Turtle Bread – Melon pan recipe

I remember the first time I saw melon pan on cookingwithdog (a japanese cooking channel on youtube), I thought this bread was melon flavoured. Surprisingly, it did not contain any melon at all. I believe it got its name based on the way it looks, similar to how chinese pineapple buns got its name.

I’ve always been curious to try them but was too lazy to make it. I got to try it when I went J-town (Japan town) but instead, I had the matcha version of it in the form of a turtle bread. I thought it looked so adorable that I wanted to try making it myself. A few years later, after a few online tutorials, I finally got around to making this turtle bread.

Turtle Bread

Melon Pan

I actually had to make this recipe twice because I messed up the first time round. I also realized things I could’ve done better.

The first time I made this, I followed the instructions from cookingwithdog to a T. The problem was they used instant yeast in that recipe whereas I had active yeast. I soon learned that you have to activate the active yeast in water first before I could use it whereas with instant yeast, you could just mix it in with your dry ingredients right away. I also failed to dissolve the dry milk powder in warm liquid leaving my dough with a strange grainy texture.

When I made this the second time round, I activated the yeast in warm water. I also dissolved the dry milk powder in there as well to get rid of that grainy texture. The dough was much better the second time round.

After the dough has completed its first proof, I put on the turtle backs. I simply added some matcha powder to the cookie dough recipe to help give its signature green color. Though the original recipe said that I should keep it in the fridge so that it’s easier to handle, I found it easier for them to be a bit warm so that it’s more malleable.

cookie dough

I wrapped the cookie dough around the proofed dough and dipped the turtle shell in sugar.

Wrapping the dough

After coating it with sugar, I scored the turtle shell with its signature diamond pattern using a pastry cutter.

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We’re Back from Japan! Here’s a Highlight of our Food Adventures

Hello everyone!

Sorry for the radio silence, we went on a 2 week vacation to Japan and got back not too long ago 🙂 We had a really great time having visited Tokyo, Kyoto, Miyajima Island, Nara, and Nagano. Each city was very unique and they all had their own local specialities as well! For example, Miyajima Island was famous for their oysters and anago (sea eel). Nagano was famous for their Buckwheat Noodles.

We think the great thing about Japan aside from their unique culture is that no matter where you go eat, it’s very rare to stumble across food that won’t taste good. We think their standards when it comes to quality of food is generally just a lot higher, especially in Tokyo since it is one of the food capitals in the world.

As major foodies (and the fact that this is a cooking blog dedicated to food), we had to document all of our food adventures but if we were to post all of our photos, you would be scrolling for days! So we just picked some of our favourites to share with you 🙂

Shofu

The photo above is one of the many decadent dishes we had in Shoraian, a restaurant hidden in the forests of Arashiyama, the outskirts of Kyoto. They specialize in tofu dishes but aside from that, you can see that they take great attention to detail even in their plating presentation.

cute food

Even the food they presented us there were super cute. Check out this frog (made from what seems like an Edamame bean) sitting on a rock which they placed on a leaf lily pad. Adorable!

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