Filipinos have a deep love for bread, agree? That’s why we can easily make a list of Pinoy bakery products we love to eat. But have you ever tried any from the also-delicious world of Asian bakery breads?
Wait, do Asian countries eat bread? Absolutely! Asian countries have a strong bread culture, with numerous Asian bakeries across different nations offering a wide variety of delightful Asian bakery breads for everyone to enjoy.
That’s why even if we hold our cherished pan de sal close to our hearts, there’s nothing wrong with expanding our bread-loving horizons. Keep reading to discover twelve enticing creations from different neighboring Asian countries. All these on our Asian bread list are guaranteed a must-try!
A Word About These Asian Bakery Breads
If you’re not familiar with Asian bakery bread, you might be tempted to do what others do: classify all kinds as products of a Chinese bakery. We can’t blame you, since China is probably the most well-known Asian country in the world.
However, doing that wouldn’t be fair to a lot of these products, as China isn’t the only one that produces traditional Asian-style breads. While China certainly boasts a rich baking heritage, it’s important to recognize the diversity and regional specialties of other Asian countries. Asian bakings can be products from Malaysia, Japan, and Taiwan.
Got it? Good. Okay, now… On to the actual breads!
A Kopi Roti or a coffee bun is a delectable bun topped with a crispy, coffee-infused crust and delicious butter on the inside, offering a harmonious blend of sweetness and a hint of caffeine. The coffee bun is a 2002 creation of a restaurant in Penang, Malaysia, called Rotiboy.
See? Not all Asian bakery breads are from China!
What makes this a must-taste? Well, consider the fact that there are a lot of shops that offer only this offering. Now, even Western coffee shops offer them!
Maybe because a coffee bun is not only filling but is also a great way to enjoy coffee without actually making one or buying a cup. They’re pretty convenient to eat while you’re on the go, too!
Originating from Hong Kong, the polo bun is also called pineapple bun, but ironically, it’s not really an Asian pineapple bread. It doesn’t contain any pineapples, after all! These Chinese bakery buns do, however, have a top crust pattern and texture that resembles a pineapple’s skin.
Oh, and the “pineapple skin?” It’s crumbly, buttery, makes a delightful crunch when you bite into it, and encases a very fluffy interior. In short, it’s very satisfying to eat!
Polo or pineapple buns came into popularity thanks to Tai Tung Bakery, a bakery in Yuen Long, Hong Kong that has been making 1,000 buns daily since 1943. Before long, the Hong Kong government declared the polo bun as an intangible cultural heritage.
Although it’s already delicious in its original form, many variants of it have surfaced, such as polo buns filled with pork, butter, and even actual pineapple. Because, well, why not?
Ham and Egg Bun
This Asian egg bread with ham that also originates from Hong Kong is pretty basic: it’s a ham and egg sandwich. But doesn’t it look cool?
It’s not only a visual treat, though. It’s can satiate your hunger and is a great option for breakfast when you’re in a hurry. Two or three of these should fill you up… but at the same time, might leave you wanting more, especially variants that also contain cheese.
They’re that good!
Ever had pizza cravings but stopped at ordering one because it’s just too huge for one person? This Asian pizza bread is your answer! It’s smaller and in the form of a bun–great for small servings or for an individual who wants pizza but can’t eat a lot!
The origins of the name “treasure roll” aren’t clear. How to best describe this, though? Well, think of it as a Swiss roll bread, the Asian version.
This kind of bread can be made of different fillings such as chocolate, custard, or even pork floss. We guess the treasure is finding what’s inside when you unwrap or bite into it.
Floss bread is a pastry that came from Taiwan but was popularized by BreadTalk. The visually appealing floss is typically tender pork or beef. Bakers use mayonnaise to stick the floss to the soft and fluffy bread.
It makes for a delicious burst of savory goodness and a rich, umami taste in your mouth!
And if for some reason you’re abstaining from beef or pork, you don’t have to worry. You can still try out this Asian bread bun recipe since there are now other variations that use fish, rabbit, and duck. You’ll have to go to China to experience these, though.
