When I was living in Hong Kong, there are many style of bakeries around. Most, if not all, carries a type of bun that is very different from the rest. It is a bun filled with curry and deep fried instead of being baked in the oven. I used to love eating these, not only are they really tasty, they are extremely filling.
When my family immigrated to Canada, I can no longer access these buns. Most of the Cantonese style bakeries around Toronto either couldn’t get the taste right or they just wouldn’t make it because it doesn’t sell very well. After all, it is a deep fried, oil soaked, filled with curry, and a meal by itself kind of buns. If you are running a business, you goal should be to maximize sales and not limit it by selling a type of bun. So there was a window of nearly 25 years where I haven’t had a single bite of these yummy curry buns.
It was until several weeks ago, I took a quick detour to J-town in Markham and found Nakamura bakery. A Japanese own and ran bakery which carries the Japanese version of this fried curry bun. As Chinese and Japanese origins are so similar, I am not even sure if this bun I ate as a kid is Cantonese or Japanese anymore… In a few years, the Koreans may say it is their’s.
The Japanese name is Kare Pan, it is exactly as how I remember it when I was a kid. Not the exact type you find in Japan, it doesn’t have breadcrumbs all over it, but it is still yummy as ever. Since I got moved to a new team at the beginning of the year, I got a few boxes of these Kare Pans and treated the team.