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Katsudon: A rice bowl dish topped with a seasoned pork cutlet


“Katsudon” is a basic menu at Japanese restaurants. It is a rice in a bowl covered with deep fried pork cutlet.

The first katsudon was introduced at a cuisine forum in 1913. In Tokyo, the most popular kind of katsudon is “tamagotoji,” which uses partially cooked beaten egg on the cutlet. Sometimes green pees are added on top. However, there are varieties of katsudon depending on each region.

Source katsudon is from Fukui prefecture. The deep fried cutlet is dipped in a soy based source before it is placed on the bowl of rice. The bread crumbs that covers the cutlet is grounded very finely. The style also popular in Komagane, Nagano prefecture, where the source is specially produced.

Miso-katsudon is popular in Nagoya, Aichi prefecture, and the Tokai region. The pork cutlet is dipped in a fermented soy paste. The origin of the style comes from “kushikatsu,” which is a deep fried pork or vegetables in small pieces which people dip in a source.

Tare-kastudon is from Niigata prefecture. It uses a thin pork cutlet which is crispy, and juicy. The dish is very simple with no other ingredients put on the rice other than cutlet. This style of katsudon originates in the Showa period (1926-1989) when food stalls on the street became popular.

Demi-katsudon is a particular style from Okayama prefecture. The katsudon is covered with demi-glace sauce. The origin comes from “yoshoku,” a Japanese western style cuisine, where chefs evolved traditional western cuisine into Japanese unique dishes.

Katsudon is eaten on occasions when people wish for good luck. The word “katsu” means win in Japanese. Students eat katsudon on the night before their entrance exams, so that they can pass the test. Some athletes also eat katsudon to win the sport games.

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