I think people often get nervous when I start talking about Japanese recipes. They imagine raw fish (sashimi) or exotic ingredients. Okay, sushi is always a hit when dining out, but in truth, some of my favorite Japanese dishes are the more humble, comfort food staples that you don't often eat at a fancy restaurant.
One dish I fell in love with during my time in Japan was the humble donburi. These rice bowls were lunch staples, but also were a perfect meal for an expat living alone. One donburi that I really enjoyed was the Katsudon. It was a fried pork cutlet, tonkatsu, cooked with eggs, simmered onions and set on top of a warm bed of rice. The sauce is both sweet and savory and the whole dish is warm and filling.
It had been a while since my husband or I had enjoyed a Katsudon, but once we dug in, my husband admitted this dish is his favorite.
I like to enjoy mine with a simple bowl of miso soup, but it is also great as a stand alone dish.
This dish begins with the fried pork cutlet. I use the very thin cut, boneless pork chops so they cook quickly. They are breaded in a typical dredge of flour, egg and bread crumbs. To get the signature crunch, Japanese panko is suggested. Luckily they are readily available in most grocery stores or on amazon.
Then I softened half a yellow onion with just a little oil.
Low and slow helps to really bring out the sugars in a yellow onion.
While the onions are sauteeing, stir up the sauce... a mixture of soy sauce, mirin and dashi. This is really what adds all the flavor to the dish.
Once the sauce is added to the onions, make a little room and put the pork cutlets back into the skillet. Flip the cutlet slices so both sides can soak up some of the sauce. Then Pour the egg around the sides and top with green onions.
Cook the egg till set. I like to cover with a lid to help steam the egg. Remove from the heat a little underdone and place over a steaming bowl of rice. The eggs will continue to cook and set up from the steam of the rice.
You Will Need:
- 2 thin cut pork cutlets
- 1 egg scrambled
- 1/4 c. flour
- 1/2 c. panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
- oil for frying (enough to cover the pork cutlets)
- 1/2 yellow onion, thinly sliced
- 2 Tbsp. soy sauce
- 1 Tbsp. mirin
- 2/3 c. dashi
- 3 egg, partially scrambled
- 2 green onions, sliced
- 2 bowls of Japanese rice (short grain), prepared
While the oil is heating up, bread the pork cutlets. Set up a dredging station with flour, egg wash and panko in 3 seperate containers. Dredge both pork cutlets and fry till golden brown as soon as the oil has reached temperature.
Set the cooked pork cutlets aside on a paper town to drain.
Put a teaspoon of oil back into the skillet and add the sliced onion. Cook over medium low till softened and translucent.
In a small bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, mirin and dashi. Set aside.
Whisk together the 3 eggs gently, leaving some of the whites and yolks still separated.
Cut the pork cutlets into slices and make a place for each cutlet in the onions. Pour the sauce around over the onions and let cook for about 1 minute. Flip the pork cutlets and pour the egg over the onions and cutlet, sprinkle with green onions. Cover with a lid. Cook until set to desired consistency.
I leave my eggs a little soft as they will continue cooking when placed over the steaming rice.
Divide the cutlet, eggs, onions and sauce between two bowls of rice. Enjoy!
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