Thinking of what to make for your dinner tonight? Why not go against your daily norm to try something different? Katsudon is a stomach-filling dish consists of deep-fried breaded pork cutlets with a delicate soy-based broth simmered with eggs and served over rice. You might find this in your regular Japanese restaurant but it can be prepared at home without compromising the taste! Spare a little more time to make this dish from scratch, just like how I will be showing you here! Trust me, it is worth the effort! Since I need to go through the hassle to make this, I normally will deep-fry a few more of the pork loin to keep it for the following day. It can be served as Tonkatsu as well. If you are making more of the pork loin, store in fridge and reheat in the oven before serving. It tastes just as good the following day and the outer layer still remain crispy!
This dish is made in 4 stages – 1. Rice 2. Breaded pork cutlets 3. Soy-based Broth 4. Simmer breaded pork cutlets in broth with eggs drizzle all over it.
First and foremost, cook the rice. I assume almost everyone knows how to cook rice, right? :I Short grain, medium grain or long grain white rice is fine, depending on your preference.
To make the breaded pork cutlets, you will need 3.65lbs (1.6kg) boneless pork loin (make 8 – 9 breaded pork loin), a loaf of white bread, 1 cup (more or less) all- purpose white flour, 3 – 5 eggs and vegetable oil.
I prefer to use the whole boneless pork loin and cut it to the size that I desired. As shown in the picture, the pork loin has a thin layer of fats and I leave it as it is. Cut the pork loin to 2 inches wide and use the back of the knife to pound the meat on both sides. As pounding tends to flatten the meat, after pounding, use the palm of both of your hands to press the sides (as if holding it together) so that it remain intact.
Then tear the bread into smaller pieces and use a food processor to process into bread crumbs (refer to the picture below for the fresh bread crumbs). I usually use almost a whole loaf of bread to make 8 – 9 breaded pork loin. It is better to blend half loaf first and, if it is insufficient, you can blend more later. I prefer to use fresh bread crumbs than getting the store-bought bread crumbs as the store-bought bread crumbs tend to be dry and doesn’t coat the pork loin really well. Besides, it taste better and crispier with fresh bread crumbs.
Use a fork / whisk to lightly beat 3 eggs. Place 1 cup of the all purpose white flour onto a plate. Lightly dust the pork loin with the flour, shake off excess flour, then coat the pork loin with the beaten eggs and followed by the bread crumbs. Use the palm of both of your hands to lightly press the bread crumbs onto the pork loin to make sure that it is well-coated. You might need to top up with more eggs, flour or bread crumbs in the process of making this.
Prepare a medium pot and add in vegetable oil until it is 1/3 full. Use a pot (such as cast iron) that has a good heat retention for deep frying so that the heat doesn’t escape easily and helps to maintain the desired temperature. When it comes to deep frying, ALWAYS USE SUFFICIENT OIL to ensure that it is completely cook with a nice crisp at the desired temperature with the right timing. And one more thing, I will be double frying the pork loin. Check Japanese Style Fried Chicken “Karaage” for more details on double frying.
When the oil is hot enough, about 175°C (347°F), place the breaded pork loin into the oil.
Deep fry for 75 seconds on each side, dish up and place on a wire mesh/rack and let it rest for at least 3 minutes before frying the second time.
Before placing a new batch to deep fry, use a strainer to remove the crumbs from the oil to prevent the new batch from getting burnt. Repeat this process until all the pork loin has been cooked for the first time. Bring the oil to 180°C(356°F) and prepare to fry the the pork loin for the second time. Fry the pork loin for 40 seconds on each side. Set aside to cool on wire rack.
As for the broth, you will need 400cc (1 2/3 cups) of dashi, 4 tablespoon of soy sauce, 2 tablespoon of mirin, 1 tablespoon of cooking wine, 1 teaspoon of white sugar and 2 medium yellow onion. This can make about 4 – 5 bowls of katsudon. If you are planning to make more, double the portion.
To make dashi, place a dashi pack in a pot filled with 4 cups (800ml) of water and boil for 3 minutes (or follow the instruction on the back of packaging).
If you don’t have the dashi pack, you can also use kelp (konbu) and bonito flakes (katsuobushi) to make dashi.
Prepare a medium pot of 5 cups (1 litre) of water and add in 1/2 cup of bonito flakes and 5cm (in length) of kelp. Bring to a boil on medium heat and let it boil for 3 minutes. Turn off the heat and let it sit for at least 5 minutes. Strain the mixture. (NOTE: For the remaining dashi, use it to make soups or sauces.
Remove the skin of the onion and cut in half. Slice approximately into 1/4 inches thick. Place 400cc (1 2/3 cups) of dashi, soy sauce, mirin, cooking wine and yellow onion in a medium saucepan and let it boil on medium heat until the onion is tender and soft.
As for final stage, prepare a pan, few eggs, a measuring cup/ stainless steel cup with beak for easy pouring. It is easier if you have the pan as in the photo below. I got mine from my mother-in-law as a gift when she taught me to make this dish 🙂 . But if you don’t have it, use a small saucepan about (or less than) 8 inches in diameter.
Use a fork to beat 2 eggs in the measuring cup/ stainless steel cup. Transfer 1/4 cup of the broth with sliced onions onto the pan and bring it to a boil on medium heat.
Meanwhile cut the breaded pork loin into cutlets.
Once the broth came to a boil, lower the heat and place in the pork cutlets and drizzle the eggs all over the pork and the broth.
I use about 2/3 of the beaten eggs in the measuring cup for each katsudon that I made. Close with a lid and turn the heat to medium. If you are using a small saucepan, slightly tilt the lid so that there is an opening for the steam to escape. Let it simmer for 15 – 20 seconds until the eggs are almost cooked.
Prepare a clean bowl and place the cooked white rice to about 1/4 full. Immediately transfer the pork cutlets onto the bowl of rice.
Be careful when transferring from the pan onto the bowl. If the eggs adhere to the edge of the pan, use a spoon to remove the eggs before transferring to the bowl.
Repeat stage 4 depending on how many bowls of katsudon you are making. Serve immediately.
Share, like or comment if you have make this. For the pdf version of this recipe, click ‘Katsudon‘. ENJOY!