All TopicsNewsCultureJapanese Snacks & CandyFood & DrinkTravelEntertainmentMember Spotlight
TokyoTreat Japanese Snacks BlogJapanese Curry Bread: A Savory Snack Favorite

Japanese Curry Bread: A Savory Snack Favorite

By Lindi
October 04, 2021

Anyone interested in the world of Japanese bread has to know about Japanese curry bread. A perfect marriage between sweet and savory Japanese curry and deep-fried bread, curry bread has become popular all across Japan. Convenience stores, supermarkets, and bakeries across the country sell this savory snack for everyone to enjoy.

Let’s learn more about this Japanese curry bread, the secret to its deliciousness, and some of the popular places to get it. 

Three whole Japanese curry bread and one half one on a cutting board in front of a serving container of curry on a black background

Image via Shutterstock

The Original Kare pan

Japanese curry bread (kare pan or カレーパン) is the ultimate deep-fried snack. This bread is a doughy, golden brown bun coated in panko (Japanese bread crumbs) and filled with savory and sweet Japanese-style curry made with a spicy combination of vegetables and meat.

While curry bread is a permanent feature at bakeries and convenience stores across Japan, a bakery called Cattlea has become well known for this popular dish, having maintained its classic ‘Original (Ganzo) Curry Bread’ recipe for 94 years. Legend has it that, in 1927, the owner of Cattlea decided to deep-fry Japanese curry, and in doing so, invented this curry snack as we know it. 

The current iteration of this treat features a minced pork and onion filling, surrounded by the snack’s signature chewy yet crispy exterior. Located a one-minute walk from Morishita Station in Tokyo’s Kōtō-ku, Cattlea’s Original Curry Bread is deep-fried three times a day at 7am, 11am, and 3pm. 

It is also said that Denmark Bakery, located in Nerima ward, invented curry bread in 1934. It is famous for its version of this mouthwatering snack, in which you will find a hard-boiled egg along with the tasty, spicy curry filling.

Looking for something sweet to go with that savory bread? TokyoTreat has you covered with Japanese snacks like Japanese Kit Kats and Pocky right to your door, perfect for a sweet treat.

TokyoTreat button

Tokyo Curry Bread Shops

Tokyo is filled with bakeries celebrating this popular snack. The award-winning Boulangerie Seiji Asakura in Minato ward is known for its deep-fried curry breads topped with layers of cheese. Bistro Kirakutei in Setagaya ward has perfected two deliciously spicy options (one of which is hotter than the other). If you prefer an option that isn’t deep fried, the curry bread at Kinmugi, also in Minato ward, is baked instead.

Whether it’s FamilyMart, 7-Eleven, or Lawson, convenience stores stock a range of their own in-house curry breads in various shapes and sizes, and a variety of delicious fillings like traditional beef curry and soft-boiled eggs. Lawson even collaborated with Belgian chocolatier Godiva on a chocolate beef curry bread, where cocoa features not only in the dough, but also as added flavoring for the meat too.

Getting Started on Making Your Own

A homemade Japanese curry bread on a white paper doily on a wooden plate on a white background

Image via Shutterstock

Not close to any of these spots right now? You can actually make your own curry buns at home thanks to the loads of great recipes to browse and try online. Most of these recipes only take an hour and 15 minutes to make about 8 servings (minus resting time of course). 

First, choose a Japanese curry that you like most for your curry filling. Conveniently, curry bread is often made with leftover curry. Just make sure to have panko in your pantry, along with other staple ingredients used to make the dough, such as yeast, milk, eggs, bread flour, sugar, and vegetable oil. 

When making curry bread at home, the final result should be crispy, chewy, and generously filled with your Japanese curry mixture or Japanese curry roux. Any curry will do, whether it’s centered around beef, chicken, pork, or vegetables. 

Top tips from Just One Cookbook, created by Namiko Hirasawa Chen, include making sure to thin out the dough on the edges, never adding too much curry paste, and flipping the curry bread as soon as you place it in the oil.

Some of the Best Curry Bread in Japan

The Curry Bread Grand Prix, which has been held every year since 2016, recently announced its list of 2021 finalists. Organized by the Japan Curry Bread Association, the annual awards sees the public vote for shortlisted bakeries throughout Japan by region. 

