Katsu-don

You may be wondering, “what exactly is Katsu-don?”    Ok, so I lied when I said that my last meal on a death row (not that I will) will by Japanese curry rice on this post.  I wouldn’t say “lie”, but it wasn’t the full truth, because aside from Japanese curry, I will also have Katsu-don as my last meal. 

Katsu-don is a beloved Japanese dish (almost like comfort food).  Traditionally, it is breaded pork cutlet over steaming bowl of rice with nice egg broth/sauce over the cutlet.  However, you can make this with chicken breast or even beef.  I made mine with chicken breasts.

katsu don 003

The above photo is from the last time I made Katsu-don.  Yesterday was my daughter’s birthday, and she specifically requested for this dish.  I was so consumed with baking her the birthday cake, I didn’t spend too much time taking good photos of Katsu-don. 

Anyway, there are many variations for this recipe.  I learned how to make this many years ago and I don’t use proper recipe for this, so I will try my best to write this down. 

Makes 4 servings:

Cooked white short grain rice
Enough oil for deep frying (please don’t try baking this, it won’t work).
about 4 chicken breasts (more, if you want leftovers), pounded to about an inch thickness (I like it on a thicker side)
about 1/8 cup Japanese cooking wine (dry sherry is fine too)
salt and pepper
about 1/4 cup of flour
1 egg
about 1/2 cup of panko (Japanese bread crumbs) – please, no substitutes, Italian bread crumbs will not work!!!

Broth:
1 medium to large onion, sliced
4-5 green onions, sliced diagonally
2 cups dashi soup stock (you can use 2 cups water and about 2 teaspoons of Hondashi soup stock granules).  You can get this at any Asian markets
Hondashi
5 Tablespoons Kikkoman soy sauce (yes, on this state side, Kikkoman tastes the best compared to other soy sauce out there)
2 Tablespoons mirin (you can find this at an Asian market, but if you can’t find it, you can omit this)
1 Tablespoon sugar
4 eggs

After pounding the chicken breasts marinate the chicken in the Japanese cooking wine/dry sherry for at least an hour in the refrigerator. 

Pat dry excess liquid from the chicken, salt and pepper both sides (moderately).

Dust the chicken in the flour, dip in the beaten egg, and then into panko. 

Deep fry in a hot oil until golden brown.  Drain the finished chicken on paper towel lined plate.
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This is my trusted deep fryer!

Meanwhile, make the broth by bringing the water to a boil, add Hondashi granules and mix well.  Add soy sauce, mirin and sugar, bring to boil again.  Lower the heat to medium and add sliced onions – cook until half way cooked and then add the green onions and simmer for few more minutes. 

Beat the eggs and slowly pour them in the broth, just mixing lightly, turn off the heat and leave the pot as it is with a lid on.  (Sometimes, you add cooked cutlet in the sauce to soften, but I didn’t). 

Put some rice in a medium size bowl, lay the sliced cutlets on top of rice and pour some broth over the cutlets.  You can have this with sliced “takuan” – pickled daikon radish or any other salads as your side. 

The few photos I was able to take were these from last night:
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