In Japan, there exists an amazing and yet simple dish called katsu – which can be translated as cutlet in English. It features meat that has been lightly crumbed, then deep fried and served with a variety of accompaniments ranging from a pile of cabbage, rice, or even a tangy mysterious katsu sauce. It truly is a mouthwatering dish that definitely keeps me coming back for more.
On top of that, there are so many different varieties that make this dish a delicious surprise every time! Traditionally katsu is made using chicken or pork using either the loin or cutlet pieces, which is then covered in light bread-like crumbs and deep fried. It’s simply delicious! However, the question is- what is the best katsu in Japan?
Let’s start with a curry katsu. This dish is created using your choice of chicken or pork on top of a bed of rice which is then covered in a mild to medium spiced curry sauce. Depending where you go, the curry can also include vegetables and even small pieces of beef sometimes. It is considered a staple dish on the menu of cafes and restaurants across Japan making it one of the more popular katsu dishes. If you can handle your spice, it’s definitely worth trying and also note, that it’s very filling too!
Next on the list are your traditional katsu dishes made from either chicken (tori katsu) or pork (tonkatsu) and served with a mountain of fresh cabbage. Also, there is the option to have rice with it too, which is my own personal preference, but is not a necessity to enjoy the dish.
It’s topped with the famous katsu sauce which is amazing! In some cases, it has been described as a cross between sweet and sour and maybe a slight tang of barbecue flavor. This is the most popular way of serving katsu which you are bound to find on the menu in restaurants across Japan.
Finally, it’s not a true race for the best without throwing in the oddball which would be katsudon. This dish is incredibly popular and can be found almost everywhere, from the little hideaway restaurants to the bigger fancy chains, and in some case even served with soba noodles. It is a dish that features the delicious katsu served on a bed of rice along with cooked egg and onions. There often tends to be soy sauce mixed into the dish as well and with all these ingredients combined, it is so delicious that you may even consider seconds if you still have room.
It’s considered a simple dish but the addition of egg, soy, onion, and rice to the katsu works extremely well together that it’s always guaranteed to be a delicious, easily accessible, cheap meal.
So have you tried any or all of these? Which katsu dish is your favorite? Mine is katsudon because it’s simple enough to make at home but extremely delicious. If you’re yet to try a traditional Japanese katsu dish, be sure to include it on your list of foods to try during your travels to Japan.