Sink your teeth into a savory delight with the sausage roll. This popular pastry enjoyed in Asia, Europe, and Western countries, comes in various variations, featuring different sausages and types of dough.
Whether made with puff pastry or dough, this savory treat is sure to satisfy hunger and become a quick favorite for you, your family, or your customers. Its versatility allows you to customize and tweak it to your liking, making it a versatile option to enjoy or sell. It looks pretty cute, too!
Cheese Bread with Streusel Topping
Cheese bread needs no introduction in the Philippines–we love our cheese bread! But this one is different: it combines the flavors of cheese and the sweet streusel crust!
But what exactly is streusel? Derived from the German term meaning “sprinkled” or “topped,” streusel is a topping made from butter, flour, and sugar. Adding it to the bread will give you a delicate, crumbly texture and a touch of sweetness to pastries, such as the topping in your buko tart.
Now, picture this irresistible streusel adorning your homemade soft and flavorful cheese bread—a delightful combination that truly tastes like a slice of cheesy heaven. YYou’ll experience the perfect balance of sweet and savory in every bite!
Finally, Japan makes an entry into this Asian bakery breads blog article with the AnPan! For such a cute bread, it’s ironically made by a former samurai. It’s a fluffy bun topped with sesame seeds and filled with sweet red bean paste, providing a delightful balance of softness and sweetness.
This sweet Asian bread is a must-try for those with a penchant for Japanese cuisine–eating like the locals if you will. The red bean paste takes some getting used to, though. But hey, if it was good enough for an emperor to have the bread supplied to them on a daily basis back in 1875, it’s more than good enough for you!
Sausage and Veggie Salad Bread
Love bread, meat, and vegetables? Have them all in one delectable bite! This soft bun filled with savory sausages and a refreshing mix of crunchy vegetable salad combines flavors and textures that are both satisfying and nutritious.
It’s a healthier option for snacking as well–can’t go wrong with being healthy, right?
Japanese Cream Pan
Simple yet irresistible, Asian butter bread showcases the rich and creamy flavor of butter with a sugary twist. Soft, fluffy and cutely shaped, this bread is perfect for enjoying as is or pairing with your favorite spreads or fillings.
What’s so special about this, you ask? Well, you’ll have to try one to find out. And believe us, it’s worth the try!
There are a lot more Asian breads out there, to be honest, but this list is already a good start if you want a unique bread experience. They’ll not only tickle your taste buds but also showcase the creativity and artistry of Asian baking traditions.
And if you’re a bread-loving baker who also wants to expand your food business, trying these Asian bread dishes gives you the opportunity to diversify your offerings and get new customers. With distinct flavors and textures, these breads can become possible hits in your home bakery, your cafe, or even as specialty items for your online food business.
Embrace the flavors and artistry of Asian bakery breads, and watch your culinary venture thrive!
Want to learn how to make Asian bakery breads?
If you’re thinking about putting up your own version of an Asian bread bakery, The Bailiwick Academy has two classes by Chef Jimbo de Pandero that can help you do that! Oh and incidentally, these courses teach you how to make exactly what’s on this list!
Presenting Asian Breads 1:
Where you’ll learn Chef Jimbo’s techniques in making:
- Coffee Buns
- Polo Buns
- Ham and Egg Buns
- Pizza Buns
- Treasure Buns
- Floss Bread
- Cheese Bread; and
- Sausage Buns
And one of his newest classes, Asian Breads 2:
In part two of learn Chef Jimbo’s popular class, he’ll continue with teaching four additional Asian bakery breads:
- Sausage and Veggie Salad Bread
- Japanese Cream Pan
- Butter Bread
In both classes, Chef Jimbo de Panadero will meticulously lead you through every phase of the journey – from combining and kneading the dough to forming and perfecting the baking of the bread. You will gain insights into the distinct ingredients and methods that lend a unique character to Asian breads. And most importantly, you will acquire the confidence to venture into crafting your own delightful renditions.
So what are you waiting for? Sign up at The Bailiwick Academy and start your own Asian bread shop today!
Keep coming back to The Bailiwick Academy blog for more kitchen tips, tricks, and much more!