Junk Food in Japan: Mochi Mochi ‘Mushi Pan’ Steamed Bread

While it might be hard to believe, and I am not ashamed, some junk food in Japan really captivates me. This quasi-junk food, mochi mochi mushi pan, or steamed bread has got me. I haven’t been able to get over it for a year now so I thought that I ought to introduce it on KyotoFoodie. It is quite interesting stuff!

Mochi Mochi ‘Mushi Pan’ Steamed Bread もちもち蒸しパン

I first became acquainted with steamed bread in Western China. In China the steamed bread that I have had was usually filled with minced meat, spices and vegetables. In Japan, steamed bread, called mushi pan, is something that I have heard a lot of Japanese friends profess their love for, but I was never really into it. I am a REAL bread aficionado. I am really into all the Kyoto and Japanese cuisine you see on KyotoFoodie, but there is just nothing better to me than good bread and good butter. And where I come from, bread isn’t steamed.

Being steamed does create a very interestingly textured bread. It is quite heavy and wet. But mushi pan is usually sweetened with beans. I am not into that.

Then I met Mochi Mochi Mushi Pan, and I am a steamed bread fan!

Mochi Mochi Mushi Pan – Junk Food Package
Junk Food in Japan: Mochi Mochi 'Mushi Pan' Steamed Bread  もちもち蒸しパン

How Does Mochi Mochi Mushi Pan Taste?
’Mochi mochi’ refers to the Japanese mochi rice cake made from sticky glutinous rice. Mochi mochi is a playful, onomatopoeic adjective that illustrates the heft and stickiness of this bread. This product is intended to be the meeting of steamed bread and mochi, and this sort of texture appeals very much to Japanese.

The taste is not very ‘bready’, it reminds me a bit of pancakes,  though too soft to be just a thick square pancake on the convenience store shelf. It really is something unique.

The bread is said to be milk caramel flavored. I picked up the caramel well, not too sweet though. But I didn’t get any milk flavor.

The top of the bread is pleasantly golden brown so it is not only steamed. At the end it must be exposed to direct heat from a flame or broiler. While taking a bite the aroma of grilled pancake and caramel is obvious, but not overdone.

The texture, the look and feel, the aroma, the flavor, everything is so perfectly done that this could only have been created in a laboratory. Alas, it is certainly junk food. But what junk food!

Mochi Mochi Mushi Pan is for sale in many of the convenience stores (Lawson and 99 Shop) and supermarkets in my neighborhood. It costs between 100 and 120 yen, depending on the store.

Mochi Mochi Mushi Pan – Served
Junk Food in Japan: Mochi Mochi 'Mushi Pan' Steamed Bread  もちもち蒸しパン
Mochi Mochi Mushi Pan
Junk Food in Japan: Mochi Mochi 'Mushi Pan' Steamed Bread  もちもち蒸しパン

Mochi Mochi Mushi Pan – detail
Junk Food in Japan: Mochi Mochi 'Mushi Pan' Steamed Bread  もちもち蒸しパン

22 Responses to “Junk Food in Japan: Mochi Mochi ‘Mushi Pan’ Steamed Bread”

  1. TK says:

    Been there done that:) If I wasn’t full of watermelon it might have been today’s snack.


  2. Arun says:

    Admittedly, the texture does look quite nice, like a thick pancake. If this were readily available I’d probably eat it all the time!

  3. Peko Peko says:

    Hello Arun, Yes, I have become rather addicted to this one! Be careful!

  4. Linda says:

    I want to try it!

  5. angryparsnip says:

    I am a big Lawson’s fan and the triangle rice balls are the best. I really love the steamed breads there is one that is more of a light pound cake not heavy but sponge like that I adore also.

  6. Peko Peko says:

    Hi TK, Somehow I missed your comment last time around. Full of water melon, eh? Sounds like something good to be full of on these hot summer days!

    Hello Linda, Yes, you try! You try!

    Hello angryparsnip, Yes, Lawson is the best conbini in the world, I think. Family Mart is a close second and sometimes surpasses Lawson. But overall, I’d say that Lawson is the best. The Japanese really know how to do junk food!

  7. yen lee says:

    Hi Kyoto foodie,

    I really enjoy your site. Thank you for sharing so much with us. Your info is my bible when travelling to Kyoto. Incidentally, we are travelling to Tokyo this winter, can you recommend a great english site like yours which provide insight into where the locals often eat.

