For those who have visited or lived in Japan, it's often mentioned as a favorite sweet and one of the foods that they miss once they've left: melonpan. A sweet bread very similar to Mexican conchas or pineapple buns in Hong Kong, these pastries are made from an enriched dough and covered in a thin layer of crisp cookie dough with just the right texture.

Melonpan waiting to be purchased in a Japanese bakery. | Sakurai Midori / CC BY-SA 2.1 JP

Due to the ongoing novel coronavirus pandemic, many have had to cancel or postpone their travel plans to Japan. Unless you're a good baker and know the recipe or happen to have a Japanese bakery nearby, the melonpan lovers among you may have already resigned yourselves to going without your favorite Japanese sweet for the indefinite future.

But wait...

Although we can't give you an authentic melonpan, thanks to home lifestyle content creator nidones (@nidones), we can show you a simple 10-minute recipe for melonpan toast which could be the next best thing.

Melonpan toast recipe by nidones

All you'll need is a slice of white bread (Japanese shokupan or milk bread, is ideal, but any white bread will do), 15 grams of melted butter, and two tablespoons each of granulated white sugar and all-purpose flour.

Reproduced with permission from nidones (@nidones)

First, mix the melted butter and sugar. You can easily do this by putting both solid butter and sugar into a microwavable dish and heating at 600 W for 30 to 40 seconds. Then add the flour and mix until you've formed a consistent and well-blended dough as you can see in the image above.

Reproduced with permission from nidones (@nidones)

With a spatula or the back of a spoon, spread the dough evenly and smoothly onto the slice of white bread. Then, taking a knife, make a crosshatch design with intersecting diagonal lines. Tip: If you want to reproduce the melopan's characteristic texture, be sure to cut deeply into the dough (but not through to the bread).

Reproduced with permission from nidones (@nidones)

Heat in a toaster-oven until the edges of the bread are well-browned.

Reproduced with permission from nidones (@nidones)

Serve and enjoy!

Their post on Twitter went viral, with over 274,000 likes and 51,000 retweets at the time of writing.

You can see how it's done in this video on nidones' YouTube channel:

After you've watched the melonpan section, play the video from the beginning to learn other easy-to-make "arranged toast" recipes, such as:

  • Laputa Toast: If you saw the Studio Ghibli classic animated film Laputa (Castle in the Sky), you may recall the delicious-looking fried egg on toast. (We have more Ghibli recipes here).
  • Marshmallow Chocolate Toast
  • Bacon French Toast
  • Strawberry Anko (sweet red bean paste) Butter Toast
  • Avocado Tuna Toast
  • Apple Cinnamon Toast

Nidones links

The name nidones comes from 二度目から目がさめたら nidome kara me ga sametara, meaning "What if you woke up after going back to sleep once?" Their content has a laidback kind of vibe, with the premise of a couple enjoying their new life together in an apartment using mostly products from MUJI and UR.

You'll find more recipes, recommendations and tips for things you can do to enjoy your life at home on their social media accounts. Here are the links:

By - Ben K.