Tonkatsu is a pork cutlet made by dipping pork into a beaten egg and dredged in Panko (bread crumbs), then slowly deep fried until the meat has a golden-brown crust. The word tonkatsu is broken down into ton (pig) and katsu (cutlet). Generally, tonkatsu is served as a set (teishoku) almost always together with shredded cabbage, rice, miso soup and mustard on the side. Tonkatsu may be made from one of two cuts of pork: rosu or hire. The choice of rosu-katsu (loin cutlet) or hire-katsu (fillet cutlet) is a matter of personal preference. Rosu-katsu is juicier in taste as it contains marbled fat while hire-katsu is less fatty. Hire-katsu tends to be more expensive since it comes from a scarcer part of the pig.
What is it?
Crispy and Rich in Taste
Other Forms of Katsu
Although tonkatsu is the main dish, there are many other katsu dishes that appear on the typical restaurant menu. Katsu-don is another common type of katsu dish. It consists of tonkatsu mixed with a lightly scrambled egg cooked in a sweet and salty broth together with sliced onions. This combination is served on top of bowl of rice. The word “don” or “donburi”, is literally translated as bowl dish. Katsu-curry (pork cutlet curry over rice) is sliced tonkatsu served over sweet and mild tasting curry with rice. Katsu-sando, a pork cutlet sandwiched between slices of fluffy milk bread, is available as a take-away sandwich at some restaurants.
Last but not least…
It’s an old superstition in Japan that consuming tonkatsu the day before a big event such as a sports game or an exam brings good luck. This is because the “katsu” in tonkatsu literally means “win.”