If Quentin Tarantino were to make a hard-boiled film about Japanese gangsters, this is how a confession-inducing bowl of katsudon would look under police interrogation. What pinky-less Yakuza lieutenant wouldn’t fold under the pressure of this enticing bowl of breaded, deep-fried pork cutlets? Got noir-i?
- 4 boneless, skinless pork chops
- White pepper, to taste
- 3 Tbsps flour
- 1 egg, beaten
- Japanese breadcrumbs (panko) 1-2 cups
- Vegetable oil, for frying
FOR SOUP STOCK
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- 1/4 cup Japanese sake or rice wine
- 1/4 cup mirin (sweet sake)
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1/2 cup dashi or soup stock
- 1 large onion, sliced
- 1 Tbsp sesame oil
- Steamed rice
- 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
- Small leeks and/or green onions, sliced diagonally
- Nori (dry seaweed), finely cut, to taste, for garnish (optional)
- Prepare assembly line of 3 bowls containing the following (in this order) – flour, egg, panko.
- Season pork with salt and white pepper then dredge in flour. Dip in egg then cover with panko. Set aside.
- Heat oil for deep frying until hot but not smoking.
- Fry pork, turning only once, until golden brown. Transfer to chopping board and slice into half-inch strips while still hot.
- Meanwhile, heat sesame oil in small skillet on medium high heat and add onions. Saute until translucent.
- Pour sake and mirin to skillet and bring to boil.
- Add sugar, soy sauce and soup stock and bring to boil.
- Slide tonkatsu on top of onions and cook for about 2 minutes. Lower heat.
- Pour beaten eggs all over pan, making sure spaces between pork are filled up. Add leeks/green onions.
- Cover and cook on medium heat for another minute.
- It’s ready when eggs are cooked on top but still half-cooked on bottom.
- Fill 4 serving bowls with steamed rice and top each with tonkatsu and omelette. Pour remaining sauce over each bowl.
- Garnish with nori and serve.
DID YOU KNOW?
That it has become a modern tradition for Japanese students to eat katsudon before a major school exam? It’s because “katsu” is a homophone of the verb 勝つ katsu, which means “to win” or “be victorious.”