IntroductionBread is one of the food that human-beings have been eating since ancient era. Though in Japan it used not to be as popular as rice, Japanese bread-lovers have invented new types of bread since it was introduced into Japan in 16th century. On this page, I will introduce some of the breads and pastries you can see in Japan.
I hope you enjoy it☺
Ampan (a bun stuffed with red bean paste)
Ampan is one of the most popular bun which was invented in 19th century of Meiji era. Though bread itself had already existed since Edo era, it wasn’t as popular as today because Japanese people preferred rice.
However, one day a bread-lover, called Yasubei Kimura was wondering how to make bread popular among Japanese people. While he was thinking very hard, he suddenly came up with one idea; he realized that bread in that time was too salty for Japanese people, so he immediately came back home and baked bread, then filled the inside with red bean jam. He named it “ampan” (“an” means red bean paste in Japanese and “pan” means bread in Japanese which technically derived from Portuguese.) Once he began to sell ampan, it immediately became popular among Japanese people, and they gradually started not only to eat but also to create new types of bread.
Yakisoba SandwichBefore I introduce yakisoba sandwich, I need to show you what yakisoba is. Yakisoba is one of the Japanese noodle cooked with small pieces of vegetables including cabbage and carrot, and usually seasoned with Worcester sauce. Though yakisoba is easy and cheap to cook, it has a problem: you may drop some pieces of noodle while you are eating if you are not paying attention to the plate and Worcester sauce often makes stain on your shirt which is very difficult to wash away. Then how did Japanese people solve this problem? I guess you already know the answer. They sandwiched yakisoba with a bread roll! Thanks to this invention, you don’t have to worry about getting stain on your clothes any longer.
Steamed BunIf you are Chinese, you may feel familiar to it. The way to make steamed bun is like Chinese baozi: knead dough and then steam it. The big difference between these buns is whether you put yeast or baking powder. If you put yeast in a dough and let it ferment, then it will be a baozi.
On the other hand, if you put baking powder in a dough, then it will be a steamed bun. Steamed buns usually taste like a sweet dumpling, and you can fill the inside with jam, diced fruits, cream cheese, chocolate …anything! Almost all Japanese kids like steamed buns that their mothers make for their snack.
FinallyI guess you’ve got very hungry reading through this page☺
Although I introduced three kinds of bread and pastries, there are more beside these in Japan. If you were inspired with my Bakery Laboratory and wanted to explore other breads, I recommend you join my tour “Bakery Hopping in Kanazawa”. I’m looking forward to our exploring together! Thank you very much for reading!