Everyone knows that the Japanese eat a lot of rice but they also eat a lot of bread!
Have you ever seen the classic anime scene of a student rushing to school with a piece of toast in their mouth?? Although I have personally never seen this in real life, I do see bread being sold everywhere.
Clearly Japanese bakery takes cute to the whole new level!
However, since it is Japan, the bread is different than the kind I was used to back home in America. In this post, I will introduce some different kinds of Japanese bread. Which are very delicious btw 🙂
Milk Bread / Shoku-pan / 食パン
This is the standard bread used for toast and making sandwiches.
I love Japanese milk bread because it is very soft and fluffy and a bit sweet. The thick slices make perfect toast with crispy outsides and a soft and chewy inside. Spread some peanut butter on that baby and you get a delicious breakfast!
This bread can be found everywhere from convenience stores to supermarkets and bakeries. It is usually available cut into different number of slices.
So a loaf cut into 8 slices is going to have thinner slices than a loaf cut into 4. If you are trying to eat healthier and want to buy wheat bread, I’m afraid you might have a hard time. Although it is not impossible to find, it is definitely not as widely available as white bread.
Sweet Red Bean Bun / An-pan / あんパン
This is a soft and fluffy bun filled with a sweet red bean paste called “anko”.
If you have never tried this before you might think it sounds weird. However, trust me, it is very delicious. I personally don’t like beans very much but I love anko. It is sweet, creamy and has a deep umami flavor.
Have you ever heard of the Japanese cartoon character Anpan-man? That character is based on this bread.
Anpan usually have black sesame seeds sprinkled on top so if you can’t read Japanese, that is one way to identify it 🙂
Melon-pan / メロンパン
The aptly named melon-pan is a bun topped with a layer of cookie dough. When it is baked, the cookie part cracks making it look like a melon.
Melon-pan is a staple at Japanese bakeries and it can often be found in a variety of flavors and variations such as chocolate chip, caramel and fruity flavors.
Curry Bread / Kare-pan / カレーパン
Kare-pan is one of my favorite Japanese breads! Although it is not that good for me, it is soo delicious!
Kare-pan is basically a fried doughnut filled with curry. The curry can come in a variety of flavors such as pork or beef and levels of spice. Here is a tip for you: amakuchi (甘口) means mild spice and karakuchi (辛口) means spicy. You may also see 中口 which means medium.
Yakisoba-pan / 焼きそばパン
Here is another more savory kind of bread. This is a bun filled with yakisoba (fried noodles)!
It is like a hot dog but instead of sausage, it is filled with noodles. Yakisoba-pan is usually stuffed full so it can make a pretty filling meal in a pinch. It is also seasoned with mayonnaise and pickled ginger. I have found that yakisoba-pan can be a bit hit or miss at some places. I tried one once at a convenience store in Osaka that was just so-so. However, the ones sold at the bakery near my house are sooo good and usually sell out very quickly!
The moral of the story is, you should try things more than once before making a judgment if it is good or not! 😀
Chocolate Cornets /chokoretto korone / チョコレートコルネ
This bread is made from brioche dough and is baked into a cone shape. It is then filled with chocolate cream. This bread is very popular with children.
So that was an introduction of some of the most common types of bread you can find in Japan. You can also easily find the common varieties from other countries as well such as croissants, baguettes and bagels. If you get the chance to visit Japan, you should definitely check out a bakery and try these tasty breads.
Thank you for reading and see you next blog!