The richness in Japanese cuisine is enough to be talked about on a daily basis, it is no wonder that the artistry of different meals in this Asian country are praised all over the world. Social media has amplified such the beautiful yet simplistic decor of japanese food that has allowed millions of people adore the country and the food. Yet Pork Katsu is one of my favorite Japanese delicacy.
Consequently, japanese food recipes have been made readily accessible to many people online and it has become an important lifestyle and food choice in many homes.
Different Japanese food aside, Sushi has crossed the borders of Asia into not just the mouths but the hearts of many people all over the world. Interestingly, many people only attribute sushi to Japan forgetting there are other stellar foods in this country.
One of those exquisite cuisines is the Pork Katsu or traditionally known as the “Tonkatsu”. Katsu for short is one Japan’s favorite food when it comes to interacting with the western style, the simplicity and relative ease of the dish makes you relish every moment.
Tonkatsu is a cut of meat that is usually served with shredded cabbage and a thick sauce called Tonkatsu sauce (of course!). Most times you will usually find rice, “tsukemono” which is pickled vegetables and miso soup by the side of Tonkatsu dish.
The meat is usually seasoned with salt or pepper then dipped in flour and beaten egg. This combination is then finished off by being coated with ‘Panko’ which is breadcrumbs and subsequently deep fried.
However, pork katsu is commonly served with a smooth curry sauce which is gaining a lot of attention in the west.
Origin and Curiosities
It is only right to trace the origin of this sensation of a meal as it continues to gain ascendancy in the world. More people are searching for the origin in a bid to properly uncover the secret of this delicacy.
‘Ton’ in Japanese is known as Pork while ‘Katsu’ is called Cutlet.
However, the beauty in simplicity dates as far back as 1899 at a Tokyo restaurant called ‘Rengatei’. The dish was originally called Pork Katsuretsu (cutlet) from the time of birth until 1930 where the name ‘Tonkatsu’ was adopted.
In a bid to make Japan identify as part of the modern countries, Emperor Meji during his tenure encouraged for western influence to carry the country into a realm of sustainable growth and development.
Consequently, the traditional way of making Katsu using beef was abolished hence the introduction of pork, as a result of Western culture, became the new norm for preparing the dish.
From this development, Katsu had different variations since deep frying has become the standard. Since then we have had dishes like Torikatsu which is the same as TonKatsu except that the former is made with chicken while the latter is prepared with pork.
Other variations include fish and vegetables which are also gaining popularity. Interestingly, there are more than two other variations to Katsu dishes and each of them are gradually capturing audiences from all over the world.
- Katsu Sando:This smooth yet rich variation of katsu is usually served as a filling for Sandwich. It is common for children and workers who are tight on their schedule to opt for this choice. It is really easy to make without any hassle whatsoever.
- Katsudon : If you love to eat rice with egg then Katsudon will be just the perfect variation of Katsu for you.
- Hamu Katsu (Ham Katsu): This variation is considered to be an alternative to tonkatsu when on a budget.
- Menchi Katsu: Minced meat which is accompanied with bread and then deep fried.
- Fish Katsu: Traditionally, this dish is known as ‘Saengseonkkaseu’ which is a cutlet of Korean fish.
Perhaps, one of the most popular variations of Katsu will be the Katsu-karē. This dish is very popular for its simplicity and taste but the availability of the ingredients in Japanese homes and restaurants makes it even more renowned. Who would have thought that Katsu and curry were an undeniable love affair waiting for expression.
Pork Katsudon vs Pork Katsu
Pork katsudon’ might be regarded as the only contender for the coveted prize of best Katsu dish from Japan. Although the title is not real but the close contention is, Pork Katsudon originally termed ‘Tonkatsu Don’ sometimes confused by non-japanese natives with Tonkatsu has its own unique way of preparation.
Pork Katsudon is the addition of Pork Katsu to its dish. It is a typical Japanese rice bowl dish saturated with slices of pork Katsu and egg. This rice bowl dish is commonly called ‘Donburi’. In retrospect, Tonkatsu is the topping and addition to the Tonkatsu Don dish.
