Quickmelt Cheese Katsudon

Words: Den Alibudbud/Photography: Mylene Chung/Styling and Recipe Development: Katherine Jao/September 6, 2012

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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

Other Ingredients

  • 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

  1. Clean and pat dry pork chops.
  2. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Arrange breading station: bowl 1 for flour, bowl 2 for egg, and bowl 3 for bread crumbs.
  4. Dust a pork chop with flour, dip in egg, then coat with bread crumbs. Repeat for remaining chops.
  5. Heat 1 inch oil in a pan.
  6. When oil is very hot, fry breaded pork chops for 3-5 minutes on each side, depending on the thickness of the slice.
  7. Drain in paper towels and set aside.
  8. Serve.

Procedure for the Katsudon Sauce

  1. Boil together all ingredients until melted.
  2. Keep warm.

Assembly

  1. Prepare rice in 4 separate bowls.
  2. Slice the chops into long strips, keeping the pieces of each chop together. Set aside.
  3. Beat an egg each in 4 separate bowls. Set aside.
  4. Heat oil in pan and saute 1/4 the sliced onions until soft.
  5. Add in a  beaten egg, and top one of the sliced chops.
  6. Pour 1/4 of the katsudon sauce mix and simmer for 1-2 minutes. Remove when egg is half-cooked.
  7. Serve over rice and add leeks.
  8. Top with 1/4 cheese and broil in oven until cheese is melted (about 3-5 minutes).
  9. Repeat steps 4-8 for the rest of the chops.

Den Alibudbud

Den has spent the last six years doing accounts and project management work for various companies. Recently, her grammar-Nazi-inclinations and slavedriving skills convinced the kindly folks at PhotoKitchen to have her join their merry band. See More.

  • http://twitter.com/nicogocs Nico Goco

    i wonder how the guys down at crazy katsu will react if patrons came in with their own bags of grated cheese, or cheez whiz for that matter. I’ll remember to add cheese next time we make katsudon at home. I think we can use the dashi they sell at japanese groceries as well right?

    • http://twitter.com/katherinejao Katherine Jao

      Haha let us know if you decide to! ;p And yes, dashi is even better for this recipe. We just try to make it simpler by using easy to find familiar ingredients. :)

      • http://twitter.com/nicogocs Nico Goco

        i’ve never used dashi before actually, beef cubes also worked fine for me :) luckily there’s a japanese store near us so I can try using those ingredients too. Thanks!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=592243315 Zhayne Soriano

    you’re making me hungry @-) @-) @-) can’t wait for the weekend to try making this!!

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Den-Alibudbud/520953364 Den Alibudbud

      have it for dinner tonight! it doesn’t require too much prep! :D

  • http://www.facebook.com/vinz.cueto Vinz Cueto

    I love Katsudon, what more with quickmelt cheese!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • http://twitter.com/katherinejao Katherine Jao

      Try it out Vinz! :)

  • http://80breakfasts.blogspot.com/ joey

    Katsudon was my go to dish when I was a struggling student, saving all my money for boots and new jeans :) To this day I still love it! I think it is the most value for money dish you will find in a Japanese restaurant. It’s usually one of the cheapest things on the menu, it’s masarap, and you are super busog after ;) I have yet to attempt it at home though so this recipe is perfect!

    • http://twitter.com/katherinejao Katherine Jao

      Hi Joey, try our recipe and let us know! :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/insomosa Ian Nathan M. Somosa

    These shots are more appetizing than those you’d find in most restaurant menus! Haha Adding quickmelt cheese sounds interesting. I wanna try that soon. :D

  • TheHungryGiant

    After my appendectomy a few years back, my first real meal was katsudon and since then I’ve stayed away from it (bad memories). This just might bring me back to the fold…:D haha!

  • Nomnomnom

    Hi! I’ve tried a lot of your recipes and they sure are easy and tasteful. I’m just hoping you guys would do food hack on the uncle cheffy pizza or the my kitchen panizza. I’m sure you guys could do a wonderful rendition to it. I really love this blog!

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  • sands

    going to try this with fish! and add some corn kernels ;)

  • fishoutofkitchen

    Steps 3-6 are confusing.

  • foodexplorer

    Tried this using chicken breast as meat then put mozzarella instead of quickmelt cheese. Yum Yum!

    And I don’t know why it works but I like putting in a touch of finely chopped ginger to the sauce.

  • Kathleen Haboc

    YUM! Like @6e45fbe8695ad8beebc95a6c50fb091d:disqus, I added about 1/4 – 1/2 t of freshly ground ginger to the sauce. I will make this again and again and again!