Good Katsu カツ is breaded with crisp and light, crystal-like panko breading and the meat inside is soft and moist. If the meat is chewy and gummy, and/or if the breading is greasy and slimy and drippy………..well, suffice it to say that the chef/cook is not a chef or a cook!
Tonkatsu, is PORK cutlet. Chicken katus, Salmon katsu, and other forms of katsu are also Tasty as hell. I love all the Katsu!
Katsu is the Japanese abreviation for CUT, which is the english word cut from CUTLET.
So KATSU is CUTLET. The original word for Cutlet is the Japanese transliteration: Katsu-Retsu. It is shortened to Katsu.
As with other foods I have mentioned, this food is Japanese. However, the Portuguese were the ones who brought it to Japan in earlier centuries, as tempura (tempreira in Portuguese) was during that period. Before the massive use of soy sauce by the Japanese, the more common sauces such as Ponzu were used in many dishes, including with the Katsu dishes. Recently in Japan, there has been a revival of ponzu sauce use and is gaining popularity there. The more well-known sauce used with katsu dishes is the katsu sauce, which is a rich Asian version similar to worcester sauce.
There are many variations on how the cutlet can be served. All delicious!! There is the traditional way described above, with a little bit of the katsu or ponzu sauce, with rice and a palette-cleansing salad, and perhaps shaved daikon.
There is also one of my ALL-TIME FAVORITES: Katsudon!! Katsudon is when the cutlet is put together with a nice delicate sweet sauce and onions, with eggs, cooked together briefly, then set on top of the rice. Traditionally, it was served in a bowl with a lid on it.
There is also Katsu Curry. The Katsu can be served with Curry sauce. Japanese curry is made differently from Indian or Southeast Asian curry, and has just a few vegetables in it such as potato, onion and carrot, nothing more. So the Japanese curry goes great with the katsu, not distracting from the taste of the katsu.
I’ve included two videos. They are both for katsudon (the egg/onion/cutlet dish).
The first is a good British video version introducing the dish. However, I wanted to also give a cooking instruction for those interested. There are quite a few videos on YouTube explaining how to make Tonkatsu and chicken katsu, but most of them are not very good in translating from Japanese to English, or they are shortened versions that don’t give some of the finer points in good tonkatsu. I’ve included a second video here that does present the best version I’ve found on YouTube to date. ENJOY!! My mouth is getting watery!