Posted in The Flavors of Asia, The Grocery Shop-a-holic, The Joy of Snacks

On Kariman

Not healthy, but rather satisfying in itself

It’s not quite a croque-monsieur, but the principle is pretty much the same.  It’s not quite a nikuman or its Chinese equivalent the siopao [char siu bao / taipao / dabao], but again the principle is very much the same.

This, dear SybDive readers, is a kariman – one such example of modern Japanese street food flogged by MiniStop, a Japanese convenience store franchise that is steadily giving 7-11 a run for its money in this part of the world.

Essentially, a kariman is a cross between a meat bun and a fried sandwich.  A meat filling is stuffed into a piece of yeast dough, sealed, dipped in egg wash, rolled in panko, and deep-fried till the outside is golden brown and crunchy to the bite.

Traditionally, the customary filling for kariman would be Japanese-style beef or chicken curry.  (Hence the “kari” part of the name; man is short for manju which means bun or dumpling.)  There are curry-filled buns available, but most Filipinos prefer the sweet, tomato-ey pizza with slices of pepperoni and cheese, old-school ham and cheese, or even tuna.

My personal preference is for the chicken asado kind – and I usually pair that with a vitamin drink for a quick breakfast.  It’s not the healthiest of things, but it does get the motor running in the AM.  🙂



Midge started her career in PR writing at seventeen when she began drafting documentaries for a government-run television station in the Philippines. Since then, she made a career in advertising and public relations which ended in June 2016 These days, she works full time at Philippine Tatler as a features writer under the nom de guerre Marga Manlapig. Aside from what she does for a living and her poetry, she has turned her home kitchen into a personal culinary lab and is currently working on another novel. Follow her on Instagram at @midgekmanlapig.

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