You are here


Anpan is a Japanese sweet bun which generally contains a filling of red bean paste. The anpan recipe can also be prepared with different other fillings like shiro-an or white beans, goma-an or sesame and kuri-an or chestnut. The recipe of anpan happens to be the oldest in Japan where all bread recipes are concerned and it is also believed that the concept of bread was popularized in Japanese cuisine only after the people had tasted anpan.

History of Anpan Recipe

The anpan bread was first discovered during the Meiji period in the year 1875, by a samurai named Yasubei Kimura, who had lost his job after the dissolution of the social class samurai and the Imperial Army rose to power. This era was also the phase in Japan’s history when the country was increasingly westernizing and many samurais who were losing their jobs were given the western job of a baker. Yasubei Kimura started his own bakery called “Bun'eidō” being inspired by westernization and in 1874, immigrated to Ginza renaming his bakery as “Kimuraya,” and in order to bring a better tasting bread than the lesser liked salt and sour Japanese bread of that time, he discovered the recipe of anpan. The recipe of this bread was figured out by following the Japanese bread making technique “manju” with the traditional yeast “sakadane.” Kimura filled the bread with wagashi made of bean paste and was sold to the locals, who become very fond of the snack. Soon word of mouth spread and a time came when Kimura was requested by the Meiji emperor to be served by anpans everyday, which made the bread popular throughout the country. Thus, this Japanese bread anpan has been in popular existence for 120 years and evolved into several interesting variations ever since.

Ingredients Used and Popular Methods of Preparation of Anpan Recipe

Ingredients required for making the anpan dough include flour, egg, sugar, salt, instant dry yeast, warm water and butter. For the filling red bean paste is used whereas for the topping black sesame seeds are generally used. The dough is kneaded and rolled flat and circular and then, some filling is scooped on to the rolled out dough. The dough sheet is then gathered around the filling and the seam is sealed. After that, the dough is allowed to risen, after which, its surface is brushed with butter, sprinkled with sesame seeds and baked.

Serving and Eating Anpan

Anpan is eaten as a snack and is often served with sesame seed or poppy seed toppings or berry jams. Popular Variations in Anpan Recipe Some of the popular Japanese variations of anpan are Jam pan, Uguisu pan, Cream pan, Curry pan, Koppe pan, Melon pan, An donut, Chocokorone, Croquette pan, Yakisoba pan, Katsu sandwich and Amashoku, which are either fried breads or bread rolls with different fillings.

Health and Nutrition Facts of Anpan Recipe

One piece of anpan yields 186 kcal of energy and is rich in calcium, phosphorus and carbohydrates.

Anpan: Trivia

  • The popular anime superhero “Anpanman” has a head made of anpan.

  • In the visual novel “Clannad,” Nagisa, the heroine, eats anpan to motivate herself.

  • The character named Dr. Andounuts from “EarthBound” who loves eating anpan-filled donuts is named after the dish.