While rice is certainly still the center of most Japanese meals - bread is extremely popular in Japan as well! After World War II, Japan was facing food shortages - and large quantities of wheat were delivered to Japan. Since then, bread has steadily become a staple in the typical Japanese diet.
You can easily find a variety of really delicious breads all over Japan! You can grab some in bakeries, convenience stores, department stores, supermarkets, and even train stations.
There’s a lot to choose from, so we decided to break down our top 6 favorite Japanese breads!
Anpan (あんぱん) is probably the most iconic Japanese bread. Anpan is a sweet roll that gets its name from a combination of anko - sweet red bean paste, and pan, which is the Japanese word for bread! Usually topped with crunchy black sesame seeds, anpan can be filled with red or white bean paste, green beans, sesame paste and even chestnut paste!
Invented by Yasubee Kimura back in 1874 - it’s been a Japanese classic ever since!
Melon pan (メロンパン) is yet another iconic Japanese sweet bun. Melon pan stands out from the crowd with it’s sweet, crunchy crust that comes from a thin layer of cookie dough on top!
Despite its name, melon pan is not typically melon flavored (although you can find some that are). It gets its name from the cookie crust topping that resembles the rind of a melon. You can find fresh melon pan with various fillings like ice cream, custard, maple syrup or melon cream!
3. Yakisoba Pan
Yup - that’s right. Yakisoba is a traditional fried noodle street food dish. So, yakisoba pan (焼きそばパン) is exactly what it sounds like. Yakisoba fried noodles in a hotdog bun. Although it may sound weird, you’d be surprised how delicious it is! Besides, it’s much easier to eat a noodle sandwich on the go.
Japan really thinks of everything.
4. Korokke Pan
Korokke pan (コロッケパン) is similar in spirit to Yakisoba pan. Korroke itself is a deep fried comfort food made with panko crusted mashed potato, carrot, onion and sometimes mince meat. Just like Yakisoba pan, this is a starch sandwich that is super delicious and easy to eat.
5. Curry Pan
Curry pan (カーレパン) is a deep-fried bun filled with Japanese style curry! Essentially a savory curry-donut, yeast dough is filled with delicious, chunky Japanese curry, rolled in panko and then deep fried. Sometimes cheese is added, too! You can find baked curry pan sometimes as well, but come on, if you’re gonna’ go for it, you should really just go for the real deal.
Shokupan (食パン) is a classic Japanese bread that is a delicious, soft and fluffy white bread loaf that you can get in Japan. They are amazingly fluffy and keep moist for longer than ordinary white bread. Shokupan is pretty much the perfect bread to use for outstanding French toast or used to make a classic Japanese sandwich.
Shokupan (食パン) is Japan’s version of the classic white sandwich bread. Deliciously soft and fluffy, shokupan is pretty much the perfect bread to make outstanding french toast, or any other kind of typical japanese sandwich.
Have you tried any of these uniquely Japanese breads? Which one is your favorite? We’re dying for some curry pan right now!