Another way of juxtaposing the two dishes is based on their mode of preparation. Although they are used interchangeably, each dish has its specific methods.
Pork Katsu on one hand is pork cutlet seasoned with salt and pepper, coated with white flour and dipped in beaten egg. This combination is then covered with bread and deep-fried in lots of oil.
The brown bread deep-fried covering is known as the ‘Panko’, served with shredded cabbage. Pork Katsu is normally eaten slice after slice separate from plain rice.
Japanese natives enjoy pork Katsu with a special thick sauce called ‘Tonkatsu Sauce’ and ‘Karashi’ (yellow mustard). It is also been appreciated worldwide in combination with Yakiniku Sauce, a sauce usually seen on grilled meat in Japan.
Pork Katsudon on the other hand is a bed of rice topped with Tonkatsu slices and egg. The Tonkatsu slices are allowed to simmer in a soy-based sauce which is covered by egg and then placed on a bowl of hot rice.
As similar as these dishes are, they have their differences which are glaring if you look closely.
Pork Katsu curry recipe
The irresistible partnership of katsu and curry has been shattering barriers all over the world. The dish has penetrated to different parts of the world becoming one of many restaurants’ favorite picks.
Its popularity owes to the ease of preparation and the small amount of ingredients needed. For a pork Katsu curry dish, all you need to have these essentials: curry powder, flour and oil. Other Ingredients are necessary but these aforementioned ones are the pride of the pack.
You can as well get pre-made curry in vacuum-sealed bags. All you need to do is to reheat it in boiling water and it becomes ready for use. Although, Pork Katsu curry dish is easy to make, you can be a little bit creative with your mix.
Incorporating an exclusive mix of flavours and texture can add a wholesome feeling to the dish especially on cold evenings.
Here are the list of ingredients alongside the ‘pride of the pack’:
- ½ packs of panko breadcrumbs
- 2 -3 cubes of Japanese curry.
- 4 tablespoons of plain flour
- 2 pork loins
- Vegetable oil for frying
- 300g cooked Japanese rice.
- 1 egg
- 1 onion preferably a large one.
- 1 potato
- 1 carrot
How to prepare
Peel the onion neatly. Cut the onion, carrot and potato into small chunks.
Chop the vegetables then add it into a large pane. Thereafter pour water halfway into the pan. Just enough to make the vegetable soak in the water.
Boil the water with the soaked vegetables inside the pan. Let it stay on fire for 20 minutes, this will allow the vegetables to soften. Sometimes it might take more than 20 minutes for the vegetables to soften depending on how much vegetables you put in. You need to constantly check when it is softened.
As the water is boiling, prepare the rice also. This will save you time and stress.
Remove all the fat from the pork by seasoning it with salt and pepper.
Let the pork coat with the plain flour at this time. Cover the mixture of the coated pork with freshly beaten egg. Thereafter, dip the pork which is already covered in egg, in breadcrumbs and deep-fry in vegetable oil.
Remember the vegetables? Add 2-3 blocks of curry roux to the mix and allow it to settle for 10 minutes. Then stir the mix till the curry sauce is thick and smooth.
After deep frying, cut the katsu into strips and lay them on the bed of rice. Add your curry sauce and garnish your ready made Pork Katsu curry anyway you want. Take a drink while you are at it too.
It is no wonder there is an insatiable crave for this recipe all over the world with new variations being developed to suit different taste buds. The beauty in the simplicity of the recipe makes the dish even more enticing. The fact that anyone anywhere can enjoy this meal is truly rewarding.
In the space of an hour, you can have dinner ready and not miss a moment from your favorite show. It is that easy.
In conclusion, Japan is blessed with a whole lot of wholesome delicacies that can be made easily at home. Asia in general has ushered the food community into a new era of finger licking and tongue tingling goodness especially with the Pork Katsu Curry dish.
I hope you enjoyed this article, if you would like to discover more about Japanese Cuisine visit our dedicated section here.