Coffin Bread, what a name for a food. Well do you know why is it named like such? Well the real deal apparently looks like a coffin. So what is it?
Coffin Bread or Guancai Ban is a type of bread bowl where coffin shaped bread is deep fried then filled with a starchy soup of seafood, vegetables and chicken which most probably was inspired by the Western chowder. A dish originated in Tainan which was created by Hsu Ji during the 1940s in a food and entertainment filled market called “Shakaliba” . The shape and the name led to its popularity hence since its invention different vendors copied the dish and even brought it outside of Tainan.
Basically this dish is a chowder but instead of serving it in bread bowls it uses “Pain de Mie” which is basically a loaf of bread. Pain de Mie is then sliced thickly roughly at least 4 to 5 cm thick to allow enough depth of cavity for the chowder to be served on. This bread is then deep fried until crispy. For best results the bread used are the stale ones as the freshly baked are still moist for deep frying.
For our recipe I did not make my own bread, I am a very lazy when it comes to baking but if you want to make your own one here is a good recipe for “Pain de Mie” otherwise I suggest you to buy an uncut white sliced bread. You will not find this in a supermarket, at least not from where I live so I have to pay a visit to a proper bakery and request for an uncut one, I got mine from Bakers Delight.
Another adjustment I made to the recipe was not deep frying it as it can become really oily and would waste a lot of oil so I instead baked it but brushed butter all over the place to give it a good flavour. You can fill this with any chowder you like but I am sticking with a similar chowder used in this Taiwanese dish.
Coffin Bread or Guancai Ban is a type of bread bowl where coffin shaped bread is deep fried then filled with a starchy soup of seafood, vegetables and chicken which most probably was inspired by the Western chowder.