Go Back

Japanes Curry Buns – Kare Pan

Popular Japanese Curry Buns are a snack of deep fried, flaky and crisp Panko crumb coated yeasted buns filled with a spicy vegetable curry.
Prep Time 45 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 3 hrs 15 mins
Course breads, Snack
Cuisine Japanese
Servings 10 Kare Pan


  • For the Dough:
  • 1 tsp dry active yeast (or 3/4 tsp instant yeast)
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose bread flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup cake flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tbsps oil
  • 1/2 cup water
  • For the Spicy Vegetable Curry:
  • 2 1/2 cups diced mixed vegetables (carrot, cauliflower, beans)
  • 1/3 cup frozen green peas
  • 3 big potatoes
  • 2 tbsps oil
  • 1 tsp garlic paste
  • 1 tsp ginger paste
  • 1 big onion chopped fine
  • 2 medium tomatoes chopped
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder (adjust to taste)
  • 1 1/2 tsps coriander powder
  • 1 1/2 tsps cumin powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • Salt to taste
  • 3 to 4 tbsps coriander chopped fresh
  • To Coat the Shaped Kare Pan:
  • A thin almost watery slurry/ mixture of all-purpose flour and water (or two eggs beaten well)
  • 1 1/2 cups Panko crumbs
  • Oil for deep-frying


  • For the Curry : You can make this ahead or do it while the dough is rising. Steam cook the mixed vegetables and the potatoes till well done. Mash them very well and keep aside.
  • In a largish wok, heat the oil. Add the ginger and garlic pastes and saute taking care to see it doesn’t burn. Add the onions and sauté again it is soft and translucent. Add the chopped tomatoes and cook them till they’re soft and mushy.
  • Use your potato masher, or a wooden spoon, to mash the onion-tomato mixture further. Cook until the oil appears on the edge.
  • Add the turmeric, chilli, coriander, cumin and garam masala powders. Cook over medium heat for a couple of minutes, stirring often, until the raw smell of the spices disappears. Add the mashed vegetables, salt and about quarter a cup of water. Cook for another 5 to 10 minutes until everything blends into a homogenous thick moist consistency with no gravy Mix in the chopped coriander and let it cool. Use to fill the Curry Buns.
  • For the Dough: Mix together the yeast and sugar into the 1/4 cup warm water and let it sit for 10 minutes until frothy. If you’re using instant yeast, just mix that and the sugar into the flours.
  • In a large bowl (or use your food processor/ kneading machine), mix together the flours and the salt. Add the frothy yeast mixture (or instant yeast and sugar), the oil and the water. Knead well, adding as much more water (or some flour if needed ) as necessary to form a smooth elastic dough.
    Kare Pan Dough 1
  • Roll the dough into a ball and place in an oiled bowl, coating it with the oil. Cover loosely and let it rise till double in size (should take about 1 1/2 hours or so).
  • Deflate the dough and divide it into equal 10 (or 12) pieces. Place them on your lightly floured work surface, cover and let them rise for about 30 to 45 minutes. Get the Curry filling ready. Also get the flour slurry or beaten egg, and the Panko crumbs all ready.
    Kare Pan Dough 2
  • Working quickly with one piece at a time, gently press down a piece of dough and roll it out into a circle about 1/4" thick. Place a generous amount (not too much) of filling in the centre and bring up the side together over the filling to shape into a ball. Otherwise, fold over into a half-moon taking care to seal the edges very well. Use water or egg if necessary to seal.
    Kare Pan Dough 3
  • Dip the dough ball into the flour slurry (or beaten egg) and then roll it in the breadcrumbs till it is coated well. If shaping into a ball. Use your palms to gently press in the breadcrumbs. Keep aside. Quickly repeat with remaining dough pieces and filling. Let them rest for about 10 to 15 minutes.
    Kare Pan Dough 4
  • In the meanwhile heat enough oil in a wok or fryer for deep frying the dough balls. Once the oil is hot enough (365 degrees F/ 185 degrees C), gently drop 2 or 3 of the dough balls in the oil turning them over so they brown evenly. Once they’re a deep golden brown (should take about a couple of minutes) remove them from the oil with a slotted spoon or spatula and let them drain on paper towels.
  • Serve them warm as they are or with sauce. They will be crisp and crunchy on the outside and a little bready on the inside with the filling.