Gopan: we make bread from rice!

28 Mar

Gopan is a unique bread maker that Sanyo invented. It enables us to make bread from rice at home. This idea is supported by the young Japanese people who prefer bread to rice. At first it was scheduled to be available in Oct. 2010, but it was postponed to Nov. 2010 because of too much feedback from the people who got curious about this unique machine. Then no matter how hard Sanyo kept manufacturing Gopan, they never reached the number of (potential) orders. Hence they even stopped receiving reservations or orders since Dec. 2010. They finally accept reservations from this April.

NHK’s Cool Japan the other day was showing how Gopan was invented. The development team has been working on the project since 2003. They struggled so much until they finally reached a solution how to grind rice as fine as flour.

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It’s a good idea to use rice instead of flour to make bread in Japan, because we can grow rice in our own country without relying to other countries except for special cases. In fact, Japan has enough stock of surplus rice, while at the same time we have to import most of food from other countries. It’s a good idea to eat what we can grow in our own country. That also will support our local agriculture and farmers. But what’s happening here today is that young people don’t like to eat rice very much. They often like bread a lot more than rice. (I say they because I like rice definitely!) It’s said nowadays the consumption of rice in Japan is only half of 1950’s.

Gopan should be quite helpful for those who are allergic to flour, inside and outside Japan. I don’t know if it’s available in some other countries in the near future but it’s kinda cool we can bake bread either from flour or rice. Of course when we use rice, the texture should be a little different from normal bread that is made from flour. But I don’t think the rice bread baked inside Gopan is inferior to flour bread. I wish I could get it at home but I have another problem that my kitchen is too small to place it anywhere…. 😦

By the way, the naming Gopan comes from Gohan (meaning rice in Japanese) and Pan (meaning bread in Japanese, which is actually an imported word from Portuguese in our history around the 17th century.) Japanese people like to name something like this. 🙂

I really hope to try Gopan by myself. Maybe in the future when Sanyo can produce smaller Gopan enough to fit into my kitchen. :p What do you think about this gadget?


35 Responses to “Gopan: we make bread from rice!”

  1. winnie March 28, 2011 at 11:38 am #

    Hi Kirin,
    I also like rice. And I must eat rice at least one time a day. If I did not eat rice on that day, I feel so restless and uneasy!!
    As for bread, we normally will buy wholemeal bread or not total white bread because white bread is not good for digestive system.
    I would love to have bread made of rice too. But this Gopan is too big for my house to have.

    • kirin March 29, 2011 at 5:23 am #

      I have no extra space to locate a Gopan or any bread making machine in my kitchen. T_T But I like rice better, so…I guess I'm happy with my rice cooker that makes good steamed rice. I'd feel the same way as you; if I don't eat rice, I feel I'm missing something. In other words, I could live with rice for breakfast, lunch and dinner but I never can think of that with bread or noodle. Usually I eat bread for breakfast, rice or noodle for lunch, and rice for dinner. ^ ^

  2. nao March 28, 2011 at 1:46 pm #

    hello Kirin. thank you for that information. i read some time ago about Japanese rice-bread making machine that should be in sales last autumn. so your news is very much in time. i wonder to know about a price, and is it in sales?
    as for me, i eat rice almost every day.

    • kirin March 29, 2011 at 5:25 am #

      Gopan is sold at around 70,000yen (USD875) online, so offline shops (such as discount shops) may be little more expensive than that.

  3. Amika March 28, 2011 at 2:39 pm #

    We would love to have this in the USA.
    Sounds like a great product!

  4. Patty March 28, 2011 at 2:55 pm #

    That is a cool invention… I'm so thrilled that the Japanese are so innovative, always thinking outside the box to increase usage on day-to-day things into accommodating modern lifestyle. I would buy one, especially when my husband is allergic to gluten (i.e. wheat) having Gopan would help eating bread again.

