Katsudon is a popular Japanese bowl dish that consists of tonkatsu, or breaded deep-fried pork, and eggs cooked in a sweet and salty broth and placed over rice. Katsu, or cutlet in Japanese, refers to meat that’s been pounded thin before being cooked. Don, or donburi, identifies this as a bowl dish. Katsudon is hearty compared to other donburi but the taste is so good that you will not mind the extra calories from the oil used in the deep-frying the tonkatsu. In fact, you may not notice the greasy deep-fried taste at all because of the tasty broth.
In Japanese culture, katsudon is considered soul food - the symbol of a tasty a warm mean that can melt even the coldest part of your heart. In fact, it was central to a TV detective drama. In one episode, a criminal gets interrogated by a tough detective intensely first, and then the detective asks if the criminal wants to have kastudon. While they eat, the detective asks how the criminal’s mother is doing in his home town in the country, and as you may guess, the criminal confesses with tears.
Katsudon in a typical lunch dish in Japan and it is available at many casual restaurants, such as udon oodle shops, small corner restaurants, and bento shops. However, for those of us outside of Japan, here's an easy recipe to make this satisfying dish at home.
Preparing katsudon takes a bit of work because the tonkatsu has to be prepared first, and thus you cannot cook everything at one time in one pan. However, it's not as difficult as you might think.
- Season the pounded pork chops with salt and pepper, and dust with a light, even coating of flour. In one shallow bowl, beat 1 egg. Put the panko into another shallow bowl.
- Add thin, even layer of oil to a cast iron pan or skillet over medium heat. The oil is ready when you throw a panko breadcrumb into the oil and it sizzles. Dip the pork into the egg to coat.
- Transfer the pork to the panko and press it evenly into the meat to get a good coating.
Carefully lay the pork chops in the hot oil and cook for 5-6 minutes on one side, until golden brown. Flip and cook the other side for another 5-6 minutes.
- Drain on a plate lined with a paper towel.
- Slice your tonkatsu into pieces.
- Put the dashi soup stock in a pan and cook on medium heat.
- Add soy sauce, mirin, and sugar to the soup and bring to a boil. Stop the heat.
- To cook 1 serving of katsudon, put one quarter of the soup in a small skillet.
- Add one quarter of onion slices in the soup and simmer for a few minutes on medium heat.
- Add 1 serving of tonkatsu pieces to the pan and simmer on low heat for a few minutes.
- Beat an egg in a bowl.
- Bring the soup to a boil on medium heat, then pour the egg over tonkatsu and onion.
- Turn the heat down to low and put on a lid.
- Turn off the heat.
- Serve 1 serving of steamed rice in a large rice bowl, then place the simmered tonkatsu on top of the rice. Repeat the process.