This is a meal that’s been a long time in coming, since I’ve been wanting to eat it ever since I first saw it featured in Yakitate!! Japan (2004). It was its overflowing kindness in Kuroshitsuji (2008), however, that really made me determined to try it for myself.
Yakitate!! Japan is a unique show that blends the love for baking bread with battles by means of competitions between individual bakers and their companies. This is probably how my wariness of shounen battle anime was worn down, as the head-to-head fights over bread of all subjects had me laughing each episode. Kare pan, or curry bread, shows up late in the season in a competition between our protagonist’s business, Pantasia, versus CMAP. Unfortunately, it’s the enemy camp who makes the delicious treat, so when first watching this, I was cheering for Pantasia’s Saito Ja-pan: Mango Waffle Haniwa. Regardless, CMAP’s kare pan, infused with fresh mangos, Miyazaki beef demiglace sauce, and its cornflake crust had me drooling. Yum!
Kuroshitsuji is chock full of delicious foods, most of it European inspired, but a good amount is influenced by East Asia. In a match inspired by Queen Victoria for the prize of her royal backing, various companies fight with curry as the subject. You would think that with one company hailing from the birthplace of curry that they would be the obvious victor, but it’s Sebastian’s consideration for people of all ages and situations that pulls in the win. His kare pan is not only fragrant and delicious, but it is also portable and easy for both children and adults to eat. When several audience members are infected by the evil spiciness of Doll Company’s curry, it’s the chocolate-laced kare pan from Phantom Company that purifies them.
Both the versions in the aforementioned anime are made from scratch, from the dough to the curry. The version that I use is inspired by one of my favorite YouTube cooks, runnyrunny999, and is a quick and easy recipe for those intimidated by all the steps required for the real thing.
- Leftover curry
- Texas Toast, or any other thickly cut, but soft, bread
- Beaten eggs
- Set up your assembly line: bread, beaten egg in a casserole dish, Panko in a large plate, deep fryer, plate with paper towels
- Taking two pieces of sliced bread, cut off the crusts as close to the edge as possible
- Pinch the edges down all the way around
- On one side each of both slices of bread, coat the edges with your egg mixture
- Place a spoonful or two of your curry (cool from the fridge, or room temp. is fine) into the center of one slice, then cover with the other slice with the egg edges facing inward and pinch all around to seal
- Place in the egg dish and coat the outside
- Do likewise with the Panko, making sure there are no bare spots
- Carefully place into a deep fryer set to 340-350 degrees F and cook until golden brown all the way around
- Set on paper towel plate and allow to cool
- Either eat whole, or cut in half diagonally!
Inspiration: runnyrunny999’s kare pan (he also features his own curry recipe, as well as a baked kare pan version)