Katsu is a Japanese deep-fried cutlet. I make mine more like stir-fry, but I do use “Panko Flakes” which are Japanese style bread crumbs. These crumbs are very light and flaky, but larger flakes than store-bought American crumbs. They are more like crackers than bread.
Katsu is served over steamed white rice.
The secret to good katsu is two-fold:
- Milenese cut meat or chicken breasts pounded thin
- Katsu sauce
Katsu sauce is a vegetable and fruit sauce made from sugar, vinegar, apple puree, salt, tomato paste, prune paste, carrots and the old secret “spices.” I’ve never tried to make my own. This sauce is readily found in Asian stores. More and more frequently regular grocery stores are starting to carry it. The only brand I’ve ever seen in the US is “Bull-Dog.” It is also referred to as “Tonkatsu Sauce.”
To make one pound of Katsu: (Serves 3 to 4 people).
Prepare your steamed rice and any vegetable for the meal before you start the katsu cutlets.
Pour approximately one cup of panko style breadcrumbs on paper plate or waxed paper.
In large, flat bowl, beat one egg with 1/4 cup of water.
Dip the meat strips in the egg.
Place the strips, one at a time, on the breadcrumbs. Coat both sides carefully, pressing the crumbs lightly to help them stick.
Add enough olive oil to coat the bottom of a skillet and heat the oil.
Place the cutlets in the hot oil. You only want to turn these once so let the first side cook until the color of the top side starts to turn white. You can lift the cutlets to check the bottom, but try not to do it more than once.
It takes about five minutes for each side to cook, medium heat. If your cutlet is thick (1/2 inch) you will want to cover the pan while it is cooking. Milenese cuts or thinly pounded cuts cook fine without covering.
When both sides have browned, place on a clean paper plate to help drain any excess oil.
For a pound of meat, I use two skillets to cook all the cutlets at the same time.
For serving, cut the meat into strips and place on top of steamed rice. The katsu sauce can be served in a separate dish and used as a dipping sauce or you can make a nice design with the katsu sauce across the top of the cutlet.