Japanese Food: Tonkatsu (トンカツ)

Today's menu is Tonkatsu (トンカツ)! It can be written with kanji like this: 豚カツ. The reading is the same, and the kanji 豚 (ton, or buta), means pig, or pork. カツ means cutlet.


This is one of my favorite Japanese foods! It consists of a breaded, deep-fried pork cutlet. There are two main types, hire and rosu. It is often served with shredded cabbage.

Tonkatsu originated in Japan in the 19th century. As well as being served as a single dish, it is also used as a sandwich filling or in combination with curry.


Either a pork fillet (ヒレ, hire) or pork loin (ロース, rōsu) cut may be used; the meat is usually salted, peppered, dredged lightly in flour, dipped into beaten egg and then coated with panko (bread crumbs) before being deep fried.

Tonkatsu is generally served with shredded cabbage. It is most commonly eaten with a type of thick Worcestershire sauce called tonkatsu sauce or simply sōsu (sauce), karashi (mustard) and perhaps a slice of lemon. It is usually served with rice, miso soup and tsukemono and eaten with chopsticks. It may also be served with ponzu and grated daikon instead of tonkatsu sauce.

Another famous serving of this food is called katsudon joining it with egg on a big bowl of rice.