So I haven’t made any katsu in a while, but I have some old pictures that I can still use to illustrate this. I had made some pork katsu at that point, but you can use chicken, fish – anything you want! You can serve it on rice and you’ll have katsu-don. I've had it with a side of peas or spinach – unconventional, perhaps, but it works! I’ll just be discussing the katsu itself in this post.
The basic method of making katsu is not particularly complicated, and it’s actually very similar to making croquettes. First, you’ll want to take your meat and pound it out until it’s pretty flat. I’m sure there are fancy tools out there, but I just put my pork in a ziploc bag and pounded it out by hand. I find it easier to cook if it’s flattened out.
This is where you’ll see the resemblance to croquettes. Have some flour and panko (or bread crumbs) ready, then beat an egg or two (egg whites by themselves are what you would usually use, but honestly, using a whole egg works just fine). First, cover the meat in flour, then dip it into the egg, and then finally place the whole thing into a plate of panko.
Turn it over a couple of times and sprinkle panko on it until it’s completely covered. Now it’s time to fry this thing!
Put some oil in a pan and start heating it up. I’d probably keep it at about medium when you’re actually frying the katsu. Be sure to have an apron and maybe some long sleeves during this process – little specks of oil tend to jump out, so be careful. I’ve always had tiny burns that sting a little, but otherwise have had very little trouble with this process. Put the meat in and let it fry.
I’m not sure of the amount of time you’re supposed to keep it on one side before flipping it over. Generally, I use my chopsticks to lift it up and check. Don’t worry too much about flipping too early, you can always flip it back over. As you can see, I hadn’t fried it enough the first time around, but it’s nothing to worry about.
Keep flipping back and forth until both sides become a nice golden-brown. You can cut it to make sure it’s cooked all the way through, but that’s what’s nice about making sure the meat isn’t too thick – as soon as the panko is golden-brown, the meat will be cooked enough.
And there you have it! Serve it with some katsu sauce and any sides that you like. I’ve never made my own katsu sauce, but you can usually find it at regular grocery stores. I’m sure you could always use ketchup or something, if you prefer…
I love katsu, and it’s definitely a nice treat to make for yourself every so often. Enjoy!