Katsudon is the king of all rice bowls! Fluffy Japanese white rice topped with a crispy pork cutlet, juicy onions and sweet dashi flavoured egg. This dish is packed with flavour and has great texture, it's no wonder it's so popular!
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What is Katsudon?
Katsudon (かつ丼) is made of 4 main ingredients, it's pretty simple.
- Pork cutlet
All in one bowl!
Tonkatsu is a name that combines the words, "tonkatsu" (とんかつ) which means deep fried pork cutlet and "donburi" (丼) which means rice bowl. So the star of this dish is the cutlet!
Pork cutlet is made by coating a piece of pork with flour, egg and panko breadcrumbs and then frying it. (I use Hamaotome Soft Panko when I'm in Japan and JFC Panko breadcrumbs when I was in England, I recommend both!)
The rice is warm and fluffy, the egg is sweet, the onions are soft and the katsu is still crispy! It's the ultimate texture combination and there's nothing really you can dislike about it!
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Tonkatsu vs Katsudon
What's the difference?
You might be wondering, what is the difference between tonkatsu and katsudon? Many people get these confused because they're both dishes that serve a crispy pork cutlet with rice right?
Tonkatsu is the pork cutlet served on a plate with shredded cabbage and rice on the side. It's drizzled with a fruity tonkatsu sauce and if you order it 'teishoku' set meal style, it often comes with miso soup and some pickles too.
You can see our recipe for tonkatsu here, it also includes how to make delicious tonkatsu sauce from scratch.
Katsudon is served with the pork cutlet served in a bowl, on top of the rice. The word "donburi" (丼) literally means rice bowl after all.
The pork cutlet is cooked together with the egg, but it doesn't lose too much crispiness because the egg is not fully cooked. The katsu and egg are then placed on top of the rice.
The sauce is mixed in with the egg, which is the part that holds that special katsudon flavour. Lastly it's garnished with spring onions or nori.
So in the end, although they both contain "katsu", the dishes are actually very different!
The Popularity of Katsudon
This dish is usually served in
- Soba restaurants
- Udon restaurants
- Bento shops
- Convenience stores...etc
I believe it's one of the most liked dishes by Japanese people. It's also very popular to make it at home. You can buy pre-made cutlet and make this dish very quickly and easily!
So, let's indulge with this delicious katsudon recipe from scratch!
"Katsu" means deep fried pork cutlet and "don" means rice bowl. So together, it means deep fried pork cutlet rice bowl.
Tonkatsu is a deep fried pork cutlet usually served with rice and cabbage on the side. Katsudon, however, refers to deep fried pork cutlet rice bowl, it's all served in one bowl along with onions and steamed egg.
Japanese donburi dishes are always made with short grain Japanese white rice. It's easiest to use a rice cooker, but we also have a guide on how to cook Japanese style rice on the stove here.