Katsudon

Katsudon is basically a delicious pile of rice, breaded and fried pork, onion, and sauce all stuck together with egg. It’s downright amazing. Thank you Portugal for bringing frying to Japan!

KONBU-KATSUOBUSHI DASHI
Adapted from Japanese Hot Pots: Comforting One-Pot Meals

Ingredients
8 cups water
2 (6-inch) pieces konbu
1.5 oz. dried, shaved bonito (about 3 packed cups)

Equipment
Timer
Stock Pot, large enough to fit 8 cups and then some
Large Spoon with Holes
Tongs (optional, but convenient!)
Fine sieve (chinois) or cheesecloth

Dashi is that delicious base stock that is used in most all Japanese sauces. The sort I like to make is called Konbu-Katsuobushi Dashi, where konbu means kelp and katsuobushi means dried and smoked bonito (a fish related to tuna), and dashi, you guessed it, is stock or broth.

Place konbu in the bottom of a large stock pot and pour the water over top. Let this steep for 30 minutes. Now, place the stock pot over medium heat and bring to a boil. Once boiling, use your tongs or large spoon with holes to remove the konbu. Stir in the bonito. Decrease the heat to low and let it simmer for 5 minutes. While it simmers, use that spoon with holes to skim off any foam that comes to the surface. If you skip this step, you could end up with a really bitter broth. Now, turn off the heat and let it steep for 15 minutes. Strain the liquid through a chinois or cheesecloth.

Makes About 6 Cups.

TONKATSU
Adapted from About.com

Ingredients
4 boneless pork chops
1 large egg, beaten
1/2 – 1 cup panko
1/4 – 1/2 cup flour
2 c peanut oil
Salt & Black Pepper

Equipment
Large straight-sided, heavy skillet with tall sides
3 bowls for breading process
Plastic or glass cutting board (or bleach your wooden cutting board after putting raw pork on it!)
Small knife
Tongs
Paper towels
Thermometer with probe that goes up to 375ºF or so, preferably a digital one with a temperature alarm ($10-20 purchase that you’ll use over and over!)

Pour the peanut oil into the skillet and set it on the stove. Get your thermometer set up in the oil and turn the heat to medium.

Set up your dredging stations: One bowl with flour and salt, one with egg, and one with panko. Put your pork out onto your cutting board and use the small knife to poke holes in that meat! Now, each piece goes through the assembly line!

Flour, egg, then panko. Make sure to pat the panko on firmly.

Your oil is ready when it is up to 340ºF. Now, don’t just throw all of that breaded pork in at once! For one, the oil temperature will drop with each piece you put in, so it’s important to keep an eye on that thermometer screen. Use the tongs to hold each chop in the oil without touching the bottom for a second before dropping them in to prevent sticking. So long as the oil stays between 340ºF and 350ºF, keep adding it on in. If not, wait until the oil is back up to temp. If the oil gets too hot, turn the heat down.

Each side should fry for about 5 minutes. Pull finished pork chops out and let them drain on a paper towel-covered plate. If you’re going to eat that Tonkatsu straight, make sure you check the internal temperature (at least 145ºF) by inserting the thermometer probe into the fattest part of the meat. For Katsudon, though, a little underdone is alright. It will finish cooking in the next few steps:

KATSUDON
Adapted from About.com

Ingredients
1 1/2 cups medium-grain rice, uncooked
4 pieces tonkatsu, sliced into long strips
1 onion, thinly sliced
4 green onions, sifflet (cut super thin and on a bias)
1 1/4 cups dashi
1/3 cup Japanese soy sauce (lower salt content than Chinese or Korean, bottle should say “shoyu”)
2 tablespoons mirin (rice cooking wine, not rice vinegar!)
1 tablespoon sugar
4 eggs, beaten

Equipment
Rice cooker or a medium saucepan with a lid
Large saucepan with a lid
Cutting board
Chef knife
Fork or whisk
Measuring cups and spoons
Small bowls

Cook rice by the package instructions. Meanwhile, pour the dashi into the saucepan and heat over medium.

When simmering, add the soy sauce, mirin, and sugar and bring to a boil. Add onion and reduce to a simmer for a few minutes, until the onions are tender.

Then add in all of the tonkatsu and simmer for 5-10 minutes, until the pork is cooked through.

Now sprinkle on the green onion.

Pour the beaten eggs over.

Cover the pot, and take it all off of the heat.

You could also skip the lid and pop the whole pan into a 350°F oven to finish the egg. Serve over rice!

2 thoughts on “Katsudon

  1. Sounds delicious and easy enough to make. I ate this a few times in Japan, but kind of forgot about it. I will have to make it now! Thank you

  2. I’ve used Panko ever since you introduced it to me while making this dish on Morning Dew! Looks so yummy in your pics! Pls come down to SoCal and make it for us again! : )

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