Katsudon, a popular Japanese dish that isn’t made up of raw fish, rates especially high with hungry students and office workers. It’s one of the simplest Japanese culinary creations, yet as we all know, keeping it simple goes a long way.
Though it sounds like a character out of Pokémon, the katsudon is an excellent example of (most things) Japanese: unfussy and extremely practical. The scrambled egg is already incorporated with the pork cutlets, ensuring you get a bit in every bite. A happy contrast exists in the crispy-fried pork cutlets that somehow remain tender inside. Then the rice at the bottom catches all the runoff sauce, and sops up the flavor. Awesomesauce, indeed.
Perhaps because it’s essentially a Japanese “-silog” (served with egg), the Pinoy has learned to take comfort in the katsudon as one of his go-to rice meals. The breadcrumbs add to the usually carb-heavy diet, the rice is lightly moistened and flavored with sauce, and the slightly sweet sauce doesn’t taste too exotic. But hey, we can still improve on that, right?
Just because it seemed like a good idea, we decided to top our katsudon with Quickmelt cheese. You can be all conyo-like and use mozzarella, but the milky sweetness of cheap cheese matches the katsudon sauce well. However, if you’re watching your weight (hello, Erwan!), skip everything else and just eat the leeks. They’re the only thing “healthy” in this dish.
Disclaimer: Please make this dish at home. DO NOT go to your favorite Japanese place and proceed to grate cheese over your katsudon order. Pepper will not be held liable for damages ensuing from you being thrown out of restaurant premises.
Quickmelt Cheese Katsudon
Yield: 4 servings
Ingredients for the Pork Katsu
- 4 pcs pork chops
- Salt and pepper
- 1 cup bread crumbs
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1 egg (beaten)
- Oil for frying
Ingredients for the Katsudon Sauce
- 1 cup water
- 1/4 cup Kikkoman soy sauce
- 2 tbsp mirin (Japanese sweet wine)
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 pc fish bouillon cube
- 2 tbsp oil
- 1 pc white onion, sliced
- 2 stalks leeks, sliced diagonally
- 4 eggs
- 4 cups Japanese rice
- 1 cup grated Quickmelt cheese
Procedure for the Pork Katsu
- Clean and pat dry pork chops.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Arrange breading station: bowl 1 for flour, bowl 2 for egg, and bowl 3 for bread crumbs.
- Dust a pork chop with flour, dip in egg, then coat with bread crumbs. Repeat for remaining chops.
- Heat 1 inch oil in a pan.
- When oil is very hot, fry breaded pork chops for 3-5 minutes on each side, depending on the thickness of the slice.
- Drain in paper towels and set aside.
Procedure for the Katsudon Sauce
- Boil together all ingredients until melted.
- Keep warm.
- Prepare rice in 4 separate bowls.
- Slice the chops into long strips, keeping the pieces of each chop together. Set aside.
- Beat an egg each in 4 separate bowls. Set aside.
- Heat oil in pan and saute 1/4 the sliced onions until soft.
- Add in a beaten egg, and top one of the sliced chops.
- Pour 1/4 of the katsudon sauce mix and simmer for 1-2 minutes. Remove when egg is half-cooked.
- Serve over rice and add leeks.
- Top with 1/4 cheese and broil in oven until cheese is melted (about 3-5 minutes).
- Repeat steps 4-8 for the rest of the chops.