What is the most popular food in Japan?
You would be wrong if you said sushi.
Breaded and deep fried pork cutlets, tonkatsu, is one of the most popular meat dishes consumed daily in Japan. Noodles in one form or another are #1 most popular, no doubt.
Breaded cutlets are well loved in Japan and the rest of the world for that matter. Think fish sticks and chicken nuggets. Cotoletta and chicken parmigiana in Italy, weiner schnitzel in Austria/Germany and in Spain filette empanado to name just a few countries with well known breaded and fried meats. Katsu comes from the word cutlet, presumably because a cutlet of pork or chicken is cooked in this way.
In Japan katsu is usually made using pork or chicken cutlets but other types of meat as well as fish may be used. It is often served with a pile of shredded cabbage on the side with a slice of lemon for dressing the “salad”. Make it using your favorite protein the first time because the process can be a little confusing but once you get the hang of it, you will be sooo thankful you went the distance.
When you are unfamiliar with the manner of cooking it goes slow but after you get through that initial feeling of “what have I gotten myself into”, clean up the mess and taste the results, you will look forward to the next time your family demands you make it again. Believe me, they will.
The breading process of dredging in flour and then dipping into egg and finally coating with bread crumbs can be a little messy. Unless you are actually Japanese, I think, because my Japanese mother- in- law NEVER makes a mess when she cooks.
An essential condiment for pork katsu, and chicken katsu is called Bull-Dog Sauce aka Tonkatsu sauce. If you are not familiar with this very popular condiment, which can be found at many local grocery stores in the Asian food aisle, the flavor resembles something you get if you combine ketchup and Worcestershire sauce but 10xs better. Bull Dog sauce is the perfect balance of a variety of fruits and vegetables and goes with many foods besides those that have been deep fried. For example, my entire family uses this sauce on egg salad sandwiches.
I make Japanese meals on average 3-4 times per week so I am always stocked with those ingredients I need for Japanese food as well as the typically Western food I make. I actually have 2 pantries so to speak. If you love sushi and teppanyaki and want to incorporate more healthy Japanese food in your repertoire, here are some things I suggest you keep handy.
Essentials for the Japanese Pantry
Soy Sauce( Yamasa)
Miso Paste (White or Red or a blend of white/red)
Panko Japanese Style Bread Crumbs
Rice Vinegar (Marukan)
Sushi Vinegar (Marukan)
Breaded Chicken Breast - Chicken Katsu
- April 28, 2020
- 1 hr
- Print this
- 2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breast
- 1/4 c butter/vegetable oil for frying
- 2 c panko crumbs
- 2 eggs
- 1/3 c flour
- Step 1
- Cut breasts into 2-3 smaller tenders then place between wax paper and use tenderizer to thin each piece to same thickness
- Step 2
- Set up your production line of 3 shallow containers: 1. flour 2. whisk eggs very well 3. panko crumbs
- Step 3
- One at a time, dredge each chicken piece in flour to coat and tap off excess. Next dip floured chicken piece into egg to coat, allow excess to drip off, then coat with panko crumbs and press all over. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes before cooking to allow the crumbs to adhere
- Step 4
- Heat 4 T oil and 2 T butter mixture on high place 4-5 pieces of chicken in pan not too close. Brown for 3-5 minutes one side and then 3-5 on the other til golden brown.
- Step 5
- Remove to tray lined with paper towel to drain. Repeat until all tenders are cooked through