There are many kinds of Katsu (かつ) in Japanese cuisine. Tonkatsu (とんかつ) is probably the most popular outside of Japan. So much so, that Katsu Sando (Tonkatsu Sandwich) is becoming very popular in the US. You may already know about some of the other Japanese Katsu dishes like Gyukatsu (牛かつ) or perhaps even Croquette (コロッケ). However, some of you may not be that familiar with all these various Japanese Katsu dishes, so I would like to talk a bit about them and share my love for everything Katsu!
My love for Katsu (especially Menchi Katsu)
My love for Katsu is strong. I’m pretty sure that one of the things that made me fall in love with katsu was that my mom was really good at making pretty much any kind of Katsu and we regularly ate it throughout my childhood years. It was my Japanese soul food that I couldn’t live without. It’s hard to say which one is the best, but if I had to make a choice, I would say Tonkatsu is my favorite!
And I remember, when I was pregnant with my son, I was craving Katsu so bad, that I had to eat it whenever I see it. I had some hesitation to eat Katsu so often while I was pregnant and I remember thinking if it’s really fine for my little peanut growing inside me, but I couldn’t stop thinking about Katsu and nothing could stop me from having them ;P
Japanese Katsu’s growing popularity in the US
It seems Tonkatsu and Katsu Sando has started to become very popular in the US. Tonkatsu is basically a deep fried version of the American pork chop, and who doesn’t like deep fried food? 😉 But people are so busy these days, what if there was a more convenient way to eat this tasty dish, perhaps in the form of a sandwich. That’s how the Katsu Sando came about. Here is a photo of what it looks like, doesn’t that look tasty!
What do you eat Katsu with?
The way I like to eat Katsu is simply by itself, so that I can enjoy the tastes and flavors of those simple ingredients. However, if I put something on it, I usually pick soy sauce. I think Tonkatsu sauce is well known and popular as Katsu sauce for most of the various kinds of Katsu, but for vegetable Katsu, some go well with Ponzu. Try if you haven’t! 🙂
There are other ways to enjoy Katsu, like Katsu curry rice (かつカレーライス), Katsudon (かつ丼), and Katsu Curry Udon (かつカレーうどん), etc. When I make Tonkatsu, I sometimes make more than the amount I serve to my family for dinner. I use the leftover pieces in a different katsu dish (like in the below pictures) the following day for lunch.
What is Menchi Katsu?
Now I would like to introduce Menchi Katsu. If you describe Menchi Katsu in a simple way, it is a deep fried minced beef ball. You make minced beef into ball shapes like this:
And dress them up with flour, beaten egg, and bread crumbs (パン粉), and then deep fry it in heated oil.
Yum, I can hear the sizzling sound from this picture and it’s making me want to have them right now!
If you want to know how to make Menchi Katsu, please let me know in the comments below and I will prioritize adding it to my growing list of recipes just for you!
Here is a photo of a recent Menchi Katsu dish I made for my family…Eat Well, Be Happy!
Read more about Tonkatsu in this blog post: Tonkatsu and Tonkotsu: Do You Get Them Confused?