Cooking with Anime by YumPenguinSnacks!
Honestly, for MONTHS now I've looked at Feast of Fiction's Black Butler curry buns and silently stewed at home because they swooped my style. I won't lie – I can be a bit of a petty person. I didn't want to recreate the same recipe since they already did it, and I didn't want to be a copy-cat, yadda yadda. So it goes. Looking back, I'm not sure why I was so dumb about it. Curry buns are AMAZING, and, thanks to Restaurant to Another World, I had my chance to make a personal comeback without having to make the recipe from Black Butler.
And boy, oh boy, was it worth it. You. GUYS. Curry buns are a thing of art. Only the Japanese could come up with something as amazing as this – curry, inside bread which has been coated in breadcrumbs and deep fried to produce a crunchy, golden-brown exterior. As presented in this episode 11, the curry buns are given as a gift to the chef. It looks like he kept them in the freezer until ready to fry, which is an awesome bonus with this recipe: the buns, once coated in panko, can easily be frozen so that you can enjoy a fresh, hot curry bun whenever it strikes your fancy.
Now, there is a fair amount of prep work that goes into this recipe. You have to make both a bread dough and a curry paste filling. However, both come together very easily, so while this recipe is labor intensive, none of the labor is actually that difficult. There are three main parts: the bread dough, the filling, and then the exterior coating. These do take time – plan to set aside a few hours to assemble and fry these babies.
The first step is to make a nice, softly sweet bread dough. Once you have that taken care of and get it rising in a warm spot, the second step is to get the curry going. The key to a good filing is making sure that it's not too watery and loose. There aren't too many recipes available online for a good filling, despite the Feast of Fiction's recipe for their own curry bun. I didn't want to replicate the Black Butler recipe, and the Restaurant to Another World recipe, as it appeared in the episode, was pretty vague. I decided to go with a curry roux packet to keep things simple (since making bread and deep frying are a lot by themselves), and made the curry the same way I normally would. Except, instead of following the recipe according to the box, I used much less water than the recipe actually calls for. Luckily, this worked perfectly to produce a filling that was not loose at all, and more like a paste! The filling on its own is a tad salty, but once you get it in the bun, it's just perfect. The concentrated curry mixture compared to the sweetness of the bread is perfect.
The last step is to deep fry. The oil needs to be hot to prevent the dough from absorbing too much extra oil. The final coating should be lightly greasy, but not dripping with oil. Hot oil will help ensure you have the perfect crunchy coating. Fry about two minutes per side, taking care to keep oil at 365°F. They will be golden brown and perfectly crisp when they're done!
Watch the video below to get started on making you own curry buns!
Ingredients for the Curry Bun:
Dough recipe adapted from here.
1 1/2 cups bread flour
1/2 cups cake flour
1 tsp instant yeast
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp neutral oil (I used vegetable)
3/4 cup water
1 small russet potato
1 small carrot
1/2 pound ground beef
1/2 box of Vermont Curry, hot
2 cups water
2 cups panko
1 egg + 1 tbsp water, beaten
Oil for frying (I used vegetable)
To Make the Curry Bun:
1. Start with the dough. Whisk the flours, sugar, salt, and yeast together. Add in the oil and water and stir together. When it starts to lump together, knead in the bowl until mostly all combined. Tip out onto a floured work surface and knead for about 10 minutes, or until dough is soft yet firm, not sticky, and pliable. Add more water or flour as needed.
2. Form dough ball, and coat the ball and the inside of a bowl with oil. Cover top with plastic, and set in a warm place for about an hour, or ninety minutes, or until dough has doubled in size.
3. While dough is rising, prepare curry filling. Peel and finely dice carrot and potato. Place into a pan over high heat with a bit of oil, and cook about two minutes. Throw in the ground beef, and cook until browned. Then, add in the water, which is deliberately less than the box calls for. Cover the pot, and let simmer about ten minutes or until veggies are tender and soft when pierced with a fork. Turn off the heat. Break up the curry roux, and drop pieces in. Stir until the curry blocks are melted, and a thick curry paste has formed. Set aside.
4. When bread is ready, punch down and split into 8 pieces. Roll each piece into a ball, and let rise again for about 40 minutes.
5. When ready, roll each dough ball out until the dough is about 1/4 inch thick. Pile curry filling into the middle, about 1.5-2 tbsp per bun, or as much as you can reasonably fit inside. Bring excess dough over the mound of filling, and pinch edges together until the dough is completely encased.
6. Once all the buns are formed, it's time to coat them. Coat each bun by coating it in the egg wash, and then coating each bun in a thick layer of panko. Ideally, you should coat them right before frying – don't let them sit out too long after they've been coated. At this point, you could also easily flash freeze the buns and take them out to cook later by throwing them straight into your hot oil.
7. Heat oil, which should come at least halfway up the pan you are using, to 365°F. Fry a couple of buns at a time, cooking about two minutes per side, or until golden brown.
8. Drain on a paper towel, if necessary, and eat immediately!