Sometimes I see something and plan and plan to try it. Sometimes things randomly appear in the hot container while you’re waiting in line at the convenience store and you decide on a whim to try it. Tonight, while waiting in line to buy something that I also intend to test later, I came across a rather interesting choice for the contents of a Chinese-style steamed bun (bao): Hokkaido potato butter. Hokkaido, for the uninitiated, is the northernmost main island of Japan and known as the bread basket of the nation. Potatoes are tubers that grow in the ground and are in everything and apparently make you fat. Butter is the stuff you put on bread.
Anyways, quickly shelling out the 126 yen cost for the little round bread thing, I quickly dashed (okay, I walked) back to my apartment and dug into the surprisingly tasty vegetarian (as far as I could tell) bun.
The potatoes were somewhere in between mashed and cooked, some in a more solid state that others and tasted strongly of pepper and butter. There were also bits of minced carrots in there and, the theme of this bun being Hokkaido, a couple kernels of corn (Hokkaido cuisine in Japan is usually generalized as being butter and corn in everything). But the prevailing flavor was the unmistakable starchiness of taters which actually was a good combo with the sweetish bun bread.
So my final verdict on this one is a buy. Is it mind-glowingly awesome? No. Is it good for odd convenience store steamed buns? Yes. In fact, I think it’s better than the standard Sunkus niku-man (pork bun) that they usually put out there. So if you happen to find yourself in Japan and in a Sunkus convenience store, go ahead and try the Hokkaido Potato Butter Bun. There are tons of worse things you could spend your 126 yen on.