Sun's out (Kare) Pan's out.

Savory, spiced and warming, the invocations of the unassuming Kare Pan (Japanese curry bun) remain those of tenderness and nostalgia; with its crunchy exterior gradually giving way to a beautifully fluffy and steamy interior, it truly makes for the kind of fare shared by hands that care.  

Confected with the BRUNO Hot Sand Maker you too can easily prepare and share this heartwarming bun with your little ones! This uncomplicated recipe opts for a pancake mix base to bypass having to work with a temperamental bread dough, and utilizes instant Japanese curry roux to make a simple but flavor-packed filling.

Where traditional Kare Pan is deep-fried to attain its crispy surface, this rendition tends towards a waffle-like crunch and does so requiring far less oil in the process so it's healthier too! You can even maximize the modularity of your Hot Sand Maker and bake up these adorable fish-shaped buns with the taiyaki optional attachment for your Hot Sand Maker for a child-friendly September holiday project or as a quick and easy school day breakfast from the heart.  

Delving into the details 

Involving the young ones

  • This recipe involves some amount of hands-on kneading and dough rolling. These playdough like prep elements make it good fun for kids to lend a hand, making it an amusing introduction to cooking with some help from mom or dad! 
  • While many other dough-based baked goods can be volatile, this recipe is comparatively forgiving as it uses premixed flour, making this dish as foolproof (and childproof) as they come. 

Pancake mix

  • Any pancake mix, Japanese or western, should suffice for this dish. While these products differ in their resulting pancakes, this should have no bearing on this recipe as the stylistic differences are more a result of divergent techniques.
  • Different pancake mixes may have varying hydration requirements. To control for this, first adhere to the measurements in this recipe then asses your dough while kneading. The resultant dough should be elastic and sticky, but still pliable. Add more pancake mix if it feels too wet, or amend with water if it gets too tough.    


  • For a quick and easy filling, use any store-bought Japanese curry roux; we enjoyed using a sweeter variant flavoured with apple and honey.
  • You may have to adjust the amount of curry roux you use based on its saltiness, this would range between 30 to 45 g for this recipe. 
  • Last night's curry can be gifted a new lease on life! If you happen to have leftover Japanese curry, put it to good use by refrigerating it to let it set then just use it as is stated in the recipe skipping the "curry filling" step.


  • With the BRUNO Hot Sand Maker’s nonstick plates, no oil is required for the baking step! Simply add the prepared buns to the Hot Sand Maker and they should slide out easily with a spatula when done.


  • These curry buns can be moulded beforehand and cooked fuss-free when you need them, making this a convenient yet homemade breakfast item.
  • After stuffing and assembling the buns, simply wrap each uncooked bun with cling film and refrigerate overnight, this will be ready for toasting early the next day.  

Experiment with shapes

  • For this recipe we enjoyed utilizing the the optional fish plate for the BRUNO Hot Sand Maker to make cheeky and cute aquatically themed Kare Pan. The regular Jaffle (sandwich) plate also works for this dish resulting in a more substantial bun. 
  • When constructing the buns with these different attachments be sure to modulate the bun sizes like so: 
    • Fish/ Taiyaki plate: split the dough and filling into 12 portions.
    • Jaffle plate: split the dough and filling into 6 portions. Halve hard boiled eggs instead of quartering them.




(Makes 12 fish-shaped buns with the taiyaki plate attachment): 


Curry Filling

  1. Set your Bruno Multi Grill Pot (BRUNO Hotplates work for this too) to “MED”, and lightly oil the pot. When the pot is hot, add minced chicken, and stir-fry for 2 minutes.
  2. Add minced onions and stir-fry for another 3 minutes or until it is translucent. 
  3. Mix in the Thai basil, curry roux and water till a homogenized sauce is formed, reduce heat to “LOW”, and simmer covered for 5 minutes.
  4. Turn off the heat and spread the filling over a wide flat tray to cool it down. Leave this curry aside to cool and set for at least 2 hours. 


  1. Add pancake mix, salt, water, and oil to a large mixing bowl. Stir the mixture with chopsticks and within a minute, the ingredients will come together to form a dough. 
  2. Knead this dough with your hands for a further 3 minutes to properly incorporate all the components. Knead within the confines of the mixing bowl to avoid a mess, and oil your hands prior to prevent sticking.


  1. When the dough is elastic and sticky yet easy to shape, transfer it to an oiled chopping board and with a knife, divide it into twelve equal pieces. Roll these portioned dough pieces into balls.
  2. Likewise, divide and roll your now chilled and malleable curry stuffing into twelve balls. 
  3. Flatten the dough balls and stuff each with a curry sphere, and boiled egg. Nestle fillings in the dough piece and pull the sides of the dough up to envelope it completely. Pinch the ends together and twist to seal each parcel. With both palms press each uncooked bun into an oblong rugby ball-like shape, this will help the bun retain a presentable shape when pressed in the Hot Sand Maker. 
  4. Finally, toss each uncooked bun in panko breadcrumbs to coat it, this should adhere readily to the doughy buns.      


  1. When ready, simply pop two uncooked buns into the fish-shaped moulds of the BRUNO Hot Sand Maker. With your fingers roughly squeeze the dough into an oblong fish-like shape so the dough will better conform to the mould. Close the lid, engage the clip to secure the device, set the timing knob to 5 minutes, and leave to bake. 
  2. Open up the Hot Sand Maker after 3 minutes of cooking and use tongs to laterally switch the places of the two buns around for even cooking. Close it again, and allow it to continue cooking till the timer “dings”.  
  3. Extricate your Kare Pan from the Hot Sand Maker with tongs and a spatula. Chow down while still warm. Enjoy~    


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