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Tonkatsu is a popular Japanese cuisine consisting of breaded, deep fried pork cutlet served with tonkatsu sauce (a Worcester-based sauce) and often accompanied with rice or cabbage. Tonkatsu is made by coating pork chops with flour, egg, and panko (Japanese bread crumbs), then deep frying the pork. When eating tonkatsu, there are typically two options for the cut: hi-re (pork filet) and rosu (pork loin).
As mentioned, tonkatsu is almost always served with shredded cabbage and rice. The cabbage is a tradition that began in the Meiji era, and is said to have many beneficial health properties. When ordering tonkatsu at most Japanese restaurants, you will likely be served tonkatsu on a bed of shredded cabbage and a bowl of rice with miso soup and pickled plums on the side.
In addition to the traditional tonkatsu with sauce, cabbage, and rice, there are many ways the Japanese people enjoy the breaded fillet. Some Japanese use tonkatsu, tonkatsu sauce, and cabbage to make katsu-sandwiches for a easy to carry snack while enjoying the cherry blossoms. Others enjoy a hearty piece of tonkatsu on top of their curry rice, or with an egg over a bowl of rice as a katsudon. While the Japanese people have found tasty ways to enjoy tonkatsu, other cultures have also taken their hand at the Japanese meal. In the United States, a popular variation enjoyed is the Hawaiian-style chicken katsu. Served with barbecue sauce and often thinner portions than tonkatsu, chicken katsu is a staple at almost any Hawaiian restaurant. South Korea also has their take on the Japanese dish, instead serving thinner, unsliced cuts of pork as don-gaseu. No matter the way it's enjoyed, tonkatsu is a favorite around the world.
Although many of our travelers and tour participants have tried tonkatsu in the United States, most of our clients have only had the Hawaiian-style chicken-katsu. Why not try authentic Japanese cooking during your next vacation between Tokyo and Kyoto with Japan Deluxe Tours? Enjoy a katsu-sandwich while marveling at the sights along the way of a a Cherry Blossom Tour, or ask your travel agent about our custom private packages to include one of Tokyo's top tonkatsu restaurants during your vacation.
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