    • kirin March 29, 2011 at 5:27 am #

      I hope they will start selling Gopan overseas in the near future because like your husband, there should be allergic people who cannot eat bread made from wheat.

  5. sedonia2 March 28, 2011 at 4:10 pm #

    That is a fabulous invention, Kirin. I swear if that machine becomes available here in the US I will probably get one. Rice bread is readily available here in the supermarkets but to have it fresh and homemade like that seems much better and you can make it all the time just pouring the rice and water into the machine. The bread looked wonderful too. It's great for us here who have allergies to wheat and gluten. Thanks for sharing that. I will keep it in mind to see if that machine will be sold here too. 🙂

    • kirin March 29, 2011 at 5:28 am #

      It's made by Sanyo. Maybe you could ask Sanyo USA. ^_^

  6. nao March 28, 2011 at 4:17 pm #

    hello Kirin. thank you for that information. i read some time ago about Japanese rice-bread making machine that suppoer to be in the market last autumn. so your news is just in time.i wonder to know if Gopan is already in shops.

    • kirin March 29, 2011 at 5:29 am #

      I guess so, as I can find it from online.

  7. ilovemamegoma March 28, 2011 at 5:11 pm #

    Wow! That is awesome. I want one! My mom has celiac's disease so she can't digest wheat. She eats bread made out of different flours like rice flour. However, breads that are made out of different flours are much more expensive to buy from the store. I wish I could buy her a Gopan!

    I eat wheat bread every day, but I also eat white rice or brown rice frequently too. I love both!

    • kirin March 29, 2011 at 5:30 am #

      Sounds like this Gopan is a great innovation in the world!!

  8. laura March 29, 2011 at 1:02 am #

    Oh man, that is amazing. The bread looks amazing! If it were up to me, I would eat rice everyday. I LOVE rice. I can't help but love it! But my husband isn't Asian and doesn't like rice as much as I do. He's more of a potatoes/bread kind of person, which made me FAT! I dunno if I'd use the bread maker, but it's a cool gadget!

    • kirin March 29, 2011 at 5:32 am #

      Most Asian people prefer rice, right? But nowadays many Japanese young women prefer breads.
      I love rice a lot more than bread!! I'll never get bored of rice!! ^ ^;

  9. StephanieMvl March 29, 2011 at 4:17 am #

    Cool !!…in my country we eat everything with rice for lunch and dinner. I loved the 2nd video…it looks like a facebook game !! farmville or something 🙂

    • kirin March 29, 2011 at 5:34 am #

      Haha, the 2nd video seems to be created by Japanese government, Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries of Japan.

  10. Apple March 29, 2011 at 5:09 am #

    Oh I've tried bread from rice before and it's sooo filling! -__-" I don't like it. Actually I just don't like bread… I think rice is so much better!!! I LOVE RICE! haha!

    • kirin March 29, 2011 at 5:35 am #

      I don't dislike bread, but I like rice a lot more!!

  11. meeker beeker March 29, 2011 at 5:53 am #

    That is so cool!
    I actually bought some rice flour a long time ago (it is probably expired now D:) and never did anything with it!
    On the package it said you could make bread but it would be a lot more dense than wheat bread. I wonder if the Gopan machine makes it more fluffy? It looks really fluffy!
    Either way I would love to try rice bread!
    Oh and I love rice too. My family eats it almost everyday 😀

  12. Kaoru March 30, 2011 at 1:59 am #

    this is such a cool invention!!! i would love to have it! You can always be a baker at home!!! add some raisins and it becomes raisins bread!
    but it seem to cost a lot!!!

    • kirin March 30, 2011 at 12:02 pm #

      Right, nearly USD900 is a lot of money! XD

  13. Cath April 2, 2011 at 3:33 am #

    If I buy it, I'd better use it often! It's so expensive… =P I wonder if it's available in Singapore's Isetan.

