Semi-Homemade Japanese Kare Pan (Curry Bread)

This is my interpretation of a kind of street food I had when I visited Japan. They are crunchy balls of bread filled with Japanese brown curry. I couldn't get enough of them and neither will you.

Prep Time:
25 mins
Cook Time:
43 mins
Additional Time:
8 hrs 25 mins
Total Time:
9 hrs 33 mins
12 balls


  • 1 large potato, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

  • 1 cup frozen peas

  • 2 tablespoons butter

  • 1 pound ground beef sirloin

  • salt and ground black pepper to taste

  • 1 onion, diced small

  • 2 ½ cups water, or as needed

  • 3 cubes Japanese curry roux, or more to taste

  • oil for frying

  • 1 (11 ounce) can refrigerated French bread dough

  • 1 egg

  • panko bread crumbs


  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add potatoes; cook until mostly tender, about 5 minutes. Add peas; continue cooking until potatoes are soft, 5 to 10 minutes. Drain.

  2. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Season ground beef with salt and pepper and add to the skillet with onion; cook and stir until beef is browned and onion is translucent, about 5 minutes.

  3. Pour 2 1/2 cups water over beef mixture; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and stir in potatoes and peas. Simmer, skimming scum off the surface, until flavors combine, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool, about 5 minutes. Add curry roux cubes; stir until dissolved.

  4. Let curry mixture cool, about 20 minutes. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until thickened, 8 hours to overnight.

  5. Heat oil in a deep-fryer or large saucepan to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

  6. Cut dough into 1/2-inch slices and roll out each slice to a 3-inch circle. Place a teaspoon of chilled curry into the center of each circle. Pull up sides of the circle over curry and pinch edges together to form a round ball.

  7. Beat egg in a small bowl. Place panko bread crumbs in a shallow dish. Dip each ball of dough into the beaten egg. Press into bread crumbs to coat, shaking off excess.

  8. Fry in the hot oil until evenly browned on all sides, 3 to 5 minutes.

Cook's Note:

In step 2, cover beef with the amount of water specified on the package of curry roux you are using.

Editor's Note:

We have determined the nutritional value of oil for frying based on a retention value of 10% after cooking. Amount will vary depending on cooking time and temperature, ingredient density, and specific type of oil used.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

297 Calories
16g Fat
27g Carbs
12g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 12
Calories 297
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 16g 20%
Saturated Fat 5g 25%
Cholesterol 45mg 15%
Sodium 273mg 12%
Total Carbohydrate 27g 10%
Dietary Fiber 2g 7%
Total Sugars 3g
Protein 12g
Vitamin C 10mg 49%
Calcium 18mg 1%
Iron 2mg 10%
Potassium 276mg 6%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.