Master the art of cooking with leftover food by whipping up our curry pan, a popular Japanese snack made by stuffing curry into tasty little bread balls. These make perfect appetizers as well!

Curry pan is a popular snack bread with a yummy curry inside. Most of the time it is made with leftover Japanese style curry from the night before. This means all the hard work is already done! All you need to do is add the pancake mix and other simple ingredients to whip this tasty treat up. You can easily create this delicious snack or appetizer with this easy to follow recipe and video.

What is Curry Pan?

Curry pan is a popular snack in Japanese food culture because it combines favorite sauces, meats and fillings with a crunchy satisfying fried bread outer layer. Also called curry buns, or Kare Pan in Japanese, curry pan are a bit like the savory pies served in many European countries. Curry pan is sometimes baked instead of fried, and those who want a less oily snack can try it that way too. As a light meal or appetizer, or just something to eat while watching a movie and relaxing at home, curry pan will soon be your favorite snack!

About Japanese Curry

Keep in mind that Japanese curry is a bit different than Indian or other Asian curries, in many subtle ways, including the fact that it is based on roux. Roux is basically a reduction of butter and wheat flour that is caramelized and has a rich savory flavor. This roux is then used as the base for everything from colorful vegetable and pork to cabbage curry. If you want something on the healthy side of the spectrum you can even make bean sprouts curry soy saute. To make a real Japanese curry at home though, you have to master the art of making the roux. Luckily, we have some simple instructions for you right here!

Leftover Japanese Recipes

Just like people make turkey sandwiches and soup after Thanksgiving in the USA, many Japanese recipes are based on leftover food from dinner the night before. Curry Pan is one of the most popular ways to do this, because curry usually tastes better on the second day anyway! But it’s not the only one. If you have tons of leftover rice, try making kiritanpo. You don’t want to throw away your hot pot broth? Just add udon noodles or rice into it to make a delicious “after meal” snack. You can also use your leftover curry to make curry pasta! Yum! Many of the most authentic Japanese food recipes are based on creative ways to use leftovers!

Cooking Tips

  • Of course, you can make the bread dough from scratch using whatever grains you want instead of using pancake mix.
  • Make sure to put a lot of panko (Japanese bread crumbs) on a surface of the buns. They will make the curry bread crispy on the outside but juicy on the inside.
  • For better consistency, mash all of the curry ingredients using a fork before placing it inside of the bread.
  • We know it’s tempting, but don’t put too much curry inside of the bread or it will explode!
  • Japanese curry usually tastes better on the second day!

Curry Pan

Course Snack
Cuisine Japanese


  • 1 ½ cup Pancake Mix
  • 5-6 Tbsp Cold Japanese Curry, leftover
  • ¼ cup Water
  • 1 Tbsp Mayonnaise
  • Panko Bread Crumbs
  • Frying Oil


  1. Separate Japanese curry leftovers into 4 parts. Mash carrots and potatoes with fork if too chunky.
  2. In a bowl, mix pancake mix, water, and egg. Split into four doughs.
  3. With hand, thinly spread the dough into a circle (about the size of dumpling wrappers, 0.1 inch thick).
  4. Place the curry in the center, and fold the dough in half. Close the gap with fingers of with a fork by pushing the dough together. Don’t fill it with too much curry.
  5. Sprinkle plenty of panko bread crumbs onto the surface.
  6. Heat up plenty of oil and fry them until crispy. Take them out when it looks golden brown.

Find out what makes Japaense curry different.