Three different curry breads, two whole and one cut into two halves, on a black plate, on white paper on a wood tray

Image via Shutterstock

In 2020, more than 14,000 votes were cast. Gold award winners included curry breads from Peter Pan in Chiba Prefecture, Bakery Chopin in Aichi Prefecture, Penguin Bakery in Hokkaido Prefecture, and Pan Kobo Bakery in Osaka Prefecture. Another gold award winner included the striking Mount Fuji curry bread, made in the Shizuoka Prefecture in collaboration with a social welfare organization that assists people with disabilities. 

The Mount Fuji curry bread, for which there is a long waiting list to order online, is more than a delicious savory snack. It is available in two unusual colors, namely blue and red. While the buns are both shaped like Mount Fuji, the blue version is topped with coconut flakes, and the red version consists of chili pepper-infused dough.

Curry bread is not only celebrated annually as part of the Curry Bread Grand Prix awards. According to SoraNews24, the eighth day of every month is also Curry Bread Day, making it the perfect opportunity to head out and grab a couple. 

Japanese curry bread is also celebrated in the form of popular culture. Currypanman, from the Anpanman series, is a bun-like character filled with spicy yellow curry who is gifted with a range of curry-related powers, including the Curry-punch, Curry-kick, and Curry Spit. 

Do you have a favorite curry bread flavor that you like to snack on? Or a bakery you think is worth recommending? Share your top picks in the comments!

Enjoy Delicious Japanese Candy And Snacks Every Month!

Starting from $32.50 USD
Get TokyoTreat
Author avatar

Lindi is an editor and writer from Cape Town, South Africa who has worked in online publishing for more than 10 years. Lindi loves to travel, explore, and discover new things. Her top travel destination is Tokyo, where she most enjoys spending time walking along the river in Nakameguro and visiting her favorite Harajuku record store.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Enjoy Delicious Japanese Candy And Snacks Every Month!

Starting from $32.50 USD
Get TokyoTreat

Related Articles

Japanese Picnic Foods Sure to Please Any Crowd

January 17, 2022

When Spring appears, you’ll find everyone in Japan doing one thing: picnicking. Whether it’s at the park with friends, near the river with family, under cherry blossoms or pre-cherry blossom season, everyone will take their own special type of Japanese picnic food to share with guests. 

What is Yuzu? Getting to Know a Tasty Japanese Fruit

January 08, 2022

You may have seen or heard of a fruit in some of your favorite Japanese dishes, called yuzu. But what is yuzu? Cultivated in Japan, this tiny, yellow, wrinkled ball of citrus fruit is ¾ the size of a golf ball and has a unique flavor that is easily recognizable.

Harness the Power of a Japanese Energy Drink

January 05, 2022

Japan loves a good party, so everyone needs a bit of extra energy from time to time. If you do too, make like a Japanese salaryman and have a Japanese energy drink from a convenience store for breakfast.

Japanese Christmas Food: Japan’s Take on Christmas Meals

December 03, 2021

Unlike the West, in Japan, Christmas is not a religious event. Rather, just like Halloween and Valentines Day, Christmas season is simply party time. So then, what kind of Japanese Christmas food do people have to get their winter holiday parties started? Let’s find out!

TokyoTreat Reviews Spooky Starbucks Japan Frappuccino

October 21, 2021

It’s the spookiest time of the year once again – Halloween! And Japan is not shy when it comes to limited edition sweets and snacks. Never to be outdone are the offerings from Starbucks Japan! This year they are adding plenty of fall flavors to their Halloween drink (and we’re here for it)!  And who…

Be a TokyoTreat Insider!

Join our newsletter and receive tasty news and deals!


Accepted Payments
Visa payment availableMastercard payment availableAmerican Express payment availableDiscover payment availablePayPal payment available

Be a TokyoTreat Insider!

Join our newsletter and receive tasty news and deals!


Copyright © 2021 TokyoTreat™. All Rights Reserved.
Accepted Payments
Visa payment availableMastercard payment availableAmerican Express payment availableDiscover payment availablePayPal payment available