).
  14. If frying, slide the karepan dumplings, wax paper and all, into the hot oil. Fry for about 1 minute on each side, or until the panko bread crumbs are browned. Drain on paper towels.
  15. If baking, place the karepan dumplings onto a baking pan and bake for 23-25 minutes.
  16. EAT!

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