    Thank you

  8. Sounds interesting. I’ll have to look for this when I’m there in October. I really love the steamed cheesecakes.

  9. diva says:

    oh i do want to try this now. it looks sorta like Chinese steamed cake!

  10. macha says:

    will try this next time.
    Am wondering if you could recommend any mochi confectionary shops in Kyoto.
    I usually get my mochi fix from the kombini. Had one wif chocolate powder sprinkled on earlier this year & i think its was either from sunrise or 7 11!
    yeah japanese kombini rocks !
    Great website and would love to read more about foods in Kyoto! Am hoping to visit in November and have started to plan my food menu … ……..

  11. Peko Peko says:

    Hello yen lee, Thank you very much for enjoying my site! I aim to please! Unfortunately, I don’t know any sites like KyotoFoodie for Tokyo. How about going over to our Support Forum at OpenKyoto and asking the question. I bet you will get your answer before this winter.

    Hello Marc @ NoRecipes, Yes, you look! You look! (Imitating Miwa again.) Try at the 99 Shop. I think that I am addicted.

    Hi diva, I checked out your piks of Spain. Looks like lots of fun! When are you coming to Kyoto again? Yes, the seed for this one is definitely Chinese steamed bread, or at least, that is what I definitely think. But then it has the texture, feel, taste and aroma of the finest Japanese junk food, developed and perfected in a laboratory. Oh yes!

    Hello macha, You try! You try! Mochi, confection shops, hmmm… Oh, how about going over to our Support Forum at OpenKyoto and asking the question. I bet you will get your answer before November.

  12. Kathy says:

    I’m a professed melon bread-aholic, but I have to say that mushi pan is really, really good too. At the moment I’ve got a craving for the cheese flavoured one that is sold at conbini -yum!

  13. Looks like a cakey pancake!

  14. Orchid64 says:

    These things are always great, but soooo fattening. Many of the cakes in Japanese shops have hefty calories. Do you know the calorie count on this?

  15. Peko Peko says:

    Hi Kathy, You know, I have never found a cheese flavored mushi pan in a conbini that blew me away.

    Hi there pigpigscorner, Pancakey indeed. I stopped by your blog, nice! I love this recipe: http://www.pigpigscorner.com/2009/01/sweet-and-sour-pork-ribs.html

    Hello Orchid64, Everyone checkout Orchid64’s site, Japanese Snack Review. Great info!

    Mochi Mochi Mushi Pan weighs in at 353 kcal. Ah, a bit more than I would have expected. I guess I will have to cut down!

  16. Eriko says:

    OMG, I didn’t think I will see this bread on this site! Im from Japan, that bread is absolutely one of my favorites! We have all kinds of bread. Mochi (rice cake) seems like going along with anything. We also have mochi chocolate (mochi inside) and its delicious as well!

  17. […] over Japan. Even in the suburbs of old Kyoto there are a few now. (Even this Kyoto foodie gets his favorite Japanese junk food at the 99 Yen […]

  18. Usman Makhdoom says:

    Holy…I thought I’d never see Mochi Mochi again.

    I used to buy it religiously this past Ramadan when I was in Tokyo (August/September) for a few weeks, from the local Seiyu in Fujimino, Saitama.

    Then one day, they simply stopped appearing on the shelves. I checked every other day for the next three weeks to no avail.

    At 28 I’ve lost my taste for junk food but this – this was something else. Man I miss it.

  19. […] Mochi Mochi Mushi Pan, a steamed bread with a mochi-like texture is my current favorite Japanese convenience store junk food. (Not that I eat much from convenience stores, but I do enjoy observing their product development and marketing campaigns.) I was very happy to find a new variety of mushi pan that I like very much. Like Otokomae Tofu sweet cream bread, this one is a ‘korabo‘ between Otokomae Tofu and industrial bread maker Pasco. […]

  20. […] an meiner frisch ausgebrochenen Mushi Pan Manie ist KyotoFoodie, da gibt es Bilder von einem Mochi-Mushi-Pan und auch einem mit Tofu. Es sieht so unglaublich […]

  21. Bronwyn says:

    English steamed pudding is just steamed but gets brown on the outside too. You don’t need direct heat. The pudding is steamed INSIDE a metal or ceramic bowl, and it’s the bit that touches the bowl, which does get to 212°F (100°C), that goes brown. The bowl sits in boiling water.

  22. Danielle says:

    omg tht mochi mochi looks so good 🙂
    and whats the dessert that is like a round black cake and it has like a coconut filling. i had it china town but dont remember wat it was called and it was so good.

    hey check out my videos.

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