The next time you get a craving for something fluffy and loaded with carbs, turn to these unique Japanese breads.
One bite, and you’ll be hooked!
Japanese breads are fluffy, fun, and just a little different than western-style bread recipes.
Shokupan, for instance, may look like traditional white bread, but it’s so much more than that!
It’s insanely light and fluffy with a dreamy, sweet, and milky flavor.
And that’s just the tip of the bread-burg!
So let’s check out these delicious Japanese breads and try to figure out where to buy some!
10 Best Types of Delicious Japanese Bread to Try Today
Did you know that bread didn’t become popular in Japan until the late 1800s?
That’s why the Japanese word “pan” comes from the Portuguese word for bread.
When westerners settled in Japan during the late 1800s, bread started to gain popularity.
Modern Japanese bread takes a few notes from western recipes but puts a delightful spin on it.
Overall, these Japanese bread recipes are slightly sweeter and incorporate classic Japanese flavors in exciting ways.
1. Melon Pan
Despite its name, melon pan doesn’t taste like melons; it just looks like one! It’s a Japanese sweet bun that’s light and fluffy with a crisp, cookie-like crust.
The dough is lightly sweetened and hosts a sweetened cookie crust with a melon-like grid.
Traditional melon pan calls for a simple sugar cookie-like dough for its topping, but you don’t have to stop there!
By adding different flavors to the cookie crust, you can create all types of melon pan.
Some popular flavors include matcha, honeydew, chocolate, and fruit flavors like strawberry or blueberry. Yum!
2. An Pan
In the late 1800s, the owner of a bakery in Japan, called Kimuraya, invented an pan to appeal to their customers, and it worked!
Some believe that an pan began Japan’s obsession with bread.
An pan fuses the traditional flavors of western white bread with popular Japanese fillings, and it’s deliciously indulgent!
Most recipes are similar, featuring light and fluffy white bread filled with a sweet bean paste.
But I’ve had it filled with sweet chocolate, too, and it’s super delish.
If you’re ever in Japan, the original an pan bakery (Kimuraya) is still in business today in Tokyo, so be sure to stop in for the original!
3. Cream Pan (Cream Bread)
Cream pan is very similar to a donut – it has a white bread exterior with a sweet custardy filling.
Most Japanese sweets aren’t overly sweet, but cream pan brings on the sweetness!
It’s most often filled with creamy custard, but sometimes it pairs light and fluffy whipped cream-like filling with fruit.
In Japan, cream pan shows up in just about every convenience store. It’s light, indulgently sweet, and a great mid-morning treat.
4. Yakisoba Pan (Yakisoba Bread)
The first time I saw yakisoba pan, I was a little confused. A sandwich with a noodle filling?
Oh yes! Think of yakisoba pan like a hot dog, but instead of sausage, you’ve got flavorful, chewy noodles as the filling.
It sounds strange, but it’s one of the most popular convenience store treats.
Yakisoba bread is very similar to a hog dog bun. It’s a light, fluffy white bread that perfectly soaks up all those delicious sauces.
Everyone needs to try yakisoba pan at least once in their lifetime! It’s salty, carby, and delicious.
Shokupan, aka Japanese milk bread, looks like traditional white bread you’d see in any bakery or store here in the states.
But it’s a bit different.
Also called mochi mochi, which translates to ‘soft and squishy,’ this stuff is insanely soft! And that’s all down to the high milk content.
It’s also a little sweeter than your average white bread, but it’s super easy to make at home.
If you are on the hunt for a unique bread to cut into thick slices for your morning toast and jam, Shokupan will not disappoint!
6. Kare Pan (Curry Pan)
In the mood for something more savory?
While most Japanese bread is lightly sweetened, kare pan is savory and tastes almost like a salty donut.
Between the fluffy white bread and the salty and meaty Japanese curry stuffed inside, it’s so filling, it can be an entire meal.
Popular flavors include vegetable, beef, and cheese varieties. And as if that’s not enough, it’s usually deep-fried to golden perfection and served piping hot.
While most curry pans incorporate meaty, savory fillings, you can also find sweet kare pan popping up all over Japan. Delish!
7. Choco Korone and Choco Pan
Choco korone earns its name from its unique horn shape, similar to a cornet.
It’s an indulgently sweet bread filled with chocolate pudding that’s best served with a hot cup of tea or coffee.
While choco korone is popular in most Japanese bakeries, it’s surprisingly easy to make at home.
Just make a quick white bread recipe and fill it up with an indulgent chocolate filling.
You’ll see it with white bread as well as chocolate-marbled bread. Either way, it’s a must-try.
8. Katsu Sando
Katsu sando is the ultimate bento box treat.
It’s a simple sandwich that packs a ton of rich flavors, and it’s ideal for any meal of the day.
It pairs light, fluffy milk bread (shokupan) with a delicately deep-fried pork cutlet.
The sweetness from the shokupan pairs perfectly with a salty pork cutlet and additional katsu sauce.
It’s light, fluffy, salty, and oh-so-meaty. Plus, it looks so pretty when you arrange it in a bento box.
9. Truffle Roll
The truffle roll has been gaining a lot of popularity in Japan recently. They’re savory, delicious, and every bite infuses pieces of truffle.
At the Truffle Bakery in Japan, long lines are out the door to snag a taste of this luxury bread.
Like any good Japanese bread, they’re light and fluffy but incorporate more umami flavors than sweeter Japanese bread.
It’s like the perfect fusion between Japanese baking and western savory flavors.
If you are ever in Japan and find yourself near a Truffle Bakery, grab a truffle roll (or ten!).
10. Mentaiko Furansupan
Mentaiko furansupan may look like your average French baguette, but this specialty bread is 100% Japanese.
Like a baguette, it hosts a crisp and crunchy shell with a chewy texture in the middle.
But before the simple baguette hits the oven, it’s topped with savory and salty mentaiko.
Mentaiko is delicious roe sacs cured in salt and sometimes marinated in spicy red chili peppers.
This brings plenty of rich umami flavors that ooze into every bite.
It’s the perfect fusion of Japanese and French-style baking.
More Breads from Around the World
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