Chūkaman(中華まん)is the Japanese word for “Chinese steamed buns” and in this category, we also have the pork buns, known as nikuman (肉まん) in Japanese.

The konbini (convenience stores) in Japan sell a lot of varieties of these steamed buns, and the most frequent are pizzaman (ピザまん), nikuman (肉まん), curryman (karēman / カレーマン) and anman (あんまん), the latest filled with azuki beans paste.

You can find these four types at any convenience store when the weather is starting to get colder.  They keep it in front of the cash register where you can also spot the kara-age 唐揚げ (fried chicken), yakitori 焼き鳥 (grilled chicken), and so on.

Sometimes, they come up with different appearances for the steamed buns or unique flavors and pairings.

During these past years, I’ve seen so many interesting flavors in Japan, including many steamed buns in the form of various characters (such as characters from the popular anime Yokai Watch, for example).

Now, the popular convenience stores: Lawson, Family Mart, and Seven-Eleven have come up with new flavors, and in this article, I will introduce them to you:

1. Lawson’s Mentai Mochi Chīzu Man (Mentai mochi cheese bun 明太餅チーズまん)

Photo by © cinnamonellie

Let me start with Lawson’s Mentai Mochi Cheese Man (it’s such a long name, I know!) as it is the first one I tried and my favorite one, too.

Mentai or mentaiko means pollock roe, and mochi is a Japanese rice cake (sticky and delicious).

Photo by © cinnamonellie

As the name suggests, this chūkaman is filled with roe, a piece of mochi, and cheese (mozzarella and gouda).


It is pink on the outside, and the filling is rich in flavor, satisfying, and delicious.

I liked the chewy texture of the mochi and the combination of mentaiko and cheese.

It costs only 130 yen (tax included) and is a great snack, so I recommend trying it out.

You can find more information here.

2. Lawson’s Kuroge Wagyu Sukiyaki Man (Japanese black beef sukiyaki bun 黒毛和牛すき焼きまん)

Sukiyaki is a type of Japanese dish served in a hot pot, and I feel that it is such an innovative creation that mixes the flavors so harmoniously to create a perfect balance and filling for the steamed bun.

It uses Japansee black beef, red wine, konjac, mirin, and an egg-yolk sauce to bring the flavors together.

It will be on sale starting from the 17th of November, so don’t miss it!

You can find more about it here.

3. Seven Eleven’s Sumōku Kaoru! Chīzu Nikuman (Fragrant smoky cheese meat bun スモーク薫る!チーズ肉まん)

This steamed bun is a smoked cheese nikuman (meat bun) that uses three types of cheese in combination with juicy pork meat, which results in a smoked scent (kaoru being the word for 'to smell / have an aroma' in Japanese) and a richer flavor!

It costs 140 yen (including tax), and it’s a must-try!

Check their official website for more information.

4. Family Mart’s Chīzu Karēman in collaboration with Coco Ichibanya

Coco Ichibanya / CocoICHI is a food chain that specializes in curry.


Usually, their curry flavors are in Japanese style, and now they have teamed up with Family Mart to create the perfect Curry-man!

The bun has a spicy filling, and curry mixed with three types of cheese, and it costs only 130 yen (tax included)!

Check the Family Mart official website for more information.

These are the newest chūkaman additions to the convenience stores in Japan. Have you tried it out yet?

By - cinnamonellie.