Katsu-don is an amalgamation of the Japanese words for pork cutlet (tonkatsu) and rice bowl (donburi). This popular dish is so much more than the sum of its parts. Served with a crisp green salad or sauteed vegetables, it's perfect for a mid-week dinner.
- 80 ml (⅓ cup) milk
- plain flour and panko breadcrumbs (see note)
- 4 (about 600 g) pork medallions
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil, plus equal quantities of corn and vegetable oils, to deep-fry
- 1 tsp dashi granules
- 60 ml (¼ cup) Japanese salt-reduced soy sauce
- 60 ml (¼ cup) mirin
- 55 g (¼ cup) caster sugar
- 1 small onion, halved, sliced
- 6 eggs, lightly beaten taking care not to froth
- steamed short-grain rice, shredded nori and pickled ginger (see Note), to serve
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Chilling time: 20 minutes
Place milk, flour and breadcrumbs in separate shallow bowls. Season pork with salt and pepper. Dust pork with flour, shake off excess, then dip in milk and coat in breadcrumbs. Place pork on a plate and refrigerate for 20 minutes to firm.
Combine dashi granules with 250 ml water and stir to dissolve. Combine dashi mixture, soy, mirin and sugar in a saucepan over high heat. Bring to the boil, then remove from heat.
Heat 2 tbsp oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add onion and cook for 3 minutes or until soft and light golden. Spread onion evenly over the base of the pan and carefully place sliced pork on top, keeping each portion separate. Pour over dashi mixture and cook for 1 minute over medium heat.
Pour eggs evenly over the top of the mixture and stir lightly to combine with the dashi mixture. Cover and cook for 2 minutes or until egg is starting to set but is still a little wet.
Meanwhile, divide rice among 4 bowls.
Working quickly, slide each portion of pork with some egg and onion mixture out of the pan onto a bowl of rice. Scatter with nori, top with pickled ginger and serve immediately.
• Nori (dried seaweed) and pickled ginger are available from Asian food shops.
Photography by Brett Stevens.