Let’s eat tonkatsu(pork cutlet) at noon

500 years ago BC, a military thinker who was active in China, Sonshi(孫氏), left such a word in his martial arts book.

“If you know him and know yourself, there are almost 100 battles.” This means, “By knowing the actual situation of the other person you are heading to and your own ability, you can fight in a competitive manner.”

This teaching gives a similar idea in the world of food. You can’t be ashamed if you know the right way to enjoy Japanese unique dishes. Also, if you know how to taste, you will notice the deliciousness and depth of food.

 Tonkatsu is not just “fried pork” 

The first theme is “Tonkatsu(=pork cutlet)”.

First, let’s sort out what kind of food the tonkatsu is, before giving a lecture on how to eat it correctly. This tonkatsu food is often similar in the world, and if you are a wise person, you will instantly notice the appearance of “fried pork.” But in the next moment, you’ll think, “It’s a little different from my country.”

This is the Japanese pork cutlet
This is the Japanese pork cutlet

By the way, let me give you an example from overseas. German thin cutlet “Schnitzel”

Schnitzel 薄切りのカツの友はポテト
Schnitzel Sliced cutlet’s friend is potato
Hans BraxmeierによるPixabayからの画像

You can see that it is a pork cutlet that is similar to the fried food in your country. This is a mysterious phenomenon, but Japanese people basically eat pork and beef in thin slices. Sukiyaki, shabu-shabu, ginger-grilled pork, these meat dishes are all thin slices. On the other hand, if you look around the world, steak, hamburger, grilled chicken, it’s exciting. Surprisingly, in Argentina, there is also a dish called Asado Conchloé, which grills whole beef. (Unfortunately, you can’t sell chunks of meat in Japan unless you go to a big supermarket!)

A culture where whole meat is the best

However, the exact opposite is happening with fried pork. Japanese tonkatsu is thick, but Western ones are thin. I don’t know what this means, as I’m not a food historian, but it’s definitely an interesting fact.

 There is a difference in how restaurants choose their bread crumbs. It leads to a crunchy feeling. 

The characteristic of this pork cutlet is that it is generally made by adding flour to meat, then adding raw egg to melted meat, then adding bread crumbs and fried in oil. The best feature would be bread crumbs. There are many stores that are particular about bread crumbs. This is because the texture changes greatly.

And I want you to observe the Japanese well. They must mutter this way.

“It’s crispy and delicious.”「Saku-saku shite Oishi ne!」

That’s right, bread crumbs create a “crunchy feeling.” (Crispy is the expression of the sound when eating.) Even if you make a mistake, don’t say “it’s deliciously entwined, pork cutlet!”

Keep in mind that what Japanese people want from Tonkatsu is the crispness of freshly fried bread crumbs. If you tell the shopkeeper “I’m crunchy,” the shopkeeper will smile with a big smile, “You know, you know!” However, the tonkatsu with the tonkatsu arranged (tonkatsu in the soup stock and the boiled egg over the beaten egg) will make you enjoy the toro toro. Japanese people are noisy about food.

 Choose either loin or fin 

Now let’s go to the store. Generally, no reservation is required. First come, first served. If you’re a popular store, you may have a line. Arriving at the store, let’s go through the seasoned goodwill and open the manual door. The clerk approaches and is confirmed the counter seat or the table seat. This will change depending on the complexity. At the counter, you can see the chef’s work and want to enjoy a live feeling.

And immediately, order.
Tonkatsu stores that have chain stores have photos of meals on their menus, but at well-established stores, only letters are on the menu plate. But there is no need to rush. Beginners should hold down here.

There are two types, “loin” and “fin”, so you can choose either one. Loin is rich in fat and has muscles, whereas fins close to the internal organs have a low fat content. In terms of amount, the fins are slightly high. This seems to be related to the rare part rather than the problem of taste. For those who like chewing, loin should be recommended if you want a loose body. By the way, each store appeals the brand of pigs called “Pork from OO”, but this is a fun way for advanced users. Beginners have to worry about either loin or fin.

 Tonkatsu doesn’t need romantic 

One thing I forgot to mention is that in Japan, tonkatsu is mainly eaten at noon.

It’s not a bad thing to eat at night, but it’s not for entertaining important people or anniversaries. Even in the course menu of the restaurant, there is no lineup of tonkatsu in the main dish. Speculation is that Tonkatsu is not suitable for conversation-based dinners. It is also not suitable for early love. If you dine on your first date, it won’t be “Let’s go to Tonkatsu!” I can just lean on my head, “Where did this person grow up?” I want you to be careful. Of course, it’s possible to go alone with a family or friends. Rather, a couple who eat tonkatsu at night can be said to be a close relationship.

Basically, Japanese couples don't say
Basically, Japanese couples don’t say “Should we go to Tonkatsu at night?”

By the way, if you order a tonkatsu, you just have to wait for it to finish, which is a big mistake. Don’t let your guard down. An unfamiliar small bowl, wooden stick and sesame (black particles) will come under you. A small bowl is called a mortar. Put sesame here and rub it with a wooden stick to make it even finer. Then add sauce to enhance the flavor and prepare to eat pork cutlet. This pattern is common in recent stores, so I want you to do it without hassle.

Ritual before eating pork cutlet
Ritual before eating pork cutlet

And the fried tonkatsu just arrived. Tonkatsu is accompanied by cabbage. This is almost 100% sure. This is because it has the effect of preventing oil intake and preparing the stomach. The clerk will explain that you can change at some stores.

Well, here is the challenge. Where do you eat from tonkatsu? In the case of loin, special care is required. Should I eat clean from the edge? Or is it in the middle? I would like to recommend the thick middle part for the first one bite. Yes, considering that the first bite comes to your tongue. In fact, depending on the store, the middle may be upside down. It should be interpreted as the “thickness of the pork cutlet” and the appeal of the owner, “Please eat from here.”

First of all, I want you to taste it either as it is or as lightly salted. This is to experience the true taste of meat. If you add the sauce suddenly, the taste of the sauce will be too strong. Then pigs wouldn’t want it.

However, the pork cutlet with the sauce. After the second cut, I want you to sprinkle on the sauce and taste. Then tweet.

“It’s crispy.”

If you hold down here, the rest is fine. Eating pork cutlet, rice, miso soup, and sometimes cabbage rhythm will give you the best pork cutlet time. If you get used to it, I would like you to try another menu such as shrimp fry and oyster fry.

Let’s make a debut with you.

foodots. Recommended tonkatsu restaurant that you can taste in Tokyo

Shinjuku / Tonkatsu Hinata

Ginza / Ginza Katsukakami

Awaji Town / Tonkatsu Manpei