    • kirin April 3, 2011 at 1:09 am #

      Exactly! If we use it more often and eat meals at home, it's possible after all the cost was cheaper compared with the case we dined out frequently. :p

  14. Steven Stier April 3, 2011 at 4:28 pm #

    This is a very interesting blog. Some of your comments say that they have bought rice bread in the stores. I will look for it because it looks delicious. But you never said whether or not you had tried rice bread. I could not afford $800. for a gopan but I already own a bread machine used to make regular bread. I do not see why a gopan would be so much more expensive. Perhaps I can fine rice bread recipe online that will work in my bread maker. The second video was interesting too. I believe that as the price of energy continues to rise that we will be forced to return to buying local foods again. And that is a good thing.

    • kirin April 4, 2011 at 11:58 am #

      In Japan, most of us are very particular about rice and we wouldn't mind spending as much as USD1000 or more for a rice cooker. Gopan is a special bread maker that allows us to make bread from rice, not even rice flour, but rice.

      But as for me, I have never tried rice bread made by Gopan (this should taste different from rice bread made from rice flour). No matter what, I have no space in my small kitchen to locate this machine and I've already spent USD900 or so equivalent amount of money for a rice cooker that fix great rice from non-premier rice. I'd rather keep using it for over 10 years to get a return on my investment.

  15. Steven Stier April 6, 2011 at 10:03 pm #

    The music in the second video sounded familiar and I have been trying to remember where I had heard it before. Now I remember, it sounds familiar to a "Unilock" video I saw on youtube.

    . Someone named Mepmonkii posted it and called it Unilock with music" Check it out. It is very kawaii.

    • kirin April 7, 2011 at 11:31 am #

      I like to hear you say it's kawaii! ^____^

  16. Cora April 17, 2011 at 10:47 pm #

    The bakery near my campus have sold this kind of bread, it only supply the unpolished rice toast.
    But the price is higher than white toast… I guess I would try it next time.

    By the way, the idea of rice burger is good , too.
    I don't know whether Kirin you like it or not, but I really think it's yummy~

    • kirin April 18, 2011 at 11:37 am #

      Speaking of rice burger, MOS burger is popular in Japan.

      But I personally prefer bread burger, as long as it's a burger even though I like rice more than bread. When I eat rice, I may eat meat and vegetables with rice and actually I don't need to make burgers in that way. lol

  17. Alan May 4, 2011 at 11:03 pm #

    This is pretty awesome, and I would love to get it. It seems as if this isn't available in the USA, though. 😦

    • kirin May 5, 2011 at 2:54 am #

      I guess it will take time (maybe a few years) until you can buy it in the U.S, because it's just too popular in Japan. Productions are behind reservetion orders. (I don't know how to say, but do you get what I mean?) Too many people make a reservation and the number of reservation (orders) are way more than the available stock in Japan. Sanyo is busy keeping up with orders in Japan now. 😉

    • Brooke July 26, 2011 at 5:51 am #

      Hi Alan,

      They are available on Amazon.Com right now, for double the price in Japan. Or, there is an online shop I just found called JapanGoodsFinder.Com, where they are more reasonably priced.

      I just received mine a few days ago. Not from either of these sources, though. We are currently in S. Korea for a short time and our friend from Japan flew over to visit. We asked him to bring one over for us. 🙂

      • jenny August 1, 2011 at 5:59 pm #

        hi brooke,
        i am very curious to hear your experience with the gopan machine.
        how is the bread?
        have you tried to make it with brown rice?
        i was recently in japan where and bought rice bread in the bakery and loved it. it is definitely different than wheat bread but i really enjoyed it. i cannot eat gluten so i have been considering taking the plunge on the gopan but weary because i havent heard what the outcome tastes/feels like.
        if you could let me know what you think that would be great.
        thank you very much in advance,

  18. Nataly May 9, 2012 at 9:35 am #

    I finally got mine. I bought it here:
    I hope this helps

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