21 April 2010

From Leftovers to Food On-the-Go

If you happen to have leftover Japanese-style curry around (as I did recently), kare man is another delectable way of eating it.  Kare man refers to manju--Japanese steamed bread buns--containing Japanese curry filling (kare referring to curry, and man referring to the bread).  The varieties of manju are virtually endless and come in both sweet and savory forms, with the curry-filled version among the more traditional.  Stuffed bread seems to be one of those foods that is present in every food culture, so although I had never tasted kare man until making it myself, I have eaten foods that follow that same concept of bread with filling; as a child, for example, Hawaiian manapua (steamed bun with meat filling, similar to Chinese bao) was well-stocked in the family freezer.
Besides providing an excuse to eat more bread as well as changing up the curry-with-rice routine, once cooked, kare man can easily be refrigerated or frozen then reheated in the microwave (or resteamed if microwaves aren't your thing), making a very convenient grab 'n go snack or small meal.  And it happens to be pretty simple to make.  I followed this kare man yeast dough recipe, using a 1:1 ratio of whole wheat and all-purpose flours.  Then I filled the dough with my Japanese curry leftovers (although the version given with the dough recipe looks mighty tasty, too) and steamed them as directed.  The dough can be made with baking powder instead of yeast, but I prefer the loft and flavor of yeast-risen bread over those that are chemically-leavened.  Once steamed and cooled, the buns can be eaten or stored, as mentioned earlier.  I prefer to freeze them so that I can grab one at anytime throughout the next few weeks or so, if there are even any left at that point.  There is no need to thaw the kare man before reheating; just put them on a plate, cover with a damp paper towel, and microwave for a few minutes (time varies with the amount being reheated) until warmed through.  Easy, right?  If you like bao, curry, bread, and handheld meals, you should give kare man a try.  And while you're at it, experiment with whatever dough flavorings and fillings you fancy (um, Choco Man, anyone?), letting your creativity and appetite inspire you.

4 comments:

  1. Please come and cook for me!

    ReplyDelete
  2. This sounds like such a great alternative to eating curies with rice all the time. I can only imagine a lovely doughy hug surrounding a warming curry. Deeeelicious!

    Have a lovely day!
    xox

    ReplyDelete
  3. Mihl,
    I'll cook if you bake! :) hehe

    Mandiee,
    Thanks! It is like a doughy hug! And who doesn't love bread/dough (or hugs, for that matter)?

    ReplyDelete
  4. This sounds like such a great alternative to eating curies with rice all the time. I can only imagine a lovely doughy hug surrounding a warming curry. Deeeelicious!

    Have a lovely day!
    xox

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for reading! Your comments are always welcome and appreciated. :)