Baked Curry Pan with Lamb
Curry pan, or fried bread filled with savory Japanese style curry, has always fascinated me, except for one minor thing. The frying. I know that as a Southerner I’m supposed to love all things fried and crispy. And I do adore fried things. But sometimes you just have to get away from the grease, especially when you’ve invested the time and energy in wiping down all the oil spattered cabinets.
A baked version of the treat can be just as lovely. An abundance of panko (Japanese bread crumbs) layered on top of the buns just before baking adds plenty of crunch without having to drag out a deep pan and frying oil.
Be sure to use Japanese curry. Thai style curry will yield a very different result. Blocks of the Japanese variety can be found in most supermarkets.
Curry Filling – Make this ahead and allow it to cool completely for best results. I make mine the day before and keep in the fridge. Just be sure to wrap it well so that you don’t eat it all before it’s time to make the buns.
- 1 lb ground lamb
- 1/2 onion, diced
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 blocks Japanese curry
- 1 carrot, diced and boiled
- 1/2 potato, diced and boiled
- 2 tablespoons frozen peas
- good handful minced green onions
1. Heat enough oil in a skillet to coat the bottom. Add the onions and cook them until they begin to turn translucent. Add the ground lamb and cook until it is no longer pink. Drain away the oil and set the lamb onion mix aside.
2. Bring the water to a near boil. Add the curry blocks and stir to dissolve. You can add a couple of splashes of water if necessary. The goal is to end up with a ketchup consistency paste. Stir in the carrot, potato, peas and green onions. Add the lamb onion mix and stir well. Allow the curry mix to cool completely.
- 1 cup water (about 110 degrees F)
- 1/4 cup oil
- 1/3 cup honey or molasses
- 2 1/4 teaspoons yeast
- about 3 1/4 cups all purpose flour, plus more for rolling
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 egg
- 1 cup panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
- 1 egg white + 1 teaspoon water
1. Place the water, oil, honey and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer. Attach the dough hook and mix for a couple of seconds. Allow the mixture to set for about 5 minutes or until the yeast gets foamy.
2. Add 2 cups of the flour, the salt and 1 egg to the bowl. Mix well. Add more flour, about 1/4 cup at a time allowing each to mix well. You want the add enough flour to make a dough. Not too stiff, not too wet.
3. Mix the dough for 5 minutes. Cover the bowl with a towel and place in a warm spot. Allow the dough to rise until doubled in size. This may take 45 minutes to 1 1/2 hours.
4. Generously flour a work surface. turn the dough onto the surface and flatten. Use a rolling pin to roll the dough into a thickness of about 1/4 inch. With a circle cookie cutter (about 3 in), cut dough into circles. You may re roll the dough once and cut more circles.
5. Flatten the circle. Place a generous helping of the lamb curry filling in the center of each circle. Pinch the edge of the dough up and around the filling tightly. You should have little oblong parcels. Place each parcel 1 inch apart seam side down on a sheet tray covered with parchment paper. Let the buns rise again for 30 minutes.
6. Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Brush each bun with the egg white water mix. Cover each bun with a generous amount of panko. Bake the buns until golden, about 20-25 minutes.
7. Eat hot off the pan. Store leftover buns in the fridge. Reheat in the oven before serving. These buns